Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a topic to view the FAQ’s.

Central Vacuum

What are the advantages of a central vacuum system?
A central vacuum system offers many benefits not found in portable vacuums. A central vacuum system allows you to access a powerful vacuum just by hooking up the hose to a wall inlet in any room. The motor is located apart from the living area of your home, so it is much quieter than a traditional vacuum. In addition, central vacuums are more effective in the battle against allergies and they draw out up to five times the amount of dirt as a conventional vacuum.

How many outlets should my system have?
This depends on the square footage of your home. Most central vacuum systems have a 30 foot hose kit so you can travel up to 30 feet in each direction of each outlet. You can estimate 1 outlet per 800 square feet.

What happens if my vacuum loses suction?
This usually happens when the pipe is clogged or the filter needs attention or replacement. If you have pets you must clean the filter and empty the canister to prevent clogging. It is recommended to do this every 3 months.

What is the convenience of a vacuum dustpan?
Vacuum dustpans are typically put in the mudroom, kitchen and some bathrooms throughout the house. They allow you to sweep dirt into the dustpan, which will suck the refuse into the main vacuum unit.

Can a central vacuum be retrofitted?
Yes, but it is best to install your central vacuum system during new construction or the remodeling process.

Future Proofing

What is future proofing?
Future proofing means you are pre-wiring your home with extra wires so they are available for newer technology down the road. This gives you extra capabilities to do more in the future even if you don’t want or think you need it now. Research has shown future proofing also increases the value of your home.

When is the best time to future proof my home?
During new construction or remodeling.

Can I upgrade to structured wiring later?
Yes, but it is much more expensive and could require drywall repair.

What are the different types of wire used for?
Category 5 or Category 6 wire has many uses; it can be used for phone, computer networks, security, component video, HDMI video, CCTV, RS232, RS485 and numerous other automation uses. RG -6 shield coax is typically used for antenna, cable and satellite distribution throughout a home.

Phone System

What brands of phone systems do you install?
We install Panasonic phones because they are the only brand that have a front door intercom and a whole-house intercom.

Computer Networking

What are the benefits of having a computer network in my home?
Home networks allow users to share internet connections and content. In addition, home networks create the possibility to use new applications like online games and streaming audio / video.

What does SLH Home Systems install?
We are able to install networks in your home which include modems, routers, switches and wireless access points. Although SLH doesn’t install software we would be happy to refer you to a company that can help you.

Will I need to purchase additional equipment to get my network working?
We can use your existing equipment as long as we are able to confirm that it is up to date. Typically anything older then 24-months is already considered to be out of date equipment. If you do need to purchase new equipment we will work with you to determine the best product for your needs.

Do I need to be a computer guru to make it work?
Although experience always helps the average computer user should be able to handle the installation. For the installation, a computer with Windows XP will walk you through the process of hooking your computer up to the network.

Why wire for this when there is wireless available?
A wired network is more reliable and much faster than a wireless network.

Security System

Whom should I call if I have questions on how to operate my security system?
Some problems can be solved by simply referring to your manual, viewing our instructional videos or viewing the alarm troubleshooting FAQ’s. If you need additional assistance please call the SLH Home Systems office at 952-224-5450.

If the power to my home goes out will my security system continue to work?
Yes, there is a back-up 12-volt battery in place to keep your system working for 12 to 72 hours.

What do I do in the event of a false alarm?
The 24-hour dispatch center will call the home or cell phone number they have on record to verify the alarm. Wait for the dispatch center to call you and have your password ready. However, if you do not receive a call you can call the appropriate dispatch center to report the false alarm. To report the false alarm to Criticom / CMS call 1-800-631-2299 or for Wright Hennepin call 1-800-858-7811. Make sure to have your password on hand.

How do I change the people on my emergency contact list?
Any changes must be submitted in writing to SLH Home Systems by email at info@slhsystems.com or by fax at 952-224-5451.

