British Gas Remote Heating Control – Six Months OnApril 11, 2013
Last October, British Gas offered to install a Remote Heating Control device in my home. I write about it then, and you might want to read my post “British Gas Remote Heating Control – Initial Impressions” to see what I thought at that early stage. So, six months on, how’s it going?
The short answer is, “very well”. It’s still working very well and has kept us nice and cosy over the recent sold snap. Perhaps a testament to how simple the system is, and the fact that, as I referred to last time I wrote, that you can ‘set it and forget it’, I have had long periods where I haven’t interacted with the Remote Heating Control at all. Once I got the heating schedule set to my liking (with some negotiation with the rest of the family), it just ticked away in the background doing its stuff.
I’ve found that the Remote Heating Control does come into its own when you’re heading away from home for a while, though. On a short visit to family, and a longer holiday with friends, I turned the heating off (in the car… yes, I still forget to do it before we leave the house) and then checked the temperature at home every now and again. I believe there’s a frost-guard feature to prevent the house getting so cold actual damage could occur, but I wanted to keep an eye on things because we had someone coming in to feed the cat every day and thought she (and the cat) might be a bit unappreciative if the house was absolutely freezing! So, if I thought the house was getting too cold, I would put the heating on for a little while. And, of course, it was great to be able to put the heating back to normal as we set off for home, and get back to a warm house.
Even on shorter trips away from home, like visiting friends or family members, it’s useful to be able to turn the heating off, and just have it coming back on when you leave for home again.
Have we had any problems at all? Well, I occasionally get emails from British Gas saying the system has gone offline. See, they regularly ping your Remote Control hub to check that everything’s OK, and haven’t been able to get through on occasion. I think this is actually a problem with my Internet connection, though, as it’s been a bit flaky lately. In any case, I’ve usually got another email within half an hour saying everything’s back to normal again. So, really, no trouble at all.
One story I want to share is that I was at a business networking event a couple of months ago (I run a small IT Consultancy company) and got into a conversation with someone who runs a company that provides solar panels and remote heating controls. She was explaining her remote heating system and I mentioned that I have the British Gas Remote Heating Control installed. Her response? “That’s great! Not many people have that level of control over their heating.” She was firmly of the opinion that, the more control you have over your heating, the more control you have over your energy use and, by association, the more control you have over your bills.
So, six months on, what are my thoughts? I’m still very impressed. I love being able to make changes to the heating while I’m away from home (or even in bed), and being able to have the heating come on just in time for us to get home. It’s great to be able to see how warm the house is when you’re not there, and to be able to warm it up a bit if needed. If you’re thinking about changing your heating controls, it’s detinitely worth taking a look at.
You can find more information about the British Gas Remote Heating Control here.