Have you ever driven away from your home wondering if you left the garage door happen? I have. With vivid memory, I recall on a number occasions after receiving my driver’s license as a teen making that mistake exiting my parents’ house in southwestern Ontario. Leaving that door open can invite negative scenarios into the home, but thanks to today’s smart home technology by Chamberlain, their My Q Garage device takes the guesswork out of that dreaded mistake.
In today’s Smart Home Series on the Plug-in blog, we cater the focus on homes with attached garages. Now, if you live in a home without a garage immediately within your space, like a house or townhouse, consider this an educational post of a device you may need in the near future personally, or even as a gift.
MyQ brings a strong name with Chamberlain
There are several start-up companies in the home automation space today, many of them are exceptional and enhance the living environment. MyQ certainly improves the garage access experience and is founded and backed by a major brand in the garage business: Chamberlain.
Established in the United States in the 1950s, Chamberlain has earned the trust of North Americans over the years to open and close garages using manual and remote control technology. It really was only a matter a time they put resources to introduce the world to their smart home garage opener.
Chamberlain’s MyQ is a key component to take any home and transform it into a smart home. What impressed me about this device was the remote controlling of it, should you be in the comfort of the home, or sipping margaritas on a beach on the other side of the world. That’s right, with a mobile device and the free MyQ app installed, plus a decent Wi-Fi connection, the MyQ Wi-Fi Hub turns any garage door opener into a smart one. Once again, the smartphone and Internet duo makes life easier again.
What’s inside the box
When you are ready to purchase MyQ for the garage, here is a quick overview from yours truly sharing in a short video of what is packed inside the box:
- Wi-Fi hub
- Door sensor
- Mounting bracket
- Step-by-step instructions
- Power adapter for hub
As mentioned above, simply add your smartphone and your home’s Wi-Fi and you will be set for the installation process.
But first, is your garage compatible with Chamberlaine’s MyQ Garage?
If your garage door was built after 1993, the odds are in your favour it will work with MyQ. Chamberlain’s compatibility list is deep and chalk that up as a plus for homeowners seeking to make the upgrade. This is the most important item to check before installation begins.
Here is a list of major garage door manufacturers who carry models compatible with the MyQ device:
- Chamberlain (but of course! I would expect nothing less)
- Overhead Door
- Wayne Dalton
In addition to being having a compatible garage system, users must have ‘safety reversing sensors’ located at the foot of the track of the door which confirms they compatible with MyQ. Safety reversing sensors typically protrude from the door track and shoot lasers to detect objects that could be in harm’s way when the door opens or closes.
For more info on compatibility, check out Chamberlain’s guide of working garage door models from their website.
Installation process: Make sure you have adequate Wi-Fi
O.k., so now you have MyQ, your mobile device, the free app installed, and you’re gearing up to install the unit in your garage integrate into your smart home. Speaking from personal experience, do check you have an adequate supply of Wi-Fi in the garage as without at least two-three bars of signal strength, the device may have difficulty during set-up.
I would rate the installation process a seven out of 10, but mind you, I consider myself a touch above average and even have the tool collection to prove it.
During my attempt at installing MyQ at my parents three-bedroom house in the countryside of western Ontario, the biggest downfall I faced was my lack of Wi-Fi signal in the rural area they reside. My parents are hooked up through a Bell wireless hot spot transmitter, which is far less adequate in Internet bandwidth than a city house. Unfortunately, my attempts in rural Ontario did not work successfully, even with a Wi-Fi range extender placed next to as well as inside the garage to boost the signal in the garage.
Wi-Fi signal to the garage is important to gain complete access to MyQ. While there are variables such as where your router is placed within the home, wall thickness, etc., an easy way to check on Wi-Fi range and strength, is checking whether your mobile device has two or more bars of signal. If the signal is poor and you either need or would like a boost, you can easily update this by adding a Wi-Fi range extender, like one by D-Link, available at retailers like Best Buy.
Although rural Ontario’s Wi-Fi strength disappointed my installation attempts, not all was lost in the learning process of installating MyQ Garage. I did prepare the garage as if it would be able to feature MyQ inside. I must say, mounting the MyQ Wi-Fi hub with the supplied bracket and the door sensor during my attempt, both those activities were easy.
The mounting bracket does require a small bit of elbow grease, but nothing a power drill can’t handle to make holes for the anchors to secure the bracket in place. As for the door sensor, it can be mounted using the supplied double-sided tape supplied inside the box to secure on the rear of the garage door.
MyQ Works with Nest
As you would have read before, I truly believe the Nest Thermostat and Camera are the nucleus of a smart home. Yes, it allows you to control the temperature or view recorded or live video footage inside the home through your smartphone, it also works with dozens of partner devices to integrate their features, including Chamberlain’s MyQ.
There are two main ways MyQ works with Nest. Firstly, adding a camera inside the garage is the perfect way to not only see if the garage door is opened or closed, but also view what’s happening inside. Secondly, based on the fact MyQ can track when you are at home or have left the premises, it can instruct Nest to cool or heat things up, or go to “away” mode. This can translate into big time hydro savings in the long term.
Thanks to the Chamberlain MyQ Garage home automation device, there is no longer a concern asking yourself if you have left the garage door open. With the device’s app, your smartphone, MyQ and a reliable Wi-Fi connection, the garage experience is taken to another level of control. Integrate it with Nest, the combination of MyQ and the Nest provides you with complete control of your garage through surveillance and temperature control.
Discover more information about Chamberlain’s MyQ on BestBuy.ca!