Info & Answers
Summer Vacation Tech and Automation Checklist
At-home essentials for a trouble-free getaway.
July 12, 2013 by Lisa Montgomery

The last thing you want to do when you’re on vacation is worry about what’s happening at home. By integrating a few electronic devices into your house, you can let technology take care of things while you’re away having fun. Here’s a checklist of some of most helpful:

Water Sensors: Positioned near the sump pump and underneath sinks, a water sensor can be set up to text or email you an alert should it detect moisture. You’ll be able to decide whether to send a neighbor over to investigate or to cut your vacation short and come home. Ditto for sensors that can detect a long power outage or excessive heat.


GE Water Sensor

IP Surveillance Camera: Need additional evidence of a water leak (or packages left at the front door, perhaps?). Install an IP surveillance camera at the front door, the basement, or anywhere else that needs to be monitored. You’ll be able to log in and see the view from a smartphone or tablet.


Toshiba IP Surveillance Camera

Automated Lights: Make your empty house look as if you’re still there by automating the lights to turn on and off automatically. Timers are too predictable, so look for a system that can switch the lights on and off randomly for a more realistic effect.

Motorized Blinds/Draperies: Much like automated lights, motorized draperies and blinds can give your house a lived-in look. They can be programmed to open and shut at different times of the day, like down at night and up in the morning. Motorized shades are also a great way to block out the sun so that your air conditioner runs more efficiently. 


Lutron Sivoia Kirbe vertical drapery

Programmable Thermostat: Most programmable thermostats have a vacation setting. Use it. If you forget to engage the setting, you can always do so from a smartphone, as long as your thermostat can be controlled via the web.


Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat

Electronic Door Lock: An electronic door lock is the safest and most convenient way to allow certain people (your neighbor who’s collecting your mail, for example) into your house while you’re away. You can deactivate the lock remotely at a certain time of the day or give the person a temporary access code.


Kwikset Smart Door Lock

More articles about products to help simplify your life:
Review: Schlage Smart Deadbolt Lock
5 Tech Ways to Cool Your Energy Bill
Understanding IP Security Cameras

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Lisa Montgomery - Contributing Writer
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.

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