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Should You Activate, Modify, or Upgrade Your Existing Security System?

16 Apr 2019

Moving into a new house is an exciting time as you get to know a new space that feels and breathes differently. Somewhere within all that excitement hides a serious question: What should you do with the existing home security system at the house?

When you purchase a new property and decide that you want to bring the existing alarm system into the 21st century, swapping out the house’s old equipment for the latest and greatest is the best way forward in many cases. This way, you get to design the system for your needs and do what you feel is required to keep your new property and its inhabitants safe.

But that’s not the only option available for new homeowners. When you move into a house with an existing security system, you can:

  • Leave the existing security system as-is and reconnect it with a monitoring service
  • Modernize the existing alarm system through hardware and/or software
  • Discard the existing system and upgrade to up-to-date technology that can better accommodate cameras and home automation

Let’s explore the pros and cons of each option so you can discover how to make your home secure and keep your loved ones safe in your new home.

Reconnecting Your New House’s Existing Security System

If the property you just bought comes with an existing inactive security system, you may wonder whether you can re-use any of that equipment and just update the keypad.

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The answer depends on a number of factors—most importantly on the manufacturer and age of the security system in question. Legacy security systems are something many new homeowners have to deal with. These systems aren't necessarily bad, but you have to know what you can and can't expect from them.

Your current system may be restricted by outdated technology with limited capabilities and upgrade options. Or the previous owner may have had different security standards than you do.

Additionally, many older security systems use landlines to send alarms and notifications. That makes them vulnerable to intruders who can cut through a few wires to render the alarm useless.

However, if the house’s existing security system is up-to-date, you can use it as-is and reconnect it to a monitoring service. Sometimes, sticking with your existing system is a better option. Homes with complex systems that have many zones on them can be expensive to replace.

In general, we do NOT recommend replacing security systems that have to-code fire systems tied into them as this is a far more complex and expensive process. Talk to a local security provider and ask them to walk you through your options and the costs and benefits of each.

But depending on the existing system in question, you may be looking at limited security that doesn't meet modern safety standards. That’s when you should consider the other two options: updating the existing security system or installing a completely new system.

Updating the Existing Security System

If using your new house’s existing system in its current state isn’t a good option for you, you can likely upgrade it for a relatively low upfront cost.

When working with outdated technology, your options are limited. Older home security systems have only a few upgrade paths to choose from, if any.

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Even updating hardware can cause problems. Some older home security systems simply weren't designed to fit the needs of today’s homeowners.

If you’re considering updating your new home’s existing security system, call a local security provider and ask them about what improvements are available for your system. Once they know the brand and model of the equipment in your home, they can lay out the upgrade options available and give you a professional recommendation.

For example, landline-reliant systems are neither burglar-proof nor future-proof, so if your new home has one of these systems, consider updating it. Updating these systems is doable with the help of a local security provider: We offer cellular modules that can completely eliminate the need for a landline.

Getting Rid of Your Home’s Old Security System and Installing a Brand New One

Your last—and often best—option is to remove your new house’s existing system altogether and replace it with new technology. Although new equipment comes with an upfront cost, it will be much cheaper than hanging on to the old system and calling technicians to fix it every time something goes wrong.

New homeowners often don’t realize that older systems weren’t designed for longevity, and in many instances, people with older systems experience more frequent errors or even abrupt equipment failure.

You may be surprised to hear that systems installed in the early 2000s are likely reaching the end of their operative lifespan, and performing maintenance on an older system can be much more expensive because of the expertise required to service those systems.

For customers who are still using older technology, we suggest opting for safer, newer technology that will be less of a hassle to deal with long term. The latest wireless technology is designed to function reliably for decades, and maintenance is usually simple enough for you to do it yourself with help from a member of our support team.

honeywell-lyric-systemAnother benefit of updating your system is getting all of the latest features of wireless technology. Even though wired systems are still better for huge properties like warehouses, wireless systems are likely sufficient for all but the largest homes.

Aside from looking sleek and modern with its touchscreen panel, wireless home security systems are much easier to upgrade, and sourcing the parts is easy, lowering the cost of upgrading. Our security systems are compatible with a variety of add-ons like smart locks, thermostats, and smart lighting, all of which can be controlled through your smartphone.

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While new systems are the ideal solution for many homeowners, explore all of your options to make sure doing so is cost-effective and that the benefits of wireless security are applicable to your needs. Deciding whether to keep, modify, or completely upgrade your new home’s existing security system comes down to what you want your system to do for you.

Activate my existing system »

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