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How about 30% more comfort at home?

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Smart home: Young woman sitting on the couch using a tabletSource: istock/JGalione

Ever since I started monitoring the smart home industry and looking at some of the offerings out there, I have come across various products that promise huge potential energy savings. Some players are even willing to put a figure on it: I could cut my energy consumption by up to 30% – or more.

Sounds tempting, but I have to admit: until recently, I didn’t even know how my conventional thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) works. Yes, that little “turn thingy” connected to our radiators at home – at least, the radiators that are most often installed in homes. Let’s face it: who knew that setting it to a fixed number is connected to a specific temperature (e.g. Level 3 = ~20°C)?

Let me ask yet another question: when you turn on the heat at home, do you care more about creating a comfortable living environment right at that very moment? Or is the first thing on your mind the bill you’ll have to pay some days or weeks later?

If you ask Dan Ariely, author and professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, he’d most likely say: “… human beings tend to focus on short-term benefits and our own immediate needs …”

At ISH, Bosch presented a room-climate solution that directly controls TRVs, enabling users to adjust temperatures in equipped rooms. It doesn’t matter if it’s the living room, kids’ room, or bathroom – the individual comfort level can be adjusted remotely while you’re out and about. While having full control via the app, you can still control each TRV manually when you’re at home. Furthermore, the system connects windows and thermostats, so opening the window to air out the room turns down the radiators, thereby preventing precious heat from escaping. As long as you have TRVs, you can use this functionality without necessarily involving the central heating system.

Comfort first

Including the heating system increases overall comfort; that’s why any internet connectable oil- or gas‑based heating appliance made by Buderus or Junkers can be incorporated into this smart room-climate solution. This way, users can control the central heating while the room-climate solution automatically adjusts the user’s requirements within the heating system settings. Still, if you want a higher temperature, you can override the program until your desired comfort level is reached. No matter if you’re hanging about the house or if you’re away from home, or returning earlier than planned from work or vacation: you’ll have full access to and control of your heating and your desired temperature at home. And if you’re leaving home, standby mode (and the subsequent energy savings) is just a touch away.

As easy as it gets

You don’t have to be an expert to install this room-climate solution – the app walks you through the process. QR codes on each device (e.g. TRV, door/window contact) support the installation. The heart and soul of the system is the smart home controller, which connects wirelessly to the devices so that existing buildings can be easily retrofitted with the system. Integrating an existing Buderus or Junkers heating product requires an IP gateway and a router.  Since Bosch is already very active in the connected heating and building technology market, it has more than 75,000 heating systems connected to the internet.

Bosch's room-climate solution Source: Bosch
The Bosch room-climate solution will further support internet connectable oil or gas based heating appliances made by Buderus or Junkers

To cut a long story short

Will this smart climate solution help me save energy? I think so (though I couldn’t quantify the percentage in my own living environment). Will it make my life easier and save me a few headaches? For sure it will (that’s why it’s worth it to me).

My personal conclusion: When it comes to smart home offerings, please don’t make it too complicated – keep it simple. Take me through it and let me know what’s in it for me.

What do you expect from smart home solutions? Would you look for more functional solutions, or do you prefer a more emotion-based approach for your smart home?

Curious to find out more about smart home?

Andreas Schaller tested his private smart home from scratch. Read about his experiences and recommendations.

Learn about the 4 key benefits of portal-based smart home applications.

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