Protecting an empty sunbelt condo or home from high humidity, flooding and theft in the off-season just got easier thanks to the many affordable WiFi devices designed for do-it-yourself homeowners. If you are a “snowbird” who’s preparing to pack up and head back north for the summer, take a look at these handy WiFi devices that make it easy to monitor your unoccupied home from anywhere via your smartphone or computer. A 24/7 Internet connection in your home is the only prerequisite necessary for operating any of these WiFi devices.
WiFi Thermostat: Protect Against High Humidity
Nearly everything in your southern home is vulnerable to the effects of high humidity. Extreme humidity levels can result in rusting appliances, mold and mildew growth, corrosion to electronic equipment and computers, warped woodwork, musty odors, insect infestation and more.
The most effective way to control indoor humidity is to run the central air conditioning system in the cool morning hours for about two hours beginning at 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. A programmable WiFi thermostat (also called an Internet thermostat or smart thermostat) is the best thermostat you can have for this job. Like a conventional programmable thermostat, a WiFi thermostat allows you to preset the temperature so the A/C runs continuously during this two-hour period. But a WiFi thermostat also provides really useful remote monitoring and control capabilities such as:
- The ability to monitor your home’s “vitals” via your smartphone or computer;
- Make temperature adjustments from afar;
- Turn on the A/C if humidity levels get too high;
- Receive automatic alerts to your smartphone or computer if the inside temperature gets too high or too low, based on your set points.
WiFi Water Alarm: Protect Against Leaks and Floods
Water leaks are another big headache for snowbirds, whether caused by plumbing problems or weather. Water can destroy walls, flooring and furniture, not to mention personal items like photos and family heirlooms that can’t be replaced.
With strategically-placed flood sensors in leak prone areas, a WiFi water alarm allows you to monitor your condo or home remotely for unwanted water. In the event of a leak or flood, you’ll receive a text message or email alert so you can send in help before extensive damage is done. Most WiFi water alarms are multi-functional and can be used to monitor for other conditions (may require optional sensors):
- Door opens and closes
WiFi Security System: Protect Against Intruders and Burglars
Guarding against intruders is a priority for snowbirds who leave their home vacant for months on end, but not everyone can afford an expensive professional installation and monthly fees. Today, there’s an excellent alternative to the name-brand security companies: wireless WiFi security systems. These easy-to-install systems save homeowners money all around: (1) The initial cost of the equipment is a fraction of what a security company would charge; (2) Expensive professional installation costs are eliminated because you do the setup; and (3) Monthly monitoring services become optional since your WiFi security systems can send alarm notifications directly to your smartphone and/or landline phone.
Most WiFi security systems offer expandable starter kits that include the basics: a control hub; an IP camera; door/window contact sensors; motion detector; and keyfob. From there, you can customize your system by adding accessories like:
- Additional door/window contact sensors
- Smoke detectors
- Glassbreak detectors
- Sirens and alarms
- Additional IP cameras and motion detectors
Recommended WiFi security systems: The popular SkylinkNet Connected Home Alarm System that can support up to 100 sensors or the plug-and-play Oplink Security TripleShield that features a free mobile app and can be controlled completely via a smartphone.
The Freedom of Cloud-Based Monitoring
With one or all of these WiFi devices safeguarding your condo our house, you’ll have peace-of-mind when you close up for the summer and head north. Each of these WiFi devices offer free apps and a cloud-based dashboard that allows you to monitor conditions in your home from wherever you are. If there’s a problem, you’ll receive emergency alerts immediately on your smartphone or computer. And with the Venstar WiFi Thermostat and Skylink ConnectedNet Home Alarm System, you will even be able to control the system from anywhere.