Many of us will be tempted to turn on our central heating for the first time this season as we head into the autumn months, but some will be nervous to do so given the rise in energy bills that is expected this winter.
For those looking to make their central heating use as efficient as possible, it’s worth considering the role of smart thermostats and how, when used to their full potential, they can keep your home comfortable and warm while helping to reduce energy consumption.
1. Access and alter your thermostat remotely
One of the main benefits of smart thermostats is that they are Wi-Fi connected, allowing you to access them from your smartphone, wherever you are. This means that if you leave the house and forget to turn the heating off you can use your phone to turn it off remotely, saving needless energy consumption that results from heating a house when it’s empty.
For our customers who have the Ideal Halo Wi-Fi thermostat, another great feature to reduce energy consumption is Geolocation. Halo uses the location feature on your mobile phone to tell when you have left or returned home, based on you entering or exiting a pre-set radius of your address, turning your heating off automatically upon exiting this radius. Multiple phones can be linked to the app, so the heating goes off when the last person leaves the house and comes back on when the first one arrives home.
2. Set a schedule
Another great way to conserve energy using your smart thermostat is to set a weekly schedule, pre-setting when your heating turns on and off and controlling the ambient temperature. For instance, you can create a schedule that lowers the temperature whilst you’re asleep, turns off whilst you’re at work, or turns on when you’re about to arrive home.
3. Try a change in temperature
Recent independent tests have shown that reducing your room thermostat setting by one degree, for example from 20°C to 19°C, reduces energy consumption by around 7%. With fuel prices going up significantly, this could equate to a saving of up to £100 per year.
4. Be mindful of over-heating
Make sure you aren’t wasting energy over-heating your home by checking your thermostat is set to an appropriate level. Heating systems use the same amount of power regardless of the temperature they are set to reach, so a thermostat at a higher temperature doesn’t make a room heat up more quickly; instead, the system runs for longer and uses more energy.
Instead, it is more efficient to set your heating to the lowest temperature that you are comfortable with and then changing it, if necessary, once that temperature has been reached.
There are also benefits to using smart thermostats that are designed to work with your boiler. For example, the Halo thermostat has been designed to work specifically with Ideal boilers enabling the Halo to optimise the boiler’s performance parameters, with features beyond on/off to ensure they operate as efficiently as possible.