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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

#IoT Baby Steps at the Dixon Home

Internet of Things
Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, August 16, 2013
9:11 pm

My last post addressed my baby steps with wearable IoT devices.  The IoT device in this post is a bit more stationary.

Last year, I installed an attic fan to help drive hot air out of my attic.  This is part of my ongoing effort to minimize energy costs due to the famous Arizona (dry) heat.  Controlled by a simple thermostat, the fan comes on automatically when the temperature in my attic exceeds about 90 degrees.

Two problems: 1) In the hot Arizona summer, it runs virtually all of the time, and 2) the fan is not very quiet, despite my attempts to muffle the noise, so it tends to disturb the quiet of the night.

So, I looked for a solution to allow me to turn the fan off remotely if I got tired of the rumbling noise in the middle of the night.  The makers of my new alarm system claimed to have a great solution that would allow me to control the fan via the same iPhone interface I use to arm, disarm and monitor the alarm system.  But alas, I was faced with a device purchase, installation fees and monthly enhancements to my alarm bill.

So … I decided to purchase a WeMo switch  which proved to be less expensive, with no monthly fees, and an absolute breeze to install.  Now I can easily turn the fan on or off from my iPhone from anywhere in our home WiFi network.  The fan is shown below, plugged into the WeMo device, which plugs into the standard electrical outlet.

The second photo shows the WeMo iPhone app.  Simply elegant.  It just works.  My next project is to learn how to work with the WeMo device remotely using IFTTT.




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