Smart Monitoring Devices You Need for Your Vacation Home

You know how it goes. You check your weather app and discover there’s a huge storm approaching your vacation home. Rather than worrying, now you can know for sure what’s happening.

Keep your vacation home as smart as your primary home. Implement smart tools for remote monitoring that goes beyond security to include power outages, flooding, leaks, temperature changes and more that will need attention while you’re not there.

Home monitoring sensors use Wi-Fi to communicate with you via your smartphone, tablet or laptop, so it’s important that both your primary residence and your vacation home have a reliable internet connection, such as fiber, if available.

Smart security systems

You don’t need a professional to install a basic DIY home monitoring system in your vacation home, such as smart security systems like the Ring Alarm Security Kit and Abode Security Kit.

These starter kits generally include a base station connecting your security devices, smart home sensors for doors and windows, motion detectors and a keypad for activating an alarm. They can be controlled via smartphones and smart speakers like Amazon Alexa. Depending on the size of your vacation home, you may need additional contact and motion sensors.

You may also need the services of a professional to monitor your vacation home’s smart security system 24/7. Companies like SimpliSafe and Wyze low-cost monitoring packages.

Smart security cameras

To keep an eye on your vacation home when you’re not there, a smart security camera such as the Wyze Cam v3 or the Arlo Pro 4 sends a live video and audio feed to your smartphone, laptop or tablet. You can activate smart security cameras through your device, and some can also be automatically activated through motion detectors.

If you provide your vacation home as a rental, just be aware that recording guests on camera in places besides public areas like the yard or driveway may be a violation of their right to privacy.

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Smart water monitoring

A leaky or burst pipe in your vacation home could lead to extremely expensive water damage. To help prevent a potential catastrophe, smart leak detectors like the Moen Flo Smart Water Monitor & Shutoff or the Phyn Smart Water Sensor can send an alert to your smartphone and automatically shut off the water.

If your vacation home has a swimming pool or hot tub, smart pool-water monitors like the Sutro and WaterGuru Sense regularly analyze the chlorine and pH levels to make it safe and enjoyable for use. These devices can send you the results and alert you when you need to add chemicals to prevent itchy skin and irritated eyes.

Smart power outage alarms

Among other unfortunate disruptions, a power outage in your vacation home could stop you from communicating with some of your smart devices. You can receive an alert when the lights go out with smart products like the GFI Notify System and MySpool Power Alert.

Some smart plugs, such as the iSocket, can also send alerts when they detect a power outage in the specific outlet.

One caveat is that your smart home hub may need to have a battery or other backup power source that works if there is no electricity. Also, be aware that if a smart device doesn’t have a battery backup, it may need to be rebooted to work correctly once the power comes back on.

Smart thermostats

With a smart thermostat like the Ecobee SmartThermostat or the Nest Thermostat, you can change the temperature in your vacation home no matter where you happen to be. You can remotely adjust the thermostat, so your home will be warm or cool enough when you or your guests arrive.

Having a smart thermostat can help you avoid costly damage. For example, if freezing weather is in the forecast, you can raise the temperature to prevent pipes from bursting.

Smart thermostats are also helpful when guests rent your vacation home. To help lower your heating and cooling costs, you can set minimum and maximum temperatures that can’t be tampered with. You can then adjust the temperature when the house is empty.

Smart lighting

To make your vacation home appear occupied when you’re not actually there, smart lighting systems like those from Philips Hue let you program indoor and outdoor lights to turn on and off at various intervals.

A lower-priced alternative is to use smart plugs such as Belkin’s Wemo WiFi or ConnectSense Smart Outlet to control individual lights. Bluetooth light bulbs are another option, but to control them from more than about 30 feet away, they must be connected to a hub that connects them to the internet.

Smart locks

If you offer your vacation home for short-term rentals, smart locks with keypads eliminate the need for keys and make it easy to remotely change the locks after guests leave.

Smart locks such as the Schlage Encode and Kwikset Halo let you provide guests with a temporary access code that works only from the time they check in until they check out. You can also provide access codes to house cleaners and others who may need to enter your vacation home. You can change access codes or lock the door at any time simply by using your smartphone or smart speaker.

Installing smart devices like these can help you take a vacation from worrying about your vacation home.

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Product features and availability may have changed and are subject to change.

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