A Guide To The SMART HOME

How to Get the Most Out of Your Smart Home

You are ready to go. All your devices have been installed, either by your service provider or by you. Now, you can start to really benefit from your smart home. The experience will vary by how many devices you have connected in your home and how well they work with each other; the more integrated your devices, the smarter the experience.

This guide will help you get the most from your smart home, and show you some of the amazing features it offers.

1
Install the Mobile App

It all starts with downloading the app(s) for your system. If you have standalone devices, this may mean downloading and managing multiple apps. If you have a more sophisticated system, you can control everything though a single app. Here’s a fun example of a single app:

2
Set up Unique Users

Set up the people who are going to use the system. From basic alerts to full access, you can set up the rules to meet your requirements. You’re in control and you’ll know who accessed the system at what time.

With a smart home, you can provide unique permissions to manage control of different devices like locks and garage door openers. You can customize these with different levels of access and control, from just receiving alerts to a time-restricted door lock code or full access. You can give your neighbor temporary access while you’re out of town, for example. It’s your house, so it’s up to you.

3
Create Basic Notifications

Your smart home keeps tabs on everything that’s happening in real time. You can choose which events you want to know about. These suggestions are a good starting point, but you can choose from many more in our command center and manage them through your mobile app.

Set an alert for when the door opens between 9am and 5pm so when you’re at work
you’ll know who’s coming and going.
Receive a reminder based on your location so you never leave your home exposed. You can be alerted if you left the garage door open or didn’t arm your security system for example.
You can set up notifications by device. So if someone keeps adjusting the thermostat,
you can get an instant alert.
You can even keep tabs on things inside the home like your office drawer or closet door. Simply add a sensor anywhere and set an alert when it is opened.

A fully connected smart home

Notifications can be integrated with professional emergency response. This alerts you and makes sure you’re covered in an emergency. Here is a great example from an Alarm.com user:

4
Set Your Automation Rules

One of the great things about connected devices and the smart home is that things happen automatically, based on schedules and events that your system detects. Different types include:

5
Enable Smart Saving

A smart home can help you identify energy waste across devices in your home and set goals that help reduce your energy bills.

Check out your home’s activity patterns and use them to create an optimized schedule for your thermostat to keep your home comfortable and efficient.
Set goals for your monthly energy bill, compare your costs to homes in the area and track your progress. If you fall behind, update your schedules and thermostat settings. The system will let you know if it’s enough to deliver the savings you want.
Have your thermostat automatically go into saving mode when no one is home. Using your location to automate is an effortless way to make sure you aren’t wasting energy.
Track the energy use of different devices in your home. The HVAC system is a great place to start since it can control up to 50% of your energy costs. Then, use smart plugs to see what else is wasting energy. Cable boxes are often on when they aren’t needed and use a lot of energy. Set rules to turn them off when you are gone, or keep the cable box in the basement off during the week.

Next, start tracking the energy use of different devices in your home. The HVAC system is a great place to start since it can control up to 50% of your energy costs. Then, use smart plugs to see what else is wasting energy. Cable boxes are often on when they aren’t needed and use a lot of energy. Set rules to turn them off when you are gone, or keep the cable box in the basement off during the week.

6
Expand your System

Add new devices! With a smart home platform it’s easy to add the latest device. Your mobile app will flexibly expand and new features and services are quickly enabled too. Here are some of the more popular devices in Alarm.com’s large ecosystem of options.

  • Security systems
  • Lights, locks and thermostats
  • A connected garage door opener
  • Flood sensors and water shutoff valve
  • GPS pet tracking collar
  • Solar panels

The most devices you connect, the more sophisticated and powerful your automation rules can be. On average, Alarm.com users have 12 connected devices (and growing). Starting with one is great; building the foundation for expansion is even better.

Want advice on building your smart home ecosystem?
Click here to connect with a professional installer in your area.