How to keep your house warm in winter: Our energy efficiency tips
Clear skies and seemingly never-ending bright sunshine have finally given way to misty mornings and autumn leaves – it’s time to switch the heating back on. As soon as outside temperatures fall below 15 degrees, your central heating should spring into action to keep your rooms and walls warm and to prevent any damage to pipes. But keeping your house warm in winter is about much more than just keeping your home at a certain temperature: You need to make sure your heating system is fully equipped to get you through the coldest months of the year.
Keeping your house warm in winter: Think ahead to maximise efficiency
To make the most of the energy consumed by your system and the heat it generates, it is vital that your heating system is functioning properly.
There are a number of factors that can affect its performance: As well as ensuring that the pipes and boiler are fully intact, undamaged and functional, remember that water distribution, pressure and flow can all have a huge impact on efficiency, too. You also need to make sure that the heat emitted by radiators and pipes is not blocked by furniture or curtains. It’s a good idea to thoroughly inspect your heating system at the start of the heating season to ensure that it operates properly through the winter. If your system is emitting strange gurgling noises, don’t panic – often, bleeding the radiators will solve the problem. However, it’s best to call in an expert if your boiler requires any form of hydraulic adjustment or flushing.
Smart solutions for efficient heating
All the data you need – at your fingertips
Integrating the latest building technology into your home can also help you control your heating system in the most efficient and cost-effective way. Like many other building technology components, heating systems can be connected to a Smart Home network and monitored at any time. Using intelligent sensors and connected thermostats, the Smart Home can record relevant operating parameters and provide an overview of important system data. If something goes wrong, the system reports faults automatically and sends a notification to your smartphone if required. This approach allows potential sources of faults to be detected quickly and without professional intervention, so that you can take preventive action to correct the problem – and so that you never find yourself in that dreaded situation of being without heating in winter.
Energy efficiency in the Smart Home: Heating control made easy
Smart Home technology is not only a great tool to help you monitor and maintain your heating system, but also ensures that you are heating your home in the most energy-efficient and cost-effective way. Turning down the thermostat by just one degree reduces energy consumption by around six percent. But that doesn’t mean that you should reduce the temperature of your home to the lowest bearable level: If the inside temperature falls below 16 degrees, there’s a risk of mould development. And when outside temperatures drop below zero, pipes become highly vulnerable to damage, too. If the water in the pipes freezes, pipes can burst, resulting in flooding in your home. This kind of frost damage is easily avoidable if you heat your home properly in winter. All rooms should be heated to a consistent temperature of at least 17 degrees, including cellars, storage rooms and other spaces you don’t use often.
The smart way to save energy: Timer-based temperature control
The right temperature at the right time
Installing intelligent heating and climate control devices in your Smart Home makes it easy to keep your home heated to this minimum temperature or any temperature at which you feel comfortable. You can use room temperature controllers to heat each room to the required temperature at different times of day, depending on your routines: Your bathroom can be heated in advance so it’s warm when you wake up early on a weekday morning. Your underfloor heating is switched off while you’re at work, while your hall and bedroom are heated to 18 degrees at all times; the living room is promptly warmed to 20 degrees in time for your arrival home. If your heating requirements change – perhaps because you’re returning home earlier than expected or have gone out with the family – you can change the timer programme and your room temperatures at any time, wherever you are.
Intelligent heating: Smart thermostats and sensors
Even in the winter, you need to let fresh air into your home from time to time to maintain a healthy living environment. We all know we should turn off the heating when we open the windows, but this is something that is easy to forget.
However, if you’ve integrated the Gira CO₂ sensor into your Smart Home, there is one less thing for you to worry about: The sensor detects carbon dioxide in the air and automatically opens the windows and switches off the heating when a specific threshold is exceeded. This system not only keeps your home fresh, but also prevents your heating system from consuming energy unnecessarily. Your Smart Home can also factor in other sensor values – such as sunlight, wind speed and outside temperature – to intelligently control your heating.
Home or away: Flexibility is key to efficient heating
If you’re planning a three-week winter getaway, it can be tempting to switch off your heating to reduce your energy consumption and costs – but it is possible to heat your house efficiently even when you’re away. Individual thermostats and the entire heating system can be controlled via an app on your smartphone at any time, whether you’re at home or away. If you decide to come home early, you can get your heating fired up so that your home is warm and cosy when you return. Or if you’re having so much fun that you decide to extend your stay, just let your Smart Home know your plans. Your heating system will continue to operate in economy mode but will keep all rooms at the set minimum temperature to prevent frost damage. The app-controlled system allows you to make smart energy savings and cut your costs while also ensuring that you don’t come home to any nasty surprises.
Have you put your Smart Home to work to help you heat your home efficiently? Share your tips for heating your home energy-efficiently and cost-effectively this winter.