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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

Report: Smart Home Tech Slow to Catch On

November 12, 2015 12:54 am

Greater technology in the home may appear inevitable, but a recent report by The Demand Institute reveals that a truly “smart home” is still a ways off for the masses. The report, “Smart Home Technology: Not Ready for Prime Time (Yet),” indicates that most expect newly constructed homes in the next five years to include smart home technology, but just about a third say they are eager to incorporate that technology into their homes.

“Smart home products need to demonstrate clear value and solve unmet consumer needs before most will make the investment,” says Louise Keely, president of The Demand Institute. “Some of these products do meet that bar, but many still feel these products are gimmicky, even though 64 percent concede that they really do not know much about smart home technology.”

Findings from the report show that smart thermostats, wireless speakers and home security and monitoring systems are currently the most popular and well-known smart home products, but that interest in other smart home products, like smart lighting, door locks and other categories is also strong.

“Consumers are starting small when it comes to smart home technology,” says Jeremy Burbank, vice president at The Demand Institute and leader of the American Communities Demand Shifts Program. “The typical smart home product user has just one or two products. Many of these products still cost several times what traditional models do, and a lack of industry standardization and interoperability means most consumers will add smart home technology slowly.”

The Demand Institute is a non-advocacy, nonprofit think tank jointly operated by The Conference Board and Nielsen.

Source: The Conference Board

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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10 Ways to Winterize Your Home

November 12, 2015 12:54 am

Whether winter proves mild or brutal, colder temperatures can cause major damage to your property. To avoid potential repairs come springtime, take the time now to carry out these 10 winterization steps.

1. Insulate – Proper insulation is essential to keeping heat in and cold out of your home. Insulation tends to be lacking in attics and basements, so evaluate these areas and, if needed, retrofit with cost-effective, energy-efficient injection foam insulation.

2. Weatherize – Weatherization prevents ice dams from damaging your roof.  To do it effectively, be sure to have a qualified professional ventilate, insulate and seal the attic.

3. Test – Take the time to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors—these early-warning systems are crucial to your family and home’s safety. Replace batteries if needed.

4. Swap – Dirty, clogged air filters in your furnace can result in unnecessary wear-and-tear on the system. Before turning on your furnace for the season, swap in a new air filter to ensure functionality and efficiency all winter long.

5. Install – Homes with single-pane windows are susceptible to cold outdoor air. If your home has single-pane windows, installing storm windows can help block the cold, saving you the expense of unnecessarily heating your home.

6. Switch – If your home has ceiling fans, switch them to rotate clockwise to keep heat from rising to the ceiling during winter.

7. Clean – Gutters free of debris will ensure winter precipitation properly drains away from your home. Clean out your gutters when the last leaves have fallen.

8. Mow – Mow the lawn one last time before winter hits. Don’t forget to leave leaves on the grass—they provide vital nutrients.

9. Trim – Before winter storms strike, assess your property for dead trees, limbs or other plantings that may cause accidental damage. Be sure to trim back branches away from your home.

10. Drain – Water in your garden hose may freeze if left out in the cold, which could cause it and the home’s spigot and pipes to burst. Take time to drain your garden hose before storing.

Source: RISMedia’s Housecall

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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