Man using smart controls on heating system in Wrexham

Can I use smart controls with my oil boiler?

More and more people are beginning to convert their houses into smart homes, using technology to make their lives easier and more comfortable, as well as saving money - from switching off the lights when they are not in use, to making sure the radiators aren’t roasting when you’re not at home. But what if you have an oil boiler - is it still possible to set up smart controls for your heating? Read on to discover more.

What are smart controls?

Smart controls are next-generation technology such as Nest, tado°, Hive and Alexa, which allow you to control various devices in your home remotely - eliminating the need to manually control everything. Many can even control multiple devices. Smart technology can be used for security, lighting, heating, entertainment and more. As more and more household devices become compatible with smart technology and prices fall, it is becoming available to every home.

How does a smart boiler work?

When it comes to gas boilers, many newer models now feature smart modulating technology. This means that the boiler is able to communicate with the room thermostat which tells it the exact current temperature and also the temperature it needs to achieve. Then, using this information, the boiler is able to intelligently adjust (modulate) the gas and air flow to adjust its heat output accordingly.

Can oil boilers modulate?

Because they produce heat in a different way, oil boilers generally do not modulate - they simply operate on an on/off basis. To incorporate modulating technology in an oil boiler would substantially increase the cost of manufacture and offer little gain in efficiency to the homeowner. While this means that smart technology can’t be used to control the output in the same way as a gas boiler, there are still plenty of ways to use smart technology alongside your oil boiler to increase your efficiency and reduce bills.

Smart technology and oil boilers

Smart controls such as Nest, tado° and Hive offer many different ways to get more out of your heating system. For example, smart room thermostats and radiator thermostats can be used to create the perfect environment, while the apps can be used to control your heating from anywhere via your mobile phone. Location-based control, which is now featured in most leading smart heating apps, can even make sure that the heating is switched off when there is nobody at home. It is also possible to schedule your heating times remotely, so that you never have to fiddle with complicated manual thermostats.

Many intelligent smart controls also now have the ability to learn your habits to offer even greater efficiency and help to reduce your home’s carbon footprint.

Should I replace my oil boiler?

Smart controls are a great way to increase the efficiency of your oil boiler, but the age of your boiler also plays an important part. Although many smart controllers are compatible with older oil boilers, for the best results, it may be worth considering replacing your oil boiler at the same time as converting to smart controls. Not only will a new boiler be significantly more efficient and economical, it will also be designed with smart homes in mind.

Your trusted Wrexham-based heating engineers

D.R. Plumbing & Heating are a trusted local company with a reputation for the highest quality workmanship and services throughout Wrexham and the North Wales region. We are proud to boast a team of reliable, courteous and experienced engineers who have all worked with us in Penley and the surrounding area for several years. As well as being Gas Safe registered engineers, we are an award-winning Worcester Bosch accredited installer, meaning you can benefit from our up to date and extensive training in their products and services, as well as up to 7 years guarantee on parts and labour for total peace of mind.

Looking for a new oil boiler? Call D.R. Plumbing & Heating today on 01978 291 923 / 01352 620 125 for a free, no-obligation quotation.

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