Apple will return excess heat from new data center to the heating system of the local community

There is no doubt that Apple is one of the greenest tech companies in the world, and it’s aiming towards being as eco as possible. Its next step in that direction comes in the form of an interesting way to power one of its new data centers and deal with the excess heat it will produce.

The new facility will be built in the Jutland region of Denmark, and it will be powered only by renewable energy. A portion of this energy will come from recycled farm waste.

Apple is working with Aarhus University on a system to process agricultural waste products with a digester, which in turn generates …


Smart heating is here Five reasons to invest

Smart heating is the umbrella term used for the latest heating set ups that not only allow you to control the temperature throughout your home from your smartphone, but some will also automatically learn and adjust to your weekly or daily routines.

The idea of smart heating is that it makes controlling your indoor heating simpler and easier and there are numerous options available to choose between, from the likes of Honeywell and its EvoHome system that allows for individual room control, to Google’s Nest that learns what time you get up every morning.

The point is, smart heating is available now and it isn’t just a gimmicky fad that will slowly disappear. It’s here to stay so let us give you five reasons to invest in one of the smart heating options out there.

Smarthome-heating-Honeywell

Remote control

The most obvious reason to invest in smart heating is for the remote control. With any of the options available, you’ll be able to turn your heating on or off from wherever you are using your smartphone. It doesn’t matter if you are at work or on holiday, all the smart heating solutions have app control so all you need is an internet connection.

It depends on which system you invest in as to what other features you’ll get so make sure you read up on the different options to make sure you get exactly what you want. Some allow you to control individual rooms, while others will track you through your smartphone to find out when you are coming home in order to know when to begin heating the house up to your desired temperature. You can find some of them in our smart heating solutions feature.

Easier scheduling

Previously, scheduling your heating normally meant flicking a switch in a cupboard or pressing several buttons on the boiler and hoping you’d wake up with toasty feet rather than as an ice cube. Smart heating takes the guesswork out of scheduling and it’s not only easier but you have more options too.

Many of the systems available will allow you to set specific temperatures, at specific times, on specific days. It’s no longer just a case of switching your heating on or off, you can customise it to suit you and your lifestyle instead so if you work from home one day a week or you come home earlier on a Tuesday than the rest of the week for example, you can make your system accommodate this.

Save money

Utility bills have crept up in recent years and chances are, they are only going to continue to rise so anything that helps cut back the monthly cost is surely a bonus. Most of the smart heating systems out there claim to save you money and whether they actually do or not is difficult to judge, but in theory they should.

Firstly, you’re less likely to leave your heating on when it’s so easy to turn it off, meaning you should only have it on when you actually need it on. At a more advanced level however, many of these smart systems know when you are home and when you aren’t, adjusting your heating accordingly. Some also know when you are on your way home and therefore know when to start heating up your home so no energy is wasted. Systems like Tado even have a section in the app for you to input heating costs so many of the options out there are cleverer than you initially think.

Customisation with IFTTT

Not all, but some of the heating systems available are compatible with IFTTT, which is a service based on the statement: If This Then That. In a nutshell, this service is all about making one thing work with other. Honeywell’s smart heating systems will work with IFTTT, as will Google’s Nest, and it essentially means you can create what IFTTT calls a recipe to customise your heating.

For example, you could create a recipe that makes your heating turn on when you send a tweet, although we doubt you’d ever want to do this. It’s more likely you would make your heating turn off when the sun comes out, which is also possible and the point is, you can customise your heating in lots of different ways using the IFTTT app. Like we said, not all the smart heating systems available work with this service so it’s worth checking the ones that do before you invest if this is a reason that appeals to you.

Future proof your home

Smart heating systems aren’t just about what you can do now though, they are also about future proofing your home because they are only going to get more intelligent. At the moment, they mean less fiddling and faffing with dials, along with saving money and the ability to turn your heating on or off from wherever you want, but that’s just the beginning.

In the future it is likely that your smart heating system app will also allow you to control other home automation devices such as security cameras, and smart cameras, and some systems already offer hot water control too. It might not be tomorrow or next week, but the systems available are smart and they are only going to become more intuitive.