Baby it’s cold outside, and Smart people are using their Smart thermostats and lights to increase the efficiency of their homes.
Now, of course we’ve always had thermostats and timers to control the boiler and central heating so that it comes on and off when we want, but only if the temperature demands it, so what’s the difference that Smart thermostats make?
First of all, it’s important to bear in mind that a Smart Thermostat isn’t for everyone. If you’re habits and want are as predictable as clockwork then the timer and thermostat combination you already have in your home are more than likely to be quite sufficient to your needs. That’s not to say a Smart thermostat wouldn’t be handy in the long run, just don’t expect to see any miraculous plunges in your heating bills if you’re already in complete control of the heating.
If, on the other hand, you’re a gadabout, a dirty stop out or on call as part of your job, then a Smart thermostat could be worth the investment.
It’s Easy To Get Started, After That, It Takes Care Of Itself
Your typical Smart Thermostat has three main elements: a device which controls the boiler, a thermostatic control, much like the dial you currently use to control the temperature, and an app which can be downloaded to your phone or tablet. If you have manual valves on your radiators you’ll need to adjust them to the maximum temperature you like in that particular room when you’re setting the system up. So if you like the lounge a sultry 25 degrees, but the bedroom 18, and you’re not bothered about heating the spare room at all, set your valves appropriately.
Once you’ve done that, you’re more or less set. No room will ever get too hot and you can control the heat while you’re on the go. So if you’re running late there’s no need to turn the heating on until you’re about to get home. If you’re called out and don’t know when you’re going to get back it’s no trouble to go to the app on your phone and turn the heating off.
Another advantage Smart thermostats have is geofencing. This is a method where, through GPS, your house knows where you are, and when you are drawing near, it can turn the heating on so it’s just right when you get in, or turn it off when you leave.
Smart Technology Learns About Your Habits And Predicts Your Needs
As well as tracking you, your thermostat can also learn your habits so if you do have a predictable lifestyle it can have the home the right temperature for you all the time, without you having to keep turning things up and down. Another bonus here is, if you are suddenly and unexpectedly called away, or go on holiday and completely forget to turn the heating off before you go, it’s easy to do on the road or from your hotel.
The people who developed the technology predict a 27-31% saving on each year’s use over not having a Smart thermostat, providing you use it correctly. Turning the heating off whenever the house is empty, and only ever going up to the maximum temperature you already set automatically will certainly help achieve between a quarter and a third savings on your heating bills, but only if you have your insulation and draft exclusion taken care of.
Combine Smart Thermostats With Other Energy Saving Strategies
Double glazing, cavity wall and loft insulation aren’t cheap in outlay, but they more than pay for themselves after only a couple of years. Factor in an ‘on demand’ heating solution and your bills will drop significantly in short order. Saving money on heating doesn’t just save you money either. Reducing your energy consumption has a considerable effect on your carbon footprint too. If you are about saving money though, it’s worth considering changing your supplier too. Most energy suppliers offer good introductory deals which don’t last longer than a year or so. After that you could be switched over to another tariff which isn’t as beneficial or other offers could come onto the market. The suppliers rely on ignorance or lassitude preventing you from migrating away from their service as soon as it’s no longer to your advantage. Call their bluff by checking with comparison sites regularly to see if there’s a better deal out there for you.
As well as operating directly from your phone or wall mounted control, because it’s Smart Technology, you can get it to run from other devices too. If you have a Smart Speaker you can call out for it to control the heat, you can set up a Skill or an IFTTT (If This Then That) recipe too, meaning that once something happens, say you turn the bathroom lights on, the boiler comes on too, ensuring that there’s enough hot water to not only take a bath or shower, but there’s water left over for anybody else to use too.