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    MONI Marketing Scores Prestigious Gold MarCom Award for Rebranding

    by Parker Davis | Nov 07, 2016

    Marcom-AwardBy Frank Guido

    Chief Marketing Officer

    The MONI brand has been live for more than a month now, and has created a tremendous amount of positive buzz. Team members throughout the company played major roles in the rebranding, but MONI’s Marketing team has been the hub for the project since it began early this year.

    That’s why it’s gratifying – and fitting – that our Marketing team has been recognized as a 2016 Gold MarCom award winner in the “Branding Refresh” category for its work during the MONI rebranding.

    Marketing worked closely with internal team members and external creative consultants to examine every aspect of the Monitronics brand, determine the best way forward as part of our business strategy, and then execute the plan successfully.

    But the scope went far beyond the new name, tagline, website, and internal branding materials. There also was extensive development of national marketing, sales and promotional collateral to reach customers and prospects, and also support our network of independent dealers. It’s a never-ending task, and our Marketing team continues to deliver exceptional results.

    It’s difficult to keep a low profile for a long-term project as extensive as a rebranding initiative. Yet Marketing managed to quietly coordinate efforts from other departments to create a sense of excitement and surprise among our team members for the official brand launch on Sept. 29.

    Since then, everyone at MONI has embraced our new brand pillars – Customer Intimacy, Faster Response and Comprehensive Security – and made the commitment to our customers to deliver on those principles. Marketing got things rolling, and everyone is working to build momentum that will carry us into the New Year and beyond.

    The MarCom Awards are a creative competition for marketing and communications professionals around the world. This year, there were 6,000 entries from 34 countries, and winners included highly respected brands like Hilton, Honda, IBM, Cisco, Nissan and PepsiCo. It’s an impressive list, and everyone at MONI is proud to be counted among the award-winners.

    Our Marketing team has always been known for excellence; it’s not the first time they’ve won a MarCom. In previous years, they have been recognized for best-in-class direct mail pieces, trade show exhibits, training videos, and The Monitor, our dealer magazine.

    But this year’s MarCom is especially significant because of what it represents to us as the new MONI. We’re being honored as a fresh new brand with a modernized look and an aggressive, forward-thinking public image. That’s exactly where we want to be.

    Congratulations to our Marketing team for earning this well-deserved award. They’ve got the trophy, and everyone at MONI deserves to share the spotlight.

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    MONI Ranks Highest in J.D. Power Home Security Satisfaction Report

    by Parker Davis | Nov 01, 2016

    We’ve spent a lot of time talking about our three brand pillars: Faster Response, Comprehensive Security, and Customer Intimacy. As part of our new brand identity, we’re working particularly hard in our Customer Care department, making our customers’ experience great every time. After months of hard work, it’s hard not to notice.

    J.D. Power has released the results of their in-depth study on the importance of Customer Service for home security companies, and MONI was rated “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Security Systems.”

    Customer Service Interaction Crucial to Maintaining Home Security Customers; MONI, the New Monitronics, Ranks Highest in Inaugural Report

    Poor customer service can quickly send home security system customers to another provider regardless of their overall satisfaction level, according to the inaugural J.D. Power 2016 Home Security Satisfaction Report, released today.

    While the study shows that 31% of customers have considered switching providers, those who indicate they will change providers in the next 12 months are doing so predominantly because of a lack of available features/options, price or poor customer service.

    “It’s such a basic principle—provide good customer service—but it requires a commitment throughout an organization,” said Greg Truex, senior director at J.D. Power. “Spending time and money on designing, building and selling a product is great, but if the execution of the customer experience is lacking, it can all be for naught.”

    The customer service experience is significant because 40% of all customers contact their provider at some point with a question, problem or request. Satisfaction is significantly higher among customers who say the response was helpful (869 on a 1,000-point scale) than among those who didn’t find the response helpful (655). Satisfaction also is higher among customers who don’t contact their provider (867) than among those who do (850).

    Following are additional findings of the report:

    • Satisfaction is 62 points higher among customers who do not consider switching providers than among those who do consider switching (880 vs. 818, respectively).
    • The three leading reasons customers select a system are brand reputation (54%), price (46%) and positive reviews/online rating (45%).
    • Nearly 9 in 10 (87%) customers indicate they’re able to control their system outside of their home, while only 59% indicate they control it from their mobile device.

