A Guide to Smart Heating for your Home
(Photo : A Guide to Smart Heating for your Home)

Many companies are offering more advanced control systems for central heating in domestic settings. They are referred to as smart heating controls. You have the option of managing your heating controls remotely from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. It incorporates other advanced features that are going to make controlling heat in your home a little more sophisticated. Some learn from your previous choices then automatically make the adjustments. The optimization and automation features help in determining when to turn the heating on. The good thing with a smart heating control system is you can remotely make changes to the plan - for example, you can change when the heating turns on if you plan to arrive home later or earlier than you thought.

Whether a smart controller from Heatable is a right option for you, and whether it will save you money is going to depend on how you control your heating currently, your lifestyle, and whether you plan on using an app instead of the traditional controller.

Benefits of a Smart Control System

What are Smart Controls?

They are remote control thermostats because you can use your phone to control them like you normally do with remote control. The system is fitted to the boiler, a room in your home, then the app on your tablet or phone.

The different parts of the system communicate with each other, and you can now control your home's temperature through the internet. Since it uses the internet, you can control your heating from anywhere as long as you have the app.

Types of Temperature Controls

With the right heating controls, you can easily keep your home temperature comfortable and avoid wasting heat or fuel.

Room Thermostats

These are going to help in preventing a room from getting warmer than needed. The heating is turned on until it reaches a set temperature, then turns off until there is a temperature drop. For room thermostats to sense the temperature, it needs to have a free flow of air. They should not be blocked by curtains or furniture, or put near a heat source. You should set your room thermostat to the lowest comfortable temperature, which is usually 18-21 degrees.

There is no need to turn on the thermostat when it is colder outside; the house heats up to the temperature you set automatically. During the colder days, it is going to take longer. This is why it is a good idea to set it comes on earlier during the winter.

A programmable room thermostat is going to combine temperature controls and time so you can choose to have different temperatures for different times of the day. You also have the option of setting different temperatures in different rooms. You will have to install thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs).

TRVs

These don't control the boiler. They work by reducing the water flowing through the radiator when the temperature reaches a certain point. Set the temperature you want for that specific room. The lower setting you use, the less energy you are going to use. This can end up saving you money.

It is not good to use radiator covers because a TRV senses the air temperature around it to control the flow rate depending on the temperature set. When you put a cover over your radiator, the TRV is enclosed, and this makes the system think that the temperature in the room is higher than it is.

If your radiator has a cover that can't be removed, it is still worth it to use TRV to control the temperature in your home. You can turn up the TRV when you feel like the radiator is not hot enough at a given setting.

Hot Water Thermostats

If the hot water is stored in a cylinder, the thermostat prevents it from becoming hotter than needed. Once the set temperature for water is reached, the heat supply from the boiler turns off. A higher thermostat setting is not going to make the water heat faster, and the water heating is not going to come on when the programmer or switch has been switched off.

The thermostats in the cylinder tend to be fitted about one quarter and one-third of the way up the cylinder. It comes with a temperature scale marked; you need to have it set 60-65 degrees. This temperature is hot enough to kill harmful bacteria, but this means that it is hot enough to scald. Install a thermostatic mixing valve for extra security because it is going to ensure that the water is at a safe temperature. 

If your home has a combi boiler, there is no cylinder, but there is a hot water thermostat on the boiler. This is usually a dial with a picture of a tap on it.

Boiler interlock

This isn't a control but a system of wiring that is going to turn the boiler off when the cylinder thermostat or room thermostat doesn't need it. If you don't have this, the boiler is going to waste energy because the 'cycle' will continue.

Boiler Thermostat

The boiler has a dial on it that has been marked with numbers from Min to Max. This is used in setting the temperature of the water being pumped. The higher the temperature, the quicker the heating of your home. If this temperature is not high enough when the outside is very cold, your home might not reach the desired temperature. If the water returning to the boiler is less than 55 degrees, a condensing boiler is a more efficient option. This is the reason not to set it too high. 

Those with regular boilers with separate hot water cylinders should set a higher temperature on the boiler thermostat than the cylinder thermostat. If you don't do this, the hot water cylinder is not going to get up to temperature. If it is a combi boiler, you are going to see two dials - one with a radiator symbol that controls the output to the radiators. This can be set at the best point and it is not going to affect the temperature of the hot water.

Benefits of a Heating Control System

Whether in an older home or in a new build, there is a lot you can do to improve energy efficiency - the traditional heating methods can be improved using adaptations like heating control systems. You need to have a clear strategy when designing this to make sure it is efficient and compatible with the surrounding environment.

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