We’ve joined the internet of things!
For the past fifteen years, our heating has been run by much the same thing as most other people, a simple thermostat and programmer that gave us a limited ability to turn the heating and hot water off and on at set times during the week, and although we could vary the temperature in the house the heating would come on at whatever the temperature was set to.
This week the old thermostat and controller were taken out, and instead we had a tadoº system installed.
The kids like the illuminated temperature display, but it is doing rather more than just looking more high tech.
The replacement thermostat and the replacement for the control box next to the hot water tank talk over a wireless link to a small box that is plugged into our internet router. On the tadoº website we can set the times to turn the heating and hot water off and on as we had done with the old programmer, however we can now set temperatures for individual periods, allowing us to set different temperatures for overnight and during the day for example.
However if it just replicated the functionality of the existing programmer and thermostat, aside from looking pretty and being able to set it up online it still wouldn’t add that much.
The main issue we’ve had with the traditional heating programming is that it doesn’t really fit with our pretty variable schedule, in order to accommodate the schedules for everybody during the week we end with up with a fairly generic schedule that ultimately results in the heating being on for a lot longer than it needs to be, and quite often the empty house will be being heated unnecessarily.
The other part of the tadoº system is a smartphone app that allows the system to tell if we are at home or not, and to not unnecessarily heat if nobody is home. Combined with the way the system tracks temperature changes and learns how the house heats up it should only be running the heating when needed.
So how has our first week been?
On the first morning the system turned on the heating two hours ahead of when we had set our wake up time, and therefore had the house warmer than it needed to be, however on the second day it learned from that and came on later. Having had a couple of really cold nights it has also turned the boiler on a couple of times during the night to prevent the overnight temperature falling too low. The presence detection has also worked well with the system turning the heating down for parts of the day when nobody was home, but also turning the heating back up again when they get home.
For techies like me you can also get loads more detail from the system of what the temperature is, and when the system is actually running the boiler – this is a graph of the temperature and boiler running from yesterday which was a day when Beth worked from home. You can see it running the boiler a few times in the early hours of the morning, then a big run to heat the house up for 6am (which it didn’t quite achieve) there is a shutdown when Beth took the kids to school, and a longer shutdown in the afternoon when she went out shopping and then to pick the kids up from school.
So on this day we saved a bit with those two periods when the heating wasn’t running, on another day when maybe we were out for longer the heating would be running for less time, we’ll have to see how this translates into our gas bill longer term.