Smart home devices are on the rise. It’s projected to be a $125 million industry in the U.S. by 2027. The devices are electronic, after all, and are susceptible to the same problems and frustrations as our other electronic gear. ClickAway technicians have summarized a number of DIY tips. You can always call a tech but these DIY steps might save you a few bucks.
Often when we’re called to fix a smart home device it’s a connectivity issue. Check that servers or your WiFi network isn’t experiencing connectivity issues. If the WiFi keeps dropping, you might beunable to connect remotely to devices or issue commands via your mobile device. Some devices will stop working entirely after losing a connection to the host company’s servers. They might need to be manually reconnected. To resolve, try swapping the existing router for a more powerful one or install a “mesh router system” that extends the signal throughout your home. You’ll also want to make sure that your router isn’t near any other electronics that could cause interference such as stereo or entertainment systems.
Finally, consider how dense the physical obstacles are separating the router from the devices connected to it. Stone or metal barriers could be standing in its way. If so, a mesh network, or simply relocating the router, can solve this problem. ClickAway techs see a lot of homes sticking with the router and modem combos provided by their internet service provider (ISP). Even if these devices are name brand, they tend to deliver sub-par wireless connectivity. Maybe your devices are a bit too smart for your stock router.
Failing circuit boards, blown fuses or melted capacitors can all mean critical hardware failures. In these cases, you may be unable to fix the smart home devices yourself. If you can’t take advantage of an active warranty, get in touch with ClickAway or an IT repair company in your area.
Some devices experience interruptions with the power source. Devices that require special installation, like smart thermostats, may have improper wiring or connection. Also, check those that use batteries. Most devices have an LED light that signifies power. ClickAway techs found several users that forgot to turn on a breaker so check that too.
Just because Alexa started talking randomly doesn’t mean it needs a fix. This is usually the result of a common “wake” word being used or called out on a TV show or in a conversation. You can customize the wake word by going to settings – your Echo – change wake word. Google Home and Apple HomePod have similar options.
Sometimes these electronic devices experience unique problems pertaining to their associated systems, not a local one. Write down the error message and go to the company’s website for answers. You can also Google the error and device model for answers on how to fix.
Get the most out of the device
Just because they work great out of the box doesn’t mean you’re getting every benefit out of them. Navigate to device settings and update your current location so you can get weather, shopping and traffic updates. By installing a number of additional skills on Alexa, you can gain new functions such as more personalized information and alerts.
You may find yourself puzzled or just don’t want to take the time to figure out how to make your smart home device work again. ClickAway makes quick, fast house calls in the Bay Area for most smart home device repair, installation or setup.