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Automating Your Home? Avoid These Common Mistakes

Home automation can be a great thing for a homeowner to do. Think of how convenient it is to be able to control your lights, your air conditioning, your heating, your doors and your locks all from a smartphone or a central remote. With home automation all of this is possible; and as home automation technology advances, more and more amazing things are going to be possible with home automation. But, homeowners have to be careful, home automation is expensive, and you want to be careful not to make any mistakes because it could end up costing you a lot of money. So, here are some common mistakes a lot of homeowners make when they first take the plunge into home automation.

Automating things you do not use

Home automation is expensive, so it is important you look for possible ways to keep your expenses down. One way of doing so is by only automating things you actually use on a daily or semi-daily basis. It can be tempting if you are new to home automation, to get overwhelmed by the possibilities and end up automating a bunch of things you do not ever use. A good example of this are sound systems. If you often host parties, or listen to music a lot, automating your sound system is not a bad idea, it lets you instantly fill your living room with music. If you do not listen to music often and if you rarely ever hold parties, then automating your sound system is a complete waste of both time and money. Yet, a lot of people decide to get an automated sound system anyways because it sounds interesting and cool; or maybe they saw an ad for automated sound systems. When deciding whether to automate an appliance, ask yourself “do I use this at least once a day?” If the answer to that question is no, then you might want to reconsider your decision to automate the appliance. If you are wondering what you should start automating first, there are a couple of things that pretty much every homeowner uses that benefit from automation; these include lighting systems, air conditioning systems, and finally, the doors and locks. All of these things see regular use in almost every home and they also benefit massively from being automated.

Not hiring a professional

There are a lot of guides online about how to automate your home entirely by yourself. And usually, these guides present it as being a far easier job than it really is. Now, are there some home automation jobs people can do on their own? Sure, it is incredibly easy to automate lightbulbs or a television set. But, for serious home automation jobs, you should always consult a professional. Furthermore, a lot of the more complicated home automation jobs may require a person to interact with wiring, which in Australia can only be done by a licenced electrician. Of course, you also have to pick the right professional. Not every electrician is going to be knowledgeable about home automation systems, so make sure you do research and read reviews before picking a professional to automate your home.

Not giving devices enough ventilation

If you have ever touched a laptop, a gaming console, a router, or really anything that runs on power, you will know that over time these devices can get extremely hot. Now think about all the devices involved in home automation; many of them will be running for 24 hours a day and they can start to overheat. Even though modern electronics generally do not overheat as easily as they once did, it is still a concern. So, when you are getting your home automated, make sure all devices are put in an area where there is sufficient ventilation so that they do not overheat. Never bury devices in a corner somewhere, where they can’t cool down properly.

Failing to plan ahead

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when it comes to home automation is that they fail to plan ahead and failing to properly articulate what they want. To avoid this mistake be upfront and straight with your electrician about what systems or appliances in your house you want automated. Then ask what sort of packages or deals they offer on home automation. The worst thing you can do is ask your electrician something along the lines of “hey, I’m interested in home automation, what can I get automated?” If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want automated, then things will become messy. If you are interested in home automation, the best course of action is to sit down at the computer and do some serious research and come up with some things in your house that you would like automated, and then you can make some calls to electricians and see about finding a good deal.

Concentrating all the controls in one device

It can be really surreal to control everything in your house (lights, air conditioning, locks, etc.) from one single device. But, that is actually a huge mistake. You should not concentrate all your controls in a single device because it makes the whole home automation experience a bit clumsy. For example, if everything in your home can only be controlled from a single control panel in the kitchen or living room, what was really the point of getting stuff automated in the first place? You should aim for a certain amount of control panels scattered throughout the house; it really does make the home automation experience smoother and more intuitive.

There are obviously a bunch more mistakes that could be mentioned, but these are some of the major ones that homeowners tend to make. Thankfully, these common mistakes can be avoided by doing research before you actually begin automating your home. If you want a good starting point, we have several in-depth articles on home automation that you can start reading right now; here’s one on things homeowners should know before considering home automation.