    Following are loyalty findings related to delighted customers:

    • More than 9 in 10 (92%) delighted home security customers (overall satisfaction scores above 900) say they “definitely will” recommend the brand to others, compared with the report average of 72%.
    • Nearly 9 in 10 (85%) delighted customers say they “definitely will” remain a customer of the brand, compared with the report average of 68%.
    • Delighted customers make an average of 6.6 recommendations to family and friends, compared with the report average of 4.9.

    Report Rankings

    MONI ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction, performing particularly well in six of the 12 factors: reliability of the system; system installation and setup; ease of using the system; clarity of owner’s manual; effectiveness of securing my home; and speed of monitoring response.

    STANLEY Security ranks second, performing particularly well in helpfulness of online support documents; price paid for products/services received; variety of payment options; and contact with customer service.

    The overall satisfaction among home security customers is 860.

    About the Report

    MONI Smart Security (formerly Monitronics) received the highest numerical score among 6 brands in the J.D. Power 2016 Home Security Satisfaction Report, based on 2,282 total responses, measuring the opinions of customers who purchased a home security system in the previous 12 months, surveyed August-September 2016. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.

    Satisfaction is examined across 12 factors (listed in order of importance): price paid for products/services received; reliability of the system; helpfulness of online support documents; variety of payment options; effectiveness of securing my home; ability to control from various devices (e.g., smartphone, tablet, PC, laptop); speed of monitoring response; system installation and setup; clarity of owner’s manual; contact with customer service; ease of using the system; and variety of features. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

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    Our New Brand and Logo Combine Simplicity, Imagination, Safety and Commitment

    by Parker Davis | Nov 01, 2016

    The selection of MONI as our new brand – as well as the style and selection of colors for our new logo – didn’t happen by accident. A great deal of research, thought and introspection took place as part of their creation.

    The Name: Short and Simple

    MONI was a good place to start since it’s commonly how we’re referred to both internally and externally. It will be an easy transition for virtually everyone who has used “Monitronics,” and a catchy name that will help us build brand awareness.

    Research tells us that our customers don’t just demand professional, friendly service and the latest technology. They want fast response to their emergencies, as well as quick resolution of their questions and issues. Today, it’s all about speed and simplicity; MONI is a reflection of their needs because it’s concise, fast and simple. Our new name matches our goal of providing the quickest and most efficient customer service in the industry.

    Finally, MONI represents a name and a mission that will serve our dealers well. It’s not just an easy brand to present to potential customers, but also a promise that we’ll provide the products, services and offerings to position them for success.

    The Logo: Imaginative and Safe

    Besides being unique from other companies in our industry, the choice of purple and green for our logo comes from the principles of color theory.

    Purple is traditionally considered to be the color of royalty, but it’s also commonly known as a color of imagination. The color is actually created from a blend of red (energy) and blue (stability). Taken together, purple is a perfect choice for MONI’s mission of being forward-thinking, fast and dependable.

    Green was an easy choice, since it is well known for safety, growth and health. It’s an emotionally positive color, and also a perfect fit for MONI’s mission.

    Finally, two triangular shapes overlap to form the intersection of all of these values. That’s our core. It’s what we stand for, and it’s what we want to represent to our customers.

    They are at the center of all we do, so it’s only natural that they’re at the center of our logo.

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    5 Reasons to Take Care of Your Smoke Alarm

    by Parker Davis | Nov 01, 2016

    Here’s an eye-opening statistic: There were more than 500,000 structural fires in 2015, a rate of about one per minute. Keeping your property and loved ones safe from fire and smoke is always a priority at MONI, but October is an especially good time to focus on the topic. It’s National Fire Prevention Month, which is highlighted by National Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 9-15.

    This year the National Fire Protection Association is highlighting the importance of smoke alarms, with the theme “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.” The choice of theme isn’t surprising; the NFPA has made home smoke alarms the centerpiece of Fire Prevention Week for the past three years. Fire protection is always important, but next week is a good time to remember that smoke alarms are the first line of defense against fire-related tragedies.

