Selling Your Home? Consider the Benefits of Installing Home Automation

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Smart technology has come home. Literally.

The majority of Americans today depend on smart technology to get through the day -- from a phone that stores contact names and numbers, reminds you of appointments, alerts you of approaching storms or helps you avoid the worst of the traffic snarl. Homeowners also rely on modern technology to regulate the temperature, monitor sleeping infants, water the shrubbery and alert the authorities in case of fire or break-in, and to help save energy.

But the ability to control these time and labor-saving devices, to set their operation to meet your needs, and to seamlessly integrate them is relatively recent. Wireless technology has brought us home automation on steroids!

Installing Home Automation is Smart                                                                                   

Numerous recent studies confirm that home buyers today want technology, and more is definitely better. While there is a difference between home automation and smart home technology, the lines are blurred. Systems that work independently to make life easier or more comfortable fall into the category of home automation: setback thermostats, basic security systems, timers for yard irrigation, intercoms, baby monitors, and voice or motion-activated lighting are just a few examples.

Smart homes, on the other hand, take home automation a step further by creating an environment that is linked together seamlessly and can be monitored and controlled from onsite, across town or on the other side of the globe.

New applications are introduced almost daily, and the impact of integrated smart devices changes the way Americans live.

Making Sense of Smart

In a 2016 news report, the Washington Post noted that 65 percent of home buyers, in a John Burns Real Estate survey of 22,000, would pay a premium for smart home technology. Some of the more popular features mentioned include networked appliances, both interior and exterior security, smart air filtration, home safety devices such as "doorbells with text alerts" and remote control over lighting, heating and air conditioning.

A majority of home sellers would install smart features, with the expectation of a higher sales price, and nearly 75 percent of buyers, especially Millennials, would pay $1,500 or more extra for a smart home.

However, "smart" can have differing meanings. In January of 2016, Coldwell Banker sought to develop an industry-standard definition in cooperation with CNET, a consumer technology site. This is the result:

"Smart home: A home that is equipped with network-connected products (aka “smart products,” connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or similar protocols) for controlling, automating and optimizing functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety or entertainment, either remotely by a phone, tablet, computer or a separate system within the home itself."

The basic requirement is a reliable internet connection; and the definition also stipulates that a smart home must either have a smart security system or smart temperature controls in addition to two more features from a comprehensive list.

The Future of Smart

Coldwell Banker views 2016 as the year that smart home technology became "mainstream." Close to 90 percent of American homeowners also acknowledge smart home value, but only one in four have smart technology in their own homes, according to the firm's assessment.

Appraisers today also recognize the "dollars and cents" value of smart technology, and will make adjustments for the added value. Observers report that today it's not only high- end homes that are smart; the expectation is that buyer demand will make the technology commonplace.

The future is here, for all practical purposes. Sellers today would be wise to check into integrating smart home technology into a home before listing it for sale. In addition to almost assuring a higher sales price, real estate professionals say that it might lessen the time a property spends on the market.

That is, indeed, a smart move.

Let Slomin’s help turn your home into a smart home with the Slomin’s Shield® system you use to protect your family. Contact a Slomin's representative for more details 1-800-ALARM-ME or visit www.slomins.com to schedule an appointment today.


 

Article courtesy of Dylan Snyder. Dylan is a team leader and real estate consultant at The Snyder Group - Keller Williams Realty Luxury Homes. His business is augmented by his high-caliber team of seasoned buyer specialists and a dedicated marketing department.

Feel Safe This BBQ Season - All Season!

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With summer now officially in full swing, we all know that one of the more favorable things to do is fire up the grill! Whether your hosting or going out, enjoying the wonderful summer weather with family and friends is a fun and exciting time.


Here at Slomin’s, we want you to feel safe and secure whether you're outside grilling, or sitting in someone else’s yard enjoying the feast!


Protect and view your home with advanced features like security cameras, central station monitoring, and the ability to see your home from your computer, phone, or tablet. The Slomin's Shield system makes it easier to control hundreds of various devices around the home by way of the control panel or remotely through the Slomin's App. View and control your system from the palm of your hand with The Slomin’s Apple and Android apps. Or simply go online to access and control your system from your PC or Mac desktop computer.


The Slomin’s Shield is one of the most advanced systems in the industry, providing convenient and reliable protection for your home and loved ones. The panel connects you to our central monitoring station and controls the security-related features of the system. With its user-friendly interface, you'll keep your home and loved ones protected and safe.