How much does a security system cost?
They can start as low as $99 but each system is custom-designed for your home or business and your security needs. We will discuss the goals you have regarding your system based on your specific needs. We will be sure to beat any quote you have received elsewhere.

Will I get a discount from my insurance company after my alarm is installed?
Many insurance companies offer significant discounts up to 20% for having a security system installed in your home or business. Discounts vary depending on whether the system is monitored or not, typically non-monitored systems don’t receive a discount. It is best to contact your insurance company prior to installation to find out any specific requirements they may have.

How do I get a certificate of monitoring to give to my insurance company?
After your security system is connected to the monitoring station, SLH Home Systems will provide you with a certificate of monitoring for your insurance company.

Will someone come out after installation and show my family how to use the alarm?
SLH Home Systems offers training to familiarize you with your new system to ensure you know how to operate the system. At the time of the install you will be trained by our technicians.

Will my pets set off my alarm?
There are ways to set your alarm so that your pets will not affect it. Please let SLH Home Systems know about your pets and how much they weigh during the design of your system, or if pets are added to your family after your system is installed.

Can my current smoke detectors be connected to my alarm system?
Due to regulations we cannot use your current smoke detectors; we can only connect smoke detectors provided by SLH Home Systems.

What kind of sensors/detectors are there for my home?
You can include motion sensors, glass-break detectors, door and window contacts, low temperature, water detection, carbon monoxide detectors, smoke and heat detectors for your system.

Antenna System

Why should I install an antenna?
The antenna allows high definition local channels to be received. Currently not all local channels are available over satellite or cable and with an antenna you are able to access the local channels for free. Many customers install an antenna to receive the local channels and then add a device like Roku, Apple TV or Tivo for streaming shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, On Demand and many others for a more selective and personalized TV watching experience.

Does this mean I need a big ugly antenna on my roof?
No, antennas can be hidden in your attic out of view.

Digital Satellite System

How can SLH Home Systems help me with my digital satellite system?
Here at SLH we can help you get set up with DirecTV or other digital satellite services and also  install DirecTV for new accounts.

What are the benefits of a digital satellite system?
An all-digital signal ensures better picture quality. Digital satellite systems also give you access to the best sports packages which is one of the most appealing reasons to make the switch.

Will weather affect my satellite?
Weather can affect your signal but usually only during really bad storms.

Why wire a digital satellite system if I don’t think I will use it now?
Wiring for a satellite leaves your options open. In addition, satellite generally offers more channels than cable.

Audio/Video Distrubution

What is Audio/Video distribution?
Audio/video distribution is sharing a source such as a cable or satellite box or music throughout the home. For example, you can play music in any room of the house or the camera system can be viewed on any TV in the house.

Why have Audio/Video distribution?
Sharing an audio/video device adds convenience and reduces clutter. For example, you can put all of the digital storage for the house onto one storage unit so any TV in the home can access it, instead of having to figure out which room a movie or TV show was saved in. It gives you the freedom to choose which room you would like to watch the movie in.

Home & Business Automation

What is home/business automation?
Home automation simply makes your home or business smarter. A common example of this is putting your holiday lights on timers. A home automation system can also accomplish more complex tasks such as lighting scenes, putting a timer on your thermostat, or performing specific tasks when you enter a room.

Is home automation expensive to install?
Each home automation system is designed for your home or business and your specific wants and needs.

Can I get a home automation system installed in my existing home?
Yes, Control4 has systems that can be installed in an existing home.

Why install a home automation system?
Home automation adds convenience to your home such as having the lights come on when you walk in the door, or turn on or off while you are on vacation. Our favorite automation is the all off or the double tap on the light switch. Hit the double tap as you walk out the door and the TV and lights will turn off, the temperature changes, the doors lock and the alarm system is turned on.

