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Remote Home Temperature Monitoring, & External Camera View
Old 12-29-2017, 07:37 AM   #1
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Remote Home Temperature Monitoring, & External Camera View

We have a lake home that we are not living at in the wintertime. DW raised a question to me about programs that would let us monitor the temperature of the home from our smartphones.

I know they exist, and seems like a good idea.

Similarly, just for grins and giggles, I'd like to keep an eye on the lake itself to see if it is freezing around my dock, and if the ice has managed to destroy it or not.

Google, Amazon, and YouTube have provided many different product options, all with varying reviews.

Who out there in FIRE World is using such products, and what are your opinions and reviews of what you use?

Thanks.
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:42 AM   #2
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We have an Ecobee wifi thermostat and recommend it highly for remote monitoring and adjustment.
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:46 AM   #3
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The Nest thermostat allows you to manage the settings and monitor the temp from your smartphone. It needs a wifi signal but works well and is easy to use.
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:47 AM   #4
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We have an Ecobee wifi thermostat and recommend it highly for remote monitoring and adjustment.
thank you for the response. Thermostat adjustment is not really an issue, because the house has 8 different zones, all controlled with separate thermostats, and unfortunately, all electric.

My real need is to know if the power has, for any reason, kicked off, and not restarted, and if the temp is dropping to a level where my pipes might start freezing.

If the adjustment capability raises the cost substantially, it would not be a feature worth paying much for, in my application. What does the system cost?
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:48 AM   #5
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The Nest thermostat allows you to manage the settings and monitor the temp from your smartphone. It needs a wifi signal but works well and is easy to use.
Nest also does cameras. I've had Nest thermostats and smoke detectors for a while now, and they're quite good. (No need for cameras, I live here!)
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:53 AM   #6
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Another positive vote from me for the Nest thermostat.
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:57 AM   #7
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Another positive vote from me for the Nest thermostat.
I also like my Nest for checking temperature while away and adjusting it when on my way home.

I am also looking at cameras and was interested in possibly the Canary cam.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:04 AM   #8
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Iíve had Nest thermostat, cameras and smoke/CO detectors for some time now and love them.

For my first 2 years of traveling I simply bought a cheap Tenvis webcam and pointed it at front door, with a digital thermometer in plain view so I could see that the AC had not stopped working. (We always went away during the SE Texas summers).
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:21 AM   #9
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Since we will be in Florida for over two months this winter, I am concerned about monitoring home temperature to insure the furnace is working. I could definitely be considered on the trailing edge of leading technology so my plan consists of two very low tech solutions.

1. I installed a full HD 180 degree Wi-Fi camera, then I will set a very large dial thermometer in clear view of the camera. So long as I have a Wi-Fi connection I will be able day or night to easily check the temperature in the house. I am not concerned about changing the temperature in my absence so I will probably set the thermostat at about 58 degrees. An added bonus is that I can see with this one camera, the front door, back door into the garage and the French door out the rear of the house. If I wanted I could install an SD card that would record anything I wanted because the camera has motion and sound detection capability.

2. As a backup to the camera, I also purchased a thermostatically controlled device that you plug into a regular outlet. I will program the thermostat to kick on the power should the temperature drop down to 48 degrees. I will plug in a lamp with a colored light bulb in it. If the inside temperature drop to 48 degrees, that would mean a furnace failure, the lamp would then turn on. I have already discussed with my neighbor that if they see the colored lamp light up during our absence they should call me. So, as long as there is electrical power, that would be a back up to my remote monitoring.

It is not a perfect solution, but the best I could think of for relatively low cost.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:26 AM   #10
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We have two Trane Nexia enabled thermostats. Can operate through wifi and can also tell Alexa to raise or lower the temp!
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:28 AM   #11
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I have two Nest thermostats and they work great for both monitoring and controlling the temperature from my phone.

I also have the Arlo Pro camera system which monitors all activity in and around the house and lets me view four different locations both inside and outside of my home and alerts me to any suspicious activity.

The Nest cameras are very nice but there are two problems with them. 1) They require electricity to keep running. This may not work if you are installing cameras in external locations that don't have power right next to them. 2) They require an annual subscription to upload the videos, which can get quite expensive if you are looking at multiple cameras.

