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'Smart Home', a phrase that's being used a lot recently, but what does it actually mean?
You'd be forgiven for thinking that our homes have been going to school behind our backs and started learning their times-tables and ABCs! Of course, what it really means is that technology now offers us the opportunity to more precisely control the environment in which we live, be this heating, hot water, lights, or even turning the cooker on and off when we want.
Yes, but to get the best from the systems we offer you'll need to have either an oil, LPG or gas fired central heating system, an internet connection and a smart phone or tablet.
Easily control your central heating from your mobile phone
This has all been made possible by advancements in pre-programmable central heating systems, remote access through mobile devices and even central heating thermostats that 'learn' our day-to-day habits.
Ultimately, 'smart home' is all about making our homes more comfortable places to live and to save money on our energy bills.
We shall use the latest Nest Thermostat as an example – in simple terms, it has a control box which has a wired connection to the boiler (in close proximity to the boiler). This control box connects wirelessly to the thermostat which can be located anywhere the home, where all it needs is a mains connection for charging via USB.
This remote thermostat can be used to control the heating and hot water settings of the boiler. The thermostat learns the cycles of usage and automatically adjusts the settings to the optimum values.
The whole system connects to your home's WI-FI, so all controls can also be adjusted remotely (via the app) through a smartphone or tablet.
On top of this, the app will also give you a full usage diagnostic of how and when you are using power giving you full control over your system.
Yes, there is of course an initial outlay and, if you're not comfortable connecting the units, an installation cost by a qualified person has to be factored in. A Nest system, as described here, can cost less than two hundred pounds if installed yourself so, relative to an average annual energy bill, it's a small price to pay.
It's also worth remembering, that once installed, you should start saving money on your energy bills in no time at all, so your initial costs will hopefully be quickly recouped.
Why not have a look at the following video to see if the Nest smart home system is for you.