Rest easier this summer with Slomin’s on your side! Find out how you can protect your home with The Slomin’s Shield by calling 1-800-ALARM-ME or by visiting www.slomins.com!

10 Travel Tips for You & Your Pets!

With summer vacations right around the corner, we know that fun getaways are part of people’s summer plans! With all the preparation needed before the trip, lets not forget about our four-legged friends. Are you planning to travel with your pet? Traveling with your cat or dog requires early planning and provision. When you follow these 10 tips, flying with and lodging your pet can be a breeze.

1.     Book Your Flights Well in Advance

Because many airlines limit the number of animals on a flight to just one or two, booking early is key. Booking early increases the likelihood of obtaining a ticket for your pet and gives you more time to review the airline’s regulations and recommendations and prepare accordingly.

2.     Schedule a Checkup

Within ten days of your flight date, schedule a checkup for your cat or dog to ensure he or she is healthy enough for international travel and all of his or her immunizations are up to date. Request a verification of health and immunizations from your veterinarian to present to the airport if necessary.

3.     Choose Your Flight Wisely

When choosing a flight, a one-flight trip is always safest for pets in the cargo area. Avoiding a layover can help prevent losing a pet in the changeover process, i.e. he or she is moved to the wrong flight. Travel when temperatures are mild to prevent exposure to extreme heat or cold during the flight if your pet will be riding cargo.

4.     Feeding Time

Feed your pet approximately four hours before lift off. Feeding too close to your flight time can give your cat or dog an upset stomach during the flight. Exercise your dog right before the flight and during any layovers if possible.

5.     Arrive Early

It’s important to arrive for your flight earlier than usual when traveling with a pet. This ensures time to get everything approved as well as exercise your pet and allow him or her an ample drink of water.

6.     Practice, Practice, Practice

Buy a pet carrier well in advance, and have your pet practice staying in the pet carrier, first with you nearby and then alone. Riding in a carrier ahead of time will help your pet come familiar with the feeling and prevent or minimize anxiety during the flight.

7.     Never Sedate Your Pet

Although pet owners often believe that sedating their pet will improve their traveling experience, sedation can cause respiratory distress as the flight enters higher altitudes. Never sedate your pet before travel.

8.     Yes, Your Pet Needs a Passport

If flying internationally, over 240 countries require that your pet have a passport. Knowing all pet import rules and regulations can help make your travel process smoother.

9.     Check Out Pet Friendly Hotels, Park and Other Spots

Going back to Tip 1, booking early enough should help you review flight rules and regulations. However, during this process, make sure you check out all the pet friendly hotels, parks, and other spots in the area of our destination so that your pet doesn’t get shut out!

10.     It’s Ok to Leave Your Pet

We know how important it is to have your pet with you but sometimes the trip may be too short or long, or just not accommodating. Make sure to do your research thoroughly. If it seems like it can work, great! If not, make plans to leave your pet at home in comfort as it will give you something to look forward to coming home!

Traveling with your pet can be easy as one, two, three if you follow these simple recommendations! Please let us know if these tips on travel with your pet help. For more information, check this site out!

 

Home Security Tips for Summer Traveling

Summer is the perfect time for relaxing and letting go of worries, but taking a casual approach to your home’s security could make your house a target for a burglar. Even something as simple as leaving a window unlocked for a night could lead to disaster.

Following a few basic home security tips can give you piece of mind so that you can enjoy your summer.

Remember to Lock Doors
When you’ve got neighborhood friends coming over for summer parties every other night, it’s easy to forget to close and lock your doors. Make a habit of checking your home’s entry points each night before you go to bed.

Check Your Windows
Opening a window is a good way to cool your house, but it does make it easier for an intruder to get in. Take care when leaving a window open during the night; you can stop an intruder from fully opening a window by placing a pipe in the window track.

Don’t Make Your Vacation Obvious
If you take a long summer trip, your absence may be obvious to potential burglars. Make your home appear occupied by employing a few home security tips, including setting timers for your lights and arranging for someone to collect your mail and newspaper.

Clear Away Hiding Spots
Overgrown shrubs near windows make good hiding spots for burglars attempting to get into your home. Take advantage of the pleasant summer weather to trim the hedges around your yard.

Give a Key to a Neighbor
Having a spare key on your property seems like a good idea, especially if you’re expecting a house guest to arrive while you’re out. Hiding a key under a rock, however, is a risky idea that may give an intruder an easy way inside. Instead, give your spare key to a trusted neighbor.

Make sure you have a Home Security System Setup
Having a home security system active while away for the summer brings peace of mind and remote capabilities to monitor your home while enjoying a swim.

