Would not having to carry a key around sound like freedom to you? It might especially appeal to the many parents whose kids frequently lose house keys. Keep in mind, though, that keyless systems are battery-operated, and could fail if a battery isn’t changed in time. Fortunately, most systems provide a key override so you’re not left out in the cold.
Locksmiths list other benefits of keyless locks:
• It’s easy to change codes, and you can set temporary ones that expire after a designated time.
• Some systems automatically lock a few seconds after you leave.
• Some link to Bluetooth so you can operate the lock via a smartphone or tablet app.
• You don’t risk someone finding a key you’ve hidden outside.
Despite the many benefits, there are things to consider before committing to a keyless lock system:
• Weather can affect how they function; they may not perform well after prolonged exposure to extreme heat, sun or cold.
• You’ll need to change the battery about once a year.
• Someone could observe the numbers you input and learn your code.
• If you don’t change your code periodically, affected keys can wear down, increasing the chance of someone guessing the code.
Keyless locks cost more than traditional deadbolts. Expect to pay $30 to $50 to install a traditional deadbolt, and $150 to $250 for a keyless version, depending on brand and quality.
When hiring an installer, consider an experienced locksmith. A pro can spot defects, sagging hinges and other potential problems. As always, hire contractors who are appropriately licensed, insured and bonded, and who have positive reviews on a trusted online site.