Smart-tech heat­ing

Mod­ern ther­mostats save you money, en­ergy and give you com­plete con­trol

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Think of your old ther­mo­stat like a TV with­out a re­mote con­trol and you’ll soon ap­pre­ci­ate how much of an im­prove­ment the lat­est ther­mostats are. In­stead of hav­ing on/off or tem­per­a­ture up/down switches, they al­low you to man­age ev­ery as­pect of your home’s tem­per­a­ture from any­where you like in the world, all through a sim­ple smart­phone app.

Smart heat­ing sys­tems have re­ally come into their own in re­cent years, with a wealth of so­lu­tions avail­able to let you con­trol your heat­ing us­ing your tablet, smart­phone, or desk­top. And with more and more en­ergy com­pa­nies cot­ton­ing on to smart tech­nol­ogy, there’s a wealth of op­tions for you to choose from.

Lots to learn

Smart ther­mostats can tell whether you’re at home or not. They can turn off au­to­mat­i­cally when you leave the house, while some can ac­ti­vate when they re­ceive a mes­sage au­to­mat­i­cally sent from your phone, telling it that you’re on your way home. You don’t even need to have the app open – the in­for­ma­tion is sent based on your phone’s lo­ca­tion. Smart ther­mostats shouldn’t be con­fused

with smart me­ters, which dig­i­tally send me­ter read­ings to your en­ergy sup­plier.

Save en­ergy

Gas prices in the UK have tripled since 1990, which can make it a chal­lenge to eco­nom­i­cally heat your home. But a smart heat­ing sys­tem can help with keep­ing your en­ergy costs down. The com­bi­na­tion of au­to­matic tem­per­a­ture con­trol and easy-to-use schedul­ing apps means you can con­trol ev­ery as­pect of your heat­ing, which­ever gas sup­plier you may be with. Most man­u­fac­tur­ers claim that a smart heat­ing sys­tem could save cus­tomers be­tween 20-40 per cent com­pared to not us­ing a home ther­mo­stat.

Get­ting started

All ma­jor brands now of­fer free in­stal­la­tion for their smart ther­mostats – all you need is a com­pat­i­ble boiler and a re­li­able Wi-fi net­work. A wire­less trans­mit­ter plugged into your boiler links to the ther­mo­stat and your smart­phone or com­puter via Wi-fi. The top-of-the-line sys­tems now in­clude wire­less ther­mo­static radiator valves (TRV), which means you can con­trol the tem­per­a­ture in in­di­vid­ual rooms – keep­ing the baby’s room warmer for in­stance.

Hive Has in­tro­duced Home mon­i­tor­ing sen­sors, mo­tion de­tec­tors and even smart light­bulbs, so you can con­trol your whole Home from one app

Wan­der around your house to iden­tify your heat­ing needs and try an app that sets in­di­vid­ual room tem­per­a­tures

Philips Hue is the most ex­ten­sive smart light­ing sys­tem with re­place­ment bulbs for most fit­tings, sticky-backed LED strips and even bat­tery-pow­ered de­signs for the gar­den. Set moods, con­trol colour, even con­trol us­ing Siri, Ap­ple’s voice con­trol soft­ware. Kits start from £59.99, meethue.com

Hive Ac­tive Heat­ing kit, £249

Eve ap­pen­abled radiator valve, £60, Ama­zon

This stylish ap­p­con­trolled ther­mo­stat has an easy-to-use cal­en­dar for pin point heat­ing con­trol, £249 with in­stal­la­tion, hive­home.com

Nest learn­ing ther­mo­stat, £249 in­clud­ing in­stal­la­tion

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