Home automation equipment installed in the kitchen of a home.

The smart home is no longer a thing of the future. From thermostats and security systems to vacuums and pet food dispensers, home automation systems and devices are flooding the market to make consumers’ lives easier.

 

Home automation is using devices that allow you to control basic house functions—turning on a light or the AC, for example—remotely from your phone. As you add more automation devices to your home, you may wonder about the best way to care for your investments. This AMP Smart guide offers a quick introduction to the maintenance and care of your automated smart home.

 

Read the Instructions

This may seem like an obvious first step, but it is an important one. When you add a new smart device to your home, make sure you understand how it functions and any unique care and maintenance requirements before starting to use it. Reviewing the manual may introduce helpful features you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.

 

Keep Your Devices Powered

If your smart home devices aren’t plugged in or fully charged, they won’t be able to function properly. Make sure to regularly change or re-charge the batteries that power your home automation systems so your home will function smoothly. Remember that all rechargeable batteries have limited lifespans—check how long your batteries should last and make sure to replace them when the time comes.

 

Update the Software

Just as your phone and computer operating systems are regularly upgraded by the manufacturer, so is the software operating your smart home devices. Upgrades fix bugs, make devices more secure, and ensure that they integrate with other products. Usually, you can check for available updates on the app that controls a device; you may even be able to allow automatic updates.

 

Test Your Devices

Take care to test your devices regularly to make sure they are functioning normally. Check the automatic schedules you’ve set up—for example, make sure lights are turning on and off at the right time, and locks are locking and unlocking. Testing is especially important for smart home systems that keep your home safe and secure, such as security and smoke detectors.

 

Update Passwords

Passwords are your first line of defense in keeping your smart home secure. Make sure your passwords are strong and difficult to guess, and update them annually.

 

Check the Environment

Regularly check any fans or ventilation for dust and debris. Dust off speakers and clean smudges off of screens to keep your devices looking nice and performing well. Also make sure your equipment isn’t installed in a warm area or in direct sunlight, which might damage electronics. The environment and temperature might have changed from your initial install.

 

Regularly checking and maintaining your home automation equipment will ensure your devices function properly, providing you and your family all the benefits, convenience, and security of a smart home.