Choice of Types
Although the equipment needed is not always the same, most Smart Heating Controls work in a similar way. The Hive system has a unit called a ‘hub’ which physically connects to your broadband router. The hub then ‘talks’ to all of the devices that you decide to add to your system.
The Nest system however has no hub. Instead, all of the system devices talk to the router independently. As a result, this means during setup you must inform each device of your router’s identity and password. As well as talking to the router, the devices on the Nest system can also communicate with each other using Nest’s internal protocol called ‘Weave’.
The Drayton Wiser system, like that of Hive, directs operations from a heat hub which connects to the router. This then sends and receives information to other devices using a protocol called ‘Zigbee’. They also use ‘smart plugs’ that can be scheduled to switch things on and off.
The Remote Control device is what makes Smart Heating Controls irresistibly cool and desirable for gadget lovers. Different manufacturers offer different ways to remotely make adjustments to or receive information from your system. They each offer an ‘App’ to load onto your Smart-phone or Tablet to make changes or read performance reports from there. Additionally, some manufacturers offer control from the Amazon ‘Alexa’ device, the Google Assistant or the Apple Homekit.
What Else Can Smart Heating Controls Do?
An additional feature of Smart Heating Controls is ‘Geo-Fencing’. This means you can set up the Smart Heating Controls to detect when you have gone beyond a certain distance from your home. It will then switch the heating ’Off’ for you if you haven’t already done so. Then, when the system senses that you are coming back home, it will switch itself back on again. CLEVER!
If you decide to add Smart Heating Controls to your system, you are adding an extra layer of gadgetry to your home. A smart system requires some maintenance (eg battery changing). It also requires a willingness to ‘get in there’ and learn how to use the App. If you are not happy to engage with the user manual though, these systems may not be for you. Generally though, the manuals are very intuitive.