What is it about vacations? We spend the entire year just getting everything ready in anticipation for that one week when we can truly relax and enjoy ourselves free from worries, and as soon as we step on the plane or hit the road, the doubts start flood in. Did you remember to lock the house? Is the thermostat set to the right temperature? Were any appliances left on that shouldn’t have been? It’s hard to relax when you’re worrying about your property, and it’s hard to check up on your property when you’re on vacation trying to relax.
At least, it used to be.
See, today’s world has gotten a lot smaller than it used to be. Approximately half of all Americans have smartphones or other mobile smart devices, and this technology is connecting them to the world in ways that just weren’t possible a decade ago. Smart homes are allowing vacationers (and anyone else who uses smart home automation) to monitor and control their castles from anywhere in the world.
For starters, that nagging doubt regarding your possibly forgotten door locks is a simple one to address. Most home automation companies, such as Vivint (the nations leading brand) or Protection 1, offer electronic door locks standard with their various packages. Electronic locks come in various shapes and sizes, and offer different features. Some features include keyless entry devices, recognition software, and built in surveillance systems. What really makes a difference to the wayward vacationer is the remote activation feature. By simply using your mobile smart device to wirelessly contact your electronic locks, you can check on the status and engage or disengage the locks at will. This may also be helpful if you have someone stopping by your house to feed the cat or to just check up on things. That person could simply call you on your phone when they arrive, and you could unlock the door for them from whatever tropical location you’re currently enjoying. Additionally, some locks can be programed to contact you if they are unexpectedly disengaged.
Thermostats follow suit, in that those installed in smart homes can be controlled from anywhere. Rather than simply turn off the air conditioning/heat as you leave the house, you can monitor the temperature at home so that things never reach the extreme on one side or the other. Additionally, you can contact the thermostat on the way home and have it get your house to the right temperature for when you walk in the door. This is actually pretty standard in home automation. The real hightech thermostats can now actually learn your habits, and through no input of your own, adjust themselves to better serve you needs.
Perhaps the most reassuring aspect of home automation is its usefulness as home security. Coming home to a house that has been broken into is a vacationer’s nightmare, but it’s a reality that many travelers face. With remote home automation, you’ll be able to check up on your house at any time and from any spot on the globe. With surveillance cameras, motion detectors, glass break sensors, etc., you’ll know exactly what’s going on on the home front at any given time.
The reality of it is that, these days, if it’s part of a home automation system, you’ll probably be able to control it from your mobile smart device and enjoy your time away from the grind without having to fret over the state of your home. After all, your property is a part of you, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make sure it’s okay—even when you’re on vacation..
David Glenn is a home improvement expert. He occasionally freelance writes about home automation and making your home more green.