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What are smart thermostats?
A thermostat can control 60% of your energy bill. This is particularly important nowadays considering the rise in energy prices. That is why it is important to have a smart thermostat installed. Because they offer a lot of great features, thermostats have gained more popularity in the UK. You can turn your heating on and off by using a mobile app and some thermostat types can help you learn about your heating needs as well as adjusting the temperature of your room in order to save more energy. A smart thermostat can help you take control of your heating.
What are the best smart thermostats in the UK?
The Best smart thermostats available in the market nowadays are:
- Google Nest Smart Thermostat
- Hive Smart Thermostat
- tado° Smart Thermostat
- Honeywell Smart Thermostat
1. Google Nest Smart Thermostat
On top of our list is the Google Nest Smart Thermostat. This is by far the best thermostat you can come across on the market. It can cost a considerable amount of money. Its price is over £200. However, it is worth every penny you pay for it as it has some of the best features.
What makes the Nest Learning Thermostat so smart is that it is compatible with all boilers.
This sleek thermostat is able to learn about both your daily routine and habits so as to use this data to switch your heating on and off when you are leaving or arriving home. What is more, it can adjust the temperature based on the time of day. However, if you prefer to adjust the scheduling manually, you will be able do that as well.
Nest Learning Thermostat is, without a doubt, easy to set up and use. It is also fully compatible with Google Home. It can be used with Google Assistant smart speaker like Google Home, Google Home Mini or Google Nest Mini. You can simply use voice command to set the temperature as you like.
The Nest Thermostat can help you save between 8.4% to 16.5% off your heating bills according to Google.
How can Google Nest Smart Thermostat help you save energy?
- By learning your habits and then it would program itself automatically and thus saving you the bothersome task of doing it yourself.
- It can also help you to save energy while you are away. It can switch itself to a custom Eco Temperature when you are away from home.
- By using a “gamifying” energy saving technology it can teach you how to save energy when you are at home. You will be able to see the Nest Leaf on the screen of your thermostat or in the mobile app when you set it to an energy-efficient temperature. Eventually it will be harder to earn a leaf and thus you will be encouraged to save more energy.
What are the features of the Google Nest Smart Thermostat?
Control from anywhere you are at
The Nest mobile app will enable you to control your heating on the go using your mobile, tablet or laptop. As a result, you can turn the heating on when you’re coming home or turn the temperature down while you are in bed. That is how easy and convenient this device is.
Can learn from your habits
To begin with, the Nest Learning Thermostat always keeps learning from you. As your life style and your habits at home changes for many different reasons, the Nest Thermostat can learn and adapt itself to your life changes so that it can set the right temperature in your home.
It also considers all the internal factors, such as insulation and external ones, like the weather and can use this data to adjust the temperature. It can also create a unique schedule just for you.
Hot water control
The Nest Learning Thermostat can help you control your hot water tank.
A hot water schedule comes with the device. It can be easily adjusted using the Nest app.
The heat can be boosted to ensure more hot water when it is in demand. You will not have to remember to turn off the hot water when you are away from home for a few days. The Nest Learning Thermostat will smartly do it on your behalf.
You will be rewarded with a Leaf every time you save energy by changing the temperature. The purpose of this leaf is to help you save energy as it can adapt itself to your energy usage.
The nest thermostat has a circular, sleek and minimalistic design that can help you stand out. It is known for its high-resolution screen which will improve the user interface experience.
You can get the nest thermostat in four different colours to fit your décor. These include: black, stainless steel, copper and white.
Your device can be fitted on a wall or on a Nest stand which can be bought separately for £35. This can help you place your device on a desk or a bookcase in order to give you the ability to move it to the position you find fit.
The language can also be changed. You can choose between English, Dutch, Spanish, Italian and French.
When you press the display and turn the ring, you will see a summary of what your thermostat is up to. What is more, you can reach Settings, Energy History or your schedule as well.
Tracking of Location
The location on your phone can be used to turn the heating off when you are out. This, without a doubt, can save a lot of energy.
You will get an alert from each of your Google Nest products to inform you that there is something which needs your attention at home. It can be an email or a push notification. This alert can let you know of any emergencies or technical issues which might be taking place. You will be notified about things such as smoke or carbon monoxide alarm. These notifications can get to you even when you have your phone on the Do Not Disturb mode.
The Use OpenTherm Tech
To put it simply, OpenTherm is an advanced language which enables your thermostats and boiler to talk to each other. This would allow your thermostat to control your boiler, which can save you even more money on your energy bills.
Here’s a list of the Google Nest thermostats that support OpenTherm:
- 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat
- Nest Thermostat E
The child lock can be used to prevent your children from changing the setting of your device.
Here’s a review of the Google Nest Thermostat device:
- Hot water – Yes
- Installation – Depends on the model
- Operating systems – Android, iOS
- Thermostat controls – Buttons
- Price – £219
- Standard warranty – 2 years
- Height – 8.4cm
- Width – 8.4cm
- Depth – 3.22cm
2. Hive Smart Thermostat
The intuitive Hive smart thermostat is the ideal device to control your heating and help reduce your gas bills at the same time.
British Gas, the energy and home services provider, has created Hive. Hive has a range of devices like home cameras, lights which can save energy and much more. It is estimated that with Hive thermostat, you can save up to £110 a year without ever heating an empty home.
You are able to use Hive Active Heating for all types of boilers. Whether you have a heat-only boiler or a combi boiler, Hive Active Heating can start helping you reduce your heating bill right away. What is more, it is compatible with most Gas, LPG, Oil, and Electric boilers. Although you can use it with most boilers, it is recommended that you check if it is compatible with your current system. This smart thermostat is best suited to newer boilers to ensure optimum results.
This thermostat operates by wiring a receiver into your boiler and connecting it with the wireless thermostat. The thermostat can be mounted to the wall or placed on a stand. To have the ability to remotely control your heating, you should download the Hive app. The Hive Heating hub is connected to your internet router and can then be connected to the app. Once you have it, you can enjoy what amazing features it has to offer.
What are the benefits of the Hive Thermostat?
Hive thermostat has quite a few useful features. These might include a child lock, frost protection to stop your pipes from freezing, and geotracking to switch your heating on and off when you enter and leave your home.
Heating control which is voice-activated
You can use Hive Smart Thermostat with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri as well. You will be able to control your heating, find out the current room temperature and more by only saying a few words.
Use the Hive App to control your home temperature
This feature can be expected with any smart thermostat. The temperature can be turned up or down or off and on with the Hive App. You will also be able to set your own heating schedule on the app and receive notifications on your phone. This can be particularly useful if you have left the house without turning the heating off.
The ability to multizone heating
More thermostats can be added to control up to 6 zones of heating. This can be done easily if you already have a multizone heating system.
Setting your own schedule
You can set your own schedule by simply using the Hive App, which provides easy access.
Protection from Frost
When the temperatures are low in winter, frozen pipes is a common problem. This smart feature can protect your home from burst pipes in winter.
Hive Geolocation will remind you to turn off the heating if you are away and have forgotten to turn it off. Notifications will be sent to your phone.
Here’s a review of the Hive Thermostat device:
- Hot water – Optional extra
- Installation – Professional recommended
- Operating systems – Android, iOS
- Thermostat controls – Buttons
- Price – £179
- Standard warranty – 1 year
- Height – 10cm
- Width – 10cm
- Depth – 4.9cm
What is the Hive Heating thermostat compatible with?
The Hive Thermostat is compatible with the following:
- Oil boilers, if they have an existing thermostat or programmer
- Electric boilers with a standard room thermostat and/or programmer
- Most gas and LPG boilers
Hive comes with a smaller display. You will need to physically touch the screen to view the temperature of the room.
3. Tado° Smart Thermostat
The Tado° smart thermostat was launched in 2012 and since then it has come a long way. This device combines German engineering and a minimalistic design.
What makes Tado° special?
Tado° is known for having a system which is both flexible and easy to control.
