Home Security Cost Guide
You should always feel safe in your home, but even if you live in the safest neighborhood, a home security system can provide added peace of mind.
Home security systems can cost a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. The cost depends on the system chosen and the monitoring you select. Security systems come in many shapes and styles, and understanding home security costs can help you determine which system is right for you.
The Top Factors that Determine the Home Security Cost
Type of System
Home security systems come in a wide variety. Each has different features, but all have the same premise – to keep your home as safe as possible.
First, you must decide if you want to invest in a monitored security system. This means someone monitors your system 24/7 and alerts you and the authorities if the alarm is triggered.
There are two ways to have monitored systems:
- Self-monitored – As the name suggests, self-monitored systems are monitored by you. They usually have a mobile app that you can log into to monitor your home, allowing you to contact 911 if necessary. These security systems usually include motion and door sensors and security cameras.
- Company monitored – If you prefer to have a company monitor your security system, you’ll get the same type of equipment. Still, the alarm is linked to the security company, which will contact the authorities if the alarm is triggered.
Both systems may include the same features, but the company-monitored system will cost more because of the extra service you receive.
The home security cost for the equipment depends on whether you choose a wired or wireless system (more below), and the monitoring is a monthly cost of $10 – $75 a month, depending on the company and service you choose.
Unmonitored systems, as the name suggests, aren’t monitored. Instead, they let out a deafening siren to let anyone nearby know there was a break-in. However, the equipment may resemble a monitored system, including door and motion sensors, glass-break, and window sensors.
Unmonitored systems are less costly than monitored systems because you don’t have the monthly monitoring fee.
Wired systems are the most secure because you don’t have to worry about a signal or connection. The system is hard-wired to a control panel and almost always requires professional installation to install the panel and sensors.
Wired systems are much harder to hack than wireless systems. These systems cost an average of $800 – $1,600.
Wireless systems aren’t hard-wired and, instead, work on a connection. As a result, they are easier to install and may cost less to install too. In addition, wireless systems are controlled by a smart device and can often do more than just monitor your home’s security. For example, they may turn your lights on and off or control the HVAC system remotely.
Wireless systems cost an average of $200 – $2,000.
Home security costs increase based on the different add-ons you include in the system. Some possibilities include the following:
Video cameras can be added to most security systems. As you can imagine, they run the gamut of prices based on features. You can get basic video surveillance cameras for around $50 or more advanced equipment for $400 – $500 per camera.
However, if you want video monitoring, it will increase your home security cost by $40 – $65 per month.
Smart Home Features
Today’s technology makes it possible to add many smart home features to your home security system, including smart locks, smart lighting, and smart thermostats.
With the ability to control these items from your phone, you can rest assured that your home is locked, lights are on or off, and the thermostat is where you want it. The features add $150 – $500 per feature to your home security cost.
If you need more peace of mind, you can pay to add a panic button to your security system. This automatically alerts authorities that you need help, even if your alarm wasn’t triggered. This provides people peace of mind, especially when they live in two-story homes and cannot get to the control panel in time. However, a panic button costs an average of $50.
Labor costs aren’t always extra when you install home security. Many companies include labor in the cost of the equipment, and others charge separately. If you DIY the installation, you’ll save a little money, or you can buy the equipment from a company and find an independent contractor to install it.
Depending on the route you take, installation can cost $250 – $500 if it’s charged separately.
What to Consider with Monthly Costs
The monthly cost is important in choosing the right home security system. Unless you have an unmonitored system, you’ll pay some type of monthly costs, which might include:
- Activation fee – If you’re a new customer, you might pay an activation fee. Consider negotiating the cost and asking to have it waived. But if they won’t, it can cost an average of $50 – $200. This is a one-time fee.
- Cellular monitoring – If you have a monitored system, it will likely use cellular monitoring that works on a wireless network, like your cell phone. Cellular monitoring costs an average of $10 to $65 per month.
- Environmental sensors – Adding sensors to your home to monitor smoke, flooding, or CO may add a few dollars to your monthly home security cost.
Is it Worth Paying for Home Security?
At this point, you might think home security is costly and not worth it. But there are areas you can save by having home security that may make it worth it, including the following:
- Insurance premiums – If you install a home security system, your home insurance premiums will likely decrease. On average, home insurance companies discount policies 5% – 20% with home security systems. The average home insurance policy is $1,428 per year. If you save 20%, that’s a savings of $280.
- Utility bills – If you install smart features on your security system, you may save money on your utility bills. Shutting lights on or off or changing the thermostat can help you use less energy and decrease your utility bills.
- Failed break-ins – With a home security system, you can prevent burglaries from occurring. The savings this results in are endless because you will not only save money but also have the reassurance that your home is safe.
- Increased home value – Home security systems can increase your home’s value because of its safety. Potential buyers may see the value in the system and feel better about buying the home.
What is the average monthly cost of a home security system?
A home security system’s monthly cost is an average of $30 – $60 monthly. However, the costs can be much more or less depending on your chosen features. For example, monitored systems are more expensive than unmonitored ones, and systems with more features will cost more to monitor.
Can I buy my own home security system?
Yes, you can buy a home security system from major retailers, like Best Buy or Home Depot, and install it yourself. Some even offer self-monitoring. So, if you want to save money, consider self-monitoring with a DIY home security system.
Is professional installation required for a home security system?
No, you can install some DIY home security systems yourself to save money. However, professional installation may be required for more complex wired systems.
Do I need monitoring for my home security system?
Monitoring provides 24/7 professional monitoring of your system and alerts emergency services if there’s a break-in. Self-monitoring systems alert you via an app but rely on you contacting authorities. Monitoring increases the cost but provides more protection.
What additional features can I get with a home security system?
Common add-ons include security cameras, smoke/CO detectors, flood sensors, smart home features like door locks and thermostats, and medical alert buttons. These extras will increase your costs but can provide more security and convenience.
Can I get financing or discounts for a home security system?
Yes, many home security companies offer financing to make the costs more affordable. They also frequently run promotions like discounts, gift cards, and free equipment when you sign a monitoring contract. Shopping sales and negotiating prices can help you save money on a home security system.
Does having a home security system reduce homeowners insurance?
Yes, having a home security system can qualify you for a discount on your homeowner’s insurance premiums. The discount amount will vary based on the specifics of your system and insurance company, but discounts of 5-20% are common. The insurance savings can help offset the cost of a home security system.
A home security system is a great way to deter burglars. You can get a professionally installed system monitored 24/7 or a DIY system that you monitor yourself. The key is to have a system that makes burglars think twice before trying to break into your home.
If you have a professionally monitored system, you’ll likely save money on insurance premiums and have the peace of mind that someone is always watching over your home, even when you are away, making the home security cost worth it.