Our homes are becoming smarter all the time. From home assistants such as Alexa, to smart meters and smart home security, we now have more control over our homes’ daily functions than ever before. Some of these systems remain the realm of tech geeks, yet many are accessible to all and few are as widely adopted as smart thermostat heating systems with around 1.5 million households estimated to have them in the UK.
There are a number of benefits that can help you heat your home more efficiently, save money and help the environment so let’s take a look at them in more detail.
Because smart thermostats can be controlled remotely via WiFi, it’s very easy to adapt it specifically to meet your lifestyle and movements. Where a standard thermostat is pretty fixed – timers are usually set for a period in the morning and evening – you can vary it according to your movements that day. There may be some evenings when you’re out or you find you need to work late sometimes so whereas with a standard non-smart system the heating would be on regardless, you can turn it down or even off from wherever you are using the app.
It’s really useful, for example, if you go on holiday during winter months. Most systems have a Holiday Mode that will turn the heating right down without interfering with your regular settings but increase it in very cold temperatures to prevent your pipes bursting.
This flexibility allows you to be in total control of your heating meaning that you only use it when you need it. This is a much more efficient use of energy.
Just as the app can allow you to control the system, it can also provide some valuable insights into your usage. This information is the same kind of information you could get from a smart meter however unlike a smart meter it doesn’t matter who your energy provider is (and you can switch without affecting it) and the data is not shared with anyone but you.
Having this insight into your energy usage can allow you to identify areas where you can make adjustments to enable you to use less energy. Recently, OFTEC urged more people to adopt smart technology to try to tackle the increase in carbon emissions recorded in 2018.
As well as being able to exercise a high level of control over your settings, many of these smart systems can actually learn and adapt. They can get to know your habits – how warm you like it, how often you have the heating on, when you're home etc – and after a few days can start to programme itself according to your preferences. You can of course override this if you prefer.
If you activate geofencing it can recognise your movements, knowing when you arrive home and when you leave by detecting the presence of your phone. It can then adjust the heating accordingly (of course, not so useful when there are others living in the property who may not have the same movements as you!).
It can even detect a draught if you leave a window open and will notify you. Not only helpful for heat conservation but for security as well.
While these benefits outlined here might appeal to you, there are a few things you also need to bear in mind:
Unlike a smart meter which you can have installed for free, there is an upfront cost to having a smart thermostat installed of approximately £250. If you want one for the purpose of saving money then you need to factor this in and the time it would take to recoup this cost.
If you want to control the temperature of each room individually you would need extra kit as this requires smart thermostatic radiator valves which wouldn’t come in a starter kit which also adds extra cost.
Not all boilers will be compatible with these systems, especially if they’re older units. It’s best to get some advice from an installer based on your specific model.
Remember of course that all these systems are reliant on WiFi so if you have a poor connection in your area, this would compromise its performance.
If you think that you could benefit from one of these systems, or would just like a bit more information, then give us a call on 0800 032 6478 or complete the form opposite.
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I recently had a new boiler fitted by Plumbcare.com, the price was excellent. Every process was explained to me prior to fitting and time was spent going through what was required and the reasons why. They were not pushy and I was given time to think, all options were thoroughly explained to me. The staff were all friendly and helpful and the work carried out was to a high standard with minimum disruption and my house was left clean and tidy. Time was also spent showing me what had been done and how to use the equipment. I would definitely recommend them to others.