Is Your Home Safe? Easy Ways to Check on Your Home While You're Away
These home technologies make checking on your home from work, down the street, or vacation as easy as checking your phone. Whether you want to monitor your basement for water, open the garage door for the dog sitter, or control lights and overall security, this round-up of products is perfect for you.
Did you know that water damage is the number one reason people file homeowners insurance claims, beating out theft, storms, and fire? Prevention comes in the form of WallyHome, a hub that connects to your modem. It also uses credit card-size independent sensors that you put near the sink, the dishwasher, and other places with high leak potential. You can then monitor them online or via the app, and get text and e-mail alerts if they detect water, or even a significant change in temperature or humidity. $300.
Get notifications if the garage door opens, closes, or is left open for an extended period. You can open and close it remotely, too. Works with most openers, as long as your Wi-Fi extends to the garage. $130.
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Watch what's going on at home in 720p HD on your smartphone or web browser, and get sound and motion alerts, too. Two-way audio lets you hear what's going on and broadcasts your two cents to the kids or the cat. Add the recording service and you get the ability to edit, share, and save video clips and more. $150; optional recording services start at $5/month.
This wide-angled camera lets you pan, tilt, and zoom, and also has a built-in siren and two-way audio, so you can tell the kids to turn off the TV or command the dog off the couch. You can program rules with custom notifications, such as, "If motion is detected, record a video and send me a text message." Or, "If front door opens when I'm on vacation, sound siren and notify my trusted circle." It also monitors the temperature, humidity, and other home vitals, and can work with Z-Wave automated products to control lights, appliances, and more. $200.
Iris Home Management System
Lowe's entered the smart home arena with a whole-home monitoring system affordable to its average customer. Start small and build piece by piece, or buy one of three themed starter kits, which let you control lights and the thermostat from your smartphone, tablet, or computer, get texts when security sensors are triggered or when the kids get home, and more. Regular service is free; premium service, with perks including video recording and voice control, is $10/month. $179 and up.
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