Installing a home security system can be a bit of an adjustment. Depending on what package you order and from whom, it could mean breaking out your toolbox for a weekend installation or getting a day off to await a crew of certified technicians. Either way, your home security system is going to have an impact on your home. Here are some things you should expect if you decide to take the home security plunge.
This is perhaps the biggest one, and the most encouraging. Most insurance companies will offer discounts to those that can produce a certificate proving that they’ve had a professional home security system installed in their home. As a rule of thumb, the discount usually hovers around the 15 to 20 percent range. This means if your home is valued at $300,000, you could be saving nearly $250 per year! That being said, here are some of the features that will affect what kind of discount you receive.
- Central station alarm – This is a standard home security feature. It represents a home that’s monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week against theft, vandalism, and fire. You won’t have this in most DIY systems, but there are some companies on the market that offer DIY systems with professional monitoring.
- Fire and police department alarm – When a system notifies 911 services in the event of a break-in or a fire.
- Local alarm – This is a system that only sounds a loud siren when it goes off. These aren’t monitored by a professional monitoring center or have 911 alerts, but is good for scaring off burglars.
DIY vs Professional Installation
Home security systems will come in one of two installation methods: do-it-yourself or a professional installer. With a do-it-yourself system, you’ll, of course, be expected to install the system yourself, so be sure to have your toolbox ready. You can pick up a system like this at most hardware stores, but they usually aren’t professionally monitored–just an array of WiFi enabled cameras that you can access from your smartphone. However, there are some top-rated professionally-monitored home security systems that come as DIY packages as well.
A professionally installed system usually comes with professional 24/7 monitoring. These systems are also installed by certified professionals that are contracted through the company you purchased your system from. It’s definitely a positive to have a certified professional install your system, but that could mean taking a day off work to be home while they install it. Not to mention noise that could disturb you or your neighbors.
Either way, don’t be surprised if nails need to be nailed or holes need to be drilled regardless of what kind of system you order.
In more recent years, home automation features are becoming more common and affordable. Most commonly, security systems are adopting cameras that can be monitored from your smartphone, but that’s only one aspect of home automation. Home automation includes a slew of other features that save you time and energy. Here are a couple of examples that will make a difference on your heating and electric bills:
- Regulated lights – With the use of a smartphone app, you can often set timers on your lights so they automatically turn on or off according to whatever schedule you please. This is handy for saving energy, especially if you forget to turn off the lights before you leave for work. Just open up your app and flip the switch. Setting a random light schedule is also helpful for warding off potential burglars when you’re away on vacation.
- Thermostat control – Like regulated lights, this can be accessed from your smartphone. This feature allows you to set automatic thermostat controls depending on the time of day or even time of year–like cruise control for your house. For example, think of how much money you could save by turning off the AC/heating right after you leave for work and turning it back on right before you get home.
It should be noted that these features still aren’t standard with most basic systems, but as technology advances and the home security industry continues to become even more affordable, it wouldn’t be surprising to see these more commonly.