When we leave Chicago for a DIY weekend at our Tree House, we’re not only packing up our supplies for demolition and room makeovers, we’re also hauling along suitcases and baby bathtubs. Only recently did we purchase Tree-House-dedicated shampoo, soap and toothpaste, so we could ditch our travel-sized baggie of toiletries once and for all! And although we’re in the midst of some pretty hefty renovations on the little lake house, we’re still doing our absolute best to enjoy an evening – or better yet – a whole day around our adopted town of Lakeside, Michigan. We’ve even stretched our weekends into work-from-Tree-House days, which despite the bare drywall and lack of a kitchen sink, has been a welcome change of pace.
Along with our efforts of full sized bottles of shampoo, we’ve been striving towards ways to simplify our road trips from Chicago to Michigan by focusing on a smarter Tree House. You know we love a good smart home system, and so when we had the furnace installed, we opted to spring for the Nest thermostat. While we were at it, we also added the Nest Protect. And during the drive from Chicago to Michigan, we have a little routine of pulling up our Nest app and changing it from Away mode to Home mode, which not only kicks up the temperature to a toastier 70-degrees, but it also alerts our Streamlabs system that we’re on our way, too!
Wait, let’s back up.
Streamlabs is an easy to use smart home water monitor that we installed for peace of mind, and better yet, it links to our Nest app so we can activate both systems with the touch of one button. Although Tree House is only a one-and-a-half hour drive from our home in Chicago, it’s also a one-and-a-half hour drive from Chicago. Meaning, if there’s an emergency – whether that’s a burst pipe or a gas leak – we’d want to know about it as soon as possible before further damage ensues. We know that Nest will give us an alert if smoke or carbon monoxide is detected, but what does Streamlabs do? Not only will the Streamlabs water monitor quickly detect a leak and send an alert right to our phones, it also delivers water usage data in real time and continues to track that data over the course of a day, a month and even the year! Our water usage can be seen right on the Streamlabs app, giving us more control over our water habits and allowing us to conserve – and therefore save money – where we can.
In a nutshell, the system is a small monitor that hugs our water inlet pipe. There are contact pads on the backside, meaning that we don’t have to make any cuts to the water pipe itself. When I say that it can be installed in minutes, I literally mean minutes. We had our Streamlabs system up and running in less than fifteen!
First things first, we turned off our water at the main supply line. After downloading the app and creating a login, we were immediately greeted with the set-up instructions. The screen prompts were straightforward and easy to follow, and I took a few screenshots along the way, so we could share how simple it was! Hover over the photo below and click on the right arrow to go through some of the prompts we were provided with.
There are a few requirements, such as: the system does require wi-fi, and it will need to be plugged in. Our tankless water heater was recently installed in our bath linen closet (we’ll definitely have to reconfigure the shelving system once we tackle the bathroom renovation!), giving us access to connect and power our Streamlabs monitor:
Once Streamlabs was installed, we turned our water back on, and once it was freely flowing, the app could accurately detect the flow – i.e., a running bathroom sink, a flush of the toilet and a warm shower. We have absolutely loved following our water usage, and at the end of a long day of DIY, we’ll check in with the app to see how we did. (Is that nerdy?) It’s one of the least complicated apps we own – as user friendly as it gets. Here’s what you’re seeing, below, from left to right:
- Left: This is the main page upon opening the app. Right away, we can see how much water we’ve used during the course of the day.
- Middle: If I click on 24 gallons used today (from the far left image), we can see our usage over the course of the day, month and year! We can also view the times of day where we use the most water, and it’s pretty cool to watch that circle at the top turn blue when water is running.
- Right: One morning, my sister was helping us by cleaning all our paintbrushes from the weekend. She had the water at a slow run for an extended period of time, and my phone gave us the alert that there may be a leak! While we knew it was not a leak, we liked that Streamlabs was doing its job. Imagine if we received this alert while we were in Chicago? We could take action immediately!
For every step we make towards a smarter home, we feel that much more confident leaving Tree House at the end of a long weekend. And of course, when we are carving out time in our tiny slice of Michigan – whether that’s for work or play (or, ahem, doggie naps) – we like the ease of controlling and monitoring the systems we’ve put in place right from our phones.
And because we want you to make your home smarter – while also helping you conserve water, save money and protect against an unexpected disaster – we’ve teamed up with Streamlabs to give away a smart home water monitor (a $199 value)! Here’s how:
- Using the Rafflecopter widget below, enter as many ways as you’d like.
- You must be located in the United States to be eligible.
- This giveaway runs through Friday, April 6th until 5 pm CST, and the winner will be contacted directly.
- And just for fun, Streamlabs wants you to take 20% off your purchase of a monitor through May 15th when you enter YELLOWBRICKHOME20 at checkout!