28 HPM 0214

HPM February 2014

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com SPECIALREPORT Controlling controls is changing In the changing world of controls, Andy Mansfield, marketing manager at Honeywell, discusses the opportunities available for installers... First and foremost, installers need to understand the set-up process themselves - namely where to find the unique codes on the controls to configure a web connection and then how the app itself gets linked to that particular web account. The installation itself is fairly simple - when you know how. Once the evohome system has been properly set up, the Internet Gateway has been plugged into the wireless router using the ethernet cable provided, the Internet Gateway has been powered, and the evohome controller connected to the Internet Gateway, the installer’s job is done. However, successfully installing and setting up these controls relies on input from the homeowner themselves. Firstly - does the property have Broadband? Asking whether the home has a wireless router with a spare Ethernet port and, therefore, room to establish an internet connection for the heating controls is key. The homeowner must also have a computer or mobile device connected to the internet, to connect to the web portal and download the app. It is also up to the homeowner to register their personal account and details in order to enable them access to their heating controls via the app, so checking they are happy and know how to do this themselves - and also remaining with them while they do this - is always recommended. This new generation of wireless, internet enabled heating controls will change the way homeowners view their heating controls. Instead of being a neglected dial on the wall, heating controls will become a part of their everyday lives and lifestyles. 2013 was dubbed the ‘year of the smartphone’** with 2014 tipped for unprecedented growth in anytime, anywhere access to information. With the popularity of remote control technology growing so rapidly, it is vital that installers can keep up with demand. Installers need to keep up-to-date with the latest, dedicated training courses on offer to them from the industry’s key manufacturers, to ensure that this technology revolution doesn’t pass them by. * The Guardian.com ** www.clicky.co.uk/2013/06/uk-mobile statistics-2013/ WWW.HPMMAG.COM 28 FEBRUARY 2014 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY enquiry number 118 With the era of remote, digital technology firmly upon us, homeowners are becoming more and more tech-savvy, as the boundaries of what we can control, when and from where, are shifting. Whether that’s recording entire TV series from your tablet, remotely boiling your kettle, or even programming your shower to turn on and off at different times of the day, tasks that were previously classed as ‘menial’ household chores are now accompanied by the next must-have products or apps. So, as the first breed of remote controlled, internet-enabled heating controls hits the market in the UK, what does this mean for how people will now control and use their heating and in turn, for the installer? AT A CLICK OF A BUTTON Today, smartphones allow you to do just about everything with them - thanks to cloud-hosted information and an abundance of mobile apps. What’s more, the use of tablets is expected to grow to 34.8 million people by 2017*- that’s half the UK’s population. At the same time, almost 70%** of people currently access apps via their mobile phone or tablet. It’s no surprise then that a report from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), released in October 2013, on ‘What people want from their heating controls’, revealed that the ‘ability to remotely turn on heating before returning home’ was cited as one of the highest priorities by those surveyed, along with the ‘ability to set different temperatures at different times for different rooms, all from one central panel’. Both of these actions are now possible with the latest internet-enabled, wireless touchscreen heating controls, which allow homeowners to have the ultimate control over their heating in every room or zone in their homes, from anywhere, at any time - with maximum energy savings and comfort. SO, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE INSTALLER? The trend for remote-controlled heating controls is set to grow - with the first generation products already on the market, the launch of the next generation Honeywell evohome product will increase the ability of homeowners to externally control their heating - offering more functionality than ever before. Installers need to make sure they are on board with this technology in order to capitalise on the new business this will bring and also be able to advise the homeowner on which system is best for them. Another key priority, highlighted by the latest DECC report, was ‘Understanding savings that can be made by making adjustments to settings on the heating controls’, so it’s really important that installers learn the added functionalities of these new controls themselves, in order to pass them onto and add value for their customers. What’s more, the installation of these new heating controls is different to those of the more traditional wired or wireless models. Internet enabled heating controls rely on the installer establishing a remote gateway to provide the remote-controlled access for homeowners. This process gives rise to a new set of questions which the installer will need to ask the homeowner during installation and configuration. WHAT DO INSTALLERS NEED TO KNOW?


HPM February 2014
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