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When it comes to digitalisation, one term comes up repeatedly: Smart Home. It's a term without a straightforward definition. By Smart Home, most people mean an intelligent house where objects intercommunicate and can be controlled by means of web-enabled mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and voice assistants. However, there's a lot more to it than that. A Smart Home also allows things like energy flows to be optimally measured and observed over time. This can help to identify potential savings for you. But how does a Smart Home actually work and how can heating systems be integrated into it?
What is Smart Home? The function explained in simple terms
Smart Home is based on the principle: input, processing, output. How this looks like in practice is best explained using the Viessmann ViCare app as an example.
Input: the app is started using a smartphone or tablet. The user interface opens and displays numerous functions, including the desired temperature setting. By tapping on the relevant user interface, the app user can issue a command.
Processing: every Smart Home has a Smart Home control centre. In the case of the ViCare app, it is also called an internet interface. The command issued via WiFi (the desired temperature needs to be reached) is received and processed by this control centre. In addition to WiFi, Smart Home devices also use other transmission standards, such as Bluetooth, Z-Wave and KNX, the latter being a wired solution.
Output: after processing, the command is executed using an output device. In our example, this is the heating system, which will transport heating water to the radiators until the specified desired temperature is reached. Depending on the output device, the app user will be informed about the progress and the result of the command.
Benefits of a Smart Home
In addition to the above example, there are other fields of application for Smart Home devices in practice, such as light bulbs, music systems and entrance doors. Other examples are robot vacuum cleaners, smart washing machines, surveillance cameras and even coffee machines. In use, homeowners pursue several goals, but among the most important are energy saving, increased convenience and safety.
Saving energy with the Smart Home
There are many ways to save energy. One of these is the use of smart, efficient heating technology. The savings potential here is considerable, as a significant chunk of the energy demand of a household is for heat generation.
Smart heating systems from Viessmann are not only characterised by high efficiency levels and durability. They are also designed for use in a Smart Home. Because WiFi is already integrated in all current heating solutions. You only need to install the ViCare app for heating system control. If your heating system does not yet have an integrated internet interface, you can simply add one later with Vitoconnect. This even makes it possible to connect older heating systems to the internet in just a few steps and transform them into a digital heating system.
Clever energy management in the Smart Home creates optimal conditions for saving energy. Thomas Heim, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Viessmann, explains the benefits this offers.
Remote control via app
With a smartphone or tablet, system owners can intuitively operate their heating system and adjust the heating output to their needs. Numerous modes, such as the assistance function with different switching times for each day or the on-the-go mode help to reduce energy costs in the long term. Energy can also be saved with an intelligent lighting system. This ensures, for example, that the light is only on when someone is at home. When no one is there, the light is switched off automatically.
Increased convenience thanks to remote control
In addition to cost savings, the Smart Home also increases ease of use. This means less hand movements are required for operation. For example, residents no longer need to turn the thermostat to set the desired temperature. To extend heating for longer than planned, a single command on the smartphone is all that is needed.
For those who spend time out on the road but value heating comfort on returning home, remote control via smartphone, independent of location and time, is an ideal solution. Alternatively, the heating technology can also be combined with other Smart Home systems that support geofencing. With this, the system uses the GPS data from the connected smartphone to recognise where residents are currently located. When they approach their Smart Home, rooms are automatically heated to the desired temperature.
The right program for every occasion
Smart Home systems for lighting and entertainment also help to increase convenience. As an example, these systems allow lights to be controlled as needed with just one command. A dimmed light for a movie night or a brighter light for reading, all executed with voice commands. A music system or television can also be set to play the right track or program for every occasion. The commands must be set up once beforehand to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Security through intelligent Smart Home systems
In addition to saving costs and increasing convenience, Smart Home systems such as a smart, digital heating system primarily increase operational reliability. In the case of the heating system, carefully considered application programs such as ViCare keep residents up to date at all times and inform them promptly whenever action is required. For example, if maintenance is due, the background of the app turns yellow. If it turns red, the installer's contact details are automatically shown. This keeps the risk of failure during the heating season to a minimum.
Other Smart Home systems also provide added security. For example, doors and windows can be equipped with sensors. If there is an unusual jerky movement, an alarm is triggered. At the same time, owners receive a message on their smartphones so that they can respond quickly. Surveillance cameras can also be networked intelligently. Users can activate them remotely and check that everything is OK. Smart lighting systems for the entrance area protect against tripping hazards and deter potential burglars at the same time.
You can find detailed information about Viessmann's application programs on the Heating and app page.
The smart heat pump for the connected home
Using the new Vitocal heat pump as an example, you can see below how smart heating system technology can increase efficiency in your home: