Wireless Heating Controls can make a huge difference to how you manage your heating budget – and could end up saving you money. Sangamo wireless products will use RF which will, bring huge benefits – reducing your daily expenditure, increasing efficiency and ,if it is of concern to you, contribute to reducing carbon emissions.
Nobody relishes fiddling with the boiler during a cold winter’s night, especially if it’s located in an awkward or hard to reach part of the home. But what if you could change the temperature wirelessly – without getting out of your seat?
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) occupied headlines recently after privacy concerns were raised that wireless products and smartcards would be used to track consumers. But the technology has been around a surprisingly long time (dating back to spy devices of the cold war)and, nowadays, RF is used in hundreds of contexts daily – monitoring library books, tracking the whereabouts of patients and equipment inhospitals, and facilitating ‘contactless’ payments. Given its versatility and availability, it makes sense the tech be implemented in a home energy environment – and it’s increasingly easy to find RF-enabled technology in a range of domestic energy products, like wireless thermostats.
A new way to monitor energy expenditure
RF technology is simply a means for devices to communicate, at distance, via radio signals. A transponder, located in one device, stores unique information electronically – and then transmits this information at a certain frequency, to a receiver or ‘reader’ unit in much the same way a scanner might read a barcode. Obviously, one of the main advantages of RF over visually-dependent devices (like barcodes) is that it operates portably and is controlled via a small, mobile transmitter. Domestically, this simply means appliances located in one part of the house (like a boiler, for example) can be controlled and calibrated from another – or on the move.
The implications for home energy consumption are obvious – and most widely applied with central heating systems. A receiver mounted on the boiler communicates with a portable reader, into which a user can input instructions, changing daily heating schedules or real-time temperatures. The capabilities of RF technology offer a way to avoid many of the problems of old-fashioned central heating, giving users an unprecedented level of control over their household energy expenditure.
Ease of use – ease of installation…
In the past, fixed, manual thermostat controls meant leaving a heating schedule to play out over the day, regardless of changes in temperature - RF control devices allow users to change room temperature without getting up, venturing to the boiler and fiddling with the controls. Alternatively, if you arrive home early, or don’t keep a regular schedule, an RF thermostat means you can activate your home’s central heating as and when you need it – rather than relying on (or constantly changing) your pre-programmed schedule.
The introduction of RF thermostats for household boilers has obvious advantages for day-to-day use, but also makes theinstallation and maintenance process easier. The wireless communication capability of an RF thermostat makes the location of a boiler far less crucial: since RF signals can be read through walls and windows, the wireless interface means the boiler can be controlled from anywhere in the home. There’s also no need to fix wiring to the thermostat, which means no floorboards need taking up, no carpets need lifting, no redecoration – and no disruption to your household.
In part 2 of this report we’ll look more closely at the way next-gen energy is bringing a whole new level of connectivity to your home, and how the roll out of so called ‘smart meters’ is set to change home energy saving strategies.