• Eco Nature Holidays

Smart Heating Controls Why We Upgraded


Smart Heating controls why did we upgrade and have we noticed an energy efficiency improvement.


As part of our journey to be more sustainable, energy efficient and reduce of heating costs we installed a smart heating and hot water system from Drayton Wiser. The aim of doing this was to save money (in the long term) but also reduce our energy usage. The companies that sell such system make great claims as to the potential energy savings but of course until you have it installed you never know for you what that will be.


When we upgraded our heating system we installed al whole new radiator system and thermal store hot water tank. We also installed a wood burning stove with a back boiler. The key thing for us was to have a system that was Solar PV and Heat Pump ready. So all our radiators are sized for the lower temp lower flow conditions for a heat pump. So whilst we save madly to be able to do the heat pump project we wanted to look at way to improve the efficiency of what we currently have. Being rural we currently still have a oil boiler. Its something we hate and its going to go as soon as possible but quotes of £30k plus to do that project and with the pandemic we have had to look at other ways cheaper ways to reduce what we use. A new boiler 4 years ago was 40% more efficient so massively reduced our usage and our wood burner also helps to provide hot water.


All our radiator had TRVs and we had zones with room thermostats but we didn't have the finite control over all the rads and hot water we needed. So after testing a Tado system that just didn't work in our old barn due to thick walls we settled on the Drayton Wiser system. There are some great feature that allow us to save energy. Open window detection, TRV locks and individual control over each radiator has over the past year helped reduced our energy usage by a further 20%. All without a reduction in comfort for our guests. Many people who stay with us are very interested in the system especially now that energy prices are sky high. Our systems has a Smart Hub, 15 smart TRVs, 3 room stats, and 3 smart plugs/signal boosters. As part of the install our electrician completely rewired all the boiler system controls so the the boiler efficiency was massively improved.


After living with the system for sometime there have been a few issues, however Drayton tech support are very helpful and responsive. UK tech support and remote diagnostics. So what's next? Well we still wait for our Solar PV and batteries to be installed. the global chip shortage has delayed things but tis coming hopefully soon. We will then have a solar diverter from Myenergi (the Eddi) fitted to heat our hot water with any excess solar generation rather than exporting to the grid. This will especially in summer further reduce our on grid energy usage and costs. We are continuing to look at heat pumps but also Sunamp heat batteries. It all costs money a lot of money in fact. But we believe in having a continuous journey to be as sustainable as we can possibly be. We not perfect but every little step we make moves us closer to that point. So until then all our Electricity is 100% renewables from the grid. We have our EV charge point installed already and the Solar PV is coming soon.


So would I recommend smart heating controls. Yes, they save money and reduce energy usage. Yes they give you much greater control. But they are expensive to install but I definitely believe it was a worthwhile project.


Continuing on our Eco Journey


Peter & Sai.