As the price of energy continues to rise, newer and smarter technology is being continually developed to make heating systems as efficient as possible. Boilers are now more efficient than ever, but heating your home can still be expensive if you're not smart with your usage. With 60% of household energy consumed through central heating, even small changes can produce significant savings.*
As many as 80% of homes in the UK don't have any heating controls** which means many people will only have their heating 'on' or 'off'. This would be like having a single switch for all the lights in your home - except lights cost a lot less to run. Traditional room thermostats offer some level of control as they allow users to change the temperature of the whole house, but these are often left at the same setting and rarely changed.
'Smart' controls and thermostats are the latest development in home heating. With small but powerful computers installed in heating controls, smart controls offer homeowners more intuitive control of their heating systems - saving energy and money in the process.
What are smart controls?
In its most basic form, a smart control is a thermostat or heating controller with advanced technical capabilities. They typically require a connection to the internet, offering users extended features such as being able to control their heating remotely through a smartphone app.
Smart controls come in all shapes and sizes depending on their features. Small systems come in a self-contained unit and simply replace your old thermostat, while larger systems which offer zone-by-zone temperature control can require extra sensors to be installed in each room.
Regardless of which smart controller you choose, they all promise to do one thing: save you money.
How do they work?
Smart controllers save you money by being more intelligent with your heating. More accurate sensors give a greater level of control and tapping into the Internet allows them to be much more aware of their surroundings. As well as managing your heating system, smart controls can record and display your energy usage through an app or website to help homeowners understand where they're spending their money.
What makes them 'smart' is their ability to adjust your heating automatically without any input from the user. Some can download local weather forecasts and adjust the temperature depending on whether its sunny or frosty, or offer 'learning' capabilities and to create a personalised, automated schedule based on when you usually use your heating. We've been working with Nest to offer our customers the smartest and most up-to-date way to save money.
If you'd like more information about the Nest Learning Thermostat, use the Find an Installer tool on the Nest website to find a local supplier who will be able to help your purchase and installation.
*Source: BERR **Energy Savings Trust