Martin Wilson, Sales Director at Resideo, discusses the contentious issue of temperature and how modern home control technology can make all the difference.
Last year, candidate for governor of New York Cynthia Nixon sparked a social media storm by asking to debate her opponent Andrew Cuomo in a warmer room, suggesting the thermostat be set to 76°F (24°C).
Why? According to the New York Times, Nixon’s team wrote in an email that working conditions are “notoriously sexist when it comes to room temperature”.
When news of the request emerged, thermostat warriors lined up on both sides of the argument, with many agreeing that public spaces are "too cold" by women's standards.
If this debate sounds familiar, it is probably because it plays out in millions of homes across the country every day. Too hot or too cold, temperature is a sensitive topic that can lead to all sorts of family quarrels.
Luckily, modern home control technology is now available that can settle many of these issues. For installers, being equipped with knowledge on the latest products is key so that homeowners can make informed choices based on their needs.
With that mind, here’s a round-up of some of the key features that could help to put the temperature debate to bed, once and for all.
Customers who have never had a programmable thermostat before may be surprised when the boiler fires at different times of the day than they are used to, such as during the night. Installers need to explain that the boiler will operate every time the temperature drops below the desired set point and that this is usually the most efficient way of heating the home.
There are some simple workarounds you can use if your customer really does not want their boiler to operate during a certain period. For example, we recommend that you set the temperature to 5°c during the night time to prevent the boiler from firing, but remember that this will not provide complete frost protection in extreme temperatures.
For users who don’t want to customise their heating controls, most thermostats come pre-programmed with a set of suggested temperature profiles. However, it’s good for users to be aware of the temperatures involved. For example, the overnight period is set to 16°c and the heating will come on if the temperature drops below this level.
When it comes to temperature, it's personal and that people feel it differently, but one way to overcome this issue is to customise different areas of the home according to personal preferences.
Zoned heating systems give homeowners the greatest level of flexibility, comfort, and energy efficiency. Rooms that are not in use can be ‘zoned off’, so that heating is only supplied to certain areas rather than the entire property to minimise energy use.
Traditionally, this required the installation of additional motorised zone valves into the heating circuit, plus a multi-zone programmer and room thermostat for each zone. However, there are now wireless controls available that zone without motorised zone valves.
The growing popularity of smart controls means there are dozens of options on the market to suit all types of properties and heating systems. These include entry-level programmable thermostats that automatically modulate the boiler without the user’s input, to connected thermostats that take advantage of WiFi connectivity and allow users to adjust indoor temperatures and heating schedules remotely.
Connected thermostats with WiFi provide an enhanced level of control that enable homeowners to adjust indoor temperatures and heating schedules remotely, to fit around their lifestyle. For example, if a homeowner’s work schedule changes last minute, they can use their app to delay the central heating firing up and avoid wasting energy on heating an empty home.
It’s also important to consider choosing a connected thermostat that works with voice-activated home hubs, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home. Many people expect voice control to go mainstream within the next 10 years, so it’s important to know which thermostats are compatible.
While we will never be able to create the perfect system that keeps everyone comfortable all the time, modern home controls go a long way to achieving this objective. Whether a customer wants to get hands-on with their programming or not, the thermostat will always be working, matching the time to a temperature requirement – whatever that may be.