How to level up your central heating controls
Did you know the latest central heating controls for your home can be controlled from an app on your smart phone? It's true! Read on for all the deets!
Traditional central heating controls
In the UK, most homes are heated by a gas or electric boiler pumping heated water around a system of pipes and radiators or underfloor grids. We all know that a simplistic way to control the heating is by simply switching the heating on or off, either manually or on a timer.
Giving you a bit more control is a thermostat, that works by measuring the temperature of the air in your home. You set a thermostat at a particular temperature in your home, say, 20 degrees. If the temperature drops below 20 degrees, your thermostat switches on the heating. If the temperature rises above 20 degrees, the central heating switches off.
You'd typically have a thermostat fitted to your wall; and you can have more than one for different "zones". Thermostats rely on a free flow of air to reliably track the temperature, so make sure you don't have any curtains or furniture in the way. And steer clear of heat sources such as radiators or a fire - -it'll just confuse them!
Moving the controllability up another notch is the Thermostatic Radiator Valve (TRV). TRVs fit to radiators in individual rooms. Set them to the frost setting if you're heading off on your jolly hols.
For more about the wonders of TRVs, watch my video on how radiator valves work and how to set them:
Nest heating controls and similar
Enter the smart thermostat such as Nest heating controls or Hive, offering an app for your phone or an internet browser which can control your heating remotely.
Yup, this is perfect for those who want ALL the control. With smart controls, you can change the thermostat's temperature and switch the heating on and off remotely. Imagine always coming home to a toasty warm welcome!
Smart controls have the potential to save you some dosh, as you can set them to only use the heating when you need it. That's got to be good for the planet too!
Several of the smart heating controls go one further, sensing if there's no-one home and switching to eco settings to save energy. So no need to worry if you've left the heating on - not that I've ever done that ;) Some of them even work with Amazon's Alexa or Google Home. Yup, "Alexa, set the house to 20 degrees" does work if you've got it set up right!
We're now part of the Internet of things - the power of the internet powering our heating - or at least controlling it. Thank goodness plumbers aren't run by an app! :)
Follow us on social media!