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Smart home devices are simple yet effective tools for managing essential tasks around the house, from security to temperature. However, despite their simplicity, they’re still prone to certain problems, just like any other electronic device. Here are five common smart home device problems and the actions you can take to find a solution.
The battery life on all the different smart devices varies. Door sensors and alarms can last for years before needing a battery change if not used often, while high-use devices such as cameras require more frequent maintenance. Try these solutions if you find that your devices are losing power more quickly than they should:
Check the battery status on all your devices. The device typically signals a low battery with a red or flashing light, along with an occasional beeping sound. Change the batteries and restart the device if you see these telltale signs.
Check the device’s settings. If you programmed a device to stay on throughout the day, for example, that could drain the battery. Determine whether you need to keep that feature activated.
Make sure your device isn’t in a Wi-Fi dead spot. A weak connection forces it to work harder to stay functional. Simply moving the device a few meters might solve the problem.
Check the battery’s estimated lifespan. If the device has passed that lifespan, promptly replace it.
If you find that all of your devices have trouble staying connected to the internet and working to their full potential, your Wi-Fi router is probably the common denominator. Try these easy solutions to improve your internet connection:
Check to see if your connection is secure. Sometimes smart devices will automatically disconnect from a potentially compromised network.
Change your router’s location. Moving your router to a more centralized spot allows all the devices to get a more consistent connection.
If that doesn’t work, it’s time to upgrade your router. New routers are inexpensive, easy to find, and simple to install.
Consider investing in the new technology called Matter, which helps keep your devices connected and working together.
If neither of those solutions works, your device has probably suffered a more severe malfunction, and you should consult an expert.
Many serious malfunctions stem from hardware failures. The most common hardware failures in smart devices are blown fuses, failed circuit boards, and blown capacitors, among others. If you suspect that one of these issues has befallen your device, here’s what you can do:
Try to replace the broken part. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of taking out the old part and installing the new one. Keep in mind that your device’s warranty will likely become void if you opt for a DIY fix.
If you don’t have the knowledge or tools, hire a professional to repair the device.
If the professional can’t fix the hardware problem, the device is probably broken beyond repair. Start from scratch and get a new one.
Specific smart home devices – usually sensors and cameras – often turn on unprompted, which can be especially annoying if you have to manually deactivate them every time. This also poses a security risk because you can easily mistake a real threat for a false alarm. Here’s what you can do to make your devices work more accurately:
Make minor adjustments to your devices’ locations.
Remove any furniture or other objects that might be obstructing your devices’ view.
Look back at the security footage and see if your pet or another insect set off the alarm.
Customize your devices to only react to human movements.
Purchase a smart home hub so you can control all of your devices from one application on your mobile phone.
The smallest thing can set off your security devices, so you have to look for small culprits. If none of those minor adjustments worked, your device might be experiencing an error.
An error message display will appear on your device or smart home hub if a specific problem has occurred. The message might look intimidating at first, but keep in mind that it already did half the work for you. The device knows the problem, and now you just have to fix it. Follow these steps to solve the error:
Disconnect and turn off the device. After a few minutes, turn the device back on and reconnect it. Sometimes you can resolve an error by simply restarting the device, just like other electronics.
Perform a Google search on the error message. You might find a helpful article on the first search results page.
Go to the company’s website and access the FAQ or product support pages.
If you haven’t found the solution yet or the answer is too complicated, contact customer service or another professional.
If all else fails, replace the device.
Smart home devices can make your life easier and save money on your utility bills, but only if they’re working correctly. Stay on top of your devices by performing consistent maintenance checks and familiarizing yourself with users manuals and other helpful resources. If and when a problem arises, you’ll know what measures to take.
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