    They Actually Do Wear Out

    Even though smoke detectors don’t have any moving parts, they still have a limited life-span. They’re based on sensors that can eventually lose their sensitivity. The test button tells you that the alarm itself is working, but it doesn’t indicate whether the smoke sensor is still functioning properly. By replacing your smoke alarms every 10 years – or even sooner if you can’t remember how old they are – you know that you’ve got equipment that will be ready when you need it.

    Think of it this way: Nobody ever regretted changing a smoke alarm too soon.

    They’re Only Effective When They Work

    Smoke alarms alert you to danger, letting you get family and pets to safety. It’s important not just to install new smoke alarms every 10 years, but also to replace the battery at least once a year. Test your alarms at least once a month; you don’t want to find out about a faulty alarm when it fails during an emergency.

    Where There’s Fire, There’s Smoke

    That’s a twist on the traditional saying, because fire isn’t the only thing that threatens lives. A home can quickly fill with smoke, even from a small fire. It can incapacitate anyone in the home, making it difficult to get out safely. It isn’t just the potential for smoke inhalation; a fire needs oxygen to burn, and it will quickly consume breathable air.

    The source of the fire is another complicating factor. For example, plastic is everywhere you look inside the home, and if it burns it can create toxic gases. Even small quantities of these gases can be deadly or cause severe damage to lungs or eyes.

    Danger Isn’t Always Because of an Accident

    Cold weather is on its way, and there’s nothing better than burning some logs (or lighting a gas fireplace) on a chilly fall or winter evening. But remember that fireplaces and chimneys are involved in 42 percent of all home heating fires. They’re also one of the leading sources of carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s a deadly gas that is odorless and colorless, and can quickly overcome anyone who breathes it.

    That’s why an effective fire protection strategy should include carbon monoxide detectors, particularly near potential sources like fireplaces, space heaters, gas furnaces and gas water heaters. An authorized MONI dealer will stress a strategy that includes carbon monoxide alarms.

    Every Minute Matters

    You’re not always going to be home when fire starts. Your family might thankfully be out of harm’s way, but your property is still at risk. Early detection and fast response can make the difference between minor damage and catastrophic loss. MONI is dedicated to providing fast response when you need it with 24-hour monitoring for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Even if you’re not home, we can still summon the help you need.

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    “MONI” is the new Monitronics

    by Parker Davis | Nov 01, 2016

    A new name, cool logo and aggressive attitude have put our old brand in the rear-view mirror

    We’ve been protecting customers with outstanding home security for more than 20 years. That kind of track record is a good thing, but the time has come to shake things up. Especially in today’s disruptive security industry – with its increasing emphasis on home automation and the “Internet of Things” – no company can afford to stand still.

    That’s why we have introduced MONI as our new brand, along with a new logo. We went through hundreds of options, and came up with a catchy, easy-to-remember name and an attractive, updated look. The fact that “Moni” has always been a sort of shorthand version of our name made the choice that much easier. It also helps to reassure everyone that our ownership is the same: We’re still the same company that more than 1 million customers trust with their security.

    Look behind the name and logo, though, and you’ll see profound change.

    Months of planning

    MONI resulted from extensive collaboration with marketing, digital, and public relations partners to understand how our company was positioned in the market, and perceived by our customers. Among other things, we discovered that consumers want more than just “good.” They want “great.” That led us to create MONI’s three “Brand Pillars” as a commitment to our customers:

    • Customer intimacy. We will connect with our customers, giving them a personalized experience that will make it even easier to do business with us. We will be committed to faster call answering (less than 30 seconds) and first-call resolution. Over time, we will also be adding customer-centric tools like a redesigned website and live online assistance.
    • Faster response. We understand that in an emergency, every moment matters. Later this year, we’ll be rolling out patented technology that we believe will give us the fastest response times in the industry. It’s called ASAPer, and you’ll be hearing more about it in the coming months.
    • Comprehensive security. Not all consumers know that our security and smart-home technology solutions integrate with Amazon Echo, Amazon FireTV, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. We’re adding new technology all the time. That’s exactly what consumers want, and we will be their provider of choice.

