Summer vacation beckons. However, you continue to cast glances back at your home. The next-door neighbor agreed to watch the place while you’re gone, but worry niggles. For a moment, you consider turning around, unlocking the house, and making sure all the appliances are turned off and windows locked.
But you don’t. You remember that your home travels with you, wherever you go, thanks to smart home technology. Your smart gadgets will notify you if something goes wrong, and you always can check on things remotely from your smartphone or tablet.
To gain that assurance and security—and even energy efficiency—on your next summer vacation, use one or more of the following six ideas. The nice thing about smart home technology is that you can use as many or as few gadgets as you like and still experience peace of mind.
Many homeowners hear “smart sensors” and think of doors and windows. To be fair, the majority of smart sensors protect standard entry points from burglars or teenagers set on meeting up with friends after curfew. But smart sensors secure other important locations, too, such as an outdoor swimming pool, a backyard fence, or basement plumbing.
All these smart sensors monitor specific areas of your home and send a notification to your connected devices if something appears amiss. For example, you could receive an alert that the neighbor’s dog has, yet again, snuck into the yard to dig up the garden. It seems a silly example until you think of more serious ones, like preventing water leaks and damage due to a burst pipe. Without connected technology, you wouldn’t know anything was wrong until you returned from vacation.
Smart Locks and Doorbells
Smart locks and doorbells enhance door security. The locks sometimes replace a traditional key with your smartphone’s GPS, making it easy to get inside when your hands are full. Many smart locks allow you to create permanent and guest users so you can set up a temporary account for a friend who’s watching the house. A few of the smart locks on the market also enable remote monitoring so that you can see activity from wherever you are.
Smart doorbells complement smart locks. The doorbells typically integrate with real-time video technology, meaning when someone rings the doorbell, the video turns on to capture the person’s image. This capability provides safety and security to you and your family as well as anyone staying at your home while you’re away on vacation.
You can place smart cameras indoors, outdoors, or both. Some cameras combine with motion sensors to bolster safety and security, and homeowners use the cameras for a variety of purposes, from monitoring the kids to checking on the animals while at work.
Homeowners also rely on the cameras to prevent thefts. For example, some homeowners install an outdoor smart security camera near the front door to make sure packages arrive and stay where they should. The camera sends a notification to a person’s smart device, if needed, but it also typically allows for remote access. With this smart home product, you can check on your home during not only the daily hustle and bustle but also the summer getaways.
Smart lightbulbs can serve a dual purpose of beauty and functionality. That is, they add ambiance to the home with colors and lighting configurations while also increasing safety and decreasing energy use. A mobile app allows you to customize the bulbs’ colors (if applicable), lighting schedules, and other settings.
As a simple example, you could create a schedule that turns lights on and off at fixed times throughout the day. The schedule could decrease your energy bill and discourage would-be burglars—they typically avoid well-lit homes—while you’re traveling. Some smart lightbulbs work with motion sensors, which increases safety and security even further. You’ll never walk into a doorjamb again during those late-night bathroom trips, and intruders won’t risk stealing your HDTV.
Smart thermostats are often used for comfort, convenience, and energy savings. But don’t be fooled—these smart products also boost safety. These thermostats guard your home while you’re away by keeping it from overheating in the summer and freezing in the winter. They accomplish this with built-in safe temperature settings, which you set up either during or after the initial installation process.
Many homeowners turn their smart thermostats off when they leave town for more than a few days, and it’s generally recommended that you do so. You likely don’t want the air conditioner to turn on every time the neighbor comes over to feed the cat or water the plants. Even when “off,” the thermostats will kick in if your home gets dangerously hot or cold.
Smart Plugs and Switches
Smart plugs and switches help reduce energy use and prevent frying your home’s circuits. Because of that, the products often prove advantageous when developing an entertainment room or home office. They reduce monthly electric bills and mitigate fire hazards.
Some smart plugs also allow remote energy monitoring and management. This capability lets you turn off devices, either ones accidentally left on or those that are devouring the electricity. You simply log into the app to check on the connected appliances, lights, and other home furnishings and turn them off from your vacation location.
Smart home technology is trending for a reason. It delivers convenience, energy efficiency, and security. With smart home devices, your home caters to your schedule even if you travel. The devices lower your home’s heating, cooling, and, in some instances, water bills. Your home also becomes safer and more secure with smart sensors, locks, bells, and bulbs. You can leave a smart home and know it rests in good hands—yours.
Want an even more relaxed vacation? Check out the homes in the top 10 safest cities in the US. According to World Atlas, they are:
- Virginia Beach, VA
- Henderson, NV
- Plano, TX
- Chandler, AZ
- Chula Vista, CA
- Fort Wayne, IN
- Anaheim, CA
- San Jose, CA
- Lexington, KY
- Lincoln, OR
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