Are smart controls the future for electric heating?
Users don't often know what to look for in smart controls. In our latest blog post we discover why smart controls are important for electric heating.
Bringing innovative technology and new advancements to the final consumer is a challenge that all brands face in a transforming world.
In the era of automation, gone are the days of basing a product purchase solely on price or visual appeal. As consumer lifestyles change to keep up with the latest trends and technology, brands must also revolutionize their product offering to stay ahead of the competition, especially in the electric heating industry.
This means curved designs that stand out from the crowd, quality materials, a vast array of finishes and more importantly, smart controls. Consumers are now used to controlling aspects of their lives in the palm of their hand. From checking emails to tracking live train departures or viewing their home via their smartphones whilst on holiday.
Should electric heating offer smart controls?
The answer is yes, they should. Heating isn’t just a perfunctory item in a home, it provides comfort and well-being as well as warmth. It can also be a costly product to a consumer if it isn’t managed effectively. Smart controls for electric heating mean the user can adapt the world around them to suit their needs at any time or in any place.
With smart controls, the customer could turn the radiators on or off at home whilst commuting or turn their water heater off when abroad. Being able to control each heating product in a home puts the consumer in charge and means they could potentially save money in the end by managing their energy consumption more effectively.
Smart controls should also be more than just an app that can turn your system on or off. Pioneers in the industry have now built systems that include a combination of sensors and algorithms to learn the behaviour of the user and then can set the heating accordingly, not just as a whole system but in individual rooms.
What should you look for?
To a consumer, smart controls can be a maze of information, not knowing what to look out for and what the benefits are. When considering a new electric heating product for their home, any customer should consider these five key smart controls:
Mobile, tablet or PC app
An app will let the user control the entire system (temperature selection, on/off etc.) from anywhere in the world at any time from their smartphone, tablet or PC.
This puts the user in control and avoids wasted energy if a product is accidentally left on for a long period.
An advanced app will also have additional features like weather forecasts and push notifications to aid the user.
Nowadays, most apps come in a variety of versions suitable for both iOS and Android.
In this day and age with built-in Wi-Fi modules, the user should be able to control individual products within the property.
By operating individual products rather than just the entire system, the consumer has greater versatility and can configure each individual product to a different need rather than an all or nothing approach with an entire system.
It also means that if there are problems with one particular product, it can be isolated. So if one fails it does not affect any other product in your heating installation. This guarantees your comfort when you need it.
Statistics and reports
The type of smart control can differ, but an app should include summaries and reports on energy usage which will help the consumer understand their expenditure and adjust accordingly to save money.
These reports should allow the user to view by day, month or year including current as well as previous time periods.
The information should be readily available, in different languages and currencies.
Look for apps with push notifications to help users manage consumption.
A good quality product will include within the system a learning capability that gathers information on a user’s behaviour and will use this to set the heating accordingly in the future.
Easy to install
When choosing a new product or system, ease of installation is often a key factor. Consumers should look for products with built-in Wi-Fi modules that offer a high speed of data transmission or products that don’t need many configurations. If a configuration is required, there should be plenty of support and advice available from the brand’s Technical Department or even videos on their YouTube channel.
What smart controls do Rointe offer?
Rointe meets all the challenges in the changing world of technology at home with the D Series range of radiators and towel rails, the first in the world to incorporate an internal Wi-Fi module. These connected products allow the user to control all the features together or individually from a smartphone, tablet or PC with the Rointe Connect app.
The app is the control application for all the products that make up our connected heating range of radiators, towel rails, water heaters and thermostats for underfloor heating.
Choose the Rointe connected electric heating system and have complete control of an entire installation in the palm of your hand. From this moment on, the user’s smartphone will work as a switchboard for easy control and monitoring consumption. The app also allows the possibility to distribute the products by zones (i.e. floors in a house) and subzones (i.e. rooms) without a limit on the number of rooms or linked products.
The Rointe Connect app also includes real-time consumption reports that can be viewed by day, month or year along with the ability to configure different kWh prices for each hour of the day.
It will also send notifications, warnings and recommendations directly to the smartphone to keep the consumer informed about the status of the installation to help save on consumption.
The app also displays the weather where the installation is located, as well as the weather conditions at the current location, allowing the user to react to different weather scenarios.
The new Rointe self-learning system, allows connected heating products to learn patterns of use and respond to them by adapting its programming and operation to the lifestyle of the consumer. The system even allows remote locking at any time from the control centre to prevent others from modifying installed products.
The products in the connected range connect directly to the Wi-Fi router without intermediate gateways, offering a higher speed of data transmission between the products and eliminating any limitations on the number of connected products. Nor do you need any additional configuration on the user’s router.
Don't forget about remote controls
Smart controls don’t just have to be apps. There are other varieties available too, like remote controls and thermostats. They enable the user to manage heating products from the comfort of the sofa, inside the home.
They should be easy to use, with programming features available. Most will use infrared communication to send and receive commands from the remote to your product.
Our AIR Control remote uses two-way infrared communication to keep your heating perfectly programmed. This easy to use remote control makes it possible to create, send and receive schedules to your compatible Rointe heating products in a convenient and simple way. The AIR Control also allows you to lock the control panel of any Rointe product. This functionality prevents other people from manually modifying the programming or the temperature set. The AIR Control has a compact keypad with 20 push buttons, divided into 3 different zones. It will help save energy by managing switch on/off of your products and heat according to your needs.
The BASIC Control remote offers complete control over your Rointe heating and is easy to use with infrared communication. You can easily send commands to your Rointe heating product for quick programming 24/7. With a transmitting range of up to 3 m, you can lock your products remotely. It also includes 4 quick buttons to access and activate the pre-installed programming.