Allow Your Smart Home to Look after Itself While You’re Away

Smart home gadgets may assist you while you’re away on vacation, whether it’s keeping an eye on your house or preventing your water pipes from freezing over.

If you’re going to be gone for a lengthy amount of time, you may not want to leave your smart home devices configured as usual. For those occasions when you’re going on a journey, there are particular settings and modes accessible.

Here is How You Can Allow Your Smart Home to Look after Itself While You’re Away

Smart heating

Allow Your Smart Home to Look after Itself While You're Away

Installing a smart thermostat or heating system has the added benefit of allowing you to operate it from anywhere. This allows you to turn off the heater while no one is home and then put it back on when you return.

While you’re on vacation, you don’t want to spend energy and money heating an empty building, and your smart heating system will be up to the task. It’s truly simply a matter of understanding your alternatives.

For holidays, the Nest Learning Thermostat and other smart home heating systems include a specific “away” mode. Press the Thermostat icon in the Nest app, then tap off before leaving. Make sure to go to Settings and then Safety Temperature to have your Nest restart if it detects that your house is at risk of freezing or overheating.

Meanwhile, if you have an Ecobee thermostat, you can set your vacation dates from the app by tapping Menu, Vacation, and then the Plus button. During that period, your regular heating schedule will not apply, but the app will prompt you to choose a minimum and maximum temperature threshold, which will alert the Ecobee to take action if frozen pipes or excessive heat damage are a concern.

Although we can’t provide specific instructions for every smart thermostat, yours should offer comparable options. You should be able to manually adjust the heating schedule to save energy, so if you fail to do it before leaving, you may use your mobile app to do so while on the go.

Smart lights

Allow Your Smart Home to Look after Itself While You're Away

While you’re gone from home, smart lights can create the impression that someone is inside your home, deterring would-be burglars from looking about.

You should be able to set up your smart lights to run on an automatic schedule regardless of the brand you use. To set your lights to switch on and off automatically while you’re gone, touch Routines, Other routines, and Create routine in the Philips Hue app, for example. Note that the Random time’s toggle switch can be used to provide some unpredictability to the schedule.

If Lifx is your smart light brand of choice, you can open the mobile app and tap the Plus button, then New Schedule to work on your vacation routines. The app lets you set start and stop times, as well as specific days to trigger routines.

One of the advantages of putting smart lights in the first place is that you can manage them while you’re gone. In that scenario, you’ll have to remember to turn on and off your lights while lying on the beach or sipping an evening cocktail, which may not be the most enjoyable way to spend your free time.

If you attach smart plugs to bulbs around your house, you may utilize them in the same way. The applications that come with them allow you to switch the electricity on and off at specific times for specific outlets, giving the impression that someone is at home.

Smart speakers

Smart speakers

One of the most popular forms of smart home gadgets, smart speakers, can listen for intruders and play music or even conversation noises to give the impression that your home or apartment is still occupied.

If you have an Amazon Echo, it comes with a function called Guard, which you can turn on in the Alexa app’s Settings under Guard. The device listens for sounds in your house, such as smoke alarms and breaking glass, and alerts you if it finds anything unusual. Guard can also function with smart lighting and security systems that you’ve installed.

Various third-party Alexa skills can also protect your home while you’re away. For example, Away Mode will fire up random conversations from your speaker to give the impression that your home is still occupied, while Guard Dog works along similar lines but uses the sound of a barking dog rather than human chatter.

Although you can set up automatic routines to play audio at specified times while you’re away, or to manage the other smart home devices you’ve installed, you don’t have the same possibilities with Google Nest smart speakers and displays. Tap Routines in the Google Home app on your phone to create an automatic routine.

Routines are also available on Amazon Echo speakers; choose Routines from the menu in the Alexa app, then hit the Plus button. Set a TuneIn radio station to play for an hour every morning while you’re gone (only make sure it doesn’t shock your neighbors who assume you’ve gone away).

Other smart devices

If you’ve got smart locks controlling one or more of your doors, set them to allow access to guests or neighbors before you leave. If you’ve got an August smart lock, for example, just tap the Guest icon on the app’s home screen to give someone else permission to get into your home to, say, check on the plants or feed your cat.

Smart sensors are a great option to get yourself some extra peace of mind while you’re on vacation, but you won’t need to configure these any differently than normal. Sensors to detect leaks or window openings work the same whether you’re at the office or on the other side of the world

Security cameras, likewise, should not require any particular setting for a trip. All you have to do is double-check the feeds and motion detection settings for each camera before you go, so do so ahead of time.

A video doorbell is another smart gadget you may use as usual because you’ll still receive notifications when someone approaches your front door. Keep in mind that it’s best not to imply you’re on vacation while engaging with guests. Simply inform them you won’t be able to come to the door and that they should leave things with a neighbor, for example.

You may safely turn off any other smart home gadgets that you won’t be using while you’re gone to save energy—for example, smart displays or baby monitors. When you return, switch them back on, and they should resume regular operation.

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