These days, I frequently stumbled on questions asked by new homeowners whether they can use or upgrade the existing security system or wired alarm system kits when they move into a house with home security or alarm systems in place.
The questions are always like these: Should I upgrade either the panel and/or system? How can I monitor these systems myself on my phone? What should I be looking for if I decide to replace the existing security system?
- Move into a House with Existing/Wired Security Systems/Kits, Keep or Upgrade
- Option 1: Use Existing Home Security/Alarm system or Unmonitored Home Security System
- Option 2: Upgrade & Self-Monitor Existing Home Security/Alarm System
- Option 3: Abandon the Existing Security System & Replace It with Brand New Systems
Many of us, quite often, bought or moved into a house that has an existing security or alarm system kits such as ADT or Honeywell wired security system or a place that comes with an unmonitored home security system.
Some are still configurable and you might accidentally arm it and set it off every now and then, toying with ideas that you might reconfigure or reprogram it to put it into good use or upgrade the alarm system by integrating with new systems.
While some of these old security systems might have been in idle for years but the cables remain in a good shape, which, in many scenarios, could be used to power new home security cameras or security systems.
So the options look like:
- Use existing home security/alarm system or unmonitored home security system;
- Upgrade the system to something that can be monitored via phone apps or self-monitored;
- Abandon the existing system and replace it with a brand new system;
It’s crucial knowing what you can do with existing or pre-wired home security system when moving into a house with existing alarm or security system, especially potential benefits and risks.
If the existing alarm security system is still in good shape, whether it’s hardwired alarm system or wireless alarm systems, for example, rather new ADT security system with cellular monitoring or landline monitoring or Honeywell security systems, signing up for the monitoring service with the monitoring service providers or companies seems like a reasonably nice way to shore up your home security.
Using or customizing the existing infrastructure, such as PIR motion detectors, smoke detectors, heat sensors, glass break detectors, external sirens not only cut the cost of installation and equipment, minimizes troubles of running wires or installation but also help reduce monitoring burden if you are not interested in self-monitoring and prefer professional monitoring.
The downside is that you might find yourself committed to a long-term contract, 2 or 3 years of monitoring service plus monthly monitoring fees.
However, before going down this road, it’s wise to give some thoughts to these questions, does the company has a good track record of satisfactory service and support? Do they provide all the services that you are looking for?
Upgrading the existing security system to something that can be monitored via phone apps seems like a feasible solution if you don’t want to be locked into a contract, paying monthly monitoring fees or having your house monitored by someone else.
Or you can DIY the existing wired home security system and use existing equipment and turn it into an unmonitored security system and integrate into your home automation. (Learn DIY security system VS monitored security system)
While programming or reconfiguring the existing alarm systems either wired home security systems or wireless security systems to a self-monitored home security system, for example, unmonitored ADT security system, window/door sensors, control panels or other components, might require a lot more researching, customization, technical support, networking or engineering.
Here is an enthusiastic entrepreneur dedicating himself to converting your wired alarm system into a SmartThing smart home monitoring system. And there are many discussion on upgrading existing security or alarm systems on many forums, such as Reddit.
Meanwhile, if the home security cameras are in a good working order but you might just want to remotely access the security cameras, you could upgrade the analog system into an IP security system.
If the existing security system, unfortunately, is very outdated, which neither can be re-activated works to continuously monitor your entrances, nor does it have features like Smartphone-based control, home automation potentials, phasing it out and replacing it with a new and modern security cameras or systems goes a long way in protecting your property.
Old and outdated security systems could bring about a string of nuisance or annoyance if they can barely hold its act together. For example, old analog security cameras or systems could fail every now and then or constantly experience problems like video loss.
Modern smart home security systems beef up home security and give you extra layer of peace of mind and flexibility, especially those are packed with advanced mobile app controls, wireless sensors, or high-resolution HD smart security cameras capable of motion detection, face recognition, motion tracking, or smart home integration like IFTTT, Alexa voice control or command.
And the smart home security system also goes a long way in building your smart and intelligent home.
It surely adds up cost and increases spending on new monitoring equipment. Sometimes, you might have to undo all the wiring and hire professionals to install new equipment or monitor your home.
No matter what option you choose, there are various factors that you might need to weigh on when moving into a house with pre-wired or existing security systems. Moving into a house installed with alarm or security systems could help cut down installation and equipment cost up front and beef up home security. Read more on safety tips when moving into a new house.
Contemplating those possible options to deal with existing and wired alarm system kits carefully and conducting thorough research before taking any further steps are always a safe call.