The growth of smart home technology is helping to transform domestic heating in both efficiency and design; a combination that is encouraging more homeowners and housebuyers to prioritise heating system design in their planning, refurbishing and purchasing decisions.
This progress in innovation and choice is good news for installers and heating engineers. As the country’s most trusted tradespeople, they are well-placed to help their customers make the right decision with informed advice.
David Matthews, CEO of the Institute of Domestic Heating and Environmental Engineers (IDHEE), said: “The growth of smart heating controls over the past few years and increasing demand from the housebuilding sector is bringing new opportunities for the heating industry and more choice for the consumer. Central heating is installed in around 92% of UK homes, but as smart heating technology becomes more popular with householders who want to make their homes more energy efficient and be able to control their heating from a tablet or phone; there are great opportunities for installers.”
Today’s customers are more environmentally aware, energy conscious and discerning when it comes to how they heat their home. Heating is no longer a standalone system and more are recognising the benefits of how smart controls can form part of the connected home, while also helping to reduce energy usage, fuel bills and carbon emissions.
“Buying habits are changing, with social media playing a big part in providing inspiration,” said David. “Consumers expect heating systems to deliver on heat, efficiency, control and looks, without having to sacrifice style over warmth. The market is responding with a vast choice of innovative new products; controls that are more sophisticated, boilers more compact and radiators sleeker; available in an array of colours, sizes and materials, enabling style-conscious consumers to make their central heating system a feature, rather than purely functional.”
With entry-level connected thermostats available, smart heating technology is also becoming more accessible, offering solutions to suit every application or budget.
“The connected home is a growing phenomenon, where smart heating controls are a significant component. As this technology becomes even more intuitive, it is essential that installers have the knowledge, technical skills and understanding so they can provide the best possible service to their customers; from advice on the most appropriate solutions to meet their needs and budget, through to installation and aftercare. Being equipped, prepared and eager to stay ahead will help them to maximise on this trend and grow their business.”
Under the theme ‘The Smart Future’, the next annual conference of the IDHEE will look at how this latest technology will impact on the domestic central heating market; and how heating engineers can ensure they are well-placed to provide their customers with the best service.
“Consumers may be more aware, but the technical knowledge and skills required by this more sophisticated technology is where installers can become their trusted expert,” added David.
“The IDHEE is committed to supporting innovation. We constantly review and update our training and information tools to ensure our members have the necessary knowledge and skills to give more people better access to efficient, sustainable heat for their homes. Our 2017 conference will provide a great forum for debate, learning and hearing the latest developments that heating engineers need to understand to benefit their business.”
Speakers from the main industry influencers including BEIS and Every Home Counts, will join senior representatives from the controls, metering, storage, certification and skills sectors to share their views and highlight how the industry can benefit from; and work with the next new generation of technology.
An open forum led by the speakers will give delegates the opportunity to ask questions and raise issues affecting the industry, to gain further insight into the future of domestic heating in the UK.
The 2017 annual conference and exhibition of the Institute of Domestic Heating & Environmental Engineers will be held at the National Conference Centre (NCC) near the NEC in Birmingham on Thursday 8th June.