Blog: 2020 Has One Final Gift

For money 2020 has been the worst year in their entire existence. Covid-19 has hit some areas hard, resulting in pay reductions, job loss, and even the passing of loved ones. Combine that with raging forest fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters and it’s no surprise that many are excited to bid this year adeu.
2020 has one last gift for all of us: New Year’s Eve. It’s the holiday celebrated around the world that will have more significance this year than any before it. As you think of your resolutions and what 2021 might bring, consider adding these to the list:
-Be kinder to strangers. You don’t know what struggles other people are having, and perhaps a kind word from you will be the best thing that happens to them all week.
-Embrace your technology. From smart phones to smart homes, we have technology to make our lives safer, easier, and energy efficient. Don’t push against it or save it for tomorrow, get it set up now so you can start the year right.
-Choose happiness. One of our favorite quotes from an unknown author is “life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you choose to react.” We believe that no matter how difficult the situation, you can choose to be positive, find the good, and move forward.  There’s always a little lemonade in that bowl of lemons if you choose to look for it.
No matter how challenging 2020 has been for you, remember it has one last gift to give: a fresh start on January 1, 2021.

Blog: The Nightly Shutdown

During the holiday season many of us decorate with strands of lights on a tree, around the house and even on the exterior. These decorations can help us bring excitement and joy to those around us, but even the most energy efficient lights still require energy we wouldn’t normally use during the rest of the year. As such, it’s not uncommon to see higher energy costs during the holiday months of November and December.
The price conscious employ a routine to minimize these extra costs when not needed: waiting to turn these lights on until dusk, and manually turning them off again before they retire for the evening. This routine often requires straining to reach a plug hidden behind a Christmas tree, or walking outside in the cold December air and unplugging lights from an exterior outlet. It’s a sacrifice dedicated to saving a few household dollars and comes with the additional reward of feeling like one is helping reduce one’s carbon footprint in some small way.

Continue reading

Blog: Thankful for technology

As we enter the holiday season we cannot help but turn our minds towards home and family.  In 2020 travel to your quaint hometown for the holidays might be different.  Perhaps you plan to live stream your dinner with multiple families.  Maybe you’ll share favorite recipes or send treats through the mail.  If you do plan to leave home, be sure to remember the following things:

  1. Lock your doors
  2. Close your garage
  3. Arm your IQ Panel in “Away” mode
  4. Turn off all your appliances
  5. Set up your lights to automatically turn on throughout the day and evening to give your home that “lived in” feel
  6. Ensure your indoor, outdoor, and video doorbell cameras are working
  7. Make sure your flood sensors, smoke detectors, and Caron Monoxide detectors are working.  (You may want to test your system!)
  8. Ensure your mobile app can connect remotely so you can view and control anything you “forgot”

Isn’t it wonderful to know you can manage any and all of these items remotely?  We are truly grateful for the amazing technology that makes it all possible.  Stay safe this holiday season, and don’t worry about your home while you are gone, we’ll take care of it for you!

Blog: 2020 Is The Year Of The Upgrade

2020 has been the year of the upgrade.  Many of us sent home during the early months of the pandemic spent our first month fixing things.   Home repairs ranged from gutter cleaning to window washing, picking up clutter and setting up home offices.  During this process we realized that our internet needed an upgrade, the router powering our home wireless network hadn’t been replaced for many years, our laptops were outdated and it seemed like everywhere we looked there was technology that needed to be improved.  For those facing the impending 3G sunset we looked at our old security panels and thought “I’ve got to be eligible for an upgrade, right?  Its about time for a touchscreen…. and maybe we should add a smart door lock...  and one of those video doorbells… it would be nice to have a camera on the driveway… and we never put smoke detectors in the kid’s rooms…. And..  and.. The list keeps going.  As you look at your home and consider all the things it COULD do, talk to your security and smarthome provider to find out what’s possible.  Maybe, just maybe, your new upgraded security and home automation system could be the thing that finally makes 2020 great...

Blog: Protecting your apartment from Fire

You never expect a fire to occur in your home or apartment, but when you do the first thought is, “Is everyone safe?”

The shrill siren of the smoke alarm can be absolutely terrifying, especially if it happens unexpectedly. Sure it’s annoying when you burn the toast or singe the turkey, but you anticipate that triggering as smoke fills the room.  It's completely different when it occurs in the middle of the night.  After the initial wave of terror and shock, several questions might smack you in the brain:

Continue reading

Blog: So, you got a new Apple Watch?

