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Wireless Thermostats: When and How they should be installed

Chris Derrer - Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Controlling our heating from a distance wirelessly, whether it’s to heat up the home with more fluidity, or simply the convenience of not having to walk to the thermostat all the time is becoming a real trend. Wireless and Bluetooth heating control devices are becoming more and more popular as of late with apps like Hive and Nest becoming super popular with the market and are well integrated into smartphones and smart home devices such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home. We know that some of you may have installed one of these before, but for those who are unfamiliar with this kind of application, here are some things to consider when and if should you fit these pieces of technology, considering the kind of environment they will be in.

Expected Range of communication:

Within the average household, wireless signals and Bluetooth products should communicate, to a reliable extent, up to a distance of 30m in any direction from the source. It is important to consider which product you will grace your customer with as the signal will have to be strong enough, or persistent enough to travel through walls and ceilings. Also note that older houses built in the 30’s tend to have very thick walls and ceilings, so that is something that could impact the communications. They may also struggle in very large properties where the control device is more than 30m away from the thermostat… we’re thinking this won’t be a problem 99% of the time though!

Other devices:

The last thing you need when you’ve finished your day of fitting a wireless thermostat, is to be called back and the client is very adamant you’ve done something to their internet, or automatic garage door. Many wireless thermostats work off something called a frequency and it is measured in Hertz (Hz) and the average frequency for the wireless thermostat is between 433MHz (Mega Hertz) and 868MHz, which are the frequencies that control garage doors, remote doors, etc… By far the best and most sophisticated frequency is 2.4GHz (Giga-Hertz) and that is very well controlled and globally accepted by WI-FI and Bluetooth devices. It is a very busy waveband and can handle much many more devices at once. This is always the safe option, but can be slightly more costly.

Consider the environment & boosting:

In the majority households there is only 1 or 2 floors; a ground floor and an upstairs. However, some houses end up with loft conversions, an extra floor or an extension, which means that the device could be out of range as we mentioned earlier. If you think that extensions, thick walls, or extra floors/loft conversions are going to promote any problems look into signal repeaters and boosters that take the original signal received and amplify up to another 30m in any direction from the source of the repeater.

And there it is, a good idea of the things to consider when installing wireless heating controls. Like we said earlier, they can be really useful and help the homeowner to save a lot of money in utility bills if managed correctly. Knowing how to install one without any major problems with connectivity and bandwidth occurring is a good thing, because in the future this is something that will pretty much be everywhere and in everyone’s homes, like the basic boiler controls are in today.

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