Let’s be honest, there’s nothing very exciting about standard heating systems. You tap them on, you turn them off, you walk away and forget about them. For all the promise the home of the future offered, for a long time it seemed the world had turned its back on the humble heater.
But that’s all changing, thanks to the rise of the smart home. From kettles that boil themselves to lights that can be set to every colour of the rainbow from your phone, we’re automating more and more of everyday life through connected technology.
And heating is no different, as brands like Nest and Hive look to bring warming or cooling our homes bang up to date and ready for 21st century living.
SMART THERMOSTATS SAVE MONEY
This is the biggie. Bills hit us where it hurts – in the piggybank. But smart thermostats, by helping to more precisely regulate your home heating habits, can save money on energy bills over the years. Nest claims its systems can save you between 10 and 12 per cent on heating
By giving you greater control over your heating schedules, you’ll find you’re only using it when you need it – with systems able to monitor and maintain a comfortable temperature rather than overheating, and switching themselves off if you’re not present. Over time, these energy-saving tricks convert to not just pennies, but notes you’re saving too.
SMART THERMOSTATS SAVE THE WORLD
If you’re saving money with a smart thermostat, that’s because you’re using less energy. And, if you’re using less energy, you’re doing your part to help reduce the strain on the world’s resources we humans cause as we go about our lives. With so much of the world’s energy supply still generated through fossil fuels rather than renewable sources, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint and taking the strain off the environment.
SMART THERMOSTATS LEARN YOUR ROUTINES
Smart thermostats, like the multiple generations of Nest Learning Thermostats, get that ‘smart’ moniker by being able to anticipate your needs, rather than being reliant on you to make every single tweak to your heating schedule. Over time, they learn your routine, habits and preferences, and are able to adapt your heating settings to suit them. The Nest, for instance, can connect up to your phone, learn your commute times and when roughly you return home, and have your home hit your preferred temperature automatically before you get to your door. Over the course of a year, it’ll eventually learn your preferences as the seasons change too, and adapt accordingly, and can even make ad-hoc changes if the day-to-day weather takes a drastic change.
YOU CAN SPEAK TO YOUR RADIATORS
Who hasn’t ever wanted to speak to their radiator? No? No one? Well, OK, it’s a niche need, but there’s something quite fun and space aged about being able to speak to your smart home controller of choice, be that Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri or Google’s Assistant, and have it magically regulate the temperature without you having to lift a finger. All the best smart thermostats integrate with the big three voice assistants you’ll find in your phones or smart speakers, and can easily be set up to communicate with each, giving you hands-free voice control of your home climate.
THEY LOOK GREAT – ESPECIALLY THE NEST RANGE
Old school thermostats look functional at best, probably some with a tiny LCD screen better suited to a calculator watch, others with arcane dials and timer switches in order to program your heating schedule. That just won’t do for generation smartphone. Devices like the Nest range feature beautiful coloured touch screens that are not only far more easy to program, but far easier on the eye too. You won’t want these hidden away in a cupboard like your standard grey-box thermostat, with smart thermostats adding a level of starship-chic to whichever wall they’re placed on.
I contacted Heat UK following a friend’s recommendation as I needed my boiler to be moved within my house. The Heat UK engineers took the whole project in hand and...Mr Branch