Get SMART for winter
19 August 2019
More and more people are choosing Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) to control their central heating systems.
These systems can improve your home life and make heating more affordable.
On-the-go control means the house will be warm in time for your return home.
- SMART technology explained
- What makes SMART heating smart?
- Making a SMART decision
SMART heating uses three basic components to provide a more user-friendly and accessible way of controlling your home’s heating:
- The first component will usually plug directly into your boiler and communicate wirelessly to…
- … the second component, which is the main control unit or thermostat.
- The final component is the app you download to your smartphone or tablet.
A standard run-of-the-mill boiler thermostat offers some basic functions like switching the heating on and off, timer settings and some basic temperature controls. A SMART thermostat, such as the Danfoss Link, Heatmiser Neo or Nest, lets you manage every minute of your home’s heating schedule from the palm of your hand, through a tablet or smartphone. You don’t need to leave the comfort of your sofa to be in complete control.
Geo-fencing is a practical feature that uses your smartphone to track your location to determine when you are coming or leaving home. With geo-fencing, you don’t have to manually switch your heating on or off or rely on a set schedule.
SMART thermostats, like the Neo, determine when your house is empty and turn down your heating to save energy. Geo-fencing also allows the opposite. If you find yourself making your way home unexpectedly, SMART technology overrides your scheduled heating timer to switch your heating on in time for your return.
The geo-location feature may not be for everyone and is probably most useful for people who may be in and out of the house at irregular times of the day and night. If you’re not that kind of person, then a simple timer schedule would probably do the trick.
If geo-fencing is not enough to get your inner geek going, some of the newer, more intelligent SMART heating controls have a function that takes into account the outdoor temperature and/or weather forecast. 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. If the forecast is sunny, the SMART thermostat will compensate for solar gain and turn down heating by a few degrees to save money and energy.
With a SMART thermostat you can manage your home heating schedule through your tablet or smartphone (Danfoss Link demo).
A SMART thermostat could save you money. However, research suggests it’s not for everyone. It’s important to understand what kind of person you are and whether or not SMART technology will make a difference to your life.
There are a few factors that will determine whether installing smart heating will save you money or be a complete waste of time and effort.
SMART technology is ideal for:
- People who love tech—smartphone lovers, computer users, people who are comfortable and adept at using apps
- Anyone who wants to be able to see exactly how much energy (heat) they are using and how much it costs to do so
- Busy people who want to be in control of their home heating on the go
- Those with a regular routine that can be learned by a smart thermostat to ensure the home is always warm when it needs to be.
As home automation continues to build momentum, SMART heating technology will become more commonplace. Take time out to understand how your central heating controller works. Become SMART smart.
This blog has been adapted from an article in NZ Plumber magazine, Apr/May 2019 issue.
READ NZ PLUMBER MAGAZINE HERE
About the author: Christchurch-based Central Heating New Zealand specialises in designing and supplying warm water central heating solutions for residential and commercial markets nationwide. www.centralheating.co.nz