Smart Controls - Intelligent control of your heating and hot water
More than just a thermostat or time clock, smart controls can reduce your fuel bill, improve the comfort in your home and allow remote control of your home and appliances.
Improved comfort, control and reduced bills for your Heating and Hot Water
Make the most of the latest energy efficient control packs to suit your lifestyle
Getting better control of your heating isn’t just a huge win for convenience. You can save a lot of money by heating your home efficiently. We can install all the most popular brands such as ‘Nest’ or ‘Hive’ as well as the latest controls from Vaillant such as the SensoHOME and SensoCOMFORT. From a central, room by room control to a more traditional programmable thermostat, we can design a ‘smart control’ system to suit your home and your life style.
What are Smart Controls?
Now with both the widespread uptake of the internet, home wifi and smart phones (iPhone and Android devices) control manufacturers have started extend the reach and intelligence of the humble heating controller.
Smart controllers feature a base unit which combines the programmer/time clock and thermostat in one unit.
This wirelessly (in some cases) communicates with the heating and hot water wiring centres and the internet (sometimes with a physical connection to your router or direct access to your home Wi-Fi network).
Their primary function is the same as previous controllers allowing you to set times of the day when you would like your heating and/or hot water to come on, but since they also have the thermostat built-in you can also set the temperature you would like your home to reach at a particular time of the day or night.
This allows for finer control of your environment and for different levels of comfort at different times, rather than a single temperature whenever the heating comes on.
Some of the major benefits available with various smart controllers include:
Some units provide "optimised start times" meaning if you set the heating to be 20 at 7:30 AM, the control will decide what time to bring the heating on to reach that set temperature at that set time (earlier if it is cold outside or later of it is a warmer outside or the house is already close to the temperature).
This means you only use the gas needed to meet the set temperature and time, which could be less if the weather is warmer and to improve the comfort of your property by bring the heating on earlier if it is cold outside (so you don't get up to a cold house).
Some smart controls can learn your routine (a feature of the Nest smart control) and set your temperature and on/off times for you saving you the trouble of setting up your heating times.
It will also continue to learn meaning if your routine changes, it will adjust your heating times and set temperatures to match.
Another feature of some controls is that they can sense if anyone is in the house (either via the unit itself or via your phones app) and turn your heating down if no-body is at home (if you go out for the evening or spend a day out at the weekend), further saving on your energy bill.
Each smart control has a companion app for smart phones meaning you can turn your heating or hot water on or off without even being in the house (if you go away for the weekend).
Many Smart Controllers can now control additional areas of your home either directly through their apps or as part of a home automation integrated system of radiator valves, lights, sockets, cameras, alarms and more.
Since most smart controllers can integrate with other systems, many have built in compatability with Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Apple's Siri.
If you are thinking of getting a smart control fitted, we can advise on the best solution by having a quick chat to discuss your requirements.
What smart controls can we supply and fit?
We can fit almost any make or model of Smart control such as:
Vaillant have their own range of smart controls. These link inteligently with Vai;ant boilers and have optional features such as a smartphone app, Weather compensation and reduced energy consumption. Click here for more information.
A brief history of heating and hot water controls
Smart controls are the latest evolution of home heating and hot water controls.
Over the years, homeowners have gained control of the comfort level of their home.
A simple Switch
In the beginning you could turn your heating off and on with a simple switch.
Your heating was either on or off.
Then came thermostats
Thermostats allowed control of the temperature of the heating by automatically turning off the heating when the room in which the thermostat was installed achieved a certain temperature set via the thermostat on the wall.
Closely followed by Time Clocks
Mechanical time clocks could control at what times the heating came on and turned off (for example in the morning and evening).
Thermostatic Radiator Valves
Around the same time, thermostatic radiator valves were introduced to allow control over the temperature in each room in addition the the house as a whole.
Upgrade to Digital
Next, time clocks and programmers became digital, replacing the mechanical timer with a digital display and simple push buttons
Next - Wireless
In the last 15 years, wireless options have been released meaning they could be positioned anywhere without having to install a cable back to the wiring control centre.
And now Smart Controls
And in the last few years we have seen the introduction or smart controls which offer additional features to help improve the efficiency of your heating system and allow remote access to the control from anywhere in the world.