If you have kids, chances are you’ve already begun preparing for the upcoming March Break. And that might include taking some vacation time for a weekly winter getaway. Which also means considering how to make sure the house is tended to while you’re away.
When it comes to technology, there are plenty of ways you can use it to feel safer, and enjoy greater peace-of-mind that everything will be a-ok at home while you leave for a few days.
A smart thermostat
From Nest to Ecobee, several companies make smart thermostats that you can easily install in place of your old, antiquated one. The value in addition to their ability to learn your typical habits, and adjust automatically based on factors like when you’re home and the temperatureoutside, is remote accessibility. Most of us like to turn down the thermostat when we go away for the winter to avoid unnecessarily high heating bills. With our continually unpredictable weather, being able to turn the thermostat up a few degrees when an unexpected winter chill hits back home can help you avoid potentially costly problems, like frozen pipes.
A security camera
We all worry when the home is left unattended that something could go awry. What if an intruder tries to break in? Or a pesky raccoon starts to massacre the garden? Setting up a Web-connected security camera will allow you to tap into a live feed from wherever you are, and even receive alerts if motion is detected inside or nearby the home.You can program the Piper nv security camerato send an emergency message directly to a trusted neighbour instead of you to ensure that any problems are dealt with immediately.
Water leak sensor
With excessive rain, or even snow, the chances of flooding in your basement increase. But even without such inclement weather, water leaks can occur at any time. With a device like D-Link’s DCH-S160 Wi-Fi Water Sensor, you can place it nearby the potential source of a leak, like the washing machine, sink, or dishwasher, and it will send a notification to your smartphone if any water is detected. While you might not be able to get back home right away, you can alert someone nearby to go check on things and prevent any major damage from occurring.
A sure sign to potential intruders that you’re away on vacation are lights that remain off 24/7. And that’s easy to spot. By outfitting your house, or at least a few rooms of the home, with smart light, you can tap in from anywhere. Then, turn on the porch light, or living room lamp intermittently, right from your phone, so that it appears as though someone is home when no one is actually there. With the BelkinWeMo line, in addition to smart bulbs, there are smart switches that you can plug into the wall, then plug a standard lamp into, to allow for remote control.
The days of having to wait at home for four-hour blocks to receive an important delivery are over. With smart locks, or even garage door openers, you can let a delivery person in to safely drop off a package (make sure, of course, that you watch all of this happening from the aforementioned security camera feed at the same time) or a neighbour in to check on the cat, then lock up again to ensure your property is safe and sound. The Okidokeys Smart-Locks come with cards, wristbands, or keychain smart tags that can be given to friends and family, then activated to unlock a door when needed. When the person arrives, simply unlock the door remotely using the free app (iOS or Android).
Happy (and safe) travels!