Protect and view your home with advanced features like security cameras, central station monitoring and the ability to see your home from your computer, phone or tablet.

Schedule an appointment today!

MySlomin's App Notice for Apple Users

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Slomin’s customers, this is a friendly reminder for all of our iPhone and iPad users to make the switch to the latest MySlomin’s app today. The previous Slomin’s app will be discontinued on all Apple products, so we want to make sure that all our Apple users make the switch to the MySlomin’s app by Monday, June 5.

Simply search for MySlomin’s in the app store and download the free app.

For more information about the MySlomin’s app, click here, or if you have any questions please contact us at [email protected]!

Stay Cool this Memorial Day Weekend

Happy Memorial Day Weekend from your friends at Slomin’s! Memorial Day marks the unofficial opening of summer and one thing we all know is that the temperature is about to heat up!

As a longtime innovator of affordable air conditioning here at Slomin’s, we would like to offer some tips to help say cool this holiday weekend and the rest of the summer – while not heating up your electric bill!

1.     Set your thermostat to the temperature you are most comfortable with. The difference between the outside and inside temperature, if small, can help reduce your overall bill. Try not and set the inside temperature that low.

2.     If you have a programmable thermostat, set it at higher temperature when you are not home and lower it only when you are home.

3.     Do not set the thermostat colder than normal when first turning on the central air system. Some think it will cool faster, but actually it will only cause excessive work and a higher bill.

4.      Schedule regular maintenance visits. Nobody understands the importance of prompt and reliable service better than Slomin’s. Our technicians are expertly trained to service all brands of cooling equipment. 

5.     Keep appliances like lamps, TVs, and computers away from the thermostat if possible. This can cause the thermostat to continue to run in an effort to cool your house down.

6.     Try to keep heat from coming into your house. Seal cracks and openings so that warm air doesn’t leak into your home.

Looking to cool down your home while being both cost and energy efficient? Slomin’s competitive prices and variety of payment plans which include up to three years of free financing, make Slomin’s central air conditioning the best value around.

Schedule a visit today or call 1-800-252-7663.

Winter Driving Tips

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Before the season make sure your vehicle is ready for the weather to come. Either bring your car to get serviced or have a mechanic do a once over on it. Due to the cold weather your tires loose 1 psi for every 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) the temperature drops.

What is black ice/glare ice? It’s a thin coating of ice (from freezing mist) on a road or sidewalk; nearly invisible but very hazardous.

What to look for: Shaded areas, bridges, overpasses, and roads less traveled – they are the most at-risk areas for black/glare ice.

DO NOT hit your brakes or make any harsh turns if you find yourself on ice. Keep your momentum but gradually take your foot off the accelerator and find a safe location. The shoulder may seem like a safe spot, but take into consideration other drivers and their possible reactions. Maybe aim a little further down the road/highway if you can without endangering others.

Be prepared. Have a kit packed with winter breakdown essentials. Blankets, ice scraper, flashlight (and batteries), shovel, kitty litter, flares, high energy snacks, and a towel. Better to not need it and have it; than need it and not have it.

Know your vehicle. After the first snow of the season, head to an empty parking lot and test your car. Go slow, speed up, break quickly - see how everything reacts and how the timing is different. You never want to be learning these things for the first time in a dangerous situation.

Antifreeze is your best friend. This keeps your system safe from rust, freezing, and overheating. Regardless of how cold it is outside the engine still needs the internal cooling system to run smoothly.

Stop tailgating. In snowy conditions, you should try to drive 8-10 seconds behind the person in front of you. You shouldn’t be concerned with how fast you get somewhere; you should just be concerned with getting there. Keeping this distance increases the amount time you have to react should something go wrong.

Drive slow! Leave early enough where you have the time to go slower than usual. If possible, don’t go out if you don’t need to; watch the weather and go to the store before it rains or snows.

Hurricane Safety Tips

Don't wait until the last minute! Even if there is only a 30% chance, better safe than sorry every time.

If you take a daily medication, make sure you have enough for at least 10 days after the storm. The roadways may be inaccessible for a while.

Keep all your important documents in a fire/waterproof safe. If you don't have one, use ziplock bags and store them somewhere secure.  

Always be sure to have a stocked first aid kit and know how to get to it in the dark.

Stock up on water, nonperishable foods, candles, flashlights, and batteries. 

Try to get your laundry done; nothing like having dirty clothes that you can't clean for a week.

Fill your car's gas tank and if you have a grill be sure to have extra propane.