    A journey, not a destination

    Even though many of the changes have been in place for months, MONI marks a new chapter of our company’s story. We’re proud of what we have achieved in the past 20 years, and now we’re excited about the potential.

    We protect the well-being of our customers, and it’s not a responsibility we take lightly. But they will be able to depend on MONI for more than just security. We will be their source for technology solutions that can secure and enhance their lives. We will deliver customer satisfaction that they will tell their friends about. And we will dedicate ourselves to setting an industry standard for alarm response.

    It’s an ambitious journey, but we won’t be satisfied until we get there.

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    MONI Supports Local Women’s Shelter and Assistance Program on North Texas Giving Day

    by Parker Davis | Nov 01, 2016

    At MONI, we make it our business to help make people safer, whether it’s in their homes or in crisis situations. We’re proud to call the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex our home, and that’s why we partner with Agape Resource and Assistance Center, based in Plano, Texas. The program’s mission is to provide critical housing and life skills that empower single women and their children to transform from homelessness, crisis and poverty to self-sustaining, fulfilling lives.

    As a corporate sponsor, MONI has dedicated time, money and resources to the program’s shelter, helping women in dire need of safety and security to get the peace of mind they deserve. Our commitment continues on Thursday, Sept. 22 in conjunction with this year’s North Texas Giving Day.

    North Texas Giving Day is the nation’s largest online donation day, organized by the Communities Foundation, a Dallas-based philanthropic organization. In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has raised $119 million for the North Texas community.

    For those interested in learning more or contributing to Agape, other businesses and residents can donate online at hope4agape.com/online-donation/.

    “Security is a vital part of these women’s recovery and their abilities to overcome their violent experiences of the past,” said Stacy Young, Monitronics Director of Human Resources, who is leading the effort on Monitronics’ behalf. “Many of the affected women are victims of abuse and human trafficking, and we are determined to help them move forward. It is a shame these crimes happen in our own backyard, and I am proud of our community for coming together to help our fellow residents in need.”

    Recently, Young spearheaded a donation by Monitronics, Alarm.com and Nortek of $20,000 in security hardware and monitoring to the Agape Resource and Assistance Center, including new professionally-installed, monitored security systems throughout the shelter and its three residences.

    The upcoming campaign is focused on the importance of security in keeping out the “Big Bad Wolf” and fostering the recovery of the women while rebuilding their lives and the lives of their children.

    “We are humbled to help the women of Agape, and to make a difference in the lives of our fellow Dallas-area residents,” said Bruce Mungiguerra, Monitronics Senior Vice President of Operations. “These women often face unimaginable struggles on a daily basis. We are grateful for the opportunity to bring safety and security back to their lives.”

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    How Does a Touchscreen Work?

    by Parker Davis | Nov 01, 2016

    Monitronics customers enjoy being able to control their security and home automation systems with a touchscreen panel, as well as remotely through their smartphones and tablets. Whatever the use, touchscreens have become the standard for security systems because of their reliability, ease-of-use, and ability to create intuitive user interfaces.

    Although scientists and engineers were working on touchscreen technology in the late 1960s and early 70s, widespread adoption did not occur until the introduction of the smartphone in early 2007. Prior to Apple’s iPhone, the touchscreens that did exist were limited to airline and military applications, and a small selection of video game consoles. Now they are everywhere.

    Like other sophisticated technology, we use touchscreen devices so much that we take them for granted. You don’t need to know how it works in order to use it to protect your home or monitor your video, but it’s kind of fun to look beneath the surface (excuse the pun).

    A Touch of Glass

    Believe it or not, there are no fewer than 18 different touchscreen technologies. Device manufacturers can choose just one or combine multiple technologies for specific applications. The three most commonly used today are known as resistive, capacitive, and surface acoustic wave.

    A resistive touchscreen is used on devices like home security panels, ATMs and in-flight entertainment screens. It monitors electrical current that flows between two panels. Imagine a single glass panel that is covered with a conductive layer with just enough space in-between for an electric current. Using pressure to touch the screen with your finger causes the conductive layer to make contact with the glass, interrupting the current in that one spot. That communicates the position of your finger on the panel to perform the appropriate command.

