What Is Smart Heating and How Does It Work?

What Is Smart Heating?

A smart heating system is an efficient way to have complete control over your home’s central heating and energy bills. It allows you to heat your home remotely and only when it needs it, rather than wasting heat and energy. A full smart heating system allows you to create heating schedules for your hot water and home heating, controlling each room individually. Many smart heating systems can also work in tandem with a smart home system.

What Are Smart Thermostats?

Smart thermostats offer greater flexibility than other heating controls, allowing you to remotely control your home’s heating schedule and temperature. Like other boiler controls, a smart thermostat allows you to schedule your heating, helping to save you money on your heating bills and reducing your boilers environmental impact. With a smart thermostat, you can also control your heating remotely via the internet. You could turn your heating on while you’re travelling home from a late evening out, to make sure your home is warm and cosy for when you get there.

Like a smart meter, many smart thermostats can show you how much energy you’re using to heat your home, letting you keep a closer eye on your heating bills. Some smart thermostats can even learn your routine.

Can a Smart Thermostat Help Save You Money?

Having the ability to turn your heating off from anywhere in the world can save you money, as you aren’t wasting heat while nobody is home. If you’ve had to unexpectedly pop out, or gone on holiday and forgotten to turn the heating off, you can easily log onto the app and make the necessary changes.

Many smart thermostats let you monitor how much energy you’re using, which makes it easier to see where you could save money. Some smart thermostats also let you set different temperatures in different parts of your home. You could programme the heating in your home office to only be on during working hours, ensuring you don’t waste money heating rooms that you aren’t currently using. This can be particularly useful for larger properties.

Some smart thermostats can even learn your routine – such as when you go to bed and when you leave for work – and automatically adjust the temperature for you.

What to Know About Smart Thermostats

How Are They Programmed?

Before you start programming your smart thermostat, you should know your schedule. Jot down the times your family usually wakes up, leaves home, gets back and goes to bed every day of the week. Choose your desired temperatures for different times of the day – these temperature set points are often known as ‘comfort’, ‘eco’ and ‘frost’. With your schedule and temperatures planned, you’re ready to program your thermostat. Most smart thermostats will have a schedule builder within the smartphone app to help you.

What’s the Difference Between a Normal Thermostat and A Smart One?

A smart thermostat goes above and beyond a standard thermostat, and is more intuitive when it comes to heating your home. They can learn from your behaviour, be controlled remotely via smartphone app, and accurately track your home’s energy use.

Will a Smart Thermostat Work with My Current Boiler?

Smart thermostats can be used with most modern boilers. If your boiler is currently connected to a regular thermostat, it is likely to be compatible with a smart thermostat. Most gas and oil boilers under 10 years old will be compatible with smart thermostats.

Smart thermostats can’t be used with plug in electric boilers.

How Much Do Smart Thermostats Cost?

Smart thermostats typically cost between £150 and £280, depending on make and model. If you opt for professional installation by the maker, this usually adds around £50 to £100.

Smart Meters and Smart Thermostats Are Not Equal

A smart meter simply records your energy use and it cannot be used to change settings or control your heating. They digitally send meter readings to your energy supplier, eliminating the need for manual readings.

Smart thermostats let you remotely control and programme your home’s temperature via a smartphone or tablet, giving you greater control over your central heating.

What Can a Smart Thermostat Do for You?

Modern smart thermostats aren’t just control panels for your heating. They allow you to change the temperature of your home from anywhere in the world, and create heating schedules directly from the app. Some smart thermostats are equipped with movement sensors that detect when you are not home, to help with scheduling. Some can ‘learn’ your schedule and change the program accordingly. Smart thermostats provide energy reports on how much power you’re using, how your power use has changed over time and how much this could cost you. They often provide better temperature visibility and simple controls for ease of use. Many smart thermostats can even be controlled with voice commands in conjunction with smart devices like Amazon’s Alexa. Finally, some can track the latest weather reports and make changes to the temperature accordingly.

Zoned Heating

Zoned heating allows you to independently control the temperature of each room, making your heating system more efficient by ensuring you don’t waste money heating rooms you aren’t using. This means you can be comfortable while working from home, baby can be at a perfect temperature in the nursery, and Gran can stay snug in her annexe.

Zoned heating removes the need for you to go around every room in your house adjusting the temperature of individual radiators. Just tap the app to turn off the heating in the parts of your home that you aren’t using. Ultimately, zoned heating can mean less wasted heat, lower heating bills and a lighter load on the environment.

Geofencing

Geofencing is a feature of many popular smart thermostat models. It tracks the homeowner’s location via smartphone GPS, and adjusts the thermostat settings based on this. Imagine geofencing as a virtual fence around your home, which links to your heating and to your smartphones location. Your thermostat will know whether you are at home or not, and automatically adjust the temperature accordingly. You can choose the diameter of the virtual fence, and also your preferred ‘home’ and ‘away’ temperatures. Geofencing can also tell your thermostat to turn on when you are a set distance away from your property, to make sure your home is warm and cosy for when you get in.

What About Hot Water?

Some smart thermostats can also control your domestic hot water, to set a hot water schedule and to increase heat on demand. If you leave home for a few days, a smart thermostat can turn your hot water off, saving you money on your energy bills.

Can They Be Paired with Other Smart Tech?

Many smart thermostats can work in conjunction with Amazon Echo, Google Home and other smart home appliances. You can ask your smart device to set the heating at a certain temperature, increase or decrease the temperature, and check what temperature your home is currently.

Make Your Heating Smart with Northwest Heating Solutions Today

Northwest Heating Solutions are specialists in ultra-modern and efficient electric heating. We’re proud to be a Which? Trusted Trader for our high standards of customer service, value and quality, and our NAPIT accredited installers work to a no mess, no fuss policy when fitting your stylish new heating system.

ELKATHERM® electric radiators are A++ energy rated. They stay warm for hours with minimal additional power, meaning more warmth for your money and greater control than traditional storage heating. ELKATHERM® electric radiators use a massive five times surface area to provide superior radiated heat and spread convected warmth around the room, ensuring you aren’t left with cold spots. There’s no need for a noisy fan, so you won’t get uncomfortable dry air associated with other forms of electric heating. Once your ELKATHERM® electric radiator is up to temperature, it will typically draw between 15 and 17 minutes of electricity per hour to top up the core and maintain your cosy home. You can control each room individually, selecting the times and temperatures to best suit your lifestyle, and ensuring you don’t waste heat in rooms you aren’t using. We offer a range of control options, including our smart heating phone app.

Our ELKATHERM® electric radiators also come with a 4-year guarantee for electronic components, and a massive 25-year guarantee for the internal heat core. They are completely VDE approved and LOT20 compliant.

Sunamp heat batteries deliver mains pressure hot water on demand with superb efficiency. Packed with modern electric water heating technology, Sunamp heat batteries are ultra compact, need little or no maintenance, and can be charged using an off-peak energy tariff, or divert energy from solar PV, heat pumps or other renewable sources. They are perfect for those conscious about reducing carbon emissions, reducing or eliminating gas usage and controlling energy bills.