Create and go over a hurricane evacuation plan with your family so everyone is on the same page if/when the times comes. 

Take the proper precautions for you and your family's safety! Whether it's boarding up the windows with hurricane shutters/plywood, or a mandatory evacuation, listen to your local news stations and use your best judgment.



Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those in Hurricane Matthew's path. 
Be safe everyone! 

Sincerely,
The Slomin's Team

14 Ways to keep your home cool this summer!

1. Use a programmable thermostat
                - These are easy-to-use and essential for year-round energy savings. Tip: gradually lower the air temperature to keep your unit from working overtime when it doesn't need to; this will also prevent your fan from freezing.

2.  Keep your thermostat away from heat (non-programmable)
               
- Try not to place lamps, TVs, or other heat-producing appliances near your thermostat. This will make the thermostat run longer than it actually needs to.

3. Keep your A/C unit in the shade
               
- Your machine will have an easier time cooling if the air around it is cool as well. This also helps your machine to run more efficiently. Be sure to keep plants and shrubs about 2 to 4 feet away to ensure proper air flow to/from the unit.

4. Weatherize your home
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Seal all air conditioning ducts and insulate ducts that run through unheated basements, crawl spaces, and attics. This keeps the cool air exactly where it’s supposed to be, inside!

5. Ceiling Fans
                -
If your home has ceiling fans, program them to run counterclockwise in the summer to push the air down. (If the upward angled side is rotating ahead, it will push air down. If the downward angled side is rotating ahead, it’s will lift the air up.)

6. Change your filters monthly
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Dirty filters kill you’re A/Cs efficiency. Replace or clean (if you’ve got the washable type) them every month. Check out your filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value – the higher the number, the better the filtration; and the more energy it needs to pull air through.

7. Avoid heating appliances
               
- Try to avoid using the oven, stove, dishwasher, or clothes dryer during the heat of the day. The heat produced by these appliances can dramatically increase the temperature in an area of your house.

8. Vents, vents, vents!
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Close vents in rooms that are not being used. Install vent deflectors if the air is not cooling the areas you’d like. Also, vacuum the vents as needed to keep the air flowing efficiently.

9. Change your furnace filters monthly (or switch to "Summer Mode")
                -
Many people forget about their furnace during the summer. If you’ve got central air and a ducted home, your furnace fan plays an essential part in blowing cool air through your house. Without proper maintenance, the cold air can freeze your furnace fan and increase your monthly payments.

10. Keep blinds and curtains closed
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We all love the natural light during the summer, but keeping your blinds open during hours of direct sunlight can have a negative impact on your A/C bill. Closing the blinds and curtains will keep your home from becoming a mini-greenhouse and can save you up to 7% on your bill.

11. Change the sheets
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It’s nice to freshen up a room with some new sheets, but it’s also a great way to keep cool. Flannels and fleece blankets are good for insulation in the winter, but are not ideal when summer time comes around. Cotton, on the other hand, is light and breathable – perfect for the warmer months.

12. Check your duct work
                -
If the ducts aren’t matching up correctly, or if one has a leak, you could end up cooling the inside of your walls instead of the inside of your rooms. We recommend having a professional inspect your duct work every 3-5 years.

13. Focus on you!
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How did our ancestors survive without air conditioning?! Regulating your internal temperature is just as effective as keeping the air on. Sip on some refreshing icy drinks and select cooler clothing options.

14. Upgrade
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If you have an older central air conditioner, consider replacing the outdoor compressor with a modern, high-efficiency unit. Just make sure that it is properly matched to the indoor unit.

 

 

How to Heat a Dog House During Winter

Now that autumn’s crisp days and chilly nights have begun in earnest, homeowners all over the country are turning up their thermostats at night and lighting fires in their wood stoves and fireplaces. Soon, winter days and nights will require bundling up before going outdoors and sipping hot beverages once you come in from the cold. It may even cross your mind that your canine companion is lucky to have a built-in fur coat to keep it warm when winter temperatures plunge.

How to Heat a Dog House During Winter

However, your furry friend may suffer from the cold weather more than you think, particularly if it is a senior dog, a breed that is sensitive to the cold, or a mother with pups that are still nursing. However, all dogs can do with a bit of protection from the elements, and proper pet house heating will help keep yours happy and healthy during the course of the winter.

Dog House Basics
Your dog house should be large enough so that the dog can easily sit, stand, turn around, and lie down, but not so big that it can’t hold your dog’s body heat inside. It should be off the ground with a sturdy roof that doesn’t leak and a well-insulated floor. Insulating materials include straw, wood shavings, or a small mattress lined in plastic for easy cleanup. The structure should be solidly built with no exterior cracks or holes that cold air could seep through and should also be built with pet safety in mind, with no sharp edges, splinters, or loose nails.

