One of the most common questions we’ve heard over the years on Automated Home is how can I control my heating when I’m away from my house or holiday home. Well here’s a really interesting new product that offers a solution at a price that’s more more affordable than the systems we’ve looked at in the past. We talked to the guys at VVS Technologies about their new heating to cellular interface hardware called ‘HeatSlave’…
What’s the Background of your Company – VVS started operations ten years ago. We have spent most of that time Researching and Developing, initially, technologies for companies in US and Korea and, more recently, developing our own Unique technologies. VVS designs and manufactures a range of ‘green engineering’ products that save money and reduce co2 usage adding convenience and comfort with a range of competitively priced products for our customers
What is the HeatSlave System? – HEATSLAVE has only come on line recently. It is a green engineering / technology product and is particularly popular due to the recent severe cold spells and subsequent damage to properties. Also its ability to reduce energy costs in these difficult financial times makes it even more attractive.
Heatslave allows you to turn on your heating using your mobile phone or any phone from anywhere, for free. Heatslave allows you to strictly control your heating by allowing you to call it to turn it on (rather than having it timed) if you were delayed getting home it may come on long before you get back and could be off again by the time you get home – hence wasting all that heat. Heatslave allows you to check the temperature of your home using your mobile phone or on the Web and it will actually send you a text if it gets too cold allowing you to simply phone it (a mobile phone number) for free and turn the heating on.
When you have turned the heating on, after a short time, Heatslave will send you a further text to tell you that its ‘warming up nicely’ – so you know your heating is working. Heatslave contains a SIM card and so acts like a mobile phone, however calls to it do not incur a cost. The installation will take a electrician or suitably qualified person less than an hour in most cases. No specialist installer is required. A web based help service is provided by us where we will call you back or you can speak directly to us.
Are there different HeatSlave Models? – There are two Heatslave product categories – the ones that are web based and the ones that simply are phoned to turn on/off the heating.
1. Web Based Heatslave – Each unit has a unique ID, the user visits the HeatSlave Website and enters the ID which brings them to their own page. Here they set who can turn on the heating, who gets the SMS should the building need to have the heat turned on (Heatslave texts you when the temperature becomes low), we have two points at which it does this set at 6 Degrees C and 4 Degrees C. These are the danger points and when your home/business is in danger of pipes bursting and causing serious damage. This is also where you can set the virtual timer, allowing a user to remotely program the heating.
HeatSlave units start at around £160. After buying and installing the system the year two costs are made up of £22 for the web services plus top up fees on the SIM card. All in all a cost of around £40 a year should be allowed from year two on. For this you get :-
- Your Heating being monitored every day – when it will call you if the temp drops to alarm level.
- Ability to set the Virtual Timer to come on when you decide – all from your PC without having to drive to anywhere.
- Turn on the heating the day before you make a trip to your holiday home / home – so that its warm and comfortable and not freezing when you get there and for the first 24 hours (it does take about a day for a house to warm up if its not been used) .
- Level of comfort and convenience – we have several people who use it every day and turn on the “Bath” on the way home rather than have to wait the 40 mins by which time they may not bother with the bath!
- Cost savings – return on investment (We see most people saving the cost of the unit in the first year)
2. Heatslave Baby – This is an SMS Text Message only unit, a simply system to allow you to turn the heating ON or OFF (but cleverly it tells you when you’ve turned it on as distinct from off). This suits a lot of people who simply want a easy way of turning on or off their heating system (in fact you can use it to control almost anything remotely from your phone). It can either be set to only allow the user to turn it on or off. It does not have a temperature function.
Either units can be texted to get a status back from them telling you if your heating is on or off. Each unit has a ALARM feature – in that a alarm contact (often used on boiler doors or on tanks) can be connected and this will send an alarm to a specific number. The Text message can be changed ie “Alarm from Oil Tank lid at Automated Home”. The units are in a IP65 Enclosure – So can be put outdoors – and are powered by 12 Volts. We supply them with everything that’s needed (220Volt/12 Volt Relay – Power Supplies and SIM cards) and they come with a 12 month Warranty.
Where can people find you on the Web? Check us out at www.heatslave.com