Daughter with touchscreen on the wall.

3 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Back-To-School Season

Here are a few hacks that can help you prep your household for the new school year

Updated: 9/5/2023

As students head back to school and families begin new routines, there's a lot to do to get everyone ready for a new year of academic and extracurricular pursuits. But staying connected to the goings on at home when parents are at work isn't always easy.

"Our customers are focused on 'staying connected.' What's been important to them is to receive notifications from the door lock and video clips to see who is home," said Anna Bradt of Custom Alarm, a professional home security company based in southern Minnesota.

Between stocking up on pencils and planning new schedules, don't forget to…

  • 1. Keep your kids comfortable - Don’t heat or cool an empty house
    Use your smart thermostat to help you conserve energy when you’re all away and to keep it comfortable when you are home by using geofencing or setting a schedule. And here’s a tip: if your kids are prepping for a big test or writing a paper, set your smart thermostat to 77 degrees Fahrenheit while they study. Because, according to a Cornell study, warmer workers perform better and 77 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature that results in fewer mistakes – compared to setting the thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
latwinodad, Father is setting up the touchscreen on the wall with two kids watching.
  • 2. See when your kids arrive home

    There was a day when you hoped you’d get a text or call from your son or daughter when they got home from school – now you can know when they get home. With a professionally installed and monitored ProSeries security system, equipped with a First Alert video doorbell, you can stay in the know and watch as the kids come home. And with Alexa voice services, you can perform even more tasks simply by using your voice.

    Through Resideo's Total Connect 2.0 app, you could also receive meaningful video doorbell notifications (such as people, vehicle, packages, animal, and sound detection) and it can help you greet visitors, verify the arrival of family members, keep track of package deliveries, and monitor general activity outside the doorway.
ProSeries VX1 Family product picture.
  • 3. Automate lights and upgrade locks

    As homes become smarter, you have options to remotely adjust the light or even program certain lights to turn on at specific times. Each day becomes much easier if you wake yourself to a programmable smart light routine. Set your son or daughter’s bedside lamp to simulate the sun rising to gradually come to full light starting 15 minutes before their alarm goes off.Or set a schedule to have the lights come on before loved ones arrive home so they aren't greeted by a dark home. Plus, with automatic schedules, you won't need to worry about your kids forgetting to turn the lights out when they leave the house each day.

    And as we enter new after-school routines, consider upgrading your front door lock to a smart lock. Each child can even have their own, unique code – so you can keep an eye on who is coming and going from your house.

    "The ProSeries Panel and Total Connect App have really helped our family eliminate some of the worries we previously had," said Custom Alarm customer Rebecca C., from Minnesota. "One of the great features our kids use is the Z-wave automation door lock. We went through three different locksets after our kids lost their keys to our front door. Now, using the Z-wave lock, our kids don’t carry a key, but now just enter a unique code on the door pad to open it. My wife and I then receive a notification to that they are home. Additionally, by using Total Connect cameras, we can get a clip to confirm that they are home by themselves and don't have any neighborhood kids in the home when we are not there."

To learn more about smart home automation, or to learn about ways to keep your family safe and comfortable this school year, contact a professional in your area.