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Home Intercom Systems – Types, Why you should have one, Typical costs

These days, it’s all about automation. Whether it is in your home or your workplace, automated systems are there to make mundane everyday tasks less cumbersome.

In addition to that, they help bolster security and make it difficult for unauthorised individuals to gain access to your property.

From heating and cooling systems to lighting fixtures and security systems, everything is now automated to provide you with the best level of safety, security, and convenience.

Home intercom systems are one such basic home automation tool that is essential for communicating with who is at your door.

Read on to find out what home intercom systems are, the different types available in the market, the advantages of having one in your home, and the typical costs associated with having them installed:

WHAT ARE HOME INTERCOM SYSTEMS?

Home intercom systems are two-way communication devices that enable you to speak clearly between the main entrance and the inside of the house as well as from different rooms from within the house.

They consist of audio and video functionality that contribute to your home security by enabling you to determine who is at your door before unlocking it for them.

They include several components that help in communication, either via audio, video, or a combination of both.

You may also use the systems to communicate with a family member in another room of the house or to remotely keep an eye on a child.

While some of these systems are incredibly portable and can easily be moved around, others are made to be installed on a wall or desk inside the house.

Some people may argue that the usefulness of home intercom systems has dwindled since the advent of smartphones, where you can simply call or text the person to let them know you’re at the door.

However, while that may be true, many homes serve as a business base for many individuals, especially in this post-pandemic world, and calling and shouting to members of the family while they are working does not give a very professional feel.

Also, for people with mobility issues, a home intercom system can be a blessing since they help them communicate with people, both in normal circumstances as well as in emergencies.

TYPES OF HOME INTERCOM SYSTEMS

If you are considering getting an intercom system for your home, you are making the right decision in protecting your home and adding convenience to your life.

They are great security tools to secure your home from theft and intrusions and to protect you and your family from any safety risks. Your home is your safe haven and you should be 100% sure about who you let in and who you don’t.

With home intercom systems, you can talk to the person at your door before opening it for them, and in some cases, see them as well.

With the different types of intercom systems available in the market, you can choose ones that best fit your security needs and requirements.

Here are some of the most common types of home intercom systems:

Wireless intercom systems

Wireless intercom systems work using intangible radio frequencies to transmit signals between the different components of the system.

The ability of the system to broadcast audio signals, video signals, or a combination of both, is determined by the “band”, which is the amount of spectrum being utilised.

If you wish to opt for a wireless intercom system for your home, make sure to check that the Wi-Fi signals or mobile data signals are strong in the installation area.

The issue with these systems is that external electrical interference might disrupt the Wi-Fi transmission, leading to lost and dropped signals. Similarly, with a cellular connection, a continuous high-bandwidth connection is required or the same can happen.

We recommend using an ethernet cable to connect directly to the internet to prevent such issues from arising.

Wired intercom systems

One of the biggest differences between wired and wireless systems is the way that they connect over the internet. All home intercom systems need wiring, but wired systems need a lot more when compared to wireless systems.

The most cost-effective wired systems require simple wiring in the area where they are installed. For example, you’ll need wiring to power and connect the intercom system to the lock on your door.

Other wired intercom systems may require you to run wires throughout the system, and from each substation to the base station at your home’s entrance.

Audio intercom systems

Also referred to as a buzzer system, an audio intercom system enables visitors to communicate with the homeowners inside, and vice versa.

They are often linked to a door release device where, after authenticating the visitor’s identity, the person inside can unlock the door to let them in using the system.

Due to the widespread use and popularity of video intercom systems, audio systems are now typically only found in older properties.

Video intercom systems

A video intercom system requires additional components such as a camera to capture the video and a screen to display it. For most systems, you will easily be able to find video intercoms with built-in cameras. However, you also have the option to connect your own.

The technology required to display video footage is different from that of the audio systems and the components are installed in various locations around the house.

Also, since video consumes more bandwidth than audio, we recommend using a system that is connected directly to the internet.

Outdoor intercom systems

Many homes, particularly those that are big and gated, require an outdoor intercom system that can allow the residents to communicate with their visitors at the gate.

A standout feature of these systems is that, since they are installed outside the house, they are weather-resistant and can withstand harsh weather elements all year round.

The level of weatherproofing is determined by the system’s IP ratings, with the most resistant systems being IP65 rated.

Therefore, if you wish to install a home intercom system outside your home, opt for one that is IP65 rated.

Gate intercom systems

For homes that have a gate instead of a front door, a gate intercom system can be used to provide access to pedestrians as well as vehicles.

As with the other mentioned intercom systems, a gate intercom system also needs a master station as well as a substation to allow communication between those outside and those inside the house.

As you must have seen in many movies, estate-like houses often use gate intercoms to allow for better security and convenience.

They usually contain a call button that connects to either the residents of the house or the house staff that is controlling the substation.

Due to the distance between the system and the source of power, gate intercom systems may be a bit tricky to install, and as a result, may need a considerable amount of wiring to power them.

WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE A HOME INTERCOM SYSTEM?

In recent times, home intercom systems have proven to be a must-have security tool since they improve home security and prevent intruders and unwanted individuals from gaining access into your home.

As discussed above, they are available in different types that vary from basic tools to extremely complicated security equipment.