    You’re probably carrying a capacitive touchscreen in your purse or pocket – on your smartphone. It works by reducing electrical current rather than interrupting it. A capacitive touchscreen consists of a glass panel and a second layer that stores the electrical current needed to detect movement. Touching the screen – without applying any special amount of pressure – causes a small amount of electricity to transfer into your finger, reducing the amount still in the device. Software can then pinpoint exactly where current is escaping.

    Finally, surface acoustic wave technology utilizes sending and receiving transducers to measure an electrical signal that travels just underneath the glass panel. There are also reflectors in the glass that help keep track of the signal. Placing your finger on the glass interrupts the electrical signal; the interruption is detected and measured in an instant thanks to all of the reflectors in play. SAW technology is typically used for large-sized applications such as kiosks or medical equipment.

    The Latest Technology

    MONI is thrilled to be able to offer the latest home security and automation devices with touchscreen technology. Touchscreens are making the traditional “keypad” obsolete, increasing the adoption of home security and automation by making programming and modifying equipment easier than it has ever been before. Operating your system with the smartphone is a useful bonus.

    If you would like more information about any of our touchscreen devices – or how to use your smartphone to control your system – contact us directly or get in touch with your local Monitronics authorized dealer. Find out how our technology can make your home safer and more efficient.

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    Texas Senator Credits Justice Reform for Lower Crime Rate

    by Parker Davis | Nov 01, 2016

    In 2007, the state of Texas embarked on an ambitious plan to reduce crime rates by reforming the criminal justice system. As a result, crime throughout the state has dropped by more than 20 percent, according to data from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Writing in a recent Lufkin Daily News column, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said that rethinking how the state looks at crime and sentencing has enabled lawmakers to find better ways to reduce crime and put fewer people in jail.

    Texas legislators developed their new approach to crime by first taking a look at mental health, drug treatment, and parole and probation policies, Cornyn said. The thinking was that since the drug trade plays a huge role in fueling crime, addressing drug use would be a far better way to spend tax money designated for crime prevention.

    They came up with a plan to invest in drug courts and treatment strategies instead of building new prisons with more beds. They began adopting improvements to the state corrections system that were based on verifiable evidence rather than conjecture. They found ways to integrate rehabilitation, restitution and reintegration strategies so that those in prison would have a greater chance of succeeding once they got out.

    Looking at the Numbers

    Other states have adopted similar measures with varying levels of success. For example, Pew data showed that Georgia and South Carolina have crime reductions of 11 percent and 14 percent respectively, along with North Carolina at 20 percent.

    We imagine the significant reduction in crime in Texas goes a long way toward making state residents feel a lot safer. The same goes for Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Whenever crime rates go down, people tend to be less fearful that they will eventually become victims themselves.

    Take Personal Responsibility

    Lower crime rates are always welcome news, but even the best-laid plans for criminal justice reform can only go so far. There will always be people who choose to engage in criminal activity, so individual citizens must still do their part by taking every step they can to protect themselves.

    It all starts with a home security system that includes 24-hour live monitoring. Statistics show that monitored home security acts as a deterrent, since studies show that houses with monitored alarm systems are less likely to be targets of property crimes.

    Homeowners can also increase their home security by installing heavy-duty door and window locks, making sure their homes have adequate lighting, and keeping exteriors well-maintained in order to provide a good view from the street.

    Crime in Texas and a few other states is falling significantly thanks to a new approach to criminal justice. Hopefully that will continue across the country in the years ahead. In the meantime, Monitronics is committed to keeping our customers safe with the latest in home security equipment and monitoring packages.

    Sources: Lufkin Daily News – http://lufkindailynews.com/news/community/article_f51ea710-3990-11e6-8d6b-7b18e7ca1d9a.html

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    Buyers Clamor for Move-In Ready Homes with the Best Home Automation

    by Parker Davis | Nov 01, 2016

    Dallas-based Parks Associates, a research and consulting firm that keeps a finger of the pulse of the home security and smart-home industry, has collaborated once more with Coldwell Banker Real Estate on another study examining the growing connection between home buyers and the demand for the best smart-home technology

    The latest research shows that out of 1,250 U.S. adults who have home broadband Internet access, 71 percent want a move-in ready home. But that’s not all: While the definition of “move-in ready” has traditionally included updated kitchens and bathrooms, new appliances and other improvements, 44 percent said they believe that home automation equipment should already be installed.

