Brrr! It’s getting to that time of year when multiple woolly layers and strategically placed hot water bottles aren’t enough. That’s right: it’s time to turn on the heating.
If you’re worried about energy bills, the thought might fill you with dread. However, with a smart heating system it’s possible to be comfortable and cosy this winter while saving money on your heating bill.
We asked John (Smart Living’s co-founder) to explain the types of smart heating and how you can heat your home more efficiently this winter.
Smart heating systems let you control the temperature of your home via your smartphone, tablet, or a central control panel. The most robust systems are hardwired into your home and come with a host of intelligent features.
For example, you can turn your heating on while you’re at work in time for the kids returning home from school. Other features include detecting open windows and setting humidity levels.
“A smart thermostat is the most important element of smart heating — the part that ensures you won’t freeze this winter!” says John. “But there are also smart radiators and valves and central heating control packs. ”
Let’s look at each component of a smart heating system in detail.
There are four main components to a reliable, energy-saving, and cost-effective smart heating system:
- Smart thermostats
- Smart radiator valves
- Smart central heating control
- Smart electric radiators
If you pay attention to one smart heating product it’s a smart thermostat.
These devices connect to your boiler using the existing wired connection. The smart thermostat can then connect to the internet and ‘speak’ to your smart devices so you can control temperatures with ease.
“We always cable in smart thermostats so customers can reliably control their heating at the press of a button,” John explains.
Hardwiring your heating means you can control your heating from a central hub that includes the central heating control pack and radiator valves. You can get wireless thermostats but John doesn’t recommend this route. “It reduces the control and efficiency if you have too many wireless products competing for signal. Wired will always be faster and reliable.”
Got an existing manual thermostat? Smart thermostats can easily replace them for greater convenience and efficiency.
Once installed, you can fine-tune the temperature of any room in your house remotely. Turn the heating off in unused rooms to save energy or time the heating to come on before breakfast so you wake up to a cosy home.
“It’s a waste to heat every single room in your house if you don’t need to,” says John.
A waste of energy — and money.
“With smart radiator valves you can control the temperature of each room independently,” John explains.
The way smart radiator valves work is pretty clever. The smart valves connect to a plumbed in radiator which in turn connects the radiator to the internet. From there you can control the radiator’s temperature output independently.
Handy if you run hot but your partner feels the cold. Now they can enjoy a toasty warm living room while you work away at a comfortable temperature in the study, for example.
This is the magical piece of kit that connects everything to the internet.
“Smart central heating control takes the comfort and efficiency of your home to a new level,” says John. “The pack comes with a smart hub that connects to the internet and a smart thermostat so you can set the temperature of any room in the house, even if you’re not at home.”
Forgot to turn the heating off after leaving home? No need to break into a sweat. Simply turn the heating off via an app on your phone.
“Some customers want their central heating pack to include radiator valves, too. We’re able to wire in a customer’s smart heating system so every bit of kit is speaking to each other.”
A seamless connection integral to an efficient heating system, which is why we’re on our soapbox again about cabling beating wireless.
“The most expensive cable is the one you didn’t lay,” John cautions.
Cabling in your smart heating system future proofs your home, saves money in the long run, and keeps your family warm for many winters to come.
Don’t feel left out if you have an electric heating system.
Smart electric radiators are a way to control a room’s temperature via your phone, tablet, or PC.
“They’re ideal for home office setups or loft conversions. Once installed you can set the radiators on a timer so they only come on when you’re using the room,” says John.
Smart thermostats save you money by being more energy efficient.
Instead of a “one size fits none” approach, smart thermostats allow you to minutely control the temperature of particular areas of your home with minimum fuss.
Intrigued? Read on for John’s favourite money-saving features of a smart thermostat.
“The game changer” as John puts it.
Not only can you hone the temperature of each room for maximum comfort, you can use smart thermostats and smart radiator valves to heat upstairs and downstairs independently.
Large homes benefit from this setup as it means the heating can be off in parts of the home that aren’t used while high-use rooms remain cosy.
Smart thermostats can alert you to draughts in a room so you can close any windows that have been left open accidentally. No point spending money on heat that goes out the window!
At their most basic, smart thermostats save you money by letting you adjust the temperature of your home quickly and easily even when you’re not there. Turn off the heating when everyone has left for work or school and remotely switch it on in time for their return. Or simply heat the rooms you use most during the day.
If a greener smart home is your goal then get a smart thermostat with energy reporting capability. Every month you’ll receive data that tells you activities your heating was used for. This can help notify you to potential wastes of energy and how you can make adjustments going forward.
Not at home during a cold snap? Remotely switch your heating on to stop pipes freezing — and to prevent an enormous bill in the aftermath of burst pipes.
Looking for a smarter way to heat your home this winter? Give us a bell!
At John Ross Smart Living we’re passionate about helping people to live their best life with technology.
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