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The installer’s guide to leading the smart control revolution

  • 24 May 2019

Home assistants. Live security cameras. App-controlled lighting. With the modern home getting smarter by the day, plumbing and heating installers must lead the revolution on smart heating controls, says Richard Harvey, Category Director for Heating and Plumbing at Wolseley.

With our lives getting busier and increasingly connected, being able to control the central heating system remotely is becoming extremely attractive to many homeowners. For customers who lead busy lives and lack routine, controlling the temperature of the home via an app is not only majorly convenient but can also offer significant savings on utility bills.

Smart Technology

Nothing to fear

Words such as ‘smart’ and ‘connected’ can conjure up thoughts of complexity. In reality, there is nothing to fear when specifying and installing smart controls. In fact, being equipped with the specification and installation know-how, you can set your business apart from the rest while others play catch up.

With the excellent training being offered by most of the most popular manufacturers, installers have a real opportunity to lead the revolution on smart heating controls.

Choosing the right device

There are hundreds of different devices to choose from. So how do you choose which is best? Before making a decision, speak with your customer about what they are aiming to get from their new device. Make a requirements checklist before making a recommendation.

This might include the details of their boiler, exploring what the customer wants from smart controls, whether they are looking to introduce different heating zones around the home and whether they are using any other smart technologies such as Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa.

Navigating the maze

Once armed with this information, you can then begin to search for a compatible device that meets all of the customer’s requirements. Endlessly searching the web or having discussions with store assistants can be lengthy in some cases, and put frankly, a waste of your time.

Wolseley has recognised this and launched its new smart control guide to simplify your search for the right piece of kit. The guide contains a range of smart controls from popular brands such as Nest, Honeywell, Drayton and Salus. It outlines the key features of each device so that you can choose the right product for your customers’ needs.

The smart control guide, which is available in branch or online here, also offers compatibility information on its wide range of products, including each devices’ ability to connect with different boiler types, the availability of relevant mobile apps, and their compatibility with specific home assistants.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect device, customers may want to push you in direction of large retailers however it’s advisable to use specialist merchants as they are likely to offer the same devices for less. Once familiar with the smart control guide and features of each device, you will be able to specify the correct products for your customers almost instantly. If not, the guide will be at your disposal online or on the seat of your van!

Advice on best practice for customers

Simply installing smart controls does not save money. As a result, it also pays to advise your customers on how to make the most of their new system.

As they work differently from traditional thermostats, educating your customer about new features can be pivotal to energy efficiency. For example, some smart controls offer geofencing functionality, switching the heating on or off when the homeowner reaches a particular location – whether it be when leaving work or when they are 15 minutes away from home. Other advice you may be able to offer could include setting up multi-room or ‘zonal’ control, activating child locks and switching to holiday mode.

To find out more about Wolseley’s range of smart controls, visit https://www.wolseley.co.uk/smart-control-guide/
or pick up a free copy of the Smart Controls Guide in your local Wolseley branch today.

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