By Lisa Chesters, Z-Wave Alliance Consumer Working Group Chair
As temperatures cool down and fall is in full swing, most homeowners have one thing in mind: preparing for winter. Winterizing a second property is important as well, as winter weather can wreak havoc on vacation homes. Whether it’s running the water to make sure the pipes don’t freeze or inspecting windows to make sure that ice has not cracked them, winterizing your home can be an arduous task, but it’s worth doing to ensure that your home stays safe and that you’re saving money as temperatures drop and snow falls.
But what happens after you leave for the winter? That’s where smart home tech comes in. Z-Wave powered smart home gear can make it easier for homeowners to prepare for frigid temps and monitor their property to mitigate any potential damage that could occur.
Start with a Z-Wave smart hub (SmartThings, Nexia, Wink, etc) and then choose which compatible smart devices you want to add to the network. Let’s check out some cool devices that homeowners can use to help prepare for the long winter ahead:
The Qubino Weather Station measures weather data like climate, wind speed and gust, and rainfall – and uses this data to enable smart home devices to respond accordingly. Think of it as your local weather companion – and since it’s part of the Z-Wave network, it can be connected to other devices and help activate things like window coverings and thermostats to protect your home from frozen pipes or broken windows.
- Fibaro Flood Sensor
Whether it’s strong rains, snow melting or a burst pipe, flooding in the winter is common. In fact, winter storms caused an estimated $3.5 billion in insured losses in 2015. Knowing that water is leaking in your home – either from an interior pipe or exterior weather conditions – can be critical to minimizing the damage. Fibaro’s Smart Flood Sensor is a small connected water device with gold-plated feet that detect water and sends push alerts right to your tablet or smartphone. The sensor can even be connected to your water shut off valve to instantly prevent water damage even when no one is home, making it perfect for monitoring vacation homes from afar.
- Fortrezz Z-Wave Water Shut Off Valve
This whole-house water shut off valve is plumbed into your home’s water main, allowing you to turn the water supply on or off from your smart home app. If the forecast calls for freezing temperatures, simply turn off the water supply in your vacation home to avoid pipe disasters. And if your water sensor detects water, you can program your home to automatically shut off the water for you.
The Nexia Siren and Strobe Light works in conjunction with your Nexia smart home hub or existing security system, welcoming intruders with a loud siren, and will flash a strobe light when an alarm message or alert is received. Getting a message that your home has been broken into is helpful, but scaring away the intruder from doing any damage should be a top priority for any homeowner.
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