What is a smart electric radiator?

A smart electric radiator is an effective, superior heating appliance that can be remotely controlled using your smartphone, smartwatch, tablet or computer. This allows you to control your heating as the need arises from anywhere at any time. 

This intelligent heating or smart heating allows you to manage the heating schedule and temperature of every room in your home via Bluetooth or WiFi control. It allows you to integrate your appliance with Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant, providing control using quick voice commands, or integrate with a smart hub such as Tado, Nest, Hive and Heat Genius.

How do smart electric systems work?

Smart electric systems work in a variety of ways but they will all use one or more of the following core features:

  • Bluetooth - This is a short range wireless signal that allows you to communicate between devices. This lets you adjust your heating through your smartphone, smartwatch, tablet or computer from anywhere in your home.
  • WiFi - This is a similar short range wireless signal but it uses the internet to additionally communicate between devices. Therefore, if your smart device is connected to the internet, you can manage your heating from anywhere in the world.
  • Cruise Control Heating - This feature is similar to the cruise control in a car. The radiator adjusts its own output to meet the temperature of its surroundings.
  • Smart Thermostat - These controllers connect the elements of your heating system to your mobile device via the Internet allowing you to control the heating in your home from anywhere.
  • Open window technology - This technology allows you to reduce your energy consumption when a door or window is opened by putting the radiator into standby mode.
  • Motion Detection - In its simplest form a smart electric radiator uses motion detection to switch itself on. More advanced devices can even create a heating schedule based on the previous movement detection patterns.
  • Voice control - You can pair your wifi electric heater to Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant. This allows you to  manage your heating using simple voice commands, such as “Alexa, turn on heater”.
  • Geolocation - This feature uses the mapping technology in your mobile device to switch your heating on or off based on how near you are to home. 

What are the benefits of smart electric radiators?

Smart electric radiators make a substantial improvement to your home for the following reasons:

  • Makes your life more convenient - Provides the ability to control or manage your devices with ease, from anywhere you can get internet access from.
  • Provides independent room heating - Controls your heating on an individual room-by-room basis. You can adjust your smart heating so it just warms the spaces that you use. This means each room is heated to the optimum temperature.
  • Produces a schedule that suits your life - Smart heating allows you to pick the time to heat your home. If you bump into friends and go out for a meal, then you can delay heating in your house. If you have to leave work early, then you can warm the house up early. If you have to leave the house early you can switch your house to empty mode. Or you have the option to rely on geo-location to manage your arrivals and departures for you.
  • Saves energy, money and the environment - Smart heating lets you select each room's temperature level, rather than heating the entire house. This on demand switching means that as you are only heating what you need to be comfortable, you save the money that you would have spent keeping an empty room hot. Some apps have geo-location features which lowers the temperature when the last person leaves a room, or the house. They can also be set to warm rooms when you are on your way home. This reduces your energy use, which not only helps the environment but lowers your bills too.
  • Allows the use of a range of devices - Intelligent heating can integrate with Apple and Android devices, putting the control at your fingertips. 
  • Reduces burst pipes when you are on holiday - You may be basking in the sun, but then your bliss is interrupted by a weather warning from back home. Wifi connected smart heating basically puts an end to this worry. You can manage the heating remotely. Or, a system integrated to a weather app can automatically activate an anti-frost mode. This can even be more of a bonus if the property is unoccupied for an extended period.
  • Adjusts your heating remotely - This allows you to control your heating anywhere at any time. Running late, home early, won't be back tonight, extra bedroom required for surprise guest who has just phoned to say they are on their way. All these eventualities can be managed effortlessly from anywhere you can use the internet.
  • Improves performance by learning - As smart heaters are capable of learning they will improve their performance over time by using advanced algorithms to analyse your heating behaviour.

How to choose the right smart heating system?

The key factors you need to consider when choosing your smart heating system are:

  • Type of heating - You can choose traditional electric heating or you can use infrared heating. Infrared heating has a rapid heat-up time. Whereas traditional heating systems are slow to reach their optimum temperature.
  • Cost - How much are you prepared to spend? Set yourself a budget and stick to it.
  • Zoning - Think of your house as zones rather than rooms. This lets you plan your heating based on the interconnected areas that are in use at the same time. With this outlook you will be able to best visualise the effectiveness and placement of your smart heaters. So decide how many zones you are going to have in your house.
  • Consider schedules and lifestyles - Efficiency is best achieved when you consider the schedules and lifestyles of all that live in your home. Not all zones in the house need to be heated at the same time, for example a bedroom zone just needs to be heated when in use. Do you require advanced time control programs, or do you simply want to manage the temperature?
  • Don’t share thermostats across multiple zones - Each primary zone should have its own main thermostat. You should not control one zone with another zone’s thermostat. Although a zone could have more than one thermostat. 

How to install a smart heater?

The concept of installing a smart heater is simple:

  • Open the package.
  • Read the instructions.
  • Position or fix the heater in the required location.
  • Plug in the heater.
  • Switch it on.
  • Pair the heater with your device following the instructions.
  • Sit back and enjoy the heat.

The details of this will vary with each brand and type of smart heater, though they will be designed to be set up in as little time as possible.

What do smart heating applications allow you to control?

In general, most smart heaters applications come with the following basic options:

  • Adjust the temperature remotely.
  • Manage multiple smart heaters.
  • Set your own schedules, or use preset options.
  • Turn the radiators on or off remotely.

How do you convert an existing electric heater into a smart heater?

This is as simple as using a smart plug. It won't give you all the controls of a proper smart heater. But it will let you turn it on or off from anywhere, and manage its schedule for specific times of day.

Should I install smart infrared heating?

The most advanced form of smart electric heating is provided by far infrared heating panels. These work through infrared light. Installing infrared electric heating saves you money for the following reasons:

  • Infrared radiant heat is not lost through draughts so you may not require to spend as much money as using convection heating. 
  • As radiant infrared heating warms your walls, floors and furniture, it effectively turns your house into a radiator, which continues to throw out heat even after you’ve switched the heating off. As a result, you do not need to keep your heating on as long.

How to control smart infrared heating?

Once plugged in far Infrared electric heaters are very simple to use. They can be controlled by a simple on/off switch. However when used in conjunction with a thermostat, they become more energy efficient and give you greater control over your heating.

Wireless and battery powered thermostats are often sold with far infrared heaters. This allows the thermostat to be placed anywhere in a room. The best location is beside a light switch and not too close to the heater itself. In-built thermostats are best avoided as these are influenced by the heater itself.

How much does a smart electric radiator cost?

Smart electric radiators range from £50 to over £1000. However, you save money in the long term as it is 100% efficient. 

You also are reducing your carbon footprint from your own home, as all units of energy consumed by the heater are converted into heat.

And finally…

Smart electric radiators are an essential component of an energy-efficient heating solution. Electricity is one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly methods of heating. Not only do you have management over what is heated where and when, but you have the piece of mind that this control brings, and the knowledge that you are doing your bit for the future.

Your pocket and the planet both make savings by deploying a smart heating solution. Remember you can save up to 30% by deploying smart heating. This saving is passed on to the environment too.

An energy-efficient heating solution gives you the control of your heating in real time wherever you are. Less fuss, less money, and ultimately less worries.