An intercom system is an electronic communication system that is commonly found in hospitals, schools, offices and other large buildings, in ships and liners, and even in homes. With just the push of a button, an intercom system enables people in different rooms to communicate with each other in an instant.
Intercom systems are now becoming a popular component not only in workplaces but also in everyday households. It is important to have proper information when considering buying an intercom system. The following guidelines below will help you find the perfect intercom system that best suits your needs.
Intercom System Purchase Guidelines
- Set a budget. An important thing to do before shopping for an intercom system is to set your budget limit. The type, make, brand and features of an intercom system will largely depend on the amount that you are willing to spend on one. Intercom systems typically range in price from the most basic for approximately $500 to the very advanced feature rich units costing upwards of $5000. You will also have to consider additional labor costs which normally take between 2 – 4 days depending on the number of doors.
- Know the basics. Different brands may have different systems, but their basic components are essentially the same. Generally speaking, an intercom system consists of the following basic parts:
- The master station – also known as the central control panel, this is the unit that controls the system.
- The sub-stations/door stations – also known as the slave units, these are connected to the control panel.
- The power supply – feeds power to all the units in order to make them function.
- Modern intercom with Cloud integrations typically do not have a controller on site as everything gets stored and processed in the cloud.
- Determine the desired communication range. Different intercom systems have varying ranges, with some even reaching more than 1,000 feet. Choosing the range of your intercom system depends on their use and purpose, which can vary from room to room, floor to floor, and even as far as from one building to another.
- In general, intercoms are usually used for the following purposes:
- To connect different rooms or apartments.
- To connect rooms to a central office.
- To buzz apartments for residential buildings.
- To broadcast announcements/as a public address system.*To function as a ‘bell’, especially at schools (to signal the change of classes) and at home (Connected to a door buzzer).
- Check compatibility with your building structure. The ability of the intercom system to deliver good sound quality depends on the wiring of your building. Obstacles, such as metal walls, may interfere with the signals and prevent your intercom system from producing a clear sound. Corrosion and deteriorated wiring will not provide reliable communication intercom units within the apartments of residential buildings.
- Choose the desired type of intercom system. Intercom systems can either be hard-wired or wireless.
- Hard-wired or traditional intercom systems – these require wires to connect the entire system that is installed throughout your building. Although they provide minimum interference and/or restrictions, hard-wired intercom systems can be expensive to install (even far more expensive than the actual cost of the units themselves). They can also prove to be less convenient, with all the wires running throughout the walls and ceilings.
- Wireless intercom systems – these units may be less costly than the traditional, hard wired ones, but they have the advantage of requiring simple installation: just plug them to a power source and internet connection, and you’re all set!
- Determine the power supply to be used. Intercom systems work with either one of the following power sources:
- An AC power outlet (or a 12-volt DC power supply)
- Batteries (require regular replacement)
- POE (Power Over Ethernet)
- Consider / get to know the product’s warranty. In a way, the length of an intercom system’s warranty, including the extent of its coverage, reflects the manufacturer’s confidence in their particular product. Make sure to understand the clauses and provisions that are stated in the warranty certificate, and that they are backed not only by the manufacturer but also by the local dealer performing the installation.
- Do business with a reputable and experienced Intercom Systems dealer, installer and repairer. They will not only provide you with several possible options but also actually help you in choosing the best intercom system that would give you the best value for your money. It is also strongly recommended that you deal with certified and accredited dealers and manufacturers that have been in business for a considerable length of time, who not only offer clear warranty considerations but also extensive after-sales support.
By following the guidelines that are mentioned above, shopping for the perfect intercom system will be a fun and easy allowing you to enjoy the many benefits of a great intercom system minus the worries and frustrations.
Academy Intercom are experts at helping people through the entire intercom systems purchase process from beginning to end. Please contact us @ 1 (212) 539-1000 by phone or click here to contact us via our sales inquiry form. We look forward to hearing from you soon!