Simon May, heating controls expert and product manager at Drayton, discusses the benefits of smart thermostats and how they can help landlords make their properties more attractive to potential tenants.
As a landlord, you may be reluctant to make improvements to your rental properties unless the enhancements offer value and a quick return on investment. Although some improvements carry a hefty price tag, there are certain areas that can be upgraded for a reasonably low cost – and they could help attract new tenants.
One such area is the energy efficiency of a property. Installing an effective heating controls system can be a quick and easy way to offer greater control of energy consumption and make a property more desirable.
Research by the Energy Saving Trust found there was a high demand in the private rented sector for green measures upgrades, with tenants in private rented housing wanting to ‘go green’ .
In a typical UK household, heating and hot water accounts for around 82% of the total energy use , and the cost of energy has increased by nearly 170% in the last decade - so for tenants, keeping energy usage to a minimum has never been more important.
Standard heating controls have been proven to save over 50 per cent on heating bills, and the additional control that new smart thermostats provide mean there’s the potential to save even more.
So what exactly makes these devices ‘smart’ and why should you add them to the properties that you let?
Internet connected controls – or smart thermostats as they are known - allow tenants to manage the temperature of a property, using a mobile app, no matter where they are.
This means that they can turn the heating on or off and adjust the temperature without needing to be near their home.
For example, if they have rushed off to work and accidentally left the heating on, they can remotely switch it off with the touch of a button. This gives greater freedom and control over the amount of energy being used, and flexibility when it comes to the temperature of their home.
It is also really easy to adjust heating schedules on the go, so tenants can reduce energy consumption by tailoring heating periods to fit in with their changing lifestyle.
If their routine is disrupted while they are away from home, tenants can make tweaks in order to prevent energy wastage.
So if they get invited for last minute drinks after work, they can change the schedule so the heating doesn’t come on until later on in the evening.
For the tenant, this makes a property more attractive, as they not only have the ability to reduce energy consumption and household bills, but they can improve their comfort levels too.
What’s more, smart controls can form part of a larger home automation system, so if you’re planning to add other ‘connected’ elements to the property – such as smart locks or smart lighting – then it makes sense to ensure the heating is connected too.
Home automation can make a property more desirable to technology savvy tenants, meaning landlords can tap into a niche market and differentiate their property from the rest.
Drayton, like other heating controls specialists, offers a collection of internet connected heating control packs – known as miGenie Wishes. The miGenie systemcan be controlled using an intuitive app downloaded onto an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, or an Apple Watch.
There are three different pack options for different heating requirements, and controls feature an industry standard backplate for quick and familiar installation by a heating engineer or electrician – there’s no wiring needed in most cases, so no mess!
The system works no matter which energy supplier your tenant uses, and if the Wi-Fi connection is down the heating can still be adjusted via the controller. The controls are really simple to operate too, featuring familiar buttons and icons and step-by-step instructions for set up.
So consider a smart thermostat for the properties you let – you will make your property more attractive to energy conscious tenants and give them greater control over their energy usage and comfort levels.
Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.