I like to make sure I am not wasting money. Well... nowadays anyway. I used to frivolously pay bills without really worrying if I was getting a good deal, have brunch out both days at the weekend, have splurges in Reiss once a month. Those days are obviously long gone now that I have to feed and clothe a little human. But not only that, we have to keep him entertained with days out, toys... or even free things like the woods, the parks.
When it comes to this time of year I always say to myself that we’ll put the heating on come October. And every year, due to the most random English weather it ends up coming on mid-September. And I don't begrudge it, I much prefer to keep warm and snug than put on another jumper. But every year, the energy prices are going up so you always wonder what bill you’ll be lumbered with.
To me, having that warmth come through the radiators makes me instantly feel all wintry and get excited for the cosy nights ahead. But I have said for a few years now that I wanted to be more in control and get a smart thermostat that will allow me to control my heating more economically and also be able to do it when out and about from my phone. So when we’re at the park or visiting family I can set it to come on, or off. And also have the brilliant feature called 'geo-fencing' where the thermostat KNOWS when I am on my way home so it warms up the house ready for my arrival. Things like this are amazing when you have kids and are out for the whole day or just the evening, you can control your heating remotely so that the house is warm whatever time you get home.
What I didn't know was just HOW SMART these things can be.
The Honeywell Lyric T6 is a smart thermostat that once connected to your boiler it can sit anywhere in your house, controlling the temperature you want to heat the house to, you can also do the same using the Lyric (iPhone or Android) app. When we got ours installed, it was all done in fifteen minutes. Quick as anything, no mess, no fuss. I am not the biggest tech whizz there is, Yes, I love social media and my phone is glued to my hand most of the time... but when it comes to my heating or electrics, I don't really have a clue. I just want to be kept warm. But at the same time, I know how important these things are.
Firstly, the device is really smart (excuse the pun). It fits seamlessly into the home. It also acts a thermometer and a clock, and we realised we don't have a clock anywhere in the house (apart from the oven and microwave) so this was quite handy when we’re feeling too lazy to check our phones. The app is also very simple to use. But I did need to have a good play with it initially, three days in and I got the hang of it. I thought I had set the heating to be on timer mode, so to come on automatically in the morning and to turn off once we leave the house. But I hadn’t and that's because the Lyric T6 is a very sophisticated piece of kit. And also, because like a typical man, I didn't read the instructions. Just went straight into it with the app. My error.
It's designed to monitor the temperature of the house and let just the right amount of heating on at the right time. Not only that, but over time it learns how quickly the home reaches the desired temperature (22 degrees for us) so it will quickly adapt and know how much energy it'll need. Thus, hopefully saving you money off your energy bills. This level of control ensures that you do not run your heating at full throttle all day, it makes sure that you only fire the boiler when the house needs heating. A great way to use less energy. See... I told you it was clever. The T6 device even has a little flame on it when the heating's on so you know that the boiler is in use.
For me though, one of the main selling points was the control I had from my phone. Our old thermostat was in the cupboard upstairs with the boiler and was very manual. With the Lyric app, I can change the time periods I have set for different temperatures, override the heating schedule for short periods and set holiday dates where we won’t be in the house... all from the app.
Two weeks in and I can honestly say I am glad we made the switch and tested this device. It took a few days for the thermostat to ‘learn’ how long it took to get the temperature in the house to what we needed. Then from there, the house was honestly a constant, comfortable warm temperature.
The Lyric thermostat is set up so that it is always controlling the heating schedules – you need to make sure that in the periods when you don’t want any heating that you set a low temperature set point (I choose 5 degrees) so that the boiler wont fire and will essentially be off.