The new Apple Watch Series 6 is amazing, and if you’re like me, you are checking your Blood o2 levels, heart rate, and performing Electro Cardiograms hourly.  But what can you do with the Alarm.com app?

The Alarm.com app for App Watch is elegant and easy to use.  The first screen has easy to touch menu system that shows off all the different aspects of your smart home that you currently have installed. For me scenes is at the top of the list, giving me access to the scenes I’ve created on my phone including home, away, sleep, opening and closing my garage, and my personal favorite: Movie Time.  With a single touch an entire series of actions cascades across my home: doors lock, lights turn off, and the security system arms.

Probably the coolest function of the Alarm.com app on Apple Watch app is the ability to view cameras on your wrist.  Get a live stream anywhere.  See the puppy, check on the kids, peep the driveway, or check for deer in the back yard.  Its easy, fast, and fun.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to check on the cat…

Blog: Prevent Leaks from Becoming Lakes

The flood detector (link to product page) is a smart way to protect your apartment, home, or business from leaks.
Water leaks can occur a number of ways, in a number of locations. Here’s just a few:
1- Water heater breaks
2- Freezing temperatures cause the water in your pipes to expand, which causes a pipe or fitting to break
3- A roof leaks during a rain or snow storm
4- a refrigerator with water filter or ice maker malfunctions
5- Pipes under a sink break
6- An adjoining neighbor has a leak that comes through your walls or ceiling

Continue reading

BLOG: Coming Home to a Smart Apartment

Coming home to a smart apartment is easiest with a smart door lock with either pushbutton or touchscreen interface. Never worry about carrying keys again with code based access that allows only those authorized to enter the apartment.  Codes can be granted for up to 242 unique users, and access can even be limited to specific days of the week or times of the day.

Make coming home even easier with Bluetooth Touchless Disarming. Pair your smartphone with the Qolsys #IQPanel, and when you leave, arm the system in “away mode.”  Your apartment and its contents will be safe and protected while you are gone. When you return, the #IQPanel instantly detects your phone as it gets in range (up to 60 feet away) will disarm the security system and unlock the front door. You simply walk inside!  It’s the easiest and most convenient way to return home without typing your codes, and with the encrypted, individually authenticated connection via Bluetooth it’s safe and secure.

Continue reading

Blog: Smart apartments make life easy for tenants and property managers

The term “smarthome” has become main stream, with devices all over the internet claiming to make life safer, smarter, and more convenient.  As adoption increases even the smallest apartments are looking for ways to be smart, safe, and energy efficient, and there’s no better solution than the Qolsys IQ Panel.  The IQ Panel is a 7 inch easy to use touchscreen looks great on the wall and provide easy access to control all the connected devices within an apartment. These include lights, locks, thermostat, security sensors, life safety sensors, cameras and more.

Continue reading

Blog: Hands free is more than just convenient, it’s sanitary.

Wherever you find yourself on the scale of sanitization, one thing is certain: There’s more cleaning than ever before. That’s why we love the Qolsys IQ Panel.  It includes a feature called “Bluetooth Disarming” which was originally designed for hands-free convenience, but in today’s new normal hands free is more than just convenient, it’s safer.  Simply pair a smartphone with the IQ Panel over Bluetooth and the system deactivates itself as soon as that phone gets in range.  In addition to disarming the security system, use smart home rules to unlock the front door, turn on lights, and resume thermostat schedules.  Now when you come home the only thing you’ll have to touch is the door handle.  Bluetooth Disarming TRULY makes less to sanitize.  

Imagine just getting home from the DMV.  To be safe, you tried not to touch anything, but there were some things you just couldn’t help, like the pen to sign the forms, the credit card machine to process the payment, the renewed license you got back from the person who verified your identity, and the paperwork and receipts you were handed at the end of your visit.  Any one of those items could have come in contact with something that could make you sick, and to be safe, you plan to wash your hands as soon as you get home.  As you approach the front door it unlocks automatically.  You touch the door handle but DON’T have to touch the keypad.  You step inside and lights turn on automatically, thermostat fires up and the security system is already disarmed.  The first thing you do after placing things on the counter is to wash hands, and then, just to be safe, perhaps sanitize the car door, the steering wheel, the controls in the car, and my door knob.  Its a lot of work, but knowing that the Qolsys IQ Panel lightened that load by making my lock, lights, and thermostat all hands free…. Its a good feeling… thanks technology!  (Alexa, buy more Clorox wipes….)