What if you could control your garage door from across town or, for that matter, from across the world? Without returning home, you could open the door for a babysitter, a neighbor or a child who has forgotten his key.
Smart-garage systems allow you to do those things and more. They can help secure your home, and they work in concert with other devices, such as a learning thermostat.
How Do Smart-Garage Systems Work?
You’ll need a smartphone and a Wi-Fi signal that reaches your garage to use a smart-garage system. The system allows you to operate your garage door via a smartphone app. Using your phone, you can open or close the door whether you’re in your driveway, or many miles away.
There are two main types of devices:
- Wi-Fi enabled door openers: Aside from built-in Wi-Fi capability, these are similar to standard automatic openers. They come with safety sensors to prevent the door from closing on people, pets or property.
- Universal adapters: These retrofit your current opener. Universal adapters work with most modern openers. A Wi-Fi hub is mounted close to the opener and a sensor is placed on the door. Your remotes should continue to work, though you may need to reprogram them.
Which Device Is Right for You?
You have a few choices in openers and adapters. Here are some features to consider before you choose the model that’s right for you.
- Timer-closure: Some systems can be programmed to close when the door has been open for a specified number of minutes.
- Status alerts: Most systems will send an alert to your phone if the door remains open, or whenever the door opens or closes.
- Safety features: You’ll want an opener or adapter equipped with safety features. Before a door closes via an app, for instance, the opener or adapter should flash and sound a tone. Motion detectors are an additional safeguard, turning on lights when movement is sensed.
- A quality opener: If you’re buying an opener, don’t forget to assess the motor and other components. Some openers come with battery backup, allowing you to operate the door with a remote should the power go out.
- Extras: Also available with smart systems are accessories to control external and internal lights. If you have a learning thermostat, it may be able to communicate with the garage opener app, adjusting the temperature when it thinks people are coming and going. Some systems are compatible with an external keypad that allows you to open the door with a code.
Is It Safe From Hackers?
A smart system can be secured in three steps, two of which you may already have completed:
- Secure your phone: Make sure your smartphone has a strong password or fingerprint protection.
- Protect the app: Give your smartphone app a strong password.
- Lock down your home network: Keep your Wi-Fi network safer with basic security measures. The Federal Trade Commission outlines steps you can take.
If you’re interested in installing a new door opener, Ponderosa Garage Doors can help. Get in touch for more information and a free estimate.