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Storm Protection

Echo Workshop can assess your home or business and offer solutions designed to best protect you.

Storm Protection

It is hurricane season here in Texas.  That can mean lots of rain, and it can also mean lots of lightning strikes.  With technology becoming more prevalent in our homes, and with many of us owning tens-of-thousands of dollars’ worth of electronics, it only makes sense to protect it as best we can.  We know it can be difficult to spend money on something that you can’t see and doesn’t seem to immediately add value to our lives.  However, like the insurance we all carry, we quickly appreciate the value once it is needed and used. 

First of all, what is a power surge and where does it come from?  While lightning can be one source, there are many others such as defective wiring within your home, failing electronic equipment, power outages, grid issues, and electric noise.  Surges for any of these reasons can lead to complete shutdown and destruction of electronic equipment, data loss, and, of course, loss of your time and money.

So how do we protect our homes?  Surge suppression and surge elimination equipment are the best solutions for these worries.  While these terms sound very similar, and they do both work at limiting excess voltage, their effectiveness and the way they protect your home are very different. 

Surge suppression is the more basic protection of the two.  No, we are not talking about the power strips that most of us have around to extend power and provide extra outlets.  Proper surge suppression devices divert and/or diminish excessive current and voltage.  However, depending on the amount of voltage, surge suppression cannot always eliminate the threat to your electronics.  It’s also important to note that the individual electronic devices that you are trying to protect must be plugged directly into the surge suppressor. 

On the other hand, surge elimination is used to protect your whole home by diverting excess voltage into the ground before it reaches your electronic devices.  While surge elimination is more costly, it also protects things that are wired directly to your electrical panel such as your costly HVAC system, stoves, washers, dryers, etc.  This device is installed near your home’s electrical panel and offers protection for your entire home.  Since we experience frequent storms here in Texas, whole-home surge protection offers the greatest protection for all of your devices.

If you are concerned that your home and electronics are not properly protected, Echo Workshop can assess your home or business and offer solutions designed to best protect you.  Don’t wait until after the storm, when it’s too late to save your costly devices, to look into the best solution for you.

Security Systems

Echo Workshop can evaluate your needs and design a system to help protect what is most important to you.

Security Systems

Protecting our families and homes is something on all of our minds, but what’s the best way to do that?  There are many options when choosing between products and services available today.  Let’s break down some of those options and what that means to your safety. 

One of the first things you need to consider is what you are trying to accomplish with your system and how much you want it to do. There are two types of systems commonly used in homes:  security systems and surveillance systems.  A surveillance system is used primarily for monitoring your property.  You can go back into your CCTV (closed circuit TV) system and take a look at what has already taken place.  A surveillance system’s primary goal is to deter crime before it takes place and to have video evidence for later viewing. 

A security system can do more for you, including notifying you and a central monitoring station that an event is taking place, and if the situation calls for it, the monitoring station can report it to the appropriate emergency service.  A standard security system monitors the opening of windows and doors, and also gives you the ability to add additional features that monitor for fire, smoke, heat and other environmental emergencies. 

While family and home security are the number one reasons any of us consider a security system, there are added benefits you may not have considered to securing your home or business.   With many people adding a Smart Home System, you can monitor more than just your cameras.  Have you considered the convenience of being able to unlock and lock your doors when you need to let family or a neighbor in?  What about scheduling lighting to simulate your activity when you’re away or turning lights off and adjusting your thermostat to save energy and money?

Is your head still swimming with all of the options available?  Do you still have questions about what type of system is best for you?  Let the experts at Echo Workshop help.  We can evaluate your needs and design a system to help protect what is most important to you.

Technology: Inside & Out

Echo Workshop has the ability to make your home as beautiful and smart as you like.

Technology:  Inside & Out

Home automation and technology become more advanced every year.  While some of us enjoy the way speakers, TVs, and other high-tech items look in our homes, on our patios, and poolside, others would prefer these items blend more seamlessly into their landscaping and home, or, even better, be completely hidden from view.  At Echo Workshop, we focus on the design at the beginning of the building/remodeling process, making it possible for technology to be as hidden as you like.  Are you looking for some great items that can blend into your dream home or pool area?  Let us help.

