Andy Mansfield, Marketing Communications Manager at Honeywell, explains why the company’s latest heating controls solution is bridging the gap between the old and the new.
The heating controls market has evolved rapidly over the last two years and thermostats are now seen by some as desirable smart home technology. However, internet-connected controls aren’t for everyone and there are still a large number of homes with outdated, mechanical thermostats.
The revolution of smart heating controls means there is now a connected heating control to suit every home. Yet despite this, there are still around 6.5 million homes in the UK without an efficient thermostat. The reality is it’s still only a relatively small proportion of homeowners who currently want internet connectivity to be at the heart of their home appliances. And the same goes for the electrician: not every electrician is on board with installing and fitting connected heating controls.
“The T4 series is compatible with all boilers and, by introducing it, Honeywell has future-proofed the programmable thermostat and brought it into the 21st century…”
Smart but simple
Smart controls have made the headlines for the last 12 months, and the advances in technology means a heating control can be programmed from anywhere in the world. There’s no doubt that this level of control is the future and the start of the truly connected home, but in reality, a large proportion of the population aren’t yet ready for this.
There is still a substantial amount of homeowners who want and need the same smart functionality in a simple, easy-to-use, programmable heating control. There is also still a school of thought amongst these homeowners that using heating controls successfully requires a lot of complex interaction on their part.
A recent Building Research & Information report on ‘How installers select and explain domestic heating Controls’, conducted by UCL, revealed homeowners believe that in order to realise energy savings, ‘occupants must actively program their thermostat and select settings which result in energy efficiency’. This is simply not the case and its clear there is still some educating to be done.
Enter the T4 series. Designed to deliver energy efficiency with absolute minimal user-interaction, the T4 is a non-connected control, packed full of automatic smart, intelligent features which ensures savings on heating bills and increased comfort can be realised automatically.
Automated modulation control with TPI or OpenTherm improves energy efficiency; optimum stop, start and delayed stop features learn how the room is heated, reducing user effort and improving heating efficiency; screen interface offers easy and optimal heating adjustment and automatic summer and winter time changes are included – all making it incredibly easy for the user.
The T4 series is compatible with all boilers and, by introducing it, Honeywell has future-proofed the programmable thermostat and brought it into the 21st century – as well as providing the market with the tools it needs to close the thermostat deficit.
The electrician’s role is pivotal
With this in mind, electricians need to start future-prooﬁng their businesses by using the tools available to them and keeping up with the market. Electricians are in a prime position to be able to advise the homeowner and dispel the myths surrounding using heating controls – as well as specify the right control for that customer. Good manufacturers offer a series of training courses for electricians to learn how to install every control – from the all-singing-all-dancing fully connected and zoned control, to the entry level programmable thermostat. Having knowledge about all of these is vital to remaining a part of the heating controls industry, so electricians need to invest time in up-skilling now.
As well as the desire for the latest connected technology amongst some, more tech-savvy homeowners, there is also the real need for a simple-to-use, intelligent heating control which delivers the best in comfort and heating bill savings; and it’s the latter which the industry needs to take on the journey.
Electricians need to make it their business to be experts in all of the heating controls available and assume the role of ‘energy advisor’ to their customers. The industry has equipped the market with the tools required – all the electrician has to do is use them.