When my husband, Arnold and I built our new home, we invested in top-of-the-line appliances. We spent a small fortune to take advantage of an Energy Star rated furnace, air conditioner, water heater, washer and dryer. We also realized that without proper management, these efficient components would fail to live up to potential. Following the recommendation of the HVAC contractor, we installed a residential automation system. This innovative technology provides remote access, allowing me to control appliances and lighting with a tap of my finger on my smartphone or laptop. I can check to make sure my daughter turned off her curling iron, that my son locked the door on his way out, and easily adjust the thermostat setting to conserve energy. Not only have I significantly reduced monthly utility bills, but I’ve lessened wear and tear on the furnace and air conditioner. Because of convenient notifications, I keep up with air filter changes and maintenance requirements, which should lead to superior heating/cooling system reliability and longer service life. Plus, my family never comes back to a house that is overheated or too cold. Although it takes awhile for the indoor temperature to increase or decrease, the automation system automatically adjusts for this. Aware of our typical scheduling, the smart thermostat manages the furnace and air conditioner for peak efficiency and comfort. If there’s a sudden temperature fluctuation or system failure, it will automatically notify the local HVAC contractor. Plus, I have control over the door locks, and am able to provide access to a repairman.