Speakers:  Are you dreaming of music throughout your home, but don’t relish the idea of seeing speakers on your shelves or speaker grills in your ceilings or walls?  Then the Sonance Invisible Series may be just what you’re looking for.  These speakers are installed in the ceiling or wall and then finished over with the same material as the surrounding surface, making them completely invisible.  Yes, you can have beautiful sound with no visible speakers.  If you’re looking for outdoor options, the Sonance Patio Series blends in beautifully with your landscaping, while filling your pool or patio area with great sound.

Televisions:  We all love to watch TV, but that doesn’t mean we want it to be the focal point of all of our rooms.  The Frame by Samsung is a great option for any room.  Display beautiful artwork when you aren’t watching TV and a crystal-clear QLED screen for viewing your favorite programs.  Or maybe you prefer the aesthetics of a mirror instead of artwork, or like to watch television in the morning while you get ready for work.  Then the Séura Entertainment TV Mirror or a Vanity TV Mirror is just what you’re looking for.  You can experience a great picture when you want to catch up on your favorite program and a stunning mirror when the TV is off.  Séura also makes fully weatherproof TVs that function beautifully in extreme cold and heat, with a picture designed for outdoor viewing in bright sunlight.

Lighting & Shades:  Automating your lighting not only has the ability to beautify every room in your home, it also has the ability to improve ambiance and beauty on your patio or surrounding your pool.  Just imagine have a pre-set scene for the morning, evening, bedtime, or even entertaining.  Change the color and intensity of the light to customize your design and set the mood for any activity - indoor or out.  You may also want to consider outdoor shades from Screen Innovations.  They not only make it easier to keep those pesky Texas mosquitos at bay, they also help keep the dust out and the cool air in.

Of course, there are a multitude of technology options for your home and outdoor area, and Echo Workshop has the ability to make your home as beautiful and smart as you like.  Contact us today to learn more about all of the new, and often hidden, technology available for the home of your dreams.

WiFi Issues?

Echo Workshop has lots of networking upgrades like Wireless Access Points to help boost your signal.

WiFi Issues?

So, you’re having WiFi issues!?  It can be a very frustrating experience trying to fix the problem, and there’s a good reason for that.  There are literally dozens of reasons why your WiFi signal may not be where you want or need it to be. 

Let’s begin by discussing a few things you can do right now to see if you can improve your WiFi signal.  First, get your router off the floor (optimally 5 to 7 feet off the floor).   While you’re at it, move your router to as close to the center of your home as possible to allow the signal to get to as many rooms in your house as possible.  Is your router behind the TV or in an enclosed console?   That’s also not optimal, although we understand the desire to hide it.  Letting the signal be broadcast without anything blocking it can greatly increase your speed.  Okay, so those are some basics, but there are many other factors to consider when troubleshooting WiFi signal issues.

Building materials are a big one.  If you have marble or concrete floors, you’re probably going to have issues with your WiFi signal between floors.  Are your walls concrete, stone or metal?  These are beautiful aesthetically, but also amazing WiFi blockers.  Even things like energy-efficient glass or a fish tank can impede your WiFi signal (we know – Goldie is fun to look at, but he isn’t good at boosting WiFi). 

From a technical perspective, there are a few easy things you can do to troubleshoot your signal issue.  First, check for damaged cables and make sure that cables are pushed in all the way.  Next, have you considered the age of your router and the devices that you are using via WiFi? Older devices have limited capabilities and it may be time for you to consider an upgrade.  It’s also important that you make sure you are running the latest system software. 

With so many things to consider when troubleshooting WiFi signal issues, we know that it can feel overwhelming at times, but we are here to help.  Echo Workshop has lots of networking upgrades like Wireless Access Points (WiFi 6 is available and WiFi 7 is on its way) to help boost your signal, as well as expert technicians to help you diagnose the culprit and improve your WiFi signal.