Realising any potential energy efficiency benefits from smarter heating and controls will require greater support for installers to understand the technology, a major HVAC manufacturer argues
Wolseley aims to demystify the concept of installing ‘smart’ and ‘connected’ heat technologies with new guidance for engineers and plumbers. It is hoped that providing additional support on the technology for installers and end users can help more building owners to benefit from more efficient heating that can be offered through a successfully implemented set of smart controls.
The manufacturer has said its new smart control guide therefore looks at the key features and installation requirements of a range of popular existing smart control brands for heating such as Nest, as well as technologies developed by Honeywell, Drayton and Salus.
Information on the compatibility of these controls, as well as home assistant technologies such as Alexa and Google Home, with its different boiler models is provided in the document. The guidance also details what relevant mobile apps are available to manage the company’s appliances.
Richard Harvey, category director of heating and renewables at Wolseley, said that the guidance was designed to help installers address limited consumer understanding over the seemingly complex terms such smart and connected when describing appliances.
He said, “In reality, there is nothing to fear. With the excellent training being offered by manufacturers, installers should lead the revolution when it comes to specifying and installing smart controls.”
Mr Harvey said that the company has updated its website alongside the guidance to ensure sufficient knowledge could be provided on-site when planning or revising heating systems.
He said, “We hope that the website and smart control guide serve as a simple way for our customers to educate their own clients and lead the way in making connected heating controls a reality for their customers.”
The smarter homes challenge
Smart homes and appliances are a key theme of the new H&V News HeatingCast, our ongoing podcast series looking at some of the big questions over the future of heating from a policy and technology perspective.
In the latest edition, Henry Lawson of BSRIA noted that closer collaboration between the HVAC sector and software and technology specialists would be vital to realise a truly smart home capable of changing the behaviours of building owners.
Earlier this year, BEAMA said that growing pressure for less carbon intensive heating and cooling services in buildings, aided by improved energy efficiency, was requiring much more innovative approaches to manage the performance of appliances.
Dr Howard Porter, chief executive for BEAMA, said at the time that he expected existing approaches to managing and controlling heat in domestic properties would not suffice in order to meet challenges facing industry to limit the environmental impacts of homes and business estates.
“Heat controls have been here for 50 year or so. The technology has gradually improved, but to be honest, fundamentally it hasn’t changed enormously in all that time.
“We have better and more intuitive products, new products for consumers but actually the kit hasn’t fundamentally changed. I think it will be going forward.”