Arlo is battery operated and stores 7 days worth of videos completely free of charge.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:30 AM   #12
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And Nest has both indoor and outdoor cameras that integrate well with their system. I have both kinds and like them a lot. You can subscribe to their service where they keep X days worth of video history on their servers for you to review (nice if you you have a break-in), or you can just look at the live feed when you like.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:31 AM   #13
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We have a honeywell wifi thermostat. Works well. Handy to check when the temps get in the singles and teens. 2x's we came to a cold house. Furnace had shut off. Once i turned on the faucet to get the water moving....and nothing came out! For a few seconds. That was close

We started on a maintenance plan for the furnace. And added the thermostat. No additional charge for changing the temp. Just part of the app. I think it was about $175 maybe 5-7 years ago
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:54 AM   #14
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I been looking at this item for monitoring the temps at mom's house during winter.
https://smile.amazon.com/SensorPush-...4MQYCXXYT8RD0Z
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:04 AM   #15
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Our electric company offered $300 to install a wifi thermostat with remote monitoring. We went with Honeywell thermostat. Our son switched the box in the house. We can monitor and adjust using iPhone. We also have wifi water sensors at each water outlet in the house. This was done after a water leak while we were away resulting in replacing wood floors in several rooms.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:10 AM   #16
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I would suggest Blink.

I have a 3-camera setup at our lake house... two inside and 1 outside so I can monitor what is going on.When motion is detected the camera records video for a duration that you set and stores it in the cloud and you get an alert on your smartphone. So even if the bad guys rip off the camera there is video of them doing it in the cloud that you will have. The cameras also can show the temperature.

As long as you have power and internet you would be all set.

Another thing I used, before Blink, was LaCrosse... you can monitor temperature and with a subscription, it will send you a text when the temperature drops below a level that you set.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:17 AM   #17
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At my own home, I have Nest Thermostats, cameras, WiFi water main valves, among other things. You need a WiFi connection and internet service to use them.

At one one my rehab rentals, I use a SimpliSafe system with a freeze alarm. It costs for the portable system, and $24.95 a month. SimpliSafe will call you if there is a break in, or a freeze alarm. You do not need a WiFi connection.

Well worth the $24.95 a month. You get a lot more than freeze protection.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:25 AM   #18
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The Nest is overkill for the OP - it was mentioned (in post # 4, not the opening post) that he has 8 electric zones, the Nest won't be controlling those.

Since OP wants a camera anyhow, I think the camera and visible thermometer solution makes the most sense.

edit/add: Also, if wifi-internet connection is questionable, but cell service is available, I think there are systems that will send a text if temperature is outside of set limits.

further edit/add: Here's one, just an old smart phone with basic service will do:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...smsalert&hl=en

Apps like that are one reason I put $10 a year on our two old grandfathered T-Mobile "Gold Plan" phone accounts. I figure I might want to set them up to text an alert or something, and $10 a year is cheap enough. I also throw them in the car, in case my phone died, I've got a spare with service.

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Old 12-29-2017, 01:01 PM   #19
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Another thing I used, before Blink, was LaCrosse... you can monitor temperature and with a subscription, it will send you a text when the temperature drops below a level that you set.
Yes, the Lacrosse Alert Temp/Humidity monitor is what we use. You can buy the system from Amazon for about $40, I think. I bought an additional sensor with mine, so I can monitor the temp. in two places in the house (basement and dining room). You can also monitor the temp. of another place (like a freezer) if you get a probe to plug into one of the sensors. You need a router to plug the gateway into, but otherwise it's a pretty basic unit. You can monitor the temp. of the sensors remotely from a smartphone or laptop. I did have to buy a new sensor this year, when one of them died (after two years). All in all, it works pretty well, for pretty low cost. I will say that their customer support is not very good.......I spent a lot of time trying to get someone to answer the phone at LaCrosse when my one sensor stopped working.
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Remote Home Temperature Monitoring, & External Camera View
Old 12-29-2017, 02:27 PM   #20
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Remote Home Temperature Monitoring, & External Camera View

I use a Temp Stick. Small-about the size of a Twinkie, portable, runs on 2 AA batteries. App for your phone so you can check in anywhere, anytime.
It does need a WiFi connection. Monitors temp, humidity, connection and battery life.
You can choose how often to take readings, has options to alert you via email and/or text when certain conditions are met.
You can set it to take a reading more often when it exceeds chosen thresholds i.e. monitor temp every hour, send alert when temp drops below 50 then monitor every 15 minutes, 30 minuets etc.
Kind of spendy at $150 but gives me piece of mind.

http://idealsciences.com/?gclid=CjwK...RoCEGcQAvD_BwE
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