Vacation properties can provide a holiday oasis for families and friends while being used. But what happens during the rest of the year? Homes often sit unoccupied for long periods of time and until recently, it was hard to maintain and monitor without hiring someone local or spending money on an expensive security system.

Today, the affordability and availability of smart home tech means it's possible for homeowners to directly view and manage their vacation property no matter how far away they are. With wireless technologies like Z-Wave, homeowners have peace of mind and can remotely control and monitor their second home using a smartphone, tablet or PC. So how can smart home devices help you take care of your home away from home? Let's take a look.

1. Security and peace of mind

Anyone who owns vacation property wants to properly protect their investment for many years to come. When a vacation property is equipped with Z-Wave smart home devices, property owners can remotely lock doors, turn off appliances and make sure windows and other openings are properly closed. Best of all, a smart home security system can alert vacation property owners when someone has entered the building, allowing them to quickly alert authorities should a break-in occur.

2. Maintenance is a breeze

One of the biggest issues for vacation property owners is maintaining basic upkeep on a house or condominium located far away. Remote access to things like cameras and front door access means when a technician needs to come over to fix an air conditioning unit, refrigerator or another appliance, the homeowner can remotely unlock the door to let them in and make sure that the work is done right.

3. Too hot or cold? Keep the temp just right

This is a key point for anyone who owns a second house in a colder climate. Cold weather can wreak havoc on homes if let to sit. Whether it's running the water to make sure the pipes don't freeze or inspecting windows to make sure the ice has not cracked them, Z-Wave is especially ideal for keeping tabs on property that is often exposed to adverse weather conditions. A connected thermostat means you can control the temp inside your house – and products like flood sensors and wireless water valves mean you can stop leaks and water damage even from a thousand miles away.

4. Easy to share with friends and family

Many people have vacation homes on a shared basis, whether that means they utilize a timeshare model, they rent out the space on a part-time basis or have an informal sharing arrangement with others. As platforms like AirBnB become more popular, some homeowners are turning their primary or secondary residence into a home away from home for out-of-town guests. Coordinating access and maintenance is simple with connected home tech such as smart locks and related apps, allowing either one person or many to have access to the home control system.

5. Save money, time and energy

Between saving money each month on the electricity bills because they have remote access to their thermostats and lights. With a Z-Wave powered vacation home, owners can use their smartphone to turn on and off heating, cooling, fans, lights and other major electronics. There are additional sensor products and window shades that can help avoid damage to interiors caused by sun or water damage. Smart home tech can pay for itself with the money saved on electric bills alone, not to mention the priceless benefit of receiving a text notification if anything unusual happens to the property.