When going on vacation, there are tons of things to consider, like what to pack, making your flight on time, and a whole host of other things. But one thing you shouldn't worry about is your home — keeping it safe and undisturbed while you're away. The key is in smart home automation!
With smart home technology, you can keep an eye on your property and set up your system to its most eco-efficient and secure settings. Not only can you stream what's happening in your home, but the increased security gives you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your vacation.
Smart Video Doorbell
Since 34 percent of burglars enter through the front door regardless of the lock, the first step to controlling your home while you're gone starts with your front porch. With a smart video doorbell featuring motion detection, you'll know exactly when someone is approaching the door — even if they haven't rung the doorbell.
Most smart video doorbells have a built-in microphone and intercom, allowing you to communicate with whoever approaches your front door no matter where you are. Add-in smart automation triggers like making your porch lights turn on whenever motion is detected and deterring burglars or porch pirates are much more manageable.
One sure-fire sign that no one is home is a pile of packages on the front porch — but a smart lock with personalized codes and remote locking capabilities is just what you need. With a unique guest code, you can have a trusted neighbor, house-sitter, or relative come by to place your packages inside and have the system automatically lock when they leave.
And if you have a smart doorbell, you can even direct the delivery person to leave your packages inside with the built-in speaker and lock the door remotely when they leave. But if you don't trust people in your home, you can direct your deliveries to be placed in your garage using your smart doorbell and smart garage door opener.
Pro Tip: If you are directing a delivery, do not mention that you're on vacation; simply say you can't come to the door.
Another thing you need to give you peace of mind while you're away is surveillance. Regular security cameras combined with a security system let you monitor what's going on, but with smart security cameras, you can enjoy the extra peace of mind.
With outdoor cameras, some models offer two-way talk, battery and outlet power, free cloud storage, local storage, and built-in motion detection. This way, you can speak to intruders, always have access to power, and never run out of video storage. But outdoor cameras aren't enough; you also need indoor security cameras.
Indoor cameras can have motion detection and built-in sirens that go off to scare away any intruders. You can even connect them with your door and window sensors to sound the alarm whenever movement is detected.
Speaking of motion sensors, these are a must for every smart home — especially if you are always on the go somewhere. With sensors on your windows, doors, hallways, or entryways, you'll be instantly alerted to any odd movement in your home. You can even add sensors to a drawer or cabinet that you keep locked, like the liquor cabinet, so you always know if anyone tampered with it.
In addition to motion sensors, you also need water leak sensors to know when a pipe or connection starts leaking water. And if you have a professionally monitored security system and a leak does happen, your system can raise the alarm and call emergency services, so you don't come home to a flooded mess.
When it comes to deterring burglars and vandalism while you're away, smart lights are just what you need. Burglars often check out the houses or neighborhoods they plan to rob and will be on the lookout for a completely dark home during a time there should be movement.
With smart lights, you can automate your lights to come on at specific times of day to give the impression that someone is home. You can take this further by randomizing your schedule remotely or through the "Random" setting on your lights. Some smart lights even have an "Away" or "Vacation" mode that does the scheduling of the lights for you, so you don't have to keep messing with them while you're on vacation.
Pro Tip: Use smart plugs to schedule when the lights go on for plugged-in lights. You can also schedule other appliances or devices that are plugged in.
Did you know that smart speakers can listen to their surroundings? Don't be alarmed — this is a good thing when you're away on vacation. Smart speakers can listen for intruders and play music or conversation sounds to make it seem like someone is home. Some speakers are specially tuned to listen for smoke alarms and the sounds of breaking glass.
If the speaker hears anything suspicious, it will alert you wherever you are. You can even set up automations with your smart light and security systems.
Pro Tip: Use the "Away" mode to randomly schedule conversation sounds or the sound of barking dogs to deter intruders.
Vacations are expensive, and the last thing you want to come home to is a monster energy bill because someone left the AC running the whole time (again). But with a smart thermostat, you can control it from anywhere, so it doesn't matter if you or your family is forgetful. Set it on the "Eco" setting and enjoy your energy savings!
One important feature a smart thermostat has is the "Away" mode, which lets you set a minimum and maximum temperature threshold. The threshold helps you avoid letting your pipes freeze over in winter or extreme heat damage in the summer.
Get Your Peace of Mind
Going on vacation should be the break you need, and not worrying about your home while you're away is the icing on your vacation cake. So, if you don't have smart automation set up and are planning an extended getaway, it's time to check out what you can do at Gleeson's Home Entertainment and Automation!
Contact us today to begin your consultation appointment, and we'll walk you through what your smart home will look like!