What is a smart electric radiator?

What do real smart electric radiators do for your home?

As the proud new owner of Smart Electric Radiators from IntelliHeat, and a Smart Towel Heater, I decided to test them both, to find out exactly HOW SMART they really are. Can the claims of saving money on heating bills be substantiated in real life? Here is what I discovered.

Cost saving guidance for smart electric radiators

Marketing material says that they will switch off when the set temperature in the room is reached, and also switch themselves off when the door or window is left open, saving wasted energy trying to maintain temperature in a room where the heat is escaping.  This is a very useful feature, if it works. Every Smart Electric Heater from IntelliHeat, is individually controlled, with its own thermostat, temperature selection and digital programmer, using between 1KW and 2KW to heat the room on initial switch on, depending on the radiator size. 

So, in theory, if every smart electric radiator were switched on at the same time, with an average of 5 radiators in an average property, you could be using around 9KW with all of them on at the same time – but, with Smart electric heaters, once they reach the set point required temperature, they click off their heat mode and STOP drawing full energy, and don’t click on again until the room temperature drops by more than 0.5 degrees. Then, when they automatically click back onto comfort heat mode, they only need to heat the room 0.5 degrees, so their 1kw-2kw consumption is only drawing partial power for a very short period of time, until the set point temperature is again reached. So even though your electric heating is programmed to be ON from 6pm to 11pm, smart radiators won’t be drawing energy for all that time. Once the room has reached temperature, they won’t draw power again until they need to top up the 0.5 degrees temperature drop, and then only draw energy to heat the room 0.5 degrees. 

One Room Heating Test

Zoning your central heating means making it so that you can control the temperature of different parts of your house separately. This means that if you have a complete smart electric heating system and decide to heat only one room, let’s say the living room, for the evening, then you will ONLY use 1 to 2KW of energy, during its heating up mode. In comparison with a fossil fuel gas, Lpg, oil heating system, you might think that turning off a radiator in an unused room will save you money and save energy. BUT the boiler is still chugging away in the airing cupboard, using 25 Kilowatts of gas energy to heat the water and pump it round the system, bypassing however many radiators you turn off! So if you turn off every gas heated radiator except one, the boiler will still use 24 kilowatts to fire up, PLUS the same amount of gas energy to heat and pump the water all around your property to reach the one room you wish to heat, bypassing the turned off radiators, but still needing to flow along every pipe in your floors, walls, and ceilings – wasting heat as it travels, until reaching the selected room, to get it to the desired temperature. BUT the boiler thermostat is (usually) in the hall, so each room could be an entirely different temperature, depending on how warm it is in the hall, and how large or small each room. 

The most advanced, and expensive gas boiler pumped systems around these days, can have 2 different thermostats, placed in different places in your home, which they call ZONES, Usually upstairs and downstairs. So whatever size your bedrooms or lounge, the temperature is still controlled by the hall and landing thermostats. That still seems pretty basic and in this digital age, with our mobile phones monitoring our heart rates and sleep patterns, the hallways thermostat seems almost stone age. Zoning the heating system correctly can save homeowners up to 30 percent on a typical heating and cooling bill. No wonder the Governments of the world are banning gas boiler systems. The government has announced that by 2025, all new homes will be banned from installing gas and oil boilers and will instead be heated by low-carbon alternatives. The ban is part of a UK action plan to reach carbon net zero by 2050.

intelli heat importance of electric heating Zoning
iSense electric heating system smart Zoning

Can you Outsmart the room temperature?

Winter setting: My Bathroom Electric Towel Radiator is set to the recommended temperature (by the Manufacturer – IntelliHeat) of 21.5 Degrees. In winter with 4 degrees outside, the towel radiator, which is made of aluminium, reached the room temperature in about 40 minutes and standing in front of it after getting out the bath, was like standing on a beach under the sun. Its direct radiant heat means it was heating me, and not heating the air as water filled steel radiators do. With a slim design the Balneum Eco+ reduces space required for bathroom, kitchen and en-suites. The intuitive, adjustable thermostat with white back-lit display ensures ergonomic use and clear visibility, the instant boost mode also provides rapid temperature increase for quick drying of towels and work clothes.

