To many, home automation still feels like something out of a futuristic movie or television show. The ability to ask an A.I.-based assistant or to control our homes via our smartphones would have been unimaginable thirty years ago. One little talked about feature of smart home automation is geofencing technology. How does this work exactly and how can it reduce your costs?
What is geofencing technology?
To better deﬁne geofencing technology, let’s break the term down into its two main components: geo and fence.
The latter is easy. All of us know what a fence is: it’s a protective barrier, perhaps around our yard or a pool. The former, geo, refers to geography.
In other words, geofencing is a location-based barrier of sorts. It uses location data from your smartphone to say “the homeowner is home” or “the homeowner is away.” Typically, this is a certain radius from your home — usually a mile or less. Based on your location changing, various actions then happen in your home.
How can your home use geofencing technology?
Those actions range from turning the lights oﬀ to ﬂipping your security cameras to a constant state of recording. Geofencing technology can even turn on your music as you arrive home.
Do you remember the scene from Home Alone where the burglars are sitting along the side of the street? One by one, they watch the neighborhood lights come on.
Each of those (ﬁctional) homes used a real-world technology: automation. Every night at a certain time, the timers turned on all of the lights in the home.
Today, many of us still use this on Christmas lights.
However, with the other aspects of our home, automation and geofencing technology are much more powerful. Every time you leave, for example, geofencing could turn oﬀ all of the lights except for one or two for security. Then, when you come within the speciﬁed radius of your home, all of your automation change back to your preferred state.
How your HVAC system uses geofencing
So far, we’ve talked a lot about the small things in your home: lights, music, cameras, and so on. Your HVAC system can also use geofencing tech to dynamically adjust your temperature as you come and go. For example, when the last person leaves for work in the morning, your thermostat can adjust the temperature down. When the ﬁrst person gets within a certain radius, the thermostat starts to adjust the furnace back up to your desired temperature.
What are the cost-saving implications of geofencing tech?
Of course, there are some cost savings implications. First, your lights consume power. Leaving them on all day long will run up your power bill.
However, the same is also true for your furnace (and later, AC in the warmer months). There is no need to heat or cool your home to the same temperature all day long, especially if no one is home. By using geofencing, you can save signiﬁcant chunks of change on all of your energy bills.
HVAC technology requires a smart thermostat
Are you still using an older-style HVAC thermostat? If you haven’t upgraded your home yet with one of the latest smart thermostats, let us know. Send us a message requesting a free quote and we’ll set up a time to chat.