You may choose the right one for your needs and have it installed alongside your home’s doorbell. Here are all the reasons you should have a home intercom system:

Security

Security is one of the top benefits of having a home intercom system since it helps maximise it and gives it a more advanced outlook.

The system is built in a way so that the front door and home interior are connected via speakers, microphones, and cameras.

This way, whenever someone rings the doorbell, you can speak directly to them, and also look at them in case of video intercom systems.

Since intercoms are two-way communication devices, you will be able to ask your visitors questions, such as who they are and what their purpose is for visiting, and also hear them answer back.

After you’ve verified their identity and are comfortable with letting them into your home, you can unlock the door for them. This prevents unwanted visitors and unauthorised individuals from gaining access to your property.

Surveillance

Home intercom systems aren’t just made to be used for the main door or gate. You may install them absolutely anywhere in the house to keep your home under surveillance or to communicate with your family members.

They are especially useful for keeping an eye on young children since they tend to do dangerous things at times, such as swallow toys or jump out of their crib.

With the help of intercoms, parents can keep an eye on their children when they are sleeping, playing inside their room, or are having fun outside in the garden. They can also converse with them via two-way communication.

Intercom systems fitted with CCTV cameras can also be used to keep an eye on neighbours and passers-by. However, there are certain laws and regulations for CCTV use outside your home and you must make sure you follow them to not infringe on someone’s privacy.

Comfort

The best and most convenient thing about home intercom systems is that you don’t even have to get up to open the door.

Not only is this great for homeowners looking for comfort but also for the elderly and disabled who cannot walk to the door every time someone rings their doorbell.

Imagine someone with a hip displacement having to get up multiple times a day to get to the door. That is highly uncomfortable and inadvisable for their health.

An intercom system allows them to see or speak to whoever is at the door, and unlock the door without even getting out of bed.

Insurance premiums

Insurance covers, albeit extremely important, are becoming more and more expensive by the day. However, practising good home security and installing the right security tools and gadgets can help lower your premiums considerably.

Since a home intercom system is a security device that helps maximise your home security, by installing an effective one, you can get yourself a great deal from your insurance company.

You just have to make sure that it is effective against intrusions and burglaries and is regularly and properly maintained.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT HOME INTERCOM SYSTEM?

Choosing a home intercom system is not something that should be done blindly. You need to understand your requirements and look for the necessary features before you make a choice.

The first thing to determine is whether you need a wired or a wireless intercom system for your home. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and which works best for you depends on your security needs and requirements.

Both systems can have audio and video functionality and can be operated remotely. What sets them apart is the cost of the equipment as well as the installation process.

Here are a few things to consider before choosing a wired or wireless home intercom system:

  • Security – intercom systems must be secure since they may contain sensitive information and cannot be breached. For that reason, it is advised to opt for a wired system since a wireless system may be susceptible to hacking if you are not careful.
  • Dependability – intercom systems must be dependable and always stay connected. All wired systems need is a constant power supply to be always up and running. A wireless system, on the other hand, relies on a good internet connection and may face unexpected shutdowns.
  • Easy installation – wireless systems are the easiest to install as compared to wired systems that are not only time-consuming but also messy, costly, and always require professional expertise to set up and install the system.
  • Cost – because of the lengthy installation process, wired intercom systems are more expensive than pocket-friendly wireless systems.

COST OF HOME INTERCOM SYSTEMS

Several factors affect the cost of a home intercom system such as the type of system, its specifications, and features.

If you opt for a system that has both audio and video functionality, it’ll be more expensive than one that supports audio-only.

Prices may also vary depending on whether you choose a wired or wireless system, if you integrate it with your smart devices, or install a keyless entry system with it.

Depending on your requirements, the cost of a home intercom system may vary between £100 and £1,000 to buy the hardware and have it installed.

Hardwired intercom systems are often more expensive since they involve a longer and more difficult installation process. A wireless system, on the other hand, is the easiest to install and may cost you around £250 for a basic system and £650 for a video system.

CONTACT CALDER SECURITY

Calder Security provides a complete solution for home access control systems that includes professional installation, maintenance, and repair services for intercom systems.

We’ve been working in the security industry since 1976 and partner with only the best brands. Our MLA approved locksmiths can advise you on the best type of intercom system for your home by helping you assess your security needs and requirements.

Because an access control system operates the locking and unlocking mechanism of your door, installation must be completed properly by someone with detailed knowledge of how these systems work.

We are SSAIB approved installers and offer all types of access control systems including intercom, proximity fob, card swipe, and keypad. We also offer biometric systems that work with fingerprints or retina scans.

Access control systems are very reliable and will last a long time. But like any technology, they require periodic maintenance to continue working as they should.

We conduct annual servicing to keep your system working well and give it a full check including checking the battery strength, power supply, and connections. That way you won’t get any nasty surprises further down the line.

While generally very reliable, sometimes problems may occur with access control systems that can affect the locking mechanism, potentially compromising the security of your property.

Common issues include simple wear and tear or faults with the power supply or batteries that you need to get fixed ASAP.

We operate a 24-hour emergency service run by qualified security specialist engineers who understand access systems and can resolve issues efficiently and effectively.

Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 for a quick consultation and quote for our state-of-the-art home intercom systems!

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash