eTRV: Remote control radiator temperature control

We love green at Latest Gadgets – grass, trees and low-power gadgets that make the world a better place. The eTRV – or electronic thermostatic radiator valve (sounds like a name out of Dr. Who) is the latter. Essentially, it’s a remote control radiator temperature control.

eTRV

Made by heating control specialists Chalmor Limited, the eTVR easily replaces existing thermostatic radiator valves – simply unscrew the old and screw in the new.

If you’re unlucky enough to be stuck with even older radiator controls, you’ll need a professional to fit one of these (or a gutsy amateur). It’s not a major job, though.

The package comes with two parts – the eTVR itself and a universal remote control, which can adjust any eTVR unit it comes in contact with. Think of it as a Sonic Screwdriver for heating.

The remote uses Infra-Red to operate the eTVR, which means it won’t work in different rooms – and your dream of lying in bed and adjusting the downstairs heating is still a way away.

As well as being controlled from a remote, each eTVR has its own controls on the device, letting you turn up and down the heat to your heart’s content.

Each device also comes with a built-in thermometer, which shows the current temperature of the room as well as the temperature it is set to reach. There’s also a boost option to increase the heat for a 60 minute period.

Each eTVR also comes with three set time periods, allowing you to choose what temperature you’d like in each time period. For example, heat up the living room at night, but cool-down the unused home office. Then choose to turn down the heat in the bedroom during the day, but crank up home office warming.

Each unit is powered by batteries that expected to live for five years without replacement (they’re rechargeable), and Chalmor believe that you’ll save 25% off your heating bill if you switch to one of these and use it sensibly.

Oh, and for long-sighted purchasers, the buttons are huge. Like, really huge.

Retail price of the eTRV is £49.99+VAT and the handset costs £9.99+VAT.

Brew your own for caffeine fiends

I have to admit to being a bit of a skinflint, so while I was quite excited by the latest press release about three new coffee-makers (I know I need to get out more) I wasn’t quite so enamoured by the prices – the cheapest one mentioned was what I consider a whopping £699.

Zanussi-Coffee

So I thought I’d do a bit of maths (which is a major sacrifice for me as sums are not really my thing). Let’s say your average cup of nice coffee you’re your local Costa Bucks coffee shop costs you £2 a time (I know prices will vary depending where you live but let’s take that as an average). So, you buy one every morning on your way to work, (so around 200 days a year, excluding weekends and holidays). That adds up to about £400 a year – so 12 months after your purchase, you’ve pretty much saved about two-thirds of the price of your super-dooper coffee maker, which will last you a long time, and also provide warming cups of loveliness at other times of the day.

Okay, so I’ve almost convinced myself now, so let’s head on to the facts about these kitchen gadgets. They’re all integrated – which means they fit neatly into a fitted kitchen, just the way that integrated washing machines, fridges and so on.

Let’s start with the low priced one and we’ll work our way upwards. The Zanussi ZCOF637X can churn out an endless supply of quality espresso, cappuccino or the style of coffee you prefer. It features a hot water dispenser for long coffee drinks or tea making and a steam spout for frothy milk drinks. For truly fresh beans, it has a grinder or you can choose to use pre-ground coffee or individual coffee ‘pods’.

Coffee-EBA

The Electrolux EBA60010X costs around £750 has a 2-litre water tank with BRITA filter and a steam/water spout for Americano, latte, cappuccino and hot chocolate. If you have to do your own dirty work, the telescopic shelf runners have been designed to make cleaning and filling a breeze.

AEG-Coffee

Finally, if you REALLY like your cup of hot stuff of a morning and have £1299 burning a hole in your pocket, take a look at the AEG PE4511-M, which can create authentic Italian coffee at the touch of a button. Its sleek looks are highlighted with digital control options and an LCD display. A multi jug option allows for up to 6 cups of coffee to be made in one go, if you have lots of friends, or indeed, need a whole lot of caffeine first thing in the morning.