Common Home Automation Problems

Updated July 21, 2016
Smartphone with home monitoring app
We can now control everything in our homes from our smartphones. But what are common problems with home automation? (Photo by Chet Gordon)

Our homes are becoming smarter and smarter everyday. Here's a list of the most common home automation problems.

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Home automation is one of modern life's pleasures, giving us the ability to control our home's electronics at the touch of a finger. All of this automated equipment is made of software, hardware, and application interfaces. Items such as home theater systems, thermostats, televisions, and lights can now all be controlled with a universal remote or smartphone.

With so many devices connected through the same network, issues can and will happen. When home automation issues occur people shouldn't rush out and hire a tech; some of the problems can be handled by homeowners. To prepare it's always good to get familiar with common problems and to learn the features of your products. Here are some of the most common issues people run into with home automation systems.

The Most Common Home Automation Problems & Complaints

LAN and cable wires
LAN cables and wires create common home automation problems. (Photo by Summer Galyan)
  • System Integration: Most people tend to run into trouble with their equipment half of the time. Mixing and matching older products with newer ones are sure to cause a headache. Reason being is that the newer versions of the equipment have updated inputs and outputs such as HDMI or Optical Digital. For Example: If you have a newer model receiver with optical digital capabilities, but your television is an older model; that television may not have an input to connect with the (OD) cable. Another common issue is trying to connect different brands to each other. Having a Vizio Television, Sony Blu-Ray, and a Samsung Receiver will not be compatible. Always try to run the same brand across the board to avoid problems.

  • Wiring: With so many connected devices looped together, it's very easy for things to come unplugged. Wired connections are infamous of this and no matter how well connected those red, white, and yellow cables seem to be, they always find a way to slip out. Wiring issues can also come from too much current during a power surge so it's best to invest in a surge protector. Too much current should also flip the home's circuit breakers off or blow a fuse. If problems persist after confirming you have not blown a fuse, be sure to contact a certified electrician for help.

  • Overheating: All devices have vents and those vents must be clean or the unit will overheat and blow a fuse. Dust is a major culprit and if you're using an entertainment center with tight shelves, the equipment can't breathe. Never cram many devices together or stack books and papers against these electronics. Increasing the ventilation around the device will not only help avoid blown components, but it will also extend the life of the device by decreasing stress.

  • Physical Damage: Accidentally dropping or mishandling things is a sure way to damage it. Never leave any liquids near your electronics and if certain devices aren't working, do not get angry and be patient. It sounds trivial, but most physical damage is caused by the actual owner and most warranties won't cover the equipment if physical damage is present.

These are the ins and outs that plague the products that build home automation systems. Remember, after getting familiar with the products a little common sense will go a long way. For more detailed information about home automation, tips and issues be sure to visit our Home Automation Guide here.

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