Smart Individual-Room Heating
Large amounts of energy are wasted due to unnecessary space heating in residential buildings, i.e. by heating rooms (or whole dwellings) even though residents do not occupy them. Several studies have shown that the major reason for this behaviour is the poor usability and understanding of current heating controls. For that reason, most people also prefer to adapt their thermal comfort by changing clothes or opening windows as their principal action, instead of adjusting the heating. Following the recent development of “smart” thermostats, we address the aforementioned challenges by developing an heating IS with better controls and comprehensive heating feedback to empower residents to adapt heating radiators in their rooms to their needs. In this work, we present the requirement analysis, implementation and field test evaluation of a novel smart individual room heating prototype. The system combines an intuitive user interface, supporting feedback and automation capabilities. We demonstrate that such a new generation of heating controls indeed improves usability and understanding and thereby leads to lower setpoints by 2-3° Celsius on average, which could enable significant energy savings.