However, your dog may require more than what’s listed above if you live in a region where temperatures dip below freezing on a regular basis.

How to Heat a Dog House During Winter

Dog House Heating Elements
You can take pet house heating to the next level with certain heating elements designed for use in dog houses, including:

Heating pads. These reinforced rubber pads are the easiest way to add an extra layer of heat to your furry friend’s abode, but make sure you get the type that’s made for use in kennels.
Small furnaces. These are simply heat-producing light bulbs encased in metal.
Electric heaters. These units fit easily into small spaces, but be sure that the cord is situated so that it doesn’t pose a pet safety risk for dogs that like to chew.
The heating element you select will depend on several factors, including the size of the dog house, the individual needs of your pet, and climate conditions specific to your location.

Hurricane Safety Tips

Hurricane season is right around the corner and it is never too early to prepare with hurricane safety tips. Proper preparation before the storm is essential. Here are some valuable Hurricane Season Safety Tips:


Hurricane Safety Tip #1 – Maintain a Hurricane Kit
Essential items include a first aid kit, flashlights and batteries, rain gear, fuel for your vehicle, a multi-tool, and a 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food and fresh water for each member of your family, including pets. Keep a battery-powered radio to get updates on the storm and to listen for the all-clear.

Hurricane Safety Tip #2 – Have a plan
Familiarize yourself with the locations of local shelters, and know the quickest way out of the area. When a hurricane warning has been issued, ready your hurricane kit and listen for updates. Make sure to secure loose objects outside. It may be necessary to board up your windows; always maintain a supply of wood and tools for this purpose. If an evacuation order is issued for your area, leave immediately.

Hurricane Safety Tip #3 – Remain in a secure location
If you are staying with your home during a hurricane, remain indoors in a secure room, away from any windows. Do not use candles. Unplug any electric appliances until you’re sure the storm has passed.

Hurricane Safety Tip #4 – Be patient
The eye of the hurricane may be calm, but the storm will resume as soon as it passes. Stay inside until you’re certain the hurricane is over. Once it’s over, use supplies from your hurricane kit until you can be sure outside food and water isn’t contaminated.

Hurricane Safety Tip #5 – After the Storm
Remain where you are until the storm has passed. If you must leave your home, avoid flooded roads and bridges. Report and avoid damaged power lines. Don’t use your phone unless it is an emergency.

For other references to Hurricane Safety Tips, visit: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/hurricane

Consider Installing a Home Security System
It may not be an obvious thought but having a home security system active while hurricane warnings have been indicated in your area, can notify you of an increasing threat. An early sign of a damage to your home is flooding. Slomin’s home security system setup, includes water sensors and 24/7 central monitored alarm system that will notify you immediately of flooding in your home.

Home Security Tips for Summer Traveling

Summer is the perfect time for relaxing and letting go of worries, but taking a casual approach to your home’s security could make your house a target for a burglar. Even something as simple as leaving a window unlocked for a night could lead to disaster.

 

Following a few basic home security tips can give you piece of mind so that you can enjoy your summer.

Remember to Lock Doors
When you’ve got neighborhood friends coming over for summer parties every other night, it’s easy to forget to close and lock your doors. Make a habit of checking your home’s entry points each night before you go to bed.

Check Your Windows
Opening a window is a good way to cool your house, but it does make it easier for an intruder to get in. Take care when leaving a window open during the night; you can stop an intruder from fully opening a window by placing a pipe in the window track.

Home Security Tips for Summer TravelingDon’t Make Your Vacation Obvious
If you take a long summer trip, your absence may be obvious to potential burglars. Make your home appear occupied by employing a few home security tips, including setting timers for your lights and arranging for someone to collect your mail and newspaper.

Clear Away Hiding Spots
Overgrown shrubs near windows make good hiding spots for burglars attempting to get into your home. Take advantage of the pleasant summer weather to trim the hedges around your yard.

Give a Key to a Neighbor
Having a spare key on your property seems like a good idea, especially if you’re expecting a house guest to arrive while you’re out. Hiding a key under a rock, however, is a risky idea that may give an intruder an easy way inside. Instead, give your spare key to a trusted neighbor.

Make sure you have a Home Security System Setup
Having a home security system active while away for the summer brings peace of mind and remote capabilities to monitor your home while enjoying a swim.

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