If you feel your home isn’t completely suiting your needs, it can be tempting to relocate rather than renovate, but that’s all changing. More homeowners than ever are instead reaping the benefits of investing in smart home technology, giving more control and better comfort. Not only does this save the costs of moving, but it can keep saving you money every month on your utility bills.
There’s been a five-fold increase in homeowners choosing to stay put and improve their home and the improvements you can now make are no longer limited to a lick of paint or new carpet.
Our recent survey of over 2000 homeowners revealed 86% were thinking about making a smart change to their home rather than selling up, with over a third of these stating their most preferred smart home renovation was the installation of a smart heating system like Wiser, more popular than either fitting a conservatory or solar panels.
Our Smart Home Specialist at Wiser and enthusiastic home improver, Tom Crewe, recently answered questions posed by BBC Radio Northampton’s Helen Blaby about this shift in homeowners’ attitudes and the benefits a smart upgrade like smart heating can bring to any home:
When we say a smart change in the home, are we talking technological changes?
Yes, in terms of smart, we mean anything technological to do with, for example, lighting, plugs, switches and heating controls that you can use via an app like the Wiser Heat App, or through voice commands with Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant.
What sort of difference does that make to a home?
From a smart heating perspective, it provides room-to-room control, so rather than heating up your entire house, the abilities of a system such as Wiser and our smart radiator thermostats mean you can control areas room-to-room, so the same as you’d utilise your lighting – you’d switch one room on and one room off when you’re not using it. In terms of heating controls, a smart system allows you to personalise that space, providing better comfort. As much as 85% of energy you use is to do with your heating and hot water so with smart heating this added control means you’re able to save energy and control the purse strings.
How much will it cost to put in in the first place?
Significantly cheaper than moving! Smart thermostat kits from Wiser start around £139, in terms of the return on your investment you’ll get that back through your heating and hot water energy usage on average within 12-18 months.
Does it take a lot of effort to get it put in?
A competent DIY’er can certainly do this, alternatively you can utilise your local heating engineer or installer. We have a network of Wiser Approved installers and you can search for your nearest professional via our Online Installer Search.
There are all sorts of things you can do around the home now, I have a lamp that turns itself on, sometimes I just sit in the bedroom and say, “lamp on, lamp off”, just because it amazes me, it’s like magic!
That’s the beauty of it, in terms of the Wiser heating controls, you can control your heating but also available are the Wiser Plugs which can be used to control your table lamps or anything else that you need to plug in. These also work via voice commands if you’ve got an Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant. It’s really useful, before my partner would shout at me to turn the heating up and down, now she can shout at Alexa to do it!
I’m about to have a smart thermostat installed. As you never quite know when you’re going to get home, I will be able to turn my heating on at work and it’ll be nice and warm when I get home, the benefits are unbelievable!
Absolutely, with smart heating controls from Wiser combined with the smart radiator thermostats, you can set schedules for the rooms you know you’re going to be in depending on your own lifestyle, so when you’re cooking in the kitchen, eating in the dining room, relaxing in the living room, then later going to bed, you can be at the optimum temperature at each point by scheduling your heating timings room-to-room via our smart heating app.
I’m told that you are a passionate home developer, Tom, how many have you done?
I'm on my 4th home renovation, it’s a bit of a challenge because it’s grade 2 listed with really thick walls, and that’s where it helps having repeaters and boosters around the house to allow you to utilise the smart technology. The smart plug from Wiser also has a built-in range extender which boosts signal to all of your Wiser devices to help with this.
Is it just the smart stuff that you’re doing, Tom, or are you actually ripping stuff out and knocking walls down?
I try wherever possible to do this! But again, because it’s grade 2 listed you must have planning consent so you can make simple changes like fitting smart heating by Wiser relatively cheaply.
If you’re thinking about a smart upgrade for your home, find out more about How Wiser Works.