What is a smart home system?
The concept of a smart home is getting more popular in Singapore. What exactly is a smart home and what can it do? Smart-home residences in Singapore allow owners control of several appliances and features usually over the internet or a remotely controlled device such as a mobile phone.
Electronics that are commonly linked in a smart system are:
- Security cameras
- Electronic blinds
- Air conditioning
- Water heaters
What a smart home system does is connect all these electronics, usually through the main circuit breaker or MCB. The MCB is then connected to a smart home interface, which is then linked to the internet router at home. The interface can record useful data on electric and water consumption. For owners who are particular about their usage, this data is monitored closely so that family usage patterns and electronic settings can be altered to minimize utility bills.
Smart systems allow you general control of your appliances but not detailed appliance control. For instance, you can switch your air conditioner on and off with your mobile phone, but you cannot access more complicated functions available on the remote control such as the blower direction or switching between ‘dry’ or ‘cool’ mode.
If you have a smart home system and an AOS digital heater installed, this article will give you an overview of what you can control on each end.
1. Remote on/off control
The strength of a smart home system is that it allows you to control the power supply to the MCB (and hence the appliance) remotely from the internet. Even if you are overseas, you can switch any connected appliance off and on with ease. You can only do this from your mobile phone or remotely controlled internet devices.
2. Automatic on/off timer
From the smart system, you can set timings on when to cut power on or off to each individual appliance at home, including the water heater. The digital water heater control panel also has a similar timer feature. You can check out the article how to set the clock and timer for the digital panel here.
3. Consumption monitoring
Smart home systems are linked directly to the MCB so they can gather information of electric consumption patterns and display them nicely in graphic format. If you pay more for your smart home system, your water pipes will be fitted with flow interfaces so you can monitor your water consumption too!
Consumption monitoring is a really useful feature and the additional data can be used to fine tune your appliance settings so you can consume less. For instance, if your electric bills seem unusually high for a particular month, it may be that your heater is set at the wrong temperature. In that case, head to the panel to reduce the thermostat!
4. Mode settings
Depending on how many people are living at home at any given point in time, put your heater on different modes to accommodate for overcapacity or reduce unnecessary heating. You can only perform mode selections from the control panel as it is connected with a special data cable to the internal heater tank.
More information about how to use the different modes of digital heaters can be found here.
5. Instant function
If you need hot water quickly, the control panel offers an ‘instant’ function which detects all hot water in the tank and pushes it to user. This is activated by pressing the ‘instant’ button once. You can only activate ‘instant’ from the panel.
6. Thermostat control
Like your air-conditioner, digital heaters allow you to customize your tank temperature. Set the temperature at 70°C for high usage and 50°C for low usage families. You can only adjust temperature from the panel as it is directly linked to the temperature sensors in the tank.
7. Real time temperature visuals
Read off your exact temperature from the panel or glance quickly at the 5 indication bars as a visual guide so you know whether you can go in for a shower immediately without wasting time.
Smart homes and digital heaters are complementary
There is very little overlap between having a smart home system paired with a digital heater. In fact, the systems are quite complementary. This is also the case for other more complicated appliances like surveillance cameras and air conditioners.
While smart homes specialize in giving homeowners a bird’s eye overview on appliances at home, the importance of programming appliances individually is still crucial for saving energy. Be sure to read up well on the features of your items you purchase!
More on smart homes in Singapore:
- Channel News Asia on smart homes: Wise choice or hacker haven?
- Smart Homes: Tech-enabled solutions for homes in Singapore