Home Automation

Moving into a new home is exciting: it provides a clean slate for planning a fully automated home with all your dream devices. You can also use automated devices to ease the stress of your move in simple, practical ways. Use this guide to find inspiration and helpful tips for automating your new home before, during and after your move.

Simplify Your Move with Home Automation

Convenience
One of the most complicated parts of moving originates from the most basic of tasks: allowing people in and out of your house. Whether you're giving access to friends and relatives or movers and repair people, locking and unlocking your door requires extra planning and coordination. However, smart locks allow you to grant permission to the people you trust, and most are simple enough to install yourself.

For example, on the day of your move, you could stop by your new home and install a smart lock in less than 30 minutes, syncing it to your phone. When you return later that day to drop off boxes, the lock would sense that you're near and automatically unlock your door, allowing keyless entry while your hands are full. You could grant your mover's phone permission to unlock your door for the next two hours while you pick up cleaning supplies. And while you're wrapping up at your old home, your cell phone would display an alert showing that your movers have departed, confirming that your door is locked.
Safety
It takes time to adjust to new surroundings, so it's important to have peace of mind with your family and possessions in your new home. The last thing you want to worry about while you're surrounded by half-unpacked boxes is a carbon monoxide leak or, worse yet, an intruder. Automated security cameras, sensors and alarms make it easy to keep an eye on your entire home, even while you're away.

It's surprisingly simple to set up a few unobtrusive cameras with standard features like night vision and zoom. Remote viewing allows you to check on your pets or home improvement projects while you're away, or you can review footage when you receive an alert that the cameras have detected movement. Some cameras can also be triggered by smart smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. These latest sensors are more user-friendly than ever, differentiating between steam from a shower and the smoke from a fried meal, and can speak to you in a human voice rather than in confusing blinks and beeps. And if you want to keep an eye out for specific issues, the latest sensors provide alerts about everything from opened windows to leaky pipes.
Comfort
Learning new controls for a new device in a new home is overwhelming, but home automation does that learning for you. Your lighting, thermostats and other automated devices adjust to your family's habits and routines, instead of the other way around. You'll spend less time poring over manuals and more time getting comfortable in your new home.

If you're winding down for the night in your new home, you could use your phone to check what lights are on and swipe off the ones in unoccupied rooms, all without getting up to hunt for light switches. While brushing your teeth, you can program your front door light to turn off at sunrise and on again at sundown. Before bed, your phone can alert you that your laundry has finished, reminding you to grab your clothes before they get wrinkled overnight. And easy-to-install motion sensors can automatically light a path for your children on late night walks to the bathroom. Plus, since these systems regulate their own power and provide usage reports, your wallet will be as comfortable as you are.

Getting Started

Follow these steps to streamline the process of automating your new home:
  • Take a walk around your new space and envision where new devices and systems can go. Could your living room use automated lighting? Do you want to keep a wireless camera in the nursery? It can be easier to visualize placements before you've lugged in your existing furniture.
  • Check compatibility requirements for your HVAC, lighting, garage door, Wi-Fi and lock systems. Consider snapping some photos for reference. Familiarize yourself with your circuit breaker and HVAC controls. Also ensure compatibility with your phone.
  • Decide on the scope of your automation. What do you need to use immediately, and what can you build upon over time? Larger-scale projects like installing networking cables, outlets and A/V cords in your ceilings and walls are easier to execute before rooms get crowded. However, many systems are expandable, allowing you to add and move accessories at your convenience.
  • Gather your tools before they get lost in the shuffle. When installing home automation systems and devices, it doesn't hurt to have the following items on hand:
  • Camera, for taking photos of wire configurations
  • Wi-Fi network name and password
  • Double-sided tape
  • Tape measure
  • Wire stripper
  • Screwdriver
  • Labels
  • Drill
  • Pen

Contact Geek Squad
for a professional consultation. They can provide installation, setup, updates, recommendations and even education about your new devices. Not all services are available in all areas, so confer with a knowledgeable member of the Geek Squad® for more information.

Automate Your New Home

Entryway
  • Locks
    Smart locks streamline your entry and exit and provide remote key management. You can enable your guests or movers' phones to work as temporary keys, receive updates about your children arriving at home, and use your phone to lock your doors remotely.

    When shopping for a smart lock, check that your door and current lock are compatible. Note your door width, lock grade, bolt placement, and number of bore holes and their diameters. Some locks are all-inclusive, while others replace your panel and control your existing bolt. And as always, check that your phone supports your new lock's features.
     
  • Thermostats
    Even the fanciest of homes aren't comfortable if they're too hot or cold inside. Automated thermostats provide a simple way to manage your temperature; many feature weather notifications, remote access, password protection, energy monitoring, NFC support and more. That means your thermostat can adapt according to your preferences, conserving energy while you're away and adjusting to your comfort levels by the time you get home. Don't forget to check with your energy provider for rebate eligibility.

