What Is Smart Heating?
You’ve probably seen the adverts for Hive, with its catchy song and animated bees telling you how great it is to be able to ‘control your home from your phone’.
Except ‘phone ‘really means laptop, smartphone or laptop, that’s just not as catchy in a song. And yes, being able to control the heat in your home before you get in is a really cool thing to do. It also effectively sums up what smart heating is all about. But smart heating is also the beginning of a more connected age and is likely to be a key part of all homes moving forwards. As fuel costs start to rise and natural supplies run out, the ability to heat our homes in efficient ways will become essential.
Efficiency is the name of the game in smart heating, which is why we have pulled together some of the top smart heating options for 2017, just for you.
Hive was one of the first on the smart thermostat market, which isn’t a huge surprise since it is made by British Gas. It’s certainly the best-looking option out there, with an interactive glass touch screen and space age controls. Depending on your existing heating system, you will need to buy the right number of zone controllers, which can make it a bit pricier than others on the market. But the advantage of being made by British Gas is that you can have a British Gas engineer install them for as little as £249 (as opposed to £179 for just the kit and self-installation). It’s important to note that Hive 2 can only handle 3 zones at the moment, and installing a zoned thermostat won’t make your home’s heating zoned – you need to have the right valves and installation there for that. It’s a relatively straightforward installation and it works with almost any boiler on the market, as well as boiler-fired wet underfloor heating systems. Easy to use, versatile and attractive, Hive 2 is still one of the most popular solutions around.
Heat genius is an internet of Things smart home heating system. It creates a digital home network designed to save you fuel and money by heating only the parts of your home that you use when you use them. You can control your heating to a granular level – to the temperature and on/off times of each individual radiator. You can also set up sensors that learn when you use what rooms and heats them automatically according to those patterns. The downside of Heat Genius is the sheer amount of parts you will need to make it work in your home, all of which add up to a fairly hefty price. The kit itself comes in at £249, but you will also need radiator valves (£59), room sensors (34), smart plugs (£29) and installation (£99). This makes it by far the most expensive option here. But it is far more sophisticated than any other solution out there too. A truly connected device, the Heat Genius can work in any home and gives you unparalleled control of the heating within your home.
Now in its 3rd generation, Nest is an all round good egg (sorry, we couldn’t resist!). It’s reliable, well designed and very easy to use. While it doesn’t come with the huge range of accessories and compatibility of some other systems, you can buy separate smart TVRs to control radiators, without changing your plumbing. You can also combine it with the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and the Nest Camera, all of which works with the thermostat. The 3rd generation update means you can control your hot water, and the latest app update can tell when you’ve gone out. It retails for around £200 and generally performs pretty well. However, it is essentially a remote on/off switch for your home and will only allow you to set temperature from a single thermostat. Perfect for small living spaces but for bigger homes you may start running into problems.
Why Use Electric Heating With These Systems?
As we’ve mentioned before, smart heating is all about getting the most bang for your buck and running your home efficiently. So, to get the most out of your smart heating, your actual heating system should be as efficient as possible as well. In previous blogs, we have discussed how electric heating could cut your monthly energy bills in half, thanks to their hyper-efficient method of conducting heat through quick heat aluminium elements. This means you will need to run your heating for less time, resulting in cost savings for you. When you combine the efficiency of electric radiators and the ability to control their temperature, timings and turn them on and off at the touch of a button, you have the ultimate in energy-efficient heating solutions.
At Electric Heating Expert, we supply a range of electric heating solutions that can integrate perfectly with almost any smart heating system, allowing you to have complete control of your home and your fuel bill. With winter on the way, now is the perfect time to make the switch and see a huge difference in yearly energy costs. For more information, or to get your free quote, just get in touch with us today.