Home Theater Seating & Room Dimensions

How large of a room is needed for theater chairs?
This depends on how many chairs you want to include in your home theater. Measuring from a seated position the first row of chairs should be 12’ to 13’ from the head of the person to the screen. Each chair is approximately 3’x3’ and requires 3 feet of walking space on each side of the chair. As a general rule a room should be at least 16’x20’. The room in the diagram below is 18’x22′.

Theater Seating Diagram

 

Can you help me design the layout of our home theater?
If you are worried about figuring out how to layout the perfect home theater our design team at Che Bella Interiors will be happy to assist you.

Are there choices of colors for theater chairs?
Yes, there are many different fabrics, leather, color and style options available.

Can we get power or non-powered theater chairs?
Either option is available. If you do elect to have powered chairs, it is best to plan on having electrical outlets in the floor of the home theater.

Home Theater

How large of a room is needed for a dedicated home theater?
It depends how many people you would like to be able to accommodate. Each home theater system is designed to fit the homeowner and their individual needs and desires. SLH Home Systems can help you design the home theater of your dreams.

Can I have a projector in a room that has windows?
Yes, any room can have a projection system today as long as you have a way to control the lighting.  Shades, draperies, and light dimmers can help accomplish this. We can also help improve conditions by using a special high-gain screen and higher light output projectors.

Should I get a large TV or a projector and screen?
It depends on what size you are looking for. TV’s go up to 90” but that is when they start to show flaws and lose the crisp edges of the picture. The 120” HD 1080P projection screen and the new Sony 4K projector will help you achieve the highest quality and clarity on a large screen.

Will SLH Home Systems design my home theater room?
SLH Home Systems will be happy to design your multimedia system and consult your family on the overall design of your room. We will work with your vision of the room to offer the best home entertainment experience. Depending on your needs we also have the interior designers at Che Bella Interiors to help create the perfect space.

How much is a home theater going to cost?
The cost of a home theater can range from a basic system costing $6,500, a high-end system costing up to $20,000, or a super high-end system costing up to $100,000. A good budget for a system with 120″ screen and projector is $10,000-$15,000.

Can I put a home theater in my existing home?
Yes, a home theater can be retrofitted, though it will take a little longer to install and there will most likely be some drywall repair work. SLH Home Systems has a very good reputation retrofitting existing rooms and is willing to work with you to turn your existing space into the home theater experience of your dreams.

If I have music on my computer can I play it in my home theater?
Yes, there are easy-to-use devices that can play music from your storage throughout your home.

Will my system be easy for my family to use?
SLH Home Systems will train you on how to use your new home theater or surround sound system and we are available to answer any questions. After you use it a couple of times, you’ll be a pro!

Is it necessary to insulate the ceiling and walls?
While it is not necessary it is often done to keep other areas of your home quiet. Here at SLH we have many techniques to deaden the sound and improve the acoustics of the room. We are more than willing to work with you and help you decide what would work best for your theater.

Alarm Troubleshooting

If my system isn’t working properly, whom do I call?
If you have a trouble light on the screen you can refer to the document here to identify what if the problem is a common issue. If these options don’t fix the problem feel free to call the SLH Home Systems office at 952-224-5450 and we will attempt to trouble shoot the issue over the phone or set up a service call.

The keypad says low battery; what should I do?
The first step is to check the battery. If the battery is old it may just need replaced. If the power has gone out recently the  system has most likely reverted to the back-upbattery which may take up to 12 hours to fully recharge. Your keypad will show a trouble light and will beep until the battery is charged, replaced or the key pad is silenced using the # key. If the trouble light does not go off within 36 hours of a power loss, you may need to replace the battery. Call our office at 952-224-5450 for service.

What do I do if I forget my alarm code or want to change my alarm code?
The steps for changing your code are listed in your user manual. If these directions are not clear, you can call SLH Home Systems and have a technician walk you through the programming steps. If you forget your code call 952-224-5450 for assistance, we will either help you change it or set up a service call.

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