Cold Air Test: 

During the winter, when the bathroom was lovely and warm and the towel heater was working perfectly, I opened the bathroom door, letting cold air from the kitchen rush into the room, to see if the towel radiator would keep pumping out heat to regain the room temperature. Within 4 minutes of the door being left open, and a dramatic and sudden drop in room temperature, the radiator turned in eco background heating mode (15 Degrees) and the room got colder. After 30 minutes, I closed the door again, which stabilised the room temperature from dropping, and the towel heater then clicked on, to restore the room to its designated 21.5 degrees precisely. 

Summer Setting: Now the outside temperature is much warmer, I tried to see if the automatic thermostat would really work, so turned the towel heater on, one cool evening to warm up my bath towel. After an hour I thought it was broken, as the towel radiator was still cool, and only slightly tepid. It just wouldn’t heat up.  The room had reached 21 degrees, and the towel heater would not heat up, without me needing to physically raise the temperature control on the towel heater. 

Again, exactly as it said in the book. Again impossible to outsmart it and waste energy without increasing the thermostat control. Imagine just how useful this feature will be to the owner of a Hotel, Guest House, or Office building where guests are forever leaving  electric radiators switched on – blasting away – when they go out all day, or all night. … With IntelliHeat SMART  Controlled Electric Heaters, this becomes IMPOSSIBLE!  You can also LOCK the thermostat to the temperature YOU decide, so that children or visitors cannot turn it up to 26 degrees, costing you the earth on your next energy bill. 

my iSense Smart Electric Radiators features

We find out and tested the iSense Ecodesign energy-saving features:

– OTA processor for the software and remote update.
– Automatic programming with self-learning process
– Optimisation, safety and reliability, monitoring & measurement ambient temperature
– Setting permanent live back up in case of power failure
– PID control for stability and temperature accuracy of + – 0.1°

iSense wifi electric radiators by intelli heat close picture
iSense Smart Electric Radiators

1 Ergonomic & intuitive interface, full colour LCD touch screen with customizable display

2 Independent on/off button compliant with Eco-design directives (sound signal for the visually impaired)

3 Simplified and intuitive menu access

4 Home button to return to the main display or to select an operating mode

Touch screen thermostat for isense wifi radiators by Intelli Heat
iSense full colour LCD touch screen

The iSense Wi-Fi Electric Radiator is fully compliant with Eco-Design Lot 20 Energy Efficiency legislation, with a combination of style, innovation and the latest technology, the new iSense range will propel your electric heating system into the digital age!

Using MySense Smart Heating App  

The MySense cloud-based APP is included with the iSense smart radiator, is completely free and we can remotely manages all our iSense electric radiators with guaranteed comfort, monitors our budget, understands and forecasts for a perfect control, up to 20 users can also be added to our Mysense Home screen, MySense is now part of our connected home, we are enjoying all the benefits of multi-room control and schedule our heating by the minute.

MySense App
MySense Smart Heating App

Find out MySense App energy-saving features:

– Be informed and warned in real time
– Analyses and forecasts your devices’ future consumption
– Anticipates and monitors your budget by changing behaviours 
Programming & optimisation to improve your comfort
– Interact at any time when the unexpected arises
View the real time status of your installations for each individual building or customer
– Analyse and remotely diagnose
– Warning alerts of an event directly delivered to your mobile device for prompt intervention

Landlords, Housing Association
– View, analyse, understand, forecast, anticipate
– View the information of a dwelling, a building or housing stock
– Be warned of an event in real time and trigger an intervention as necessary 
– Detailed & consolidated consumption reporting
– Diagnose and analyse to achieve performance optimisation
– Prove the accuracy of your investments by measuring returns time

The MySense APP for smart radiators by Intelli Heat
The MySense cloud-based APP

In Conclusion: 

We need to cut greenhouse and Co2 gas emissions drastically, eventually phase out completely fossil fuels and move completely to renewable energy. We need to use less energy and be more efficient in the energy that we do use; monitoring, management, zoning, advanced ecodesign heating control and budget in your home is a big part of the solution to participate actively in the fight against carbon emissions.

Smart Electric Radiators will certainly save you money and save the planet. With Alexa playing your favourite music, and your cell phone managing your daily step count, heart rate and sleep patterns; let the Smart Electric Heaters worry about reducing your electricity consumptions, and bills up to 30%.

Credit Customer: Tina G. in Long Whatton Leicestershire.

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