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What’s all the fuss about smart heating – and should you invest in it for your home?

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Doesn’t it feel like pretty much anything and everything has been made ‘smart’ these days? Well, you might be right – at least as far as the increasing popularity of ‘smart heating’ is concerned. 

But what is smart heating? If you have never given the idea much thought previously, the term might conjure up images for you of an impossibly sophisticated Jetsons-like world… or you may have even got it confused with ‘smart meters’, which are a very different thing (as we will explain below). 

So, let’s take a look at exactly what smart heating is, how it works, and why it’s not just hype. 

Doing for home heating what the smartphone did for mobile phones 

If you think of what kind of mobile phone you might have carried around before the iPhone came along in 2007 and ushered in the ‘smartphone revolution’, the rise of smart heating is now doing a similar thing to the old-style thermostats that have long been standard in homes. 

Not unlike how smartphones are Internet-connected phones that allow you to browse the web and generally do many more things than merely make phone calls, smart heating is Internet-connected heating, and therefore offers all the added convenience you might expect from this. 

Indeed, one of the big ‘selling points’ of smart heating is that it enables you to control your heating from your phone

Let’s imagine, for example, that you’re in your home office at 8:30am and about to start work, but you’re feeling a bit chilly. At the moment, if you have a traditional thermostat, you might have to traipse over to another room of the property, just to turn it up. But when you have smart heating installed, you will be able to simply reach for your phone, and turn up the heating via an associated app. 

Even worse, imagine that you have embarked on a summer holiday abroad, but forgotten to turn off the heating back home. Instead of having to simply accept this, or even get a friend or relative to visit your home to do the job with their spare keys, you could just turn off the heating via your phone. Again, it’s all so simple, convenient and hassle-free. 

What’s the difference between smart heating and smart meters? 

Smart meters serve a completely different purpose to smart thermostats, so it is crucial not to get the two confused. 

A smart meter, if you have one, will automatically send gas and electricity readings to your energy supplier, to ensure your bills are accurate. Your energy supplier can supply and install a smart meter for you for free, but it isn’t compulsory to have one. 

A smart thermostat, on the other hand – as we have covered above – enables you to remotely control your heating via the Internet. 

So, could a smart thermostat be a solution for my home and boiler? 

With smart thermostats having been gaining in popularity in the UK for a number of years now, there are quite a few reputable brands that specialise in them, including Hive, Nest, Honeywell and Tado. And with these thermostats typically working with most modern boilers, it might not be as difficult as you think to get your own smart heating system quickly set up. 

If you have a particular smart thermostat in mind for your home, you can buy it yourself from the given brand, although we would urge you to check first that it will be compatible with your boiler (or the boiler you are set to have fitted, if you will be investing in a new boiler at the same time). 

Can I install a smart heating system myself? 

Theoretically, yes, you can. In practice, though, you will need to have certain tools and the ability to carry out the task according to complicated instructions. It will also be necessary to turn off the mains power during installation, as well as to remove your old thermostat. 

Generally speaking, then, it’s often a better idea to seek out a professional installation firm – such as PGS Plumbers – to undertake this work. Fortunately, this service doesn’t have to be overly expensive. 

Get in touch with PGS Plumbers today for an in-depth discussion of your needs and expectations from a smart heating system, and to seek a quote for smart thermostat supply and/or installation, and you could gain the ability to control your heating from your phone sooner than you might think! 

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