Smart heating is fast becoming the norm, with every man and his dog wanting to be able to remotely control their heating, particularly as the cold winter nights draw in. However, when it comes to designing new house builds, or improving older homes, the energy efficiency of smart heating is just as valuable as the convenience it provides to the homeowner.
Smart Heating Systems
Most smart heating systems only turn the whole house On or OFF, but a truly smart heating system allows each room of a house to have its heating activated at different times remotely through smart devices, facilitating heat distribution only where, and as, required, allowing householders to dictate heat patterns according to their lifestyle. In the first of our technology advice blogs, we take a look at the six key points that need to be considered when installing smart heating controls.
Think inside the zone
The term zone is used to describe an area to be heated and controlled by one thermostat. Typically, the entire house will be sectioned into different rooms where the temperature and heating duration needs to be controlled. However there may be instances where two rooms are effectively combined into one room, such as an open plan kitchen and dining area. We can then treat these combined rooms as one as far as heating is concerned, this is why we class each area the thermostat controls as a zone rather than a room. So plan out your zones and agree them with the customer before installing the thermostats.
Heating Thermostats aren’t for sharing
It is not uncommon for some installers and homeowners to use one thermostat to try and control more than one zone, but this is not considered a best practice, because a thermostat is only capable of measuring the temperature and reacting to the area that it is actually installed in.
Lifestyles are key
When considering which zones to include in a heating system, it is important also to consider the lifestyles of the occupants in the house. For example, not all bedrooms need to be heated at the same times as other rooms such as kitchen and living rooms. Bedrooms only need to be warm early in the morning and then can be set to a background temperature. Living rooms need not be heated in the morning during workdays unlike the weekends when they will be used all day long.
Take your time
As in most cases, timing is everything when it comes to smart heating. Just as you wouldn’t eat raw meat if it had only been cooked for 15 minutes, nor do you want to end up with a heating system that only delivers short bursts of heat – that’s neither convenient, nor energy efficient. Deciding on the timing parameters at which each individual zones will be heated is crucial to efficient smart heating installation. Householders must be provided with an intelligent system which allows them to control the specific times that they want to activate their heating, and for which duration. Only when a smart control system puts the user completely in control, is it a successful addition to any house.
Don’t sweat it
It probably goes without saying that temperature is key to any effective smart heating installation but when you think about temperature in the context of smart heating; don’t just take into account minimum and maximum levels.
Simply installing heating controls in a home does not save money. The system needs to be used in a way that changes the traditional process for heating a room, in order to save costs. For example, heating only the rooms in use can save money when compared to heating all rooms at the same time. Therefore, a key consideration for smart heating installation needs to be reducing over heating the house. This means, careful planning is required when calculating which room fits into each zone, and what temperature each zone is heated to, at various parts of the day. Again, this comes down to the lifestyle of the householder. There’s no point having the same heating temperature for each zone.
Don’t suffer a meltdown
The interlock is the final stage of any smart control design and is the physical action needed to switch the boiler ON and OFF, when the desired heating temperature has been reached. Traditional heating systems do not do this as they just have one central boiler time switch that is combined with old fashioned TRV stopping the flow of water to the radiators but still leaving the boiler switched ON, which results in energy wastage. A smart heating installation will allow the boiler to be switched ON or OFF from every zone so the boiler is turned ON only when needed.
Contact us About Smart Heating
Do let us know if we have missed anything off our list. What is important to you when it comes to smart heating installation? Let us know by tweeting @JGSpeedfit