When it comes to tech in my house, we toggle between being early adopters and late-to-the-party folks. In every instance, we sort of muddle our way through the installation and set-up process — though lately it seems like our 10-year old can figure anything out for us.
And so it was with our smart home devices. We hopped on the bandwagon before there was a bandwagon with the nest thermostat and installed it nine long years ago. On the flip side, we only just had the nest hello doorbell installed at the beginning of this year.
When we purchased the thermostat, we’d already made sure that our wiring was compatible — which isn’t always the case in every home. We decided to install a smart thermostat ourselves, but quickly learned that even a straight switch from the old thermostat to the new one had its challenges.
OMG…what a nightmare.
Weirdly, we found some unofficial tech support thanks to Twitter. I was following a huge influencer who’d mentioned her husband had just installed one, and I asked her for help. Mercifully, her husband walked mine through it (or, more accurately, stumbled through it).
So why did we choose to install it ourselves? I chalk it up to this: installing smart home devices, at least from the outset, feels a lot like setting up a new mobile phone. There are quick-start guides and well-illustrated instruction booklets. And it simply doesn’t feel like actual electrical work. Except it is, so it’s always best to call in the experts.
The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) — an administrative authority mandated by the Government of Ontario to enhance public electrical safety — created a program called Power Your Life that offers the latest trends for your kitchen, bathroom, basement, outdoor space and smart home tech, all focused on electrical safety.
ESA wants you to know that hiring a licensed electrical contractor is an important part of powering your connected home with smart home devices – as is following the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.
If you’re thinking of installing any kind of smart tech in your home, my message is this: be sure to look for a licensed electrical contractor (you can find one in your area using ESA’s licensed electrical contractor look-up tool). And be sure to Power Your Home wisely, prioritizing knowledge and safety.
DISCLAIMER: I was compensated for this post and am personally grateful to have been made aware of the ESA. All anecdotes and opinions are my own.