If you are going away on holiday, you will probably ask a trusted friend or neighbour to check in once and a while to make sure everything is ok? You may have asked someone to look after and walk the dog, feed the fish and sort the post too? But what if something happens when they aren’t there?
Monitoring your home, using Smart Home Technologies, gives you continual health check and updates about your home. If you are going to work for a day, or on holiday for a month, automated alerting will let you know what is going on around your home and will allow you to interact accordingly.
Smart thermostats are a great entry in to Smart Home Monitoring and will save you money. They ensure your home is warm when you are around and will reduce the temperature when you are away. You can set a minimum temperature in the winter to ensure pipes do not freeze and turn off completely in the summer. You can remotely connect and manage your heating using an app on a smart device, override setting if you need to and check on humidity too.
Google’s Nest Thermostat –The 3rd generation Nest Thermostat learns what temperatures you like, and at what times, then programs itself accordingly. It uses built-in sensors to confirm no one’s home and it knows how long it takes to heat your home so you’re comfortable when you get there. When you leave, it turns itself down so you save energy. And you can check your Energy History with the Nest App to see how much you’ve saved.
Ecobee 3 – Your ecobee understands your local weather, schedule and desired comfort settings, to ensure your home is at the right temperature at the right time. Get free monthly reports on how much energy you’ve saved and tips on how you can save even more. Your ecobee monitors your heating and cooling systems and alerts you if it senses that something isn’t working properly.
Honeywell evohome – Using a main thermostat and singular radiator thermostats allows you to create and individually control up to 12 heating zones around your home and will also control domestic hot water. With touchscreen control, the user can quickly gain control of exactly where and when the property should be heated. Remote access is provided via a tablet or smart phone.
These can be placed around your home for constant monitoring of high risk areas like old pipes, washing machine and dishwashers etc. If pipes are close to freezing or water/humidity is detected, you and friends keeping an eye on your home, can be alerted on a smart device. Some systems will also automatically shut off your water supply and activate a siren that will wake you to ensure any damage is kept to a minimum.
D-Link Wi-Fi Water Sensor – It’s easy to setup, connects to your home Wi-Fi and can help you detect water leaks before serious flooding occurs. It has audio and visual LED alerts as well as push notifications to your phone to alert you when a leak is detected.
Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi water and freeze detector – notifies you on your smartphone when a leak is detected or the temperature drops below a temperature of your choice.
Smart Door bells now come with cameras, motion detection and Wi-Fi all built-in, allowing you to communicate directly with whomever comes to your door when you are away (if you want to). Imagine being able to talk to the Amazon delivery driver and telling them to place the parcel in a designated location.
Ring – Get instant alerts when visitors press your Doorbell or trigger the built-in motion sensors. Then use the free Ring app to see, hear and speak to guests from your smart phone, tablet or PC.
Stoga D012 Doorbell – Wireless Intercom Enabled Video Doorbell direct to your smart device.
SkyBell Wi-Fi Video Doorbell – Motion detection, night vision enabled camera with remote connectivity to your Smart Device
Smart locks allow you manage access to your home without the need for you to provide multiple keys. Imagine your dog walker, builder or your neighbour who is just checking in on the place for you can each have a different combination to the lock and you can activate and deactivate remotely from your phone. You can also state what hours of the day the combination will work and for how many days.
If the late delivery of your new beach ware arrives when you are away, you can ask the driver to leave it inside and open your door remotely. After he leaves, remotely lock it again and send them on their way.
Lockstate Remotelock 6i WiFi Enabled Smart Lock – The internet controlled Remotelock 6i is perfect for your business, rental property or home use. This robust WiFi enabled door lock allows users to lock or unlock doors remotely, know when people unlock your door, and even receive email/text* alerts when codes are used. Issue new codes or delete codes from your computer or phone. Even give temporary codes to guests or office personnel.
Yale Keyless Connected Smart Door Lock with Z-Wave Module – Lock and unlock your home without the need for a key. Simple to use, you now have complete control on how you unlock your door. Connects to leading smart home systems using the Z-Wave protocol allowing you to lock and unlock your door remotely using an app. You can remotely add user credentials, set schedules when people can enter and audit trails to track user entry
These plug-in-and-go, multi-functional Indoor Cameras can be placed anywhere around your home. The camera can give you a live feed, automate alerting and record directly to the cloud or built-in memory. Motion detection will detect water spreading across the floor, coming through the ceiling or the movement of flames generating alerts. A built-in microphone will alert you to loud noises like a burst pipe, boiler problems or a broken window. Some cameras also allow you to communicate using the built-in microphone and speaker so you can chat with anyone in your home.
Facial recognition is one of the latest trends and you can teach the camera the faces of your family and friends so it will only alert you if it doesn’t recognise the person. The camera is also smart enough to be able to tell the difference between a person or a thing, like your dog which will ensure that you are only alerted to actual issues.
Nest Cam – Indoor – Plug in and monitor anyway in your home. Can record 24/7 using night vision, motion detection, facial recognition and zonal monitoring. Alerts can be configured to include loud sounds i.e. banging on a door or a smashed window and will record any movements and alerts to the cloud. Can automatically turn off when you come home.
Netgear Arlo Security – Wireless Security Camera system that comes with free cloud storage, Motion alerting, night vision for inside and outside.
Can detect smoke, fire and carbon monoxide and tell the difference between steam and smoke which will reduce false alerts. If there is an alert, the details will be sent to your smart device, a siren will sound and lighting will be activated. Some devices, like the Nest Protect, have motion detection which also activates a night-light which is a nice touch as well as an automatic self-testing function to make sure everything is working correctly. Low battery warnings are also given by a chirp as well as to your smart device giving you plenty of warning before they run out. They can be battery only or hard-wired with battery back-up.
Nest Protect – Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detector, self-testing with a built in siren and lights for notification. Will send alerts to your Smart Device and works with other Nest products to turn off your boiler if Carbon Monoxide is detected.
D-link Home Smoke Detector – built-in audio alarm alerts you whenever smoke is detected and sends a push notification to your smart phone or tablet when you’re away from home.
Honeywell Evohome Smart Wireless Smoke Detector – Optical wireless detector. It is equipped with a siren and LED light for notification. You can also receive alerts on your Smart Device and can interrogate the device via the smart app.
Secure your WI-Fi
Most smart technologies need a Wi-Fi connection to perform alerting and remote connectivity. Ensuring that your Internet Wi-Fi connection is up-to-date and secure is of obvious importance. So, before you install any Smart Home Technologies ensure that your Internet Wi-Fi connection is also safe and secure to use. Read the article on Internet Router Security and make sure you are using the latest standards of security on your router and Wi-Fi.
Next Steps – Smart Home Security