As electric radiators and panel heaters become increasingly sophisticated Richard Brown, MD of Electrorad, explains why it’s a smart move for contractors to keep up-to-speed with the latest technology.
Over recent years, electric radiators and panel heaters have become super smart. Not only do we now have models that predominantly use the internet via specially designed Apps to wirelessly control heating times and temperatures within the home, there’s even models that operate via voice command.
However, this pace of technological change is fast and it can be an exhausting process to keep up with all the new developments. As trusted professionals, the homeowner will turn to you for help and guidance when choosing which heaters will best meet their needs.
Whilst the more energy-conscious homeowner is primarily interested in a heating system that will help reduce energy expenditure, the more tech-savvy homeowner may desire all the freedom and flexibility that smart controls can bring. Therefore, it pays to know and understand the options available in order to help your customers make the right decision.
Intelligent timers and controls
Thanks to Eco Design LOT 20 legislation that came into being earlier this year, electric radiators and panel heaters now have more features to ensure they’re energy efficient and easy to use, and in order to comply with minimum efficiency standards.
As well as 24/7 programming, features include Adaptive Start Control, that helps radiators learn when to switch on in order to achieve optimum comfort, and Virtual Open Window sensors, to ensure the radiators stop heating when they sense a continuous draft, and restart when the draft has stopped.
Some also include an integral energy monitor to provide useful data on energy usage to help homeowners keep their heating bills in check. The data can be in kWh per radiator and per system, and obtainable on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis to suit individual requirements.
Independent panel control
Unlike many models that only feature a single panel, some radiators, such as the Digi-Line from Electrorad, boast two heating panels which produce considerably more heat power whilst using less wall space. These panels can operate separately from each other to ensure the most efficient use of energy and maximum comfort.
For instance, with the smart panel control active, and when the room is within 1°C of the desired temperature, only the front panel will operate, and with a smaller element than the rear panel, less energy is used. In this instance, more radiant heat will be produced, making the occupant feel warm and cosy, and the cooler back panel will act as an insulator and prevent heat loss, especially when a radiator is on an outside wall. If the room becomes more than 1°C cooler than the set point, the more powerful back panel will activate to bring the room back to the required temperature quickly.
This technology has taken the market to a whole new level, enabling homeowners to control their heating from anywhere, courtesy of a special App that can be accessed via multiple devices. Should plans change, or if there are significant changes in the weather, homeowners can control the temperature and operating times of their radiators from anywhere in the world!
The Apps work in conjunction with either a central touchscreen or Wi-Fi gateway to give control of room temperatures and programming. They also display the current ambient temperatures in each room and the status of each connected device. For the ultimate in control, some models such as the Vanguard Wifi, offer voice control compatibility with Amazon Alexa. Whether it’s to turn up the heat or reduce the temperature, the radiators can be controlled simply by talking to Alexa.
Such technology not only offers the user freedom and flexibility, it offers significant control over energy costs too. But that’s not all – the more sophisticated radiators also feature an inbuilt RF chip with a signal that can ‘hop’ up to five times to increase the range and help reach remotely-sited radiators. Plus, there’s even a Geo-Location option that automatically activates or deactivates the radiators when the homeowner is a set distance to or from the home; ensuring that you never heat an empty home or arrive to a cold one!
It’s hard to believe that it’s only ten years since the first smart phone was launched, but such is the pace of technological change that it’s estimated that 50% of consumers are likely to install smart heating products in their homes over the next five years. It’s safe to say that smart technology is here to stay!
For further information on Electrorad’s range of electric radiators, visit: www.electrorad.co.uk