Traveling for the Holidays? Your Smart Home Can Help Reduce the Stress.
The holidays can be a joyful time spent with family and dear friends, but are also fraught with headaches and concerns. Did you pack enough diversions to keep the kids happy in the car or on the flight? Will your travel be delayed by weather? How will your special Thanksgiving dish hold up during the trip? Will your irascible uncle hold a symposium on his current pet peeve during dinner, making that new in-law cringe?
With your smart home holding down the home front, you have one less thing to worry about. Here are just a few ideas to help you configure your smart home so it will keep making your life easier even while you are away.
One of the most common problems Northern homeowners worry about during colder seasons is frozen water pipes...and the resulting mess if those pipes burst. With a smart home, this worry can be a thing of the past.
Smart thermostats make it easy to set your home’s temperature to remain at a level that prevents frozen pipes, but still might be too cold for your comfort were you home. This not only prevents trouble, but it saves you money so you can splurge on that nicer hotel suite while traveling. If the temperature inexplicably drops, your thermostat can notify you immediately, so you can take action to head off problems even from afar.
Don’t forget to schedule your thermostat to warm up the house a bit before you arrive home!
Many other environmental sensors help keep your home safe and sound when you’re away, as well. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, leak detectors and remote temperature sensors can all be configured to notify you, or a trusted friend or neighbor, should a problem arise.
Remember not to wait for the annoying chirp to remind you to change your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries. Even detectors hardwired into your home need batteries for backup. Set a regular annual appointment in your calendar to install fresh batteries and clean the dust and cobwebs off the sensors. The third Saturday in November is a great day to set aside to do this small task, ensuring your detectors are ready to go before you do.
Smart lighting control is likely one of the favorite features of your smart home. Lights that come on as you enter the driveway at dusk or step onto the porch at night add a feeling of safety in addition to the convenience they bring to your life. Make sure you have set those lights to turn off after a reasonable amount of time. Outdoor lights left on during the day are a sign that perhaps nobody is really at home.
Your indoor lighting should also be scheduled to mimic the patterns your family has when home. Long gone are the days of leaving one light on a timer in the living room. Set your smart lighting to illuminate various rooms at unpredictable times, and then turn off somewhat later.
Do you have smart blinds or shades? This is not the time to just leave them all open. The windows on the upper floors can have the shades opened during the day when they would normally be, but make sure you schedule them to close without waiting for you to trigger motion sensors when you enter the room.
Your smart home security system is already on the job, but don’t forget to perform some simple upkeep before you hit the road. As with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, security system sensors and cameras need cleaning and fresh batteries. A security system without power is useless. Make sure the firmware is up-to-date, too.
Do you have smart locks? Set a code to be used in case of emergencies. If emergency access needs to be granted to address an issue, it’s much easier to change or eliminate one code later than to have to re-set everything for everyone.
Nearly all smart home automation systems are now able to set up routines that carry out many actions throughout your house simultaneously and on a schedule. Learn how to do this and get your entire smart home in sync with your travel plans with one command.
Do you need assistance getting your home ready for an extended time away? We can help. At Zeus Integrated Systems, we plan, design, install and support your smart home systems so you can relax and de-stress. Call us today! 800.878.9705