For many of those who have seen Home Alone (1,2, 3, 4? How many of those are out there again?), the thought of your home sitting unattended over any period around the holidays can be scary. We are lucky to live in a time where many of our smart home integrated tools can help us protect our home’s security as well as potentially soften our energy expenses during the busy holiday season. Consider these tips and tricks:
Set Temperatures with Your Smart Thermostat
If you read our article on Weatherproofing for Winter, we touched on how you can set your thermostat lower at night for huge energy savings. This is an easy task to integrate with a smart thermostat. Not only can you take this off your daily to-do list by implementing a programmed schedule, but your home’s temperature will regulate for the perfect comfort level automatically, and you will see energy savings when that bill comes around.
You can implement the same principles when you’re traveling this holiday. Lower your temperatures remotely and raise them to your ideal temperature before you come home. Here in Lafayette, Indiana the weather goes from 45 to 0 in a matter of days in the winter season. If your hometown is anything like that, it might change how you’d like to set your thermostat if you’re out of your home for a while. A Smart Thermostat from Nest, Honeywell, or Ecobee, for example, can help you set desired temperatures as necessary.
Protect Your Home While You’re Away
Did you know your smart devices, like Alexa, can run “Away Mode” for mindless chatter, “Burglar Deterrent” for background noises that sound like someone is home cleaning up, or even “Guard dog” with snarls and barks from your favorite fictional pet? Google Assistant has similar features such as “Barking Dog“. These tricks are all intended to prevent home invaders from identifying empty homes. If you’re uneasy about leaving your home, consider using these to your advantage while you travel.
Set Your Shades to Open and Close
Motorized window treatments are becoming the norm in the window treatment industry and with good reason. Automatic shade setting is super convenient when you are home but they also provide excellent burglar deterrent when you aren’t home. Having your home look “lived-in” is the perfect disguise while you’re away. Automated shades paired with scheduled lighting can help protect your home from appearing empty. Depending on your home and treatment choice, you can increase energy savings by opening and closing at certain times of day to keep sunlight out or let the warmth in depending on the time of year.
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Knock, Knock. Who’s there?
Unfortunately this day and age, package theft is an all to familiar fear. Incorporating security cameras or smart doorbells at your entry points or package drop off areas is an easy way to keep an eye on things. You can easily check this footage and even approve package drop-off remotely from your smartphone or device.
Use Smart Outlets to Regulate Holiday Décor
A quick way to save money around the holidays is with scheduled holiday lighting. Holiday light timers have been around for a while to keep your lights off during the day and on at night. Now there are tools available to make this even easier with in-app or voice control through your smart devices. Set an automated schedule or to ask your smart hub of choice to turn on your holiday décor whenever you want. Smart home compatible plugs can also be used year-round in your home so they aren’t just a holiday splurge purchase.
An automated vacuum like a Roomba or Shark can help keep things tidy while you are away. Whether its dust, lint or Christmas tree needles, set an automated schedule for easier cleaning whether you are home or not. Perhaps even just to help clean up after holiday parties. Already have a regular automated vacuuming schedule and don’t need the clean-up while you’re traveling? Adjust your vacuums schedule to off while you’re away and save the energy.
Maybe you aren’t quite at the smart home level yet? That’s fine, but motorized window treatments, smart vacuums, automated thermostats, and other smart home devices make for great Christmas presents. Check out this list of Smart Home tools you can get your loved ones this year!
What smart home tools do you implement for an optimized and safe home? Let us know in the comments, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts and questions. We love to hear from you!
Lafayette Interior Fashions is a family-owned, to-the-trade manufacturer of blinds, shades, shutters, draperies and other custom crafted interior fashions products. Find a local dealer near you to purchase our products. In the meantime get inspired online or on our Instagram @lafayetteinteriorfashions.