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Get smart on smart controls

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Get smart on smart controls – Part 1

The Energy Solutions team has noticed a significant increase in the number of smart controls enquiries over the last year. Nest seems to be the most well-known brand but there are a number of products on the market. So how do you choose the right product for your customer?

Part 1 of our Smart Controls series focuses on functionality with the basics of six key features discussed. Identifying a product with the functionality to match your customer’s requirements is essential.

App controllability
App controllability is standard with smart thermostats but think about how your customer might use it. A flexible worker might benefit from switching their heating on and off as they require, rather than using a fixed schedule. A vulnerable client might have a relative who can log in to their heating remotely, to boost the heat if needed during a cold period. But remember, for some people a standard wall based controls system might still be their preferred option!

Smart schedules
Standard programmers offer 7 day, 24 hour time and temperature control. The step forward with smart controls is having convenient access to those controls via a phone or tablet. Off on holiday and forgot to switch off the heating? No problem to switch off via your phone. Relatives coming over to stay with you? Easily turn the hot water on for an extra hour.

Motion sensors
Several thermostats incorporate a PIR (passive infrared sensor) which detects motion near the device. The thermostat can therefore establish if the home is occupied or not, and adjust the temperature settings accordingly. Some thermostats can talk to other devices in your smart home, such as smoke detectors or burglar alarms, to establish occupancy across a whole property rather than just one room.

Geo-location
Most smart phones include GPRS based location functionality as standard. Your smart thermostat can use the location data from your phone (and other occupants) to establish if anyone is home and therefore if the heating needs to be on. Some cars can now talk to Smart thermostats to let them know you are heading home!

Goal setting
If you want to save money, or save the planet, a smart thermostat can help. Customers can activate in-built eco modes to help them reduce their energy use.