In this article, Nigel Sanger, Technical Manager at JG Speedfit, looks at the efficiency and sustainability advantages that smart heating controls provide to self builders and homeowners.
The sustainability benefits of smart heating controls are widespread:
- they offer a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions
- slash heating bills when used efficiently
- they enable zonal heating of individual rooms in a building
- can be scheduled to turn on and off remotely as and when required.
This, coupled with full boiler switching for every zone, facilitates sizeable energy savings. However, for self builders to utilise smart heating controls effectively in any new building design, it is important that they also understand how occupants can get the best out of this technology. By following the steps below, self builders can ensure that any smart heating controls incorporated into building design, are effective post construction.
1. Understand the product
Selecting smart heating controls may seem challenging, with so many different technologies available on the market. As manufacturers continue to produce intuitive and intelligent products, homeowners need to invest time in keeping up-to-speed with new technology and the benefits that each system provides.
Your supplier should be on hand to answer any questions you might have about new products and developments.
2. Consider optimum placement of the Thermostat
By considering the location of various zones in the building, you have to determine the optimum location for the thermostat by understanding where the temperature and heating schedule needs to be controlled. For example, if a thermostat is situated near the front door, it will be exposed to an almost constant stream of cooler air and will invariably send a signal to the boiler to increase temperature, since it will frequently be recording the ambient temperature as low. This will decrease efficiency.
Also, be mindful that a zone does not always equal a room. There may be instances where there are two areas combined into one zone, such as an open plan kitchen and dining area.
3. Don’t overwork the thermostat
It is not uncommon for building designers to try and overwork a thermostat, or use one thermostat to control more than a single zone in a building, which can lead to reduced performance, and in some extreme cases, damage to the thermostat itself. This can have an adverse effect on energy efficiency.
A thermostat is only capable of controlling the area in which it has been installed, so while self builders may think they are saving time and money by using one thermostat to heat multiple zones, in the long run, they’re probably doing more harm than good.
The JG Aura TRV system can be controlled wirelessly by using a thermostat in every room of the building to ensure maximum efficiency and performance. By replacing the old fashioned radiator TRV, individual room heating can be shut off with a wireless TRV, as the room reaches the desired temperature.
4. Don’t be fooled by the efficiency tag
Self builders are inundated with new technologies, which claim to deliver greater energy efficiency, but it’s important to understand how this efficiency is made possible. For example, it is only when smart controls are used efficiently, that they will have a positive effect on heating bills.
Heating only the rooms in use can save money when compared to heating all rooms at the exact same time. While smart heating controls are intuitive and easy to use, the circumstances around when and how to utilise them still need to be explained. Most manufacturers have online tutorials and it is a good practice to read these when you can.
For more information on heating controls, visit: www.johnguest.com