How to Keep Your Home Safe and Efficient While You're On Vacation
Despite temperatures rising above 0 in many of our communities, the weather isn’t the tropical paradise we’d like it to be here in Southern Ontario. Whether it’s rain or wind, the cold weather is still trying to find a way to hold on. We’ve heard that some lucky Devonleigh homeowners are going on a much needed vacation to warmer climates, and we don’t blame them!
If you’re one of said homeowners, then you probably have your travel checklist, and you’re eager to start packing. If you’re a seasoned traveler, you likely have a list of things to take care of before leaving your home. Making sure all windows are closed and locked, all small appliances are unplugged, and all of your perishable food items have been taken care of - these are the few last minute details that ensure you return to your home in the same state that you left it.
But there are so many other ways to make your home safe and efficient while you’re on holiday. With recent technological advancements in home automation, the opportunities to save energy costs are almost endless. We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks that make traveling worry-free, and help your home stay perfectly in tact while you’re enjoying that much needed vacation!
Save on Energy
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to make sure that your home is saving energy while no one is home. There are certain tips you’ve probably heard before, like turning down your thermostat a few degrees or turning off all household lights. These are excellent tips, but we’d like to take them a bit further and bring them into 2015.
There are several home automation tools (like Nest) that can control lights, temperature, and alarms from your smartphone. Many of these devices are relatively inexpensive, and can be controlled on Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry phones and tablets.
These applications make it easy to control your home from anywhere in the world. You can add a timer to specific indoor and outdoor lights, or you can set your thermostat to rise in temperature an hour before you arrive home so that you won’t come home to a chilly house.
In fact, many energy companies (like Hydro One) are now offering incentives for homeowners that use specific energy efficient home appliances. Automated thermostats can not only save money on your monthly energy bill, but can also make your home more efficient while you’re out enjoying the beach!
Many of our homeowners have pets that unfortunately aren’t able to travel with them, and will need looking after while their owners are on holiday. Most of the time, we can ask our friends and neighbours to stop by and fill up the food bowls (and probably give some loving pats), but leaving a key under the doormat may not be the best idea anymore.
Garage door openers allow you to set a unique code to open the garage from the outside, and so if you’re comfortable leaving this code with your neighbour, this is an easy way to grant access to the inside of your home.
Alternatively, for you tech-savvy homeowners, there are many automation apps that connect with a custom door locking mechanism, like this one by Weiser. The app allows you to give your neighbour access using “eKey” - an encrypted wireless key. This means that before you leave, you can send your neighbour an eKey via the app. They’ll have exclusive access to your home (you can even set which hours this pertains to), and you can remove their key as soon as you get home!
One of the greatest things about these new technologies is that they adjust to you and your family’s patterns. Kevo, for example, integrates with Nest to learn when you’re on vacation. The apps will work together to make sure your doors are locked and all of your lights are off at whatever time you please. Doesn’t that sound like something out of The Jetsons?
At Devonleigh we believe in creating a home that’s tailored exactly to you and your family’s comfort level. There are so many ways to make your house a home, even when you’re on holiday! While vacations are certainly a fun escape for the family, we know that there’s nothing like coming home to the comfort of your own home.
Do you have any special ways to keep your home comfortable while you’re away? Share with us in the comments or on our Facebook page.