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  • Writer's pictureAdrian Farmer

Get SMART with your heating

Traditionally, October 1/2 term has always been the time to pack the work shorts away for winter and maybe, just maybe put the heating on a little. But this year we cracked on the 1st October. With energy prices the way they are, coupled with my slightly obsessive tendency to check the smart meter readings as much as my emails, we cautiously clicked the Hive app and turned the heating on.

We often get asked about Smart heating and whether it is worth it. In all honesty, if you are just buying a smart thermostat like Hive or Nest, then no, we wouldn't recommend it. Sure it's might be fun to be able to turn the heating on from your phone before you leave work but trust me, the novelty will soon wear off.

BUT, there is a way to make Smart heating really work for you and save energy, read on and we'll show you how.

Why is my house never the right temperature?

One of the biggest wastes of energy in home heating is the constant heating/cooling cycle.

The house is too cold - turns the thermostat up

The house is too warm, it;'s costing us a fortune - thermostat goes down.

It's freezing in my bedroom - thermostat gets turned up again.

.... and so the cycle continues. Every time the heating kicks back in your boiler has to work extra hard to get the ambient temperature back up.

Added to that, most conventional heating systems have one thermostat, usually located in a central location like the hallway, which is not really a space you spend much time in.

How to get SMART about it.

Here at Northwave HQ we've installed Hive, but we've also installed Hive thermostatic valves on every radiator in the house. Therefore we can set each room individually.

The office gets used all day 5 days a week, so it is set at a nice comfy 20 degrees.

The bedrooms are set at a cooler 17-18 degrees along with the landing, hallway and bathrooms.

The living room at 20 degrees, but only at times when we are all home.

The Kitchen is a little cooler at 16 degrees.

Crucially all the rooms, have a MINIMUM temperature of 15 degrees, so if they drop below that, the heating kicks in to being them back up. Importantly, there is no need to adjust the thermostat as each room is at just the right temperature.

The heating itself is set to be "on" most of the time, but only kicks in if one or more rooms get too cold. It may sound counter intuitive to have the heating on almost all the time, but it only kicks in when needed. Add in the factor that each room has its own thermostat, upstairs rooms typically don't need heating as much as the heat from downstairs rises.

No more huge fluctuations in hot/cold = less work for your boiler = lower bills.

A totally automated system.

So will it save me money?

Well, we don't like to blog or promote things without real proof it works, so we have been trialling this for a little over 12 months. Last winter we saved an average of 30% over our previous winter bill and with energy prices only ever going one way, we believe it was an investment worth making for the long run.

Want to get SMART in your home?

Talk to us!

We aren't tied to one brand, we look at the property, existing systems, your needs and find a solution that works, whether it is something higher end like Loxone, or something more off the shelf like Hive.

"But my house has underfloor heating and different systems in different rooms". No problem, we have almost certainly got a solution for that too.


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