How is the Internet of Things revolution impacting the heating industry?

Neil Mattock, Vokèra’s Marketing Director, talks about the Internet of Things revolution and how it is impacting on the heating industry:
The Internet of Things (IoT), home automation, connected living – we have all heard of these buzz words, but it can sometimes be difficult to know what they really mean and what’s more, how they can benefit you and your customers.
IoT can be defined as a network of physical devices that can connect and collect data. These ‘things’ could be anything from a hi-tech hot tub, a kettle to, in this case, a heating thermostat. According to Gartner, the American information technology research and advisory company, approximately 6.4 billion connected ‘things’ will be in use worldwide during 2016, up 30% from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020*.
That is a lot of connected ‘things’ but what does it mean for the heating industry?
As we know, fuel costs are continuing to rise and, with concerns about the supply of energy, the ability to heat homes in an efficient way will cease to be a luxury and become a vital part of a home’s financial mix. With the growth of IoT and technological advances, home heating systems are set to be pivotal in allowing homeowners to control fuel consumption and the costs they can save.
During 2015, we saw a breakthrough of smart thermostats that can work with the majority of the central heating and boilers. For example, the BeSMART from Vokèra is an internet enabled heating control systems that is not only compatible with Vokèra own products, but also works universally with the majority of residential boilers, making it an ideal replacement for any old thermostat.
With Wi-Fi connection and no need for extra wiring, this type of device is extremely easy and quick to install making installers’ lives much easier. They can often be installed anywhere in the home and simply connect to the Wi-Fi router, which allows for control via an end-user’s mobile device. Homeowners also have the power to control a number of different heating zones and with BeSMART, they can manage up to eight. With compatible boilers that feature OpenTherm technology, smart thermostats can also interact with weather conditions; meaning on milder days, they will automatically adjust to the ambient temperature.
Another advantage of IoT enabled devices is their compatibility with mobile technology and apps. The majority of smart thermostats have a corresponding app that can be accessed and operated from any location. So, whether an end-user is away on holiday, out shopping or just working late, they can easily make sure that they’re coming home to a cosy house and a hot shower.
Not only this, but apps can also be put to use if something goes wrong the boiler. For instance, Vokèra has developed a tool developed specifically for homeowners that gives them direct online connection to the company’s Service Centre. This means that an installer can, with the permission of the end-user, make crucial amendments to a boiler’s performance without being physically present in front of the boiler.
The number of smart sensors and devices is only going to increase as technology develops. Smart thermostats are set to revolutionise the way we heat homes so make sure you get connected.
For more information about BeSMART, visit www.vokera.co.uk/besmart or follow Vokèra on: Facebook  | Twitter  | LinkedIn.   

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