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10 Best IFTTT Recipes to Automate Your Life


Home automation is all about making home ownership easier. In order to pursue this goal, many home automation-monitoring companies have started working with IFTTT (If This, Then That) to help make family’s lives easier. IFTTT can help give the answers to cause-and-effect-based questions. Home automation IFTTT “recipes” help to make home ownership easier by providing quick responses if there are certain triggers. Here are the top ten IFTTT scenarios that can be made into recipes using your home automation technology:

1. Log Every Time an Exterior Door or Window Opens Into a Spreadsheet

It’s important to know when people are coming in or out of your house. With this IFTTT recipe, you’ll be able to see when certain windows and doors were opened. Knowing the time of entry means you’d be able to more accurately report a break-in. The recipe could even help you to track the whereabouts of your family!

2. After 9AM, Turn Off the Coffee Pot

Many people have coffee pots that will brew coffee automatically every morning. Some of those coffee pots, however, won’t shut off automatically and this could cause some issues (higher electric bill, overheating, etc.). This IFTTT recipe would help make sure your coffee pot shuts off at a certain time.

3. Turn on Porch Lights When It Gets Dark

Turning on the porch lights every evening might often slip your mind, but naturally, you wouldn’t want to keep them on all day. As soon as the sun goes down, this IFTTT recipe can automatically turn on your porch lights and turn them off when the sun rises.

4. Send a Text Message in the Event of Bad Weather Near Your Home

Sometimes you don’t see bad weather coming -- or sometimes you’ve spent all day long indoors and just never got a chance to check the weather or go outside. This IFTTT recipe would help you know when bad weather is headed towards your home by texting you an automated message. The sooner you get word of bad weather, the better you’ll be able to prepare for it.

5. If Any Door or Window on the House Is Opened, Send Me a Text Message

In addition to the spreadsheet from the first IFTTT recipe, you can also program a recipe that allows you to receive text messages about people opening or closing doors and windows in your home. Because you’d know when those individuals were there, you’d likely have an idea of who was entering your home. For example: If someone enters your home at 3:30 p.m. on a weekday, it’s likely your children coming home from school.

6. If Outdoor Motion Detectors Sense Movement, Send Me a Text Message

Sending a text message for every outdoor motion detector would probably be overkill, but you might have one detector near a place that’s hard to see, or near a location that people wouldn’t have any business being in. If that is the case, you can have an alert text message sent to you if someone trips the sensor.

7. If the HVAC Filter Needs to Be Changed, Send Me a Text Message

Changing your HVAC filter regularly is another one of those little chores that tend to slip your mind. Your home automation system can help you with that. Set it up so that you can receive a text message whenever it’s time to swap out your HVAC filter.

8. Turn Off the HVAC Unit When Nobody’s Home

Regardless of whether it’s winter or summer, when nobody’s home there’s no reason to keep your HVAC unit blasting. When everyone leaves for the day (example: After 8 a.m. when everyone is off to work or school), it should be programed to shut off.

9. If there’s a Break-in or Fire, Contact the Authorities

Many home automation systems already have this built in, but it might not be a bad idea to add this recipe to your IFTTT list. The system would be able to alert the proper authorities in the event of a break-in or a fire. Also, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have the system contact you, too -- no matter where you are.

10. If It’s After A Certain Time, Turn Off All Interior Lights

It’s pretty common for families to accidentally leave lights on in the middle of the night. With this IFTTT recipe, you would simply pick a time and set it so that all of the lights go out. If you want to leave one on, many systems would allow you to program that in, too.

Given its ability to connect with home automation systems, IFTTT has slowly but surely been changing the way many families live – and it doesn’t show signs of stopping. In fact, the above recipes only brush the surface of what other functions IFTTT possesses. There are lots of other recipes that people have come up with and ones that you can experiment with yourself. Home automation is about having complete control over your home – so take control!