    Determine if your current wiring includes a common wire, or C wire. Many thermostats use it to help power the system; however, some thermostats can operate without it or can use workarounds. Keep your camera at hand so you can take photos to reference the original wiring.
     
Garage
  • Product spotlight: Chamberlain MyQ Garage door opener
    Are you planning to use the garage as an unloading dock for large furniture? Seeking peace of mind from the perpetual worry that your kids left the garage door open? The MyQ Garage brings the convenience of smart locks to your garage, allowing you to monitor and control your garage door from your phone. It can also work with the Nest Thermostat to adjust your temperature as you arrive and depart.

    Before installing the MyQ Garage, ensure that your garage door is sectional and that your current garage door opener has safety reversing sensors. You can use your smartphone to check if you have an adequate wireless connection in your garage. If not, Best Buy provides a variety of reliable wireless extenders and routers.
     
Yard
  • Product spotlight: RACHIO Iro Wi-Fi-enabled sprinkler system controller
    Your new home finally has that yard you've dreamt about — green and ready for games, gardens and grills. However, keeping it that way requires upkeep. And in an age where home automation helps you cut back your utility costs inside your home, too many sprinkler systems still happily spray water during a downpour. The RACHIO Iro solves that problem with remote access, schedule management and automatic adjusting for weather and seasons.

    The system requires that your wireless connection is 2.4Ghz, 802.11b/g/n. WPA2 Enterprise is not supported. Your mobile device should run iOS7.1, Android 4.3 or later versions. And if you are using Nest Protect, you can sync your RACHIO Iro to activate sprinklers when smoke is detected inside your home.
     
Housewide
  • Lighting
    Before you assemble the new bookshelf or decide where the couch should go, you'll probably need to reach for the light switch. It's easy to overlook the importance of lighting, but it's crucial for everything you'll do in your new home, whether you're venturing to the refrigerator for a late-night snack or getting the atmosphere just right for your first movie in the new den. Rather than committing each of your lights to one control and purpose, automated lighting lets you create schedules to be awoken by a gradual sunrise scene or program your entryway lights to automatically turn on at sundown. The lamp by your couch can show a clean, white light to help you concentrate while you read. Then, with a few taps on your phone, you can switch it to a dimmer, warmer accent light for a reading break.

    Most smart lighting incorporates energy-efficient bulbs that are compatible with common sockets. You can further customize your lights with smart light switches, some of which have backlit or touch-powered buttons. Before buying a switch, check to see if your wiring includes a neutral wire, which is recommended by many manufacturers.
     
     
  • Cameras
    Automated surveillance systems make it easier to monitor the people, pets and parts of your home that matter most to you. Consider checking in on the movers, keeping an eye on your mischievous cat, or keeping track of your kids while you're busy putting items away.

    Best Buy carries a wide variety of video systems, so take the time to discern how elaborate a system and installation you'd prefer. Cameras can range from basic wireless models for small rooms to advanced waterproof models that include long-range night vision and a dedicated hard drive. Also consider features like cloud storage, HD-quality recording, two-way talking and built-in Wi-Fi signal extension. Some systems can even sync with your Nest Protect sensor to begin filming when smoke or carbon monoxide is detected.
     
     
  • Alarms and sensors
    Even with cameras, many potential dangers of new surroundings can remain unseen. It's difficult to know if those unfamiliar sounds and smells are just part of your new home or if they should be cause for concern. Automated alarm systems like the Nest Protect can differentiate among a smoky grilled cheese sandwich, an extra-long hot shower and a dangerous carbon monoxide leak. They're also designed to be pleasant to see and use, with clean lines and notifications that are more informative than disorienting.

    Install alarms on ceilings or high on walls inside bedrooms, outside sleeping areas and on every level of the home. Keep them at least 10 feet away from cooking appliances. Don't forget to check your local state code for any additional requirements. If you want to learn more about placing alarms, visit http://www.nfpa.org and http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Carbon-Monoxide-Information-Center/Carbon-Monoxide-Questions-and-Answers-. It's also easy to install sensors for other out-of-sight problem areas. A simple leak sensor by your pipes or a magnetic window alarm can alert you to issues before they become more serious problems.
     
     
  • Appliances, outlets and remote controls
    In a truly smart home, customization is the rule. You can ease your family's transition into your new home in little ways that make a big difference. Create schedules for your favorite devices, or take control when your day doesn't go as scheduled. A simple switch can let you control Christmas lights, electric blankets or humidifiers from your mobile device. Or free up your phone by using a dedicated remote control for your Nest, Honeywell and other systems.
     

Get Connected with Best Buy

Moving into a new home calls for a juggling of tasks and sentiments that range from the stress of being uprooted to the excitement of new possibilities. Home automation can help on both fronts, and Best Buy offers a variety of systems and devices to aid your entire moving experience. Shop online, stop by a store or contact Geek Squad® for further tips and inspiration.

Topics in this article

Related Articles