When I’m in a playful mood I call my wife the ‘Dark Lady’, because she follows me around the house of an evening switching off the lights I’ve left on in our loo, kitchen or hallway. When I’m not in such a playful mood I call her the Control Freak.
That’s because, unusually in a couple, I am the profligate and she is the economist. I put it down to her upbringing. We have separate bank accounts and at ATMs she guards her pin number from me as if I were a stranger!
Anyway, my point is that as far as lighting is concerned, home economy is easy. If you’re not using a room you can turn the light off at the door switch and save energy. Why has no-one ever thought of doing the same with home heating?
Well they have, actually, but until recently it’s never been that convenient. You had to get down on your knees and turn that stiff thermostat knob on the radiator and check back in half an hour to see if it was working.
In practice, of course, no-one bothers. You set the temperature from a central thermostat in the hall or kitchen and end up heating every room in the place (used or unused) to the same temperature, which even I recognise as superfluous to requirements and a waste of energy.
Now, however, there’s a better way, heating systems which you can control from your smart phone or individual room thermostats (or both), without leaving your armchair. My wife and I fight over them like others struggle over possession of the TV remote!
It will be obvious from this that multi-zone systems are not just an economic advance on traditional, manually operated systems, they’re also fantastically convenient. If you feel chill in the middle of the night for example – not unusual now there’s a distinct autumnal nip in the air – you can bring up the heating in the bedroom as easily as switching on your bedside light.
Then again, every family has its hot house plants and fresh air fiends, and it makes for peaceful co-existence when you can accommodate them all, uncomplainingly, under the same roof. This is especially true of the baby’s room or granny’s annexe. In both cases temperatures can be set – and adjusted remotely – at levels that ensure their health and comfort.
If you like the idea of smart, multi-zone central heating but think an upgrade would entail a complete refit, you might be in for a pleasant surprise. Some manufacturers make sophisticated controls that can be retrofitted to existing systems. Give us a call at Harpers and we’d be happy to discuss the possibilities with you.
Not a word to the wife though, or I’ll never hear the end of it!