Smart home technology is a long-term investment, but that’s not to say it doesn’t require maintenance. Smart locks, blinds, and lights, as well as routers, hubs, and smart entertainment systems don’t last forever. At the same time, you don’t want to replace expensive technology every 1-2 years.
Regular cleaning, updating, and maintaining your smart home tech will help you get the best performance from your devices and ensure they last for many years to come.
A smart home is one you can rely on. But, just like your car needs an annual MOT and regular servicing, smart homes require maintenance for optimal performance. Technology make life more convenient, but it can become a hassle or fail you completely if not looked after properly. After making such an investment, it’s smart to protect your tech with a bit of TLC.
Devices don’t last forever and technology’s rapid expansion means that smart homes 10 years from now may look very different to the one you’re living in today. However, like a classic car, if looked after and updated regularly, or evenmaintained with a support plan, a Smart Living System will be able to stand the test of time and embrace future technology.
Reminder: if you hired professionals to set up your smart home, chances are they have a support plan you can take advantage of. Life often gets in the way, so a support and maintenance package can be a great way to keep on top of looking after your smart home.
Regardless of whether you opt for a professional package or do it yourself, there are some best practices we can all get in the habit of. Prevention is easier (and often cheaper!) than cure, so pay attention to the following tips if you want to prolong the lifespan of your smart home.
One of the quickest and easiest forms of maintenance is to keep on top of device updates. Most manufacturers send customers automatic updates which you can install at the touch of a button, in which case there’s really no excuse! Making sure that all connected devices are up-to-date with the latest software will ensure your smart home runs smoothly.
Read more: 13 Smart Ways To Boost Wi-Fi
Like software, your hardware also needs to be upgraded from time to time. Routers are the pieces of hardware that become outdated fastest. If you’ve been struggling with slow or unreliable internet, try upgrading your router (this may be a necessary step to access the latest software).
Another key area to stay on top of is your smart security system. Camera, door and window locks, and video doorbells are crucial pieces of kit that keep you safe, but they also have a lifespan. If you’ve invested heavily in security then maintaining and upgrading all associated technology should be a priority.
You can also check if there are security maintenance packages available with your products to help keep on top of upgrades.
You can be as careful as possible with your smart technology, but natural wear and tear still happens, especially if you share a home with excitable children or pets!
Yet even subtle damage like dust gathering on the projector and smart speakers of your home cinema can affect the quality of sound and images. Gently cleaning the dust from lenses and speakers once a week will help. Electronic wipes are great at removing smudges and smears from TV screens, camera lenses, control panels, and other smart device screens. Even if you’re the only one using your devices it’s best to keep them clean. Cans of compressed air help to blow out dust, lint, and crumbs from laptops, routers, hubs, and Wi-Fi access points. Keeping electronics well-ventilated and investing in surge protectors are other ways to prolong the life of your smart tech.
If you never clean or dust your smart home equipment then expect to replace them sooner rather than later.
Connectivity is the most important factor when it comes to living smart. Internal networks must be optimised and maintained to provide a safe, stable connection and superfast browsing speeds. In order to achieve this your network’s router must be regularly updated and maintained. A team of professionals will quickly diagnose connectivity issues if you’re struggling to get to the bottom of why your smart home automation isn’t working as seamlessly as it should be.
In today’s Internet of Things era, overloading your network with too many connected devices could be the issue. Smart locks, video doorbell cameras, automated blinds, smart thermostats, and smart lighting — all these smart devices hungry for bandwidth can put a strain on your internet connection. Of course, you don’t want to stop using the gadgets that are supposed to make your life more convenient and luxuriant. In this case you might consider hardwiring your smart home.
A wired network around your house is more secure and reliable than Wi-Fi, meaning you can use your smart home automations without disruption. A reputable Smart Living Installer would be the best person to have a conversation with on this subject – they will usually agree with the age old saying that wired is better than wireless.
Read more: Connectivity tips for faster internet.
Your home is smart today, but what about in five or ten years time? Technology advances so rapidly now that new software and equipment appears almost yearly. Does that mean you have to upgrade your equipment annually? Thankfully, no — there’s a lot of trial and error with new tech and often it’s best to wait and see what sticks and which companies emerge as consumer favourites.
However, at some point you’ll need to introduce new devices to your smart home setup , either to replace old tech or introduce new technologies that have caught your fancy. It can be easy to drop the ball when there’s so much new tech out there, but ensuring your smart home is integrated with the latest automations will keep you comfortable for years to come.
When you introduce new equipment to your smart set-up, take the time to configure each piece. Whether it’s your sound system or smart lights, proper configuration and optimisation will ensure everything is running at its best. While there’s no single solution to automate your entire home, wiring the essential parts of your smart home system from a properly configured central hub will stand you in good stead when you want to add more devices further down the line.
If you’re unsure how to properly configure your smart home, expert technicians can take away the hassle.
Take care of your smart security devices and they’ll take care of you. Smart security is an area of maintenance where vigilance is rewarded. Get into the habit of weekly and monthly checks to ensure that your security system doesn’t let you down when you need it most.
Here’s an idea of what to check on regular basis:
- Weekly. Check the batteries of smart locks and wireless cameras via your smartphone app; dust your smart control panel; wipe lenses with electronic wipes and a microfibre cloth to ensure clear footage.
- Monthly. Update your home security app to keep your devices safe, run diagnostics on the control panel to solve any glitches; test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Every 6 months. Test sensors to make sure they’re firmly attached and working . We suggest doing a wee dance in front of the door and window sensors to set them off! If the sensors don’t trigger the alarm try reconnecting them to your smart hub or changing batteries. Check all your outdoor devices every season. Trees and bushes can obscure cameras and trigger sensors. Wet or cold weather might have caused a sensor to loosen or crack.
- Annually. Take stock of your smart home automations. Is there anything missing? Have new vulnerabilities appeared in your system? Finally, check the warranty of each smart device. If your device isn’t functioning properly you might be eligible for free repairs or upgrades.
It might seem like extra work but stitch in time saves nine! You’ll also benefit from the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your smart security is working optimally and be able to spot any weaknesses as soon as they happen.
Read more: What Is The Best Home Security System?
Your smart home will last longer if you buy the best products within your budget from the start. There are many cheap, inferior quality products out there, and with so many smart home brands on the market it can be overwhelming knowing which brand to trust.
The following are trusted brands we often recommend to customers due to their reliability and compatibility with a range of smart home devices:
- Lutron. The Lutron Caseta system offers complete smart lighting control that integrates with window shades and thermostats. Enhanced control and seamless integration are selling points if you want to future-proof your smart home
- Control4. For wrangling all your smart tech into one central hub, it’s hard to beat Control4. Their sleek design lets you control temperature, playlists, what to stream on Netflix, and lets you check in on your home’s security. Plus, having everything in the one place makes your smart technology easier to update and maintain
- Rako. Cost-effective and easy to use, Rako continually develop their products to ensure your home stays at the cutting edge of smart technology
If this all feels a bit daunting to tackle yourself, there’s always the option to hire a professional.
At John Ross Smart Living we believe technology makes life better — we also know that technology isn’t infallible! That’s why we offer all our customers the choice of two maintenance packages.
We understand that the job isn’t finished once the installation is done. We also understand that many homeowners are too busy to think about conducting weekly and monthly smart home checks. However, if your smart home system isn’t properly maintained it can break down when you need it most.
Our Connected Support Plan comes with:
- 24-hour remote monitoring
- Software updates
- Telephone support
- Annual service and audit
- On-site support and 24-hour remote response
The world of smart technology is incredible but also confusing, especially when your connection is glitchy and you’ve no idea how to fix it. Our Connected package ensures you feel supported and get the most out of your smart home technology.
Embraced is a step up from Connected. This level of support ensures complete peace of mind, takes care of all essential smart home support, and keeps you ahead of the curve with new equipment integration.
In addition to everything in the Connected package, you also get some special perks:
- Same day response and a member of our team on-site within 24-hours
- On site labour included
- System feature updates
- New Equipment Integration
- Sound System Quality Check and Optimisation
- Lighting scene adjustment and creation
- System Configuration changes
- Reduced rate parts
To find out more about our smart home maintenance packages, get in touch today.