    Finding the best home automation

    The lesson from the Parks/Coldwell Banker research is clear: Home automation is likely to get the attention of potential buyers, particularly in markets like Florida and Texas where homes are in heavy demand. Investing in the best smart-home technology is likely to be money well spent.

    “We have entered a realm where home buyers are demanding smart homes,” said Sean Blankenship, chief marketing officer for Coldwell Banker. “This is a shift from the previous thinking about what constitutes a move-in ready home. It’s a defining moment for real estate.”

    Peter Tonti, Monitronics’ vice president of Product Marketing, said the research confirms why we have become more than just a security provider.

    “Consumers want the best home automation technology to make their homes more secure and also make their lives easier,” he said. “Security is the centerpiece, but we’re seeing more demand for things like voice-activated systems like Amazon’s Echo, or easy-to-use devices that address specific needs instead of just being cool gadgets. That’s why our systems integrate with Echo, and also why devices like the SkyBell HD video doorbell are popular with many of our customers.”

    Moving away from “fixer-uppers”

    The research also underscores that home buyers are starting to turn their attention away from homes that require a little TLC, and make the move-in as easy as possible. The main objective now is trying to keep the to-do list as short as possible.

    At Monitronics, we do our part by offering a free “Move program” for our customers, installing a security system in your new home at no charge to you. If your home is move-in ready and already has a home security system, we can also work with you to get service started, and bring your system up to date if necessary.

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    Home Automation: Controlling the Thermostat Can Save Big Money

    by Parker Davis | Oct 14, 2016

    Other than mortgage payments, heating and cooling are the largest monthly expense for most homeowners. That’s why we constantly balance the need to keep our homes at a comfortable temperature with the need to keep our household budget at a comfortable level. Now you can take advantage of home automation technology to easily control your thermostat, keep things comfortable, and potentially save money all at the same time.

    Programmable thermostats have been around for decades, but they don’t always save money. One major reason is that can be too complicated to program. Rather than work through an endless number of non-intuitive menus only to find they can only set a limited number of temperature changes, consumers often just give up and operate their thermostats manually. That leads to less control and virtually no savings. With home automation from Monitronics, that all changes.

    Thermostat control through our HomeTouch home automation package is easy. You can program your thermostat for every day of the week directly from your wall-mounted control panel or by using our home automation app on your mobile device or computer. Programming your thermostat is no different than doing just about anything else on your smartphone or tablet: It’s intuitive, fast, and effective.

    Home automation also allows you to adjust your program on the fly. You don’t even have to be home to do it. For example, if you normally have your thermostat set higher when you’re home in the evening and you forget to adjust it before you go on vacation, you can easily fix the situation with your smartphone.

    You Can Save a Lot

    A lot of companies claim big savings through the use of programmable thermostats and home automation. The amount depends on how far you set your thermostat back and for how long, but as a general rule, the U.S. Department of Energy says consumers save about 1 percent for every degree of change over an eight-hour period.

    That means that if you reduced your heating by 5 degrees during the nine hours you are away for work, you would save just over 5 percent on heating costs that day. Savings on cooling are slightly higher. Either way, the farther you set your thermostat back, and the longer you keep it set back, the more money you save.

    Ignore the Temperature Change Myth

    There is a persistent myth that says you should leave your thermostat at a constant temperature to prevent your furnace or air conditioning from having to work harder than normal when it’s time to return to a comfortable level. However, the Department of Energy says you save more money by dialing the thermostat back; you actually use less energy returning your house to a comfortable temperature than you do to maintain that temperature throughout the day.

    The Department of Energy explains the science behind it on the Energy.gov website, and many people are surprised to find out how much better (and cheaper) it is to automatically set the thermostat appropriately at various times of the day, and adjust that routine when necessary, wherever you might be. Home automation makes that level of control a reality.

    Remotely controlling your thermostat is one way to save a significant amount of money while still maintaining the comfort of your home. With home automation from Monitronics, the task is easy and efficient, and the savings can be significant.

    Sources:

    US Department of Energy– http://energy.gov/energysaver/thermostats

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