Vaughn Wiles, Connected Controls Specialist at Resideo, gives the lowdown on the ins and outs of OpenTherm.

The OpenTherm Association recently released a statement saying it wants to introduce the OpenTherm protocol more widely in the UK, and it’s launched an initial three-year campaign to raise awareness of the protocol and its benefits to the heating industry as a whole.

So, what is OpenTherm and what benefits can you and your customers expect to gain from using thermostats that feature this smart, automated technology?

OpenTherm technology essentially allows boilers and controls to speak to each other and communicate information from one to the other (products that are compatible with OpenTherm will display the logo). The level of what can be communicated depends on the individual unit and the functionality needs to have been built in by the manufacturer.

A major plus of OpenTherm is that it allows the amount of heat provided by the boiler to be altered to match varying demands by reducing the flow temperature to a minimum as it leaves the boiler. This modulation helps boiler efficiency by running at lower flow temperatures for longer periods of time.

So, because boilers are kept in this condensing ‘mode’ for longer periods of time, the impact on the appliance is less than if it is constantly firing up and shutting down. This means that wear and tear is reduced, with the boiler able to last in top condition for longer.

OpenTherm-enabled thermostats can help to provide homeowners with lower fuel bills, on top of anything that a smart thermostat can provide in the first place. So, installing these devices into social housing properties, or indeed any low-income household, is a no-brainer for reducing costs for struggling families.

Now that more and more OpenTherm compatible boilers are available in the UK, you can offer this additional layer of ‘smart’ to your customers.

Of course, it’s a manufacturer’s duty to continue to develop a range of smart heating controls to fulfill every need, which puts control, energy-saving, flexibility, and comfort at the heart of their functionality, yet remain as easy as possible for the customer to use. That said, you can stay ahead of the game by keeping on top of the latest developments and effectively explaining the pros of this tech with your customers.

The OpenTherm logo on a product provides a visual confirmation that the heating control will work with a boiler displaying a similar mark. The OpenTherm Association website also provides a wealth of information about working with OpenTherm appliances.