Nothing ruins the vacation vibe faster than that nagging feeling. Is the back door unlocked? Will the basement leak if it rains? Smart home devices help keep tabs on everything, from deliveries to air quality, so you can check in on your phone.
Smart thermostats come with perks that can help you save a lot of money. Enable energy-saving settings before departing or use an app to adjust your home’s heat or air conditioning in real time, so you’re in control in case of unexpected weather fluctuations—say, a sudden heat wave. Try Ecobee Smart Thermostat ecobee.com or Nest Learning Thermostat thesource.ca
Keeping a watchful eye on your home can be as easy as pushing a button with an indoor camera system. These devices can automatically track and record any indoor motion from multiple angles and push motion-sensor alerts to your tablet, smartphone or even smart TV. Try Wyze Cam Pan v3 wyze.com or Amazon Blink Mini Compact Camera thesource.ca
No need to worry about coming home to an expensive water bill or, worse, a flooded home. A water monitor can prevent accidents by tracking water usage and humidity levels. It can even detect leaks and turn off water at the source. While extensive in-home systems can be pricey, you can also buy stand-alone sensors and place them in high-risk areas. Try Moen Flo Smart Water Monitor and Shutoff system moen.com or D-Link Whole Home Wi-Fi Water Leak Sensor Starter Kit ca.dlink.com
A keyless smart lock boosts security with minimal fuss and no log-ins, cables or intricate set-up. Attaching one to the door is simple—some even fit over a standard lock or deadbolt. Most smart locks can be set up for keyless or virtual entry, so dog walkers, neighbours and family or friends can enter with your permission while you’re away. Try August Smart Lock Pro + Connect august.com or Google Nest x Yale Lock thesource.ca
OUTDOOR SECURITY SYSTEMS
Smart home security systems are available in almost every price range. Many are voice-enabled and work with the smart assistant of your choice, be it Alexa or Siri. Some are motion-activated and send alerts to owners when activated. Those with wireless cameras and battery and solar-panel alternatives are a great choice for renters without access to their electrical wiring or those in need of options for outdoor spaces. Try Arlo Pro 3 Wireless arlo.com or Ring Alarm ring.com/ca
However, not even the smartest gadget can replace the watchful eyes of trusted neighbours. Most home insurance policies require that someone checks on your empty home. But keyless entries and two-way communication make it easier to let them in (and remind them to water the plants).
Part of feeling secure at home is knowing your property and its contents are protected. Visit ama.ab.ca/home-family to learn more.