Custom built electronic systems encompassing multiple brands and types of electronic components are never going to be maintenance free, no matter how good they are and how good your electronic system designer is.
The fact is that these systems are built out of multiple brands and are dependent upon each other to work correctly all the time in order to provide the clever options that consumers are demanding in a modern home.
Power supply units get hot during regular usage, eventually, the parts ware out and replacement is required, fans that are constantly spinning extracting heat will eventually cease to operate causing the equipment they are cooling to shut down, requiring replacements. Maintenance may not be regular but when it happens the best way to reduce costs is to ensure that the installation team you select are building and installing systems with maintenance in mind.
This includes correctly labelling cables, looming cables so that paths and direction are clear, ensuring equipment is well spaced and accessible enough to be serviced and replaced easily, ensuring that there are plenty of well-fitted power distribution units so that the power supply units can be removed and replaced easily, allowing for equipment spacing so that air can move around the equipment and dissipate heat.
It's certainly a more costly exercise initially getting it right so when you do go down the path of hiring an installation team to create your electronics system ask if cable looming is included, ask about labelling and final documentation.
When a system is designed and installed with maintenance in mind the costs for maintenance can be reduced simply because the maintenance technician does not need to expend a great deal of time figuring out how your system went together and how to service an exploding box of equipment. A poorly laid out system can often have the unwanted side effect where a technician sorts out one issue but in doing that he inadvertently causes another issue because your system has not been set up for easy maintenance.
The images included are a recent installation that Surrounds was involved with, the system itself was not large and if we were to speed up the installation process we could have mounted the equipment in a tightly fitted box and closed the thing up and call it job done!! However, with maintenance in mind, this system had its cables loomed, equipment spaced, star run and interconnecting cables are labelled for accuracy.
This type of installation is typically more time intensive, however, what you have is a system set up to be maintained and usable for years to come. So next time you have a chat with an expert about electronic design for systems installed in your home, when you have the important discussion about future proofing make sure to ask about how they intend to install for maintenance.