Before proceeding with the installation of a smart lock, it’s important to consider several factors to ensure hassle-free operation and peace of mind.
Select Dependable Batteries
Smart locks operate on battery power, with batteries powering essential components like chips, LED lights and most crucially, the motor which manages the lock/unlock mechanism. Hence, choosing good-quality batteries for durability and longevity is essential.
Activating the lock motor requires sufficient power from the batteries to move the deadbolt. Users have reported satisfactory performance with Energizer Industrial batteries, but the best choice may vary according to your specific lock model and usage pattern. However, if your usage is low, you may find that even less expensive brands work well.
Ensure Your Door Closes Properly
It’s important to ensure your door is properly aligned and closes correctly before installing a smart lock. The deadbolt needs to move smoothly without any obstructions for the smart lock to function as desired. Misalignments and obstructions could lead to malfunction or jamming.
Potential misalignment issues may be due to a variety of reasons, particularly in older homes. If you’re unsure, seek professional help or ask a knowledgeable friend to identify and correct any issues.
Consider The Size of Smart Locks’ Interior Thumb-turn Plates
Smart locks, due to their electronic components, have considerably larger interior thumb-turn mechanisms compared to traditional locks. This usually doesn’t pose a problem unless your door has trim or decorative elements near the lock area. Make sure there’s enough space around your lock for the smart lock to fit comfortably.
Uniformity of Lock Brands
If you prefer using the same key for all your locks, bear in mind that different brands use different pin styles in their lock cylinders. To maintain uniformity, choose locks from either Kwikset or Schlage for all your doors.
If you’re planning to replace all your locks, you’re free to choose from any brand. Just remember, you may need to carry a different key.
Lock Conversion Kits
If you want to retain your existing deadbolt while enjoying the benefits of a smart lock, consider lock “conversion kits” like the August smart lock or Kwikset’s Convert smart lock. These kits augment your existing deadbolt with smart features without the need to replace the entire lock.
Conversion kits are popular among those who wish to keep their current keys or prefer a less conspicuous look. However, if you’re a renter, consult with your landlord or property management company about their lock replacement policy.
Always check the terms of your lease before installing a smart lock. While some landlords may be flexible, they might request the key code or a copy of the lock key to ensure their access to the property.
Apartment companies tend to have stricter rules and fewer exceptions, often prohibiting smart lock installations. Always check before proceeding with any modifications.