Is my Boiler Compatible with Smart Heating Systems?
The future is here when it comes to your heating! Smart heating systems let you control your temperature via your smartphone or tablet – and there are some great cost saving benefits to be had.
This is particularly handy for when you’ve realised you’ve left the heating on while you’re out and are far away from home, or want to warm up the house ready for when you come home.
Some are even more advanced and can help you set different temperatures for each room, but these options can be more expensive. Here at WYGS, we offer a range of intelligent heating systems that allow you to control your heating, so we’ll look at a few to help give you an idea of what’s available.
With Energy UK finding that turning down your heating by one degree can cut your heating bills by 10% and save you around £85 a year, using your thermostat properly is pretty essential if you want to save money.
Even though programming a thermostat has been made simpler over the years, it’s still a task that many of us can do without. On top of entering every start and stop time you need throughout the week, you need to decide on the right temperature and plan for when you’re not going to be home.
This is where the Nest can help. This is a learning thermostat that, once installed, just needs to be set manually for a week – turn it on or off, or up or down, at certain times of the day – and then it begins to program itself. The artificial intelligence inside will learn your ideal timings and preferences, and start to apply them automatically.
No two homes are exactly the same, but the Nest will learn about your home when programming – how quickly it heats and cools, and how it’s affected by outside weather conditions – and adjust accordingly. It also turns itself down when you’re out by using sensors and your phone’s location. This smart technology can save energy, and improve the efficiency of your home’s central heating – and you’ll hardly need to do anything yourself.
Another smart heating solution is the Wave from Worcester. A smart, Internet-connected control for your home’s central heating and hot water, the Wave has a corresponding app that allows you to monitor and control usage remotely via a phone or tablet connected to wifi, 3G or 4G.
You can turn your phone into your thermostat by connecting your smartphone to your boiler, thanks to the InTouch app, which turns your house into a smart home.
By connecting your boiler to the internet, you can control your home’s heating from anywhere in the world via the InTouch app. The app also provides an easy-to-use, visual control system for those that struggle to program boiler panels, making it a simple way to monitor your heating.
But best of all, the InTouch app can boost the efficiency of your heating system. By staying connected with your boiler and monitoring usage, the app can respond to varying demand and use more or less energy as needed.
What are the benefits?
For those who are more tech-savvy and comfortable using apps on their smartphone or tablet, it’s an easy way to keep an eye on your heating or hot water. Plus, it’s much more simple than trailing down to the basement in the dark with a torch or fiddling around with dials.
One of the biggest benefits of smart heating systems is the cost savings. Smart heating solutions which can self-program provide you with regularly updated information on your energy usage, learn your habits and can help make your home more energy efficient – which can save you a lot of money on your bills.
Smart heating systems that don’t use learning technologies still give you the ability to see how much heating you’re using, and how much it’s costing you, putting you in charge of your bills more as you’re aware of your energy usage, and want to make savings where you can.
Smart heating systems also provide information about how your home is heated, such as how long it takes warm up, and when your energy use is the highest, so you can use that data to work out when you want to reduce your energy consumption. It can be a small learning curve, to begin with, but once you’re on top of things there can be big savings on your gas and electricity bills.
Is my boiler compatible?
When it comes to compatibility, it depends on the smart heating system you want to go for. The Nest is the most recognisable name and compatible with most boilers, as it’s designed to work with as many manufacturers as possible. This includes combi boilers, system and heat-only boilers, air-source and ground-source heat pumps, and more.
The Wave smart thermostat is made by Worcester Bosch, and is more limited – it only works with models in their own range of gas-fired combi or system boilers, not boilers developed by other manufacturers. If you have a Greenstar combi and system boiler or a Greenstar Si and I System boiler, then they’ll work with the Wave.
The Intergas Intouch is similar to The Wave as it only works with Intergas boilers, specifically their combi compact ECO RF boilers made from 2014 onwards. If you’re still wanting to know if your boiler is definitely compatible, just get in touch and we can help.
How do they work with smart heating systems?
With different options to choose from, it means there are different ways that the smart heating systems work with your boiler.
The Nest doesn’t need a thermostat to be wired into the boiler, like some of the other smart heating systems. Instead, it has two parts, the thermostat and the Heatlink unit. The Heatlink wires into the boiler which allows it to interact with the thermostat wirelessly, meaning the Nest thermostat can be anywhere else in your home without a wire connecting both parts.
With the Wave, it has to be connected by a wire to a wall panel. The wall panel connects with your boiler, which then connects with the app – which shows you the current temperature at home, lets you change settings, and shows whether the heating is running as efficiently as possible.
As well as monitoring your smartphone’s location to adjust the heating automatically when you get home, The Wave also uses your postcode to improve efficiency by monitoring the weather – so you can install the panel wherever you please, rather than needing to find the ideal spot for a weather sensor.
Intouch uses your wifi and connects your boiler and an existing thermostat you have by using a LAN2RF gateway, which makes your boiler connect to the internet. Once connected, you can then control your home’s heating from anywhere in the world via the InTouch app.
How do I get one installed?
You can get a smart heating solution installed by any qualified professional. With the Nest it’ll be connected to high voltage cables, so we’d strongly recommed to have your device installed professionally to avoid damaging the equipment and, more importantly, keep you safe.
You may be able to install the Wave and Intouch yourself, but again we’d advise against it at risk of damaging your boiler. By bringing in a central heating engineer, they can assist you with installation and show you how it works – all with minimum possible disruption to you and your home.
If you’d like to know more about how WYGS can help you install your smart heating systems, get in touch with our experts through our online form or call 01422 750 125 for some good friendly advice and support.