Heating & Energy

Smart Heating & Cooling for real comfort at home

Winter is coming once again and that means colder weather is, too. As the snow begins to fall, you'll naturally want to turn up the heating and get cozy. But how do you stay warm without spending a ton of money? Around 30% of American household energy costs come from interior heating and hot water usage. More efficient heating can significantly reduce these costs. But saving money is not the only reason to optimize your household heating — using smart climate control technology is another. tink can show you how to heat smarter and lower your energy costs, all while making your home more comfortable — rain, snow, or shine.



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How do smart thermostats work?

Smart heating adds more comfort and efficiency to your home by networking and automating. You can use your smartphone or tablet to turn your heating on and off, or even change the temperature with just a tap. Smart heating systems take into account various factors like the condition of a house, the presence and habits of its occupants and even the local weather forecast. A smart heating system is more efficient and helps you save energy costs without sacrificing the comfort of a warm, cozy home.

How does smart heating work?

A smart heating system doesn’t require installation of an entirely new setup or a large cash investment. In fact, smart heating is one of the most common ways that homeowners enter the world of smart devices, thanks to its cost efficiency and easy installation.

In a smart heating & cooling system, the smart thermostat replaces the former non-smart thermostat and connects directly via Wifi to your smartphone or voice-control device. This connection allows you to remotely control when your heating should turn on, the temperature it should run at, and also allows for manual control. Room temperature can also be controlled with a wall thermostat.

What are the options for smart heating?

There are two main options to give your heating system a smart upgrade. Either with individual smart thermostats, or by integrating them within your smart home ecosystem.

The ecosystem method works by integrating the heating into your existing smart home system. This lets you connect your thermostats with other smart devices, such as window and door contacts, to create smart triggers for regulating heating. The following platforms contain their own smart heating control systems:

Apple HomeKit Google Home Amazon Echo

Don't own one of these systems yet? Smart heating can also be used with a simple set of smart thermostats. These are attached to the heating source or wall and controlled via Wifi or radio frequency (RF). There are a number of devices available, and it’s important to distinguish between them:

Radiator Thermostats

Radiator thermostats are attached directly to the radiator, just as the name implies. They allow you to control the temperature individually on each of your radiators. Radiator thermostats are particularly ideal for apartments without their own boiler or central heating system.

Room Thermostats

A room thermostat is attached to the wall and controls the overall temperature in a single room. They compare the target temperature with the actual, current temperature, adjusting the behavior of your heating system accordingly. This allows you to easily control the temperature in rooms with several heaters using just one platform.

Underfloor Heating Thermostats

Underfloor heating thermostats are designed for homes equipped with underfloor heating. These thermostats make it possible to control your heating using an app and manually change the temperature directly on the thermostat. This means you have two options when it comes to selecting your ideal temperature.

Central Heating Thermostats

Central heating thermostats serve as information centers and control units for central heating systems. A controller is attached directly to the heating source, while the control panel is installed somewhere accessible in your home. This allows you to control the heating system easily and conveniently from one place. This is ideal for home owners who have access to a central heating system.

Which radiators and systems are compatible?

The following smart thermostats can be connected to modern heating systems, as well as retro-fitted to older heating systems.

Examples of compatible heating systems:

  • Underfloor heating
  • Gas and oil thermal baths
  • Electric underfloor heating
  • Condensing boiler
  • Low-temperature boiler
  • Air and geothermal heat pump
  • Floating circuit system
  • System with analog and digital BUS interfaces
  • System with switching voltage (up to 230 V)

What are the advantages of smart heating?

Smart homes are becoming more popular every day, with many Americans already using technology to make their homes more efficient and convenient. But what are the advantages of using a smart heating system?

Two of the biggest advantages are greater comfort and lower operating costs. By connecting your heating system to your smartphone, you can conveniently control it by using just an app. It only takes one tap to get the perfect temperature, every time.

Controlling your heating from the comfort of your couch isn’t the only convenience that smart heating and cooling offer. You can also continue to control your heating system when you’re on the go. You can come home to warm or cool comfort every day, as well as save on running costs (because you will only heat up your home when you really need it). Remote control and comprehensive data collection are combined to provide you savings of up to 30% on your energy bill.

For even more efficiency and cost savings, smart thermostats can be combined with door and window sensors, as well as individual temperature sensors. These detect open windows and doors and provide information on air quality and indoor climate. In addition, your smart heating control system can be integrated into one of many smart ecosystems for even more convenience. Of course, you don’t have to buy 100 devices to notice a difference. Even using a single smart thermostat can lead to significant savings on your energy bill. Once you’ve seen the power these devices offer, your smart climate system can be extended with as many new devices as you want.

Perhaps the most appealing features of these systems are their simplicity and cost effectiveness. You don’t have to tear your heating system out of the wall to save — smart thermostats already do the trick. Anyone can perform the installation, with the final setup steps usually completed in an app.

Is smart heating secure?

As with all digital technologies, the question of data security often arises. But there's no need to worry when it comes to smart heating systems. All data transfer is encrypted to the same standards used within the finance sector. So you can rest easy knowing that your private information will not be accessible to outsiders.

How do I upgrade to a smart heating system?

To efficiently upgrade your heating system, you only need a few components — a smartphone or tablet, smart thermostats and sensors, and a network bridge.

For a rental apartment that doesn't offer full access to the system, a smart heating control system could look like this:

Smart thermostats are attached to the radiators to control the temperature. They communicate with the bridge and your smartphone, letting you control them at any time and from anywhere. The app gives you detailed reports showing you when the heater was used and at which temperature. This gives you a quick overview of how you're heating and is particularly helpful if you'd like to cut costs.

Door and window sensors can also be added to the system to optimize performance. Have you ever turned your heater on full blast, only to later discover all the windows open and the house still cold? Smart sensors prevent this from happening, giving you constant insight over your windows and doors from one convenient app.

tink's expert tips for cutting down on heating costs:

  1. Only heat your home when necessary
    To ensure that you return to a warm home in the evening, you may choose to heat it up throughout the day. But here's the big secret — this isn’t necessary or efficient. A smart preset on your heating system will mean that your heatier will only run until the perfect temperature is reached. For example, you could program your heater to switch on an hour before you come home, so that it’s nice and warm just as you walk in the door.
  2. Set the perfect temperature for you
    We often set the heating to max power in order to heat up our homes quickly. But then the house becomes too warm, so you open your windows to cool the house back down to the desired temperature. The end result is wasted energy and money. Let your smart thermostat reach the optimal temperature for you, saving valuable time and money in the process.
  3. Shut doors and windows
    We’ve all done it. You plan to open the windows for only a few minutes to cool the house down and then completely forget to close them later. The heating then has to work double time to keep the temperature constant. Open internal doors can also cause heat to escape a room. Keeping doors and windows closed as much as possible gives you a more efficient home.
  4. Air out efficiently
    It goes without saying that fresh air is important for a pleasant home atmosphere. But it's actually better to use short but regular bursts of ventilation than to leave windows permanently open. The latter causes continuous heat loss, leading to the thermostat always running that little bit higher.
  5. Optimize your heating behavior
    Smart thermostats provide you with detailed reports on how your heating and cool system is functioning. Check these regularly to monitor the efficiency of your system, adjusting your heating behavior as needed to get the most efficient setup possible.
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