Shopping for a home intercom system can be a confusing process if you're not well versed on a system's various features. Buyers must not only consider the system's functional features, such as range, power supply and wireless capability, but also the needs of their family. Use the following guidelines to help you decide on the perfect intercom system for your home.
Before you step foot into a store, have a clear idea of what you want to spend on an intercom system. Intercoms come in a variety of price ranges, with the more expensive models boasting additional features that often aren't available on the more budget friendly systems. Avoid looking at brands or intercoms that are outside the budget so you're not tempted to spend beyond the price point you already decided on.
There are two basic types of home intercom systems: wired and wireless. The wired systems typically cost less upfront but their installation process can be very involved and quite pricey, since wires typically have to be run throughout your home's walls and ceilings. This hard-wired system does lead to less interference on the intercom than a wireless system may experience, however. While wireless systems typically cost more at the counter, the installation process is simple and can be completed by virtually any do-it-yourselfer.
Consider your needs when determining what range your intercom system needs to have. Some systems have a range that reaches up to 1,000 feet but most homeowners will find that they don't need a range nearly so large.
Intercom systems can either run off your home's electricity through a traditional plug in or be powered off batteries. Although neither system functions better than the other, a battery powered intercom will require frequent battery changes, while the plug-in variety requires little upkeep.
Although it's optimistic to think that all products are in great condition, the reality is that sometimes problems arise. In the event that your intercom isn't working properly, make sure you're backed up by a solid warranty that allows for repair or replacement. Products with great warranties also indicate that the manufacturer has a lot of confidence in the intercom system, which is generally a good sign that it will serve you well in the years to come.
It's also important to investigate what kind of after sales support the manufacturer offers. For instance, if you have trouble learning how to operate the system, will you have access to a representative that will walk you through the steps? If so, is the service complimentary or will you be billed?
The last thing you want to do is invest in a home intercom system only to have it damaged during the installation process. If you're a capable do-it-yourselfer, you should probably be able to install a wireless system yourself. If you don't have experience working with electrical, leave the hard-wired intercoms to a professional installer. When it's time to choose someone to help you with the project, ask your friends for recommendations and also choose a professional with the proper licenses.