Energy Saving

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

AD | Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with a Smart Thermostat

smart heating

smart heating

Sponsored guest post

Smart thermostats have soared in popularity in recent years, and it’s easy to see why.  We all want to reduce our carbon footprint, but not at the cost of cutting corners and shivering in the cold!  For those looking to save bundles of energy and money, smart thermostats are stylish solutions that promise a whole new level of comfortable and automated heating control.

Smart thermostats connect to your home’s internet and allow you to control your heating remotely from your mobile phone, tablet or computer.  Smart thermostats also learn from you to programme themselves and automatically adjust your HVAC settings for optimal performance.  Like it toasty in the morning and cooler in the evening?  A smart thermostat will adjust the temperature accordingly.  Forgot to turn off the heating on your way to work?  Don’t worry, the smart thermostat already did.  Designed to stop you using more energy than you have to, these smart home devices make it a whole lot easier to do your bit for the planet.  

How can a smart thermostat reduce my energy usage?

According to the Energy Technologies Institute, around 20% of the UK’s carbon emissions stem from domestic heating systems.  To address this issue, smart thermostats work with many types of gas and renewable heating systems to deliver greater energy savings.  Smart thermostats are compatible with gas boilers, biomass boilers, air-source and ground source heat pumps, and can save homeowners up to 20% on their annual heating bills.

Control it remotely

How many times have you left the heating running because the thermostat is downstairs or it slipped your mind?  With a smart thermostat, you can adjust your home’s heating using an app on your smart device.  This feature is especially ideal for maximising parental control.  If your children are cranking up the heating when you are away, simply use your mobile to check the temperature and turn it down!

Self-programming models

Premium smart thermostats such as Vaillant vSmart  and Nest can save you energy by thinking for you.  Using self-programming algorithms, they learn as you heat and calculate what times of the day you prefer it to be warmer or cooler.  After a short amount of time, they create an auto schedule for your home – managing your heating so you don’t have to.  If you forget to turn the heating off, a smart thermostat will recognise that this isn’t part of your usual routine and will lower the temperature for you.   

Clever technology

Smart thermostats have handy Auto-Away functions to prevent any unnecessary energy wastage.  Built-in motion sensors detect whether or not someone is at home and tell the thermostat to turn down the temperature when you are away.  By programming your heating in an energy efficient manner, certain models will even use the internet to check the weather forecast – preventing over-heating on warmer days and adjusting your heating to climate conditions such as humidity.

Energy usage reports.

Knowledge is power!  This is why smart thermostats provide you with personalised heating usage reports.  Hive will compare your energy usage to other homeowners in your area, and the Nest Learning Thermostat will even use your heating history to challenge you to choose temperatures lower than what you are used to.  Both informative and motivating, smart thermostats provide you with all the necessary information you need so you can reduce your carbon footprint.

Zoned heating systems

Using a smart thermostat to zone your heating system is a highly efficient way of limiting your energy usage.  A zoned heating system lets you heat up to 12 rooms individually and is especially ideal for large family homes and multi occupancy apartments.  Simply programme your preferred temperature for each room and avoid over-heating empty spaces around the house.  By switching your existing heating system to a smart zoning system, you could deliver as much as 40% savings on your home heating bill.

We all have a responsibility to manage our energy consumption, and it’s the smallest of changes that can make the biggest of differences.  Widely available at PlumbNation at a low-cost price, smart thermostats make it possible to protect both your savings and the environment.

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

AD | HomeHero 100K Balloons For Earth Hour

HomeHero energy saving

HomeHero energy saving

This is a sponsored post in association with HomeHero

After twelve years working in the environmental sector, there is one thing that I know – that the topic of energy saving can be more than a little dry.  The thing is we all know that saving energy equals saving money, and that’s it’s a good thing for the environment, but it’s really hard to dress up energy efficiency as something particularly fun or engaging.

To combat this, HomeHero, a virtual energy assistant that saves you money on your bill, have devised a 100K Balloons for Earth Hour game that you play via Facebook Messenger.

When something like this comes along seeking to make energy efficiency fun, engaging and informative all at the same time then I am all for it.  And it’s not just me that’s all for it – in the last couple of weeks hundreds of homes in Britain having been discovering how each home can cut its carbon emissions by 1 tonne by playing what has been described as Pokemon Go for energy efficiency.

With HomeHero’s Balloon Hunt, taking control of your energy costs & lowering your carbon footprint is as easy as taking a photo.  Indeed, to play all you have to do to take part is take a photo of an appliance in your home.  HomeHero’s clever software then instantly recognises what you have taken a photo off and offers you information on usage, and tips on how to save energy with that particular appliance.    E.g. take a photo of a kettle and HomeHero will tell you that a kettle uses £23 per year in electricity, and that boiling only what you need will save £11 a year or 3,300 balloons of CO2.

homehero earth hour balloon challenge

The goal of the Balloon Hunt is to find savings of 100,000 balloons, which is equal to 1 tonne of carbon & the 2025 Paris Agreement’s carbon reduction target for British homes.

HomeHero say that on average people playing the Balloon Hunt find £340 in savings for their energy bill.  What’s more, to celebrate the upcoming annual Earth Hour, HomeHero are running a competition where one lucky winner who finds their 100k balloons in their house will win a prize of £5,000.  The competition closes on 27th March 2017 at 12pm.

So, this year why don’t you do more than just turn off your lights for Earth Hour, and get playing?  

I scored 101,300 balloons – see if you can beat me! ;)  Let me know what score you get in the comments below!