How to Troubleshoot Problems with Smart Home

Smart home systems are designed well. They usually don't require much to function, but every so often something goes awry. Smart home systems can be a little complex, so you might feel overwhelmed when the system malfunctions. Well, there are many ways to address this problem.


Call the Provider

One easy thing to do is to call the provider. You'll probably find a phone number you can call, or you might need to go to their website to contact them. Tell them what the problem is, and these folks might be able to guide you through the troubleshooting process. This is going to take some time, so make sure you call when you have the time and not when you've got something to do soon after.

If you have a warranty, the faulty smart home system could be replaced easily, but hopefully, the troubleshooting process will take care of this issue without you replacing anything.


Back to the Basics

The problem with calling or trying to connect with the provider is that sometimes these folks don't answer or they take a long time to answer. If you don't have time to wait because you need your smart home system running now, then it may be a good idea to find a repair person. This might be direr if it's cold outside and your smart furnace is out.

What you want to do is start by doing a Google search for ‘furnace repair near my location‘ until you find someone you feel you can trust. These folks know what to do with these devices even if they're smart.


Check Compatibility

One of the most common oversights is the failure to check compatibility. Technology can be very polarizing. You have to choose sides as if you were picking sports teams or political affiliations. Tech made for PC/Android will not necessarily work for Mac/iOS. People see a smart doorbell that works with a smartphone rather than seeing a Zigbee accessory and a HomeKit device.

Smart Home Systems

When it comes to smart home systems, you have to realize there are competing standards. Those standards are not compatible. So if you start with HomeKit, you should stick with it for all your smart home accessories. Even on the PC/Android side, mixing and matching is generally a bad idea.

Even now, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Zigbee are forming a new consortium that will support all the major standards. It will not be backward compatible, meaning the products you currently have will remain locked to their platform. But new products will be interoperable. Expect to see these products in 2021. For now, be careful to check for incompatibilities between your products.


Look at the Manual

If you want to take care of this on your own without calling anyone, then look at your manual. Whether it’s a home security system or smart kitchen system, there are troubleshooting instructions that you can use to find out what's going on. You can also go online to find out how others fixed the problem you're dealing with.

Both options require that you do some work to get your smart home system running up again, so if you're comfortable with technology, then this shouldn't be too difficult for you. This option will save you time, and it'll teach you new skills.


Check the Network

Sometimes, the reason a smart home system goes awry has to do with your network. Before you go crazy trying to fix the system, try to find out if there's something wrong with your network or if your smart home system is simply not connected. Check if this is happening in your home.

You might need to install a Wifi signal extender, which should help improve the network in your household if you're having this problem. You might also need to talk to your internet provider to see if the problem has something to do with them.


Might Need to Replace

If worse comes to worst, then you might simply need to replace your smart home system. Sometimes, these systems can't go on much longer, and there's nothing you can do about that. You can't keep throwing money at an appliance that isn't working. Keep your cash and invest in a new smart home appliance. Getting a new appliance or system allows you to upgrade and see what else is out there.

It might be overwhelming to deal with a smart home system that's gone bad because most people don't understand what makes this tech work, but you can do it. Hopefully, this guide helps you see what you need to do should this happen.


Do a Full Reset

It is amazing how often unplugging and replugging a product fixes the problem. When it doesn't, you can try a full reset of the product back to factory settings. You will not always know what the problem was, you just have to take the easy win. If a reset fixes the problem, do that.

Just be sure to reset the security as well. Smart home devices are notoriously insecure. HomeKit fell behind in the race to attract developers because Apple insisted on strict hardware and software security. Other vendors allowed anything and everything. Apple has backed off of those strict standards to chase market share.

Now, none of the smart home products can be fully trusted. Do your part by setting up your products with a strong password. This will help eliminate tampering from a malicious third-party.

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