My Garage is “Smart”
I have always been intrigued by home automation. I would get excited at the thought of walking into a room and the lights coming on, or dimming them and shutting the blinds to watch a movie. Reading articles on it sometimes seemed like it was over my head to accomplish. Recently I took some time to truly look into it and see what it takes to implement this…turns out it wasn’t as complicated as I had it built up in my head. I have now dipped my toe (more like a foot) into the home automation pool and I am loving it. I’ve tackled a few projects such as lights coming on in the evening, texting my wife when the washing machine is finished (per her request), garage door automation, and a DIY house thermostat is in the works.
Before I started, there was nothing special about my garage door. I would push the button on the wall or remote to open it. Push it again to close it. It was just a standard garage door. With just a little bit of technology, I was able to automate, monitor, and send alerts. Now I have a “smart” garage door. Think of my garage door as your water treatment program on a cooling tower at one of your accounts.
AUTOMATE – My son’s room is located above the garage, and my garage door isn’t the quietest thing in the world. I wanted to make sure that the garage door was shut before he went to bed so that there wasn’t the chance of him waking up from it. I programmed it so that every night at 7:30pm, the garage door closes itself if it is open. So, how can you automate your water treatment? The answer is traced products. When using a traced product, your pump will automatically pump the right amount until your setpoint is reached.
MONITOR – Part of the night time routine at my house was to check to make sure the garage is closed, as I’m sure yours is similar. Now, however, I can just pull out my phone and check the status from my couch. No more walking over to the garage to check for this guy. I saved myself a whopping 30 seconds! Fantastic! OK, it’s not very impressive when you are “onsite”. Let’s say my family leaves for vacation to Florida. My wife asks me if I remember if the garage door shut when we left. Once again I just pull out my phone and check. Now I’ve saved myself either flying home or calling someone to check on it. With remote monitoring, you can easily check on the status of your treatment program and make sure everything is how you expect it to be.
ALERTS – What happens if someone tinkers with my setup and things get messed up? The only way I would know if the garage door was open would be to either look for myself or check my phone. I wouldn’t want to have to do that all the time. My solution was to have my garage alert me via text message every time it opens or closes. The same principle applies to your “smart” water treatment. If your levels are out of spec, you can be alerted to the issue right away…wherever you are.
As you can see, by simply making my garage “smart”, I’ve freed up some time, can check on things whenever I want, and am more connected to what is happening. A “smart” water treatment program will do the same for you. Your customer will appreciate how in-tune you are with their system…not to mention how quickly you are able to react to issues that arise. It may even allow you to space out your onsite visits…therefore saving you money.
-Written by David Naylor, Engineering Manager at APTech Group