A beginner's guide to smart heating controls [2023]

Smart heating is a critical component in making your house more intelligent when it comes to heating your home. A process that appears complex and complicated on the surface, but with our smart heating beginners guide, we hope you'll be an expert in no time!

What you need to know about Smart Heating

What is smart heating?

When you choose to upgrade your home heating system to a smart system, you gain complete control over all aspects of your heating. Smart heating is more than just having a basic thermostat installed; it's a full system that includes smart radiator thermostats as well as clever software that learns your home's routine. There are some systems that also include sensors to detect draft and humidity to prevent any energy from being wasted.

How do I get started?

To begin, double-check that your boiler is compatible with a smart thermostat. Once you've confirmed this, you'll need to buy a smart thermostat and smart radiator valves, as well as have an internet connection. Once you have all these into place, you'll be all set to install your new system!

We highly recommend getting a qualified heating engineer to help install your new smart thermostat so you do not face any issues setting it up.

Do I always need to use an app to control my smart heating?

Smart thermostats give you the ability to give full control of your heating, whether that is from controlling from an app or changing the settings manually. So you do not always need to use an app if you do not want to.

Does a smart control system also control my hot water?

Yes, your smart control system can control your hot water, only if you have a hot water tank.

Do smart thermostats work with underfloor heating?

Whether you have wet underfloor heating or electric underfloor heating, smart thermostats are fully compatible with both types of thermostats.

What happens if I lose my internet connection?

If your internet connection fails, you can still manually control the heating in your home, so you do not have to worry about accessing the settings for your heating.

How Do Smart Heating Controls Work?

Smart heating controls improve the operation and effectiveness of your home's heating system by combining innovative technologies and clever algorithms. Here's a brief explanation of how these systems work:

smart heating controls

Thermostat Communication

A smart thermostat acts as the main control unit in most smart heating controls. The thermostat communicates wirelessly with other heating system components such as the boiler or radiators via protocols such as Wi-Fi, Zigbee, or Z-Wave. This wireless connectivity enables the heating system to be controlled and monitored in real time.

Remote Access and Control

Remote access and control are possible with smart heating controls via dedicated smartphone apps or web sites. Once linked to your home's Wi-Fi network, you can use your smartphone, tablet, or computer to adjust the temperature, establish schedules, and access extra functions from anywhere with an internet connection.

Temperature Sensors

Temperature sensors strategically positioned throughout your home are used by smart heating controls to monitor and regulate the temperature in various regions. These sensors give the smart thermostat real-time feedback, allowing it to make intelligent judgements about heating activation or adjustment.

Programming and Learning

Many smart heating controllers include programmable schedules that enable you to set different temperature levels at different periods of the day or week. This feature ensures that your home is heated when you need it while saving electricity while you're not there.

Furthermore, powerful smart heating controls have the ability to learn your heating preferences and habits over time. They automatically construct personalised heating schedules based on data such as your daily routines, occupancy trends, and temperature modifications. These systems optimise energy usage and create a comfortable environment by adjusting to your behaviour, eliminating the need for continual manual adjustments.

Integration with Other Devices

Smart heating controls are frequently compatible with other smart home products and platforms. This connectivity allows for more automation and coordination of various systems. For example, you may combine your smart heating controls with voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to enable speech-activated heating system control.

Benefits of Smart Heating Controls

Smart heating controls provide various advantages that can increase your house's comfort, energy efficiency, and convenience. Here are some of the primary advantages of putting smart heating controls into your home:

smart home control

Energy Savings

One of the most significant advantages of smart heating controls is their capacity to optimise energy consumption. These controls let you to set precise timetables, remotely modify temperatures, and monitor energy consumption, ensuring that your home is only heated when necessary. You may dramatically minimise your energy expenditures and environmental effect by eliminating excessive heating.

Enhanced Comfort

Smart heating controls allow you to tailor the temperature settings in your house to your preferences and lifestyle. You can easily regulate the heating remotely using a smartphone app or web interface, whether you want to wake up to a toasty bedroom or return to a cosy living room after a long day. This level of control guarantees that your home is always pleasant, which improves your general well-being.

Intelligent Programming

Many smart heating controls have significant programming possibilities. These controllers are capable of learning your heating patterns, analysing weather forecasts, and making automatic adjustments to maximise comfort and energy efficiency. They learn your preferences and build personalised heating plans over time, removing the need for manual adjustments.

Remote Access and Monitoring

You can operate and monitor your heating system from anywhere with smart heating controls. You can change the temperature settings on your smartphone or computer while at work, on vacation, or simply away from home. Remote access guarantees that your house is comfortable when you return and allows you to make changes while you're away, delivering ultimate convenience and peace of mind.

Integration with Smart Home Systems

Smart heating controls can work in combination with other smart home devices to create a unified and integrated system. Integration with speech assistants, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, enables voice-controlled modifications, increasing convenience even further. You may also link your heating controls to other smart devices like smart lighting or motion sensors to automate energy-saving activities based on occupancy or time of day.

Energy Monitoring and Reports

Many smart heating controllers provide detailed data and statistics on energy consumption. These insights enable you to monitor your heating trends, discover potential energy waste, and make informed decisions to improve efficiency. Understanding your energy usage allows you to make changes that correspond with your sustainability goals and may qualify you for energy-saving incentives or rebates.

How to select the right thermostat for your home

There are a few key points that you need to ask yourself before choosing a smart thermostat.

Step 1: Find out which smart thermostat is compatible with your heating system

Knowing what you have to work with can help you focus your search when buying a thermostat. To ensure that your new thermostat is compatible with your home's heating and cooling system, it is important to make sure that whichever thermostat you choose is fully compatible. Many newer thermostats are fully compatible but it is always good to ensure it works great alongside your central heating system.

Does my HVAC System support smart thermostats?

The majority of all smart thermostats work perfectly alongside common heating and cooling systems. However, there are a few that do not support a particular heating system, for example,  a two-stage heat pump system. You also may have to install separate thermostats if you have separate heating and cooling systems.

Step 2: Learn about the different types of thermostats available

Do you need a non-connected, programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat?

A non-connected thermostat has simple programming and is more affordable. However, if you would like to have full control over your heating, then a smart thermostat is the perfect option for you.

Programmable thermostats work the best when you are away. The reason for this is that the thermostat starts to change the temperature just before you arrive. If you find yourself being at home most of the time, you can set your thermostat a few degrees above normal to make it more comfortable.

smart thermostats

Step 3: Do you require any additional features?

Smart thermostats often contain several cost- and fuel-saving features integrated into a single unit when compared to other boiler controllers. Though not all smart thermostats are created equal, understanding the common features and determining which ones are essential to you will greatly aid in focusing your search for the finest model.

Some of the features you can look out for include:

- Hot water control

- Routine learning

- Weather responsive

- Motion sensors

- Geofencing

There are many more features available and if you would like to discuss your options with us, please get in touch with us by viewing our contact details down below.

Get in touch

If you would like to get our expert advice and opinion on smart heating, speak to our member of our team today. We are available across Maidstone, Rochester, West Malling, Gravesend and Aylesford. Call us on 0800 0016511 or 01634 790511 and we will be happy to guide you through choosing the best smart heating control for your home.

Nest and Honeywell devices can help you turn your house into a smart home. All products are installed to the highest standards and satisfy your specifications. Simply go to the gallery page to view prior works. Also, you can head over to our reviews page and read through the reviews left by happy customers.

Have an energy efficient smart home!