There are lots of ways to prepare for winter, like cleaning the gutters and putting snow tires on your car. But did you know that smart home gadgets can help you winterize your home too? From keeping an eye on your place when you’re out of town to lowering your energy bills, we’ve got you covered for the cold weather.
At Asurion, we take care of you and your tech—all year round. Here’s how to winterize your home with smart gadgets.
Smart home thermostat
One of the best tips for winterizing your home is to invest in a smart thermostat. It learns your schedule, lets you remotely control the temperature, and uses energy-efficient settings when you’re asleep or no one is home. If you forget to turn down the heat before leaving on a two-week vacation, no problem. With a smart thermostat, you can remotely adjust the temperature by using an app on your smartphone. It can also save you—on average—about 8% (or $50) a year on energy costs, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
There is no single best smart thermostat. But to learn more about what’s out there and what’s right for you, check out our guide on what to know before switching to a smart thermostat.
Smart bulbs let you set up lighting schedules, consume less energy than traditional lights, and automatically adjust based on outside lighting. If your mood and energy levels plummet in the winter months, some smart bulbs claim to help support healthy circadian rhythms by gradually adjusting the brightness and color temperature based on the time of day. As Consumer Reports points out, smart bulbs alone won’t boost your mood or ensure you get a good night's sleep, but they might be able to help you create better habits, and that’s worth trying.
Going out of town for the holidays? Smart lights also let you set a schedule to make it appear as if someone’s home even when you’re not. You can program your smart bulbs to turn on and off at certain times of the day, plus many brands have a vacation mode option. Before you take that two-week trip, check out our guide to the smart home tech that helps you monitor your house while you're away.
For some families, winter vacation is a time for beach getaways or visits to the slopes. Wherever you go, smart locks give you more control over who can access your home while you’re away.
Forget about handing out spare keys to neighbors. Smart locks let you lock and unlock your door with a keypad, a fingerprint scanner, or an app. You can also create unique access codes for different people (the pet sitter, the plumber, an Airbnb renter) and revoke that access at any time. Plus you can set up alerts for when your door is locked or unlocked.
Not convinced? Learn more in our guide to smart lock safety.
Smart home video doorbell
Worried your college-aged kid might throw a New Year’s party while you’re out of town? Wondering whether the package you ordered has been delivered? A smart video doorbell lets you check in via video and use the device’s smartphone app to talk with the person at your door. Using built-in motion sensors, your video doorbell can also record brief clips when someone approaches your front door and monitor it live.
Want to install your doorbell on your own? Check out our step-by-step guide.
Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Whether you’re out of town or have friends house-sitting over winter break, smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will instantly alert your phone when they detect a problem. You can also set up the devices to let your houseguests know when there’s an issue. Another bonus: Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors let you use your phone to mute the alarm, avoiding what often happens with traditional devices—you turn them off but forget to turn them back on, leaving your home unprotected.
Smart water leak detector
Winterizing your home wouldn’t be complete without protecting against frozen pipes and the possibility of leaks. A smart water leak detector can help you avoid soggy floors even when you’re reading a novel on the beach or taking your kids up the bunny slope. These water sensors alert your smartphone about plumbing issues or basement leaks so you can take immediate action after a pipe bursts, preventing significant water damage. Some models work with a compatible automatic water shutoff, saving your home from flooding.
Window and glass break sensors
Talk about useful smart home technology. These devices send an alert to your phone if a window is open. That’s especially helpful on a rainy or snowy day, plus it can give you peace of mind that there are no intruders breaking in.
Want extra protection against burglars or falling ice? Add glass break sensors, which blare an alarm and notify your smartphone (or the police) when they detect the sound of shattered glass.