This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about how your hot water is managed in each of the three available Homely modes: Standard; Smart; and Smart+.
Hot water in Standard mode
This most closely replicates how a standard thermostat would work. You tell Homely when you would like your water to start and stop heating. There is no pre-heating so if you have asked for it to come on at 7am, that is when it will start heating up. It can take some time for a large amount of water (e.g. enough for a couple of showers) to warm up so it’s best to set the start for at least 60 minutes before you’ll need it.
Modern tanks can keep water hot for longer periods so there should be enough for handwashing and rinsing of dishes outside of the set times. If there is an unplanned need for extra hot water then you can use Homely’s boost feature.
If your household likes to hit the shower in the evening then we would suggest setting another hour of water heating prior to that.
You can change your settings at any time so you’ll quickly find what works for you.
Hot water in Smart mode – pre-heating included
Tell us when you would like to have larger amounts of hot water available (e.g. for baths and showers). Homely will pre-heat your water for that period. So, if you set your hot water for 7am, Homely will start heating it up before then to ensure there is plenty ready at that time.
Again, modern tanks can keep water hot for longer periods so there should be enough for handwashing and rinsing of dishes outside of the set times and the boost function is always available.
The key difference between Standard and Smart is the pre-heating.
Hot water in Smart+ mode – pre-heating and cost savings
In Smart+ mode, Homely will seek to pre-heat your water at the cheapest possible times. It can do that because Smart+ mode is optimised to work with Smart tariffs, where the unit cost of electricity fluctuates every 30 minutes during the 24hr period.
Even if Homely has found a cheap slot sometime before you need the hot water, your tank should do a decent job of maintaining the heat. If you need extra, perhaps for guests, then you can give it a boost. Obviously, if you activate the boost during a peak charging period then that will impact your energy bill.
Smart+ is the tariff optimisation service from Homely. It’s a subscription service but the annual fee (£25) is waived for the first year. Smart+ users can typically achieve savings of around 18% on their heating bills (compared with those not using Smart+).
Homely has you covered
Whichever mode you are in, Homely has your hot water covered. However, we would recommend Smart and Smart+ modes for the pre-heating benefit and, if you are on a Smart tariff and looking to optimise your savings, then why not try Smart+. Remember, it’s free for the first year.