Outwardly, there might not seem to be much difference between a programmable thermostat and a smart heating system, yet under the surface the latter is doing a whole lot more. From automatically optimising settings to saving you money, this is why you should think about making your next heating system an intelligent one.
While a regular thermostat offers a certain level of control over your home’s heating system, it’s not necessarily that effective. While it lets you do useful things such as adjust the temperature, set ‘On’ and ‘Off’ points and even, in some cases, set the temperature depending on day and time, this approach comes nowhere near the level of ease and efficiency that a smart heating set-up can deliver.
There are three or four main components to a smart heating system: the control hub (which connects to the boiler and the rest of the heating system), the smart thermostat interface, a mobile app and – in some cases – a set of smart valves (which allow homeowners to control individual radiators and heating zones). As an IoT-enabled system, a smart heating system can additionally be linked with the rest of a smart home, making it as easy to manage as the rest of the property.
Heating that makes its own decisions
Where smart heating truly becomes useful is when it includes behavioural learning, meaning that the unit processes external information, adapts its data sets and optimises its actions accordingly. This can be as simple as reacting to an unseasonably hot or cold day, or a system having the ability to learn the preferences of household and adjust its default settings accordingly.
Real-time adaptability not only means that your energy consumption can be more efficient than a programmable thermostat, but it should also mean that there’ll be fewer occasions when you need to manually adjust your heating – letting you get on with your day.
Finding heating efficiencies
Certain climate control platforms will automatically set devices to operate more effectively. An example of this is setting an AC compressor to turn off before the fan – as it remains cool for a time after being switched off, this ensures that it isn’t being cooled unnecessarily while still ensuring the fan can push cold air out into the room the whole time it is in operation.
As well as optimising settings to use as little excess energy as possible, a smart heating system provides a wealth of useful information, allowing a homeowner to see exactly how much energy has been used to keep your property warm. This lets you stay in control of your heating bills by showing exactly where your costs are distributed across the house, highlighting areas where savings could be made.
Works while you are away
While a few programmable thermostats offer an ‘Away Mode’, a smart heating system serves to keep your home efficiently heated when there’s no one in the house. This can be set to calculate automatically based on several factors, including the geolocation of residents, how long it’d take to heat up the property and how long it has been since someone was in. For those who want more control, however, an automatically-generated temperature can be manually overridden by the user.
Having your heating on your phone might seem like an extravagance, but there are several benefits to this. As well as being able to track your energy consumption from your phone, a smart heating app also lets you change the settings remotely – perfect for when you want to warm the property up before you get home or if someone else in the house has turned the heating up unnecessarily high.
A phone-based app can also be useful in homes where the heating system is zoned, allowing you to adjust the temperature in a part of the house that isn’t being used, without having to physically go there and adjust the thermostat.
A long-term solution to high energy bills
While the short-term effect of a smart heating system might not be as much as switching to a different energy supplier, having a more efficient heating system can bring substantial savings over the long-term. When paired with other comfort-focused smart technologies such as ultra-efficient smart lighting and automated shading. the environmental and energy-saving benefits of smart climate control makes it an obvious choice for people looking to make their homes more intelligent.
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