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Smart made simple

Aug 2016 Heating, Smart Homes | Comments Off on Smart made simple
Smart made simple

Electrical contractors and installers need to get clued up on smart heating controls. Simon May, product manager at Drayton Controls, explains why and discusses the best solution for quick and easy installation

New research on the UK smart heating market indicates that sales of Internet of Things heating devices have grown by 3000% since 2010, with volumes set to rise by a massive 40% in 2016.

This expanding market opens up a potential new revenue stream, and electrical contractors and installers need to be aware of the options available in order to meet customer need and maximise their own business.

So when it comes to internet-connected heating controls, what are the benefits for both the homeowner and electrician, and which options offer ease of use and installation?

Internet-connected controls allow the user to remotely manage the temperature of their property using an app on their smartphone or tablet, no matter where they are. This means that the heating can be turned on or off, and the temperature adjusted, without the user needing to be near the home. For example, if a homeowner has gone to work and accidentally left the heating on, they can remotely switch it off using the app.

It’s also really easy to adjust heating schedules on the go, which means homeowners are able to reduce their energy consumption by tailoring heating periods to fit in with their lifestyle and routine. For example, if they have been invited for after-work drinks they can use a smart control to alter the time periods via the app so that the heating doesn’t come on until later that evening.

Smart energy savings

Heating and hot water account for around 82% of a home’s total energy use, so a lack of control can result in significantly high bills. However, studies show that adding a modern TPI (time proportional integral) room thermostat plus thermostatic radiator valves to a conventional heating system could reduce energy costs by 53%.

New smart controls take this one step further because they give the homeowner ultimate control over the amount of energy that is being used, meaning they have the ability to significantly reduce household bills.

Internet-connected controls are also ideal for enhancing physical comfort because homeowners can switch the heating on before they get home to make sure the property is warm for their return.

What’s more, if your customer has elderly relations, a smart thermostat could offer peace of mind. Your customer would be able to check that the temperature of the relation’s home is at the right level to keep them healthy and happy, and remotely adjust it if necessary.

Easy installation frees up time

Although there are a number of highly advanced smart thermostats on the market, these often include tricky wiring and a lengthy set-up process that can increase installation time dramatically.

In comparison, wireless controls are much quicker to fit than wired products, which means more free time for the electrician to put back into the business, locating and undertaking additional work.

Another selling point of a simple wireless smart controls system is that customers are not required to divulge a lot of personal information, which some advanced learning devices require.

To install, just remove the old programmer and thermostat and retrofit the new internet-enabled control. The control can then be connected to the internet and synced with the app, which the homeowner is able to download onto their smartphone or tablet.

Wishes granted

Drayton’s miGenie system can be fitted in as little as 10 minutes. British built to last, the company says its miGenie control packs – known as ‘Wishes’ – are suitable for all applications to make installation easier and ensure the electrician has the perfect solution for every job.

The miGenie Wishes use smart technology, enabled by an intuitive app that users download onto an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, or Apple Watch.

Products in the miGenie Wishes range are pre-bound and carry an industry standard backplate, meaning they are easy to retrofit and can be installed straight from the box.

The controls are also simple to operate, featuring familiar buttons and icons, and step-by-step instructions for set up.

It’s important electrical contractors and installers don’t get left behind in the smart heating controls revolution. Fitting a simple wireless system keeps the customer satisfied while making the installer’s job quick and easy.