RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Has the 'ecobee' Found a Fertile Flower in Amazon's Echo?

April 6, 2016 2:03 am

Once in a while, we hear about a logical pairing of home efficiency systems that can’t 'bee' ignored. A recent announcement from the manufacturers of the innovative HVAC controller ecobee heralded an exciting new relationship—with Amazon and its Echo device.

The ecobee3 smarter Wi-Fi thermostat with room sensors is the first thermostat to be directly compatible with Amazon Echo, offering homeowners added convenience and comfort in their everyday lives through Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, Alexa.

The Toronto-based company says Alexa, the brain behind Amazon Echo, will be able to facilitate requests from across the room. For example, users can say, “Alexa, set my thermostat to 72,” or, “Alexa, increase the temperature in my house,” to control their ecobee3.

As the one of the top-selling Wi-Fi thermostats in North America, the ecobee3 is the only thermostat that uses sensors to deliver comfort in preferred rooms. And its unique design resolves what its creators say is a basic flaw in traditional thermostat design: only measuring temperature in one location, which contributes to hot and cold spots throughout the home.

The ecobee3 saves homeowners an average of 23 percent on their heating and cooling bills (based on an October 2013 analysis), and is touted to be compatible with 95 percent of residential homes in North America.

Creating further environmental benefit, the ecobee3 does not rely on batteries that must be tossed when they are exhausted. Its innovators say ecobee3 receives power through a C-wire or its Power Extender Kit (PEK).

Charlie Kindel, director of Amazon Echo and Alexa, says using only your voice to control the temperature in your house is another great way to create smarter homes. The ecobee3 is available for $249 on/at Amazon, Apple, Best Buy and Home Depot.

The kit comes with one free wireless room sensor and supports up to 32 sensors. Additional room sensors can be purchased in a package of two for $79 each.

Not an Echo user yet? The ecobee3 is also compatible with Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings and Wink. Visit ecobee.com to catch more buzz about this pairing.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Go Green to Save Green: 5 Eco-Friendly Home Improvement Tips

April 6, 2016 2:03 am

(BPT)—Upgrading your home can impact its carbon footprint. Ensure that impact is for the better with these eco-friendly home improvement tips!

1. Choose Green Materials –Select materials that have a low impact on the environment. Reclaimed wood, for example, is renewable. Other eco-friendly alternatives include linoleum (instead of vinyl), low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, bamboo and cork.

2. Rent Tools – Think twice before purchasing tools for the project. Renting tools not only saves you money, but also limits the energy consumption, pollution and waste associated with manufacturing, storing and maintaining new equipment. Visit RentalHQ.com to find the tools you need.

3. Hire Eco-Minded Professionals – If you're undertaking a large-scale remodel, make your green goals heard. Seek out contractors and design professionals that will keep the environment front and center.

4. Use Energy-Efficient Equipment – If the project involves upgrading appliances, implement products with the ENERGY STAR® label—this means that the product meets government standards for energy efficiency.

5. Invest in Water-Saving Features – For kitchen or bath remodels, consider installing low-flow faucets, dishwashers, toilets or showerhead—these significantly conserve water, and can save you hundreds on your bills each year.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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