What is SMART home heating, how does it work and why should you get it?
SMART stands for “Self-Monitoring Analysis & Reporting Technology”, but what exactly is it that makes a ‘smart’ heating thermostat smart?
Well, while a standard run-of-the-mill boiler thermostat offers some basic functions like switching the heating on and off, timer settings and some rudimentary temperature controls, a SMART thermostat lets you manage every minute of your home’s heating schedule from the palm of your hand, through a tablet or smartphone.
So you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your sofa to be in complete control. In fact, provided you have access to the internet, you could be at the top of a mountain in the Himalayas and raise or lower the temperature of your heating from one of the highest peaks in the world.
That may sound a bit far-fetched (though if I ever get the chance I’ll be trying it) but it does give you an idea of what can be achieved with a smart heating device. But does the fact you can adjust the temperature of your heating from pretty much anywhere really mean that your thermostat is smart?
HOW DOES A SMART THERMOSTAT WORK?
When it comes to just having control over your heating, the process of how it works is pretty simple. While a typical thermostat lets you make changes to the temperature in your home using a dial or a control panel, a smart thermostat does it a little differently and more efficiently; using three basic components to provide a more user-friendly and accessible way of controlling your home’s heating.
The first of these components will usually plug directly into your boiler and talk wirelessly to the second component – an in-home device that is the main control unit and thermostat controlling what is and isn’t going on – while the final component is the app that you download to a smartphone or tablet.
There are many different variants of this theme, but from a simple – “what does a smart thermostat do?” perspective, the Wi-Fi controls, internet connection and smart device connectivity is pretty much the foundation of what smart heating controls are all about.
There are some other clever bits to consider, but the basic outline and function of SMART heating controls are that they will make life easier and mean that heating your home is simpler and more affordable. Allowing you, or whoever it is in your home that wants to control the heating, to control the temperature from virtually anywhere that you want.
HOW DO SMART HEATING CONTROLS BENEFIT ME?
You may feel that you are totally happy with the programmable thermostat set-up that you already have, and therefore have zero need for a smart thermostat or other smart heating controls. But knowing how smart heating controls may benefit you directly might actually change your mind.
So let’s look at the main benefits of smart thermostats and smart heating in a little more detail.
DO SMART HEATING CONTROLS SAVE ME MONEY?
The short answer is yes, certainly, if you use them in the right way. Many of us who are without a SMART thermostat or some other type of SMART linked heating controls won’t be surprised to learn that we are (more often than not) wasting money heating an empty home.
More or less everyone I know wants their home to be warm and cosy when they come in from a long day at work, especially in the colder months. But some central heating systems just can’t be relied upon to guarantee this, so they end up leaving their heating on all day.
However, with SMART heating systems, you can set the temperature well in advance and your system will work out when it needs to turn back on again – just in time to get your house up to the required temperature for when you come home.
Some of the newer, more intelligent SMART heating controls also have a function that takes into account the outdoor temperature. The really ‘smart’ thing about this is that if the temperature outside is colder than usual, your heating will come on a little bit earlier than normal in order to make up for it.
A thermostat like the Tado SMART Room Thermostat also features geofencing, this helps track the location of the people in your household via their mobile phones – turning the heating on automatically when they’re getting near home. This is perfect if you find yourself making your way home unexpectedly.
Let’s say that you’ve decided to leave a party early because that girl/guy you have a big dose of unrequited love for has shown up and you just have to get out of there, your heating will know!
A SMART thermostat with geofencing will track your location and over-ride your scheduled heating timer to switch your heating on in time for your return, so although you may be feeling a little down in the dumps about another missed opportunity with the person of your dreams, at least you’ll be able to wallow in the comfort of a warm and cosy space.
Others like Nest Learning thermostat are learning your day to day schedule and automatically learning when to start and stop the heating without even the need of you setting any schedules.
HOW TO BUY THE BEST SMART HEATING CONTROLS
So with these points in mind, how can you buy the best SMART thermostat? What do you need to look for to make sure you get the one that’s right for you and for your home?
As we’ve seen above, SMART heating controls offer a wide range of different features and functions and deciding which ones are more important to you and better suited to your lifestyle, is key to selecting the right thermostat for your home.
Here at AllForProperty, we are more than happy to assist you and help you make the right choice. We will not only help you make the right choice but can actually supply, fully install and explain how it all works so you can get the most out of your new control.