With Tado° you will be able to enjoy unique features such as weather forecast adaptation, open window sensors and air comfort skills. These are exclusive features for the Tado° thermostat.
When it comes to multi-zone control, then Tado° offers its unique solution.
With Tado° latest version (thermostat V3+) you will have to pay a monthly subscription fee to make use of some of the energy-saving features which they previously offered for free.
What does the Tado° Start Kit include?
There are two bundles available by Tado°.
Wireless Smart Thermostat V3+.
This option will be useful if you have a hot water tank with a hot water controller and you want to control your hot water with Tado°. Or you own a thermostat with a wireless boiler connection or no thermostat at all.
Wired Smart Thermostat V3+.
This bundle would be of use if your home has an existing wired thermostat with a combi boiler (a system which is not connected to a hot water tank).
What is more, additional add-ons are also available such as Tado° Smart Radiator Thermostat, which has the ability to independently control your rooms from the radiators.
What are the features of the Tado° Smart Thermostat?
The ability to set a smart schedule
Just like other smart thermostats, you will be able to create your own 7-day schedule, and turn the heating up or down in time blocks based on your daily routine. Using your phone, you can also edit this schedule wherever you are.
Multi-zone heating control
What makes Tado° stand out is its heating control. Although other smart thermostats can be used to control multiple zones, their functionality is still limited and a bit pricy. On the other hand, Tado° Smart Thermostat will enable you to control the heating zone without much effort by just fitting Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV’s). A heating engineer can program your radiators to work with Tado° if you prefer to keep your old valves.
Multi-zoning is important because it lets you heat the areas which are in use rather than your entire house. This can reduce your energy consumption and as a result your energy bills.
Adoption to weather
Tado° is able to take local weather forecasts into account. It can cut down your energy consumption by simply changing your heating based on the weather forecast.
Additional features covered by your monthly subscription.
Can detect open windows
Tado° can detect open windows and remind you to turn your heating off in order to save energy.
You will get push notification to turn your heating off with the free package but the monthly subscription will enable you to fully automate this feature.
Provides detailed reports
Detailed reports can be accessed within the app for Tado° users. These reports can help you save energy as well as analyse your daily habits.
What kind of reports can I expect?
The number of hours at least one of your rooms was set to Away Mode.
The overall savings with Tado°
How much money you have saved on energy bills.
Open Window Detection
How many times your heating was turned off when an open window was detected.
A report of how many hours of sunshine Tado° took into account along with your building’s characteristics to help you reduce unnecessary heating.
A report that includes the percentage of total heating time over the month that you manually set your Tado° devices to an energy-saving temperature.
The number of hours in a day that your Smart Schedule was set to an energy-saving temperature.
Similar to Nest and Hive, Tado° can track your phone’s GPS to ensure that it never heats an empty home.
With the free version, notifications will be sent to turn off the heating when the last person leaves the house and turn it back on when the first one comes back inside.
This feature can also be switched off. And with the monthly subscription, this feature can be automated.
Tado° V3+ General Specifications
Wireless Smart Thermostat
- Wireless Temperature Sensor: 104 x 104 x 18 mm
- Wireless Receiver: 80 x 140 x 26 mm
- Internet Bridge: 81 x 27 x 22 mm
- Full packaging: 174 × 174 × 110 mm
Wired Smart Thermostat
- Smart Thermostat: 104 x 104 x 18 mm
- Internet Bridge: 81 x 27 x 22 mm
- Full packaging: 174 × 174 × 70 mm
Wireless Smart Thermostat
- Wireless Temperature Sensor: 138 g
- Wireless Receiver: 216 g
- Internet Bridge: 30 g
- Full packaging: 895 g
Wired Smart Thermostat
- Smart Thermostat: 156 g
- Internet Bridge: 30 g
- Full packaging: 490 g
User interface: The LED matrix has 10 x 19 mm LEDs and a size of 32 x 20 mm. Buttons: 2x capacitive touch, 1x mechanical.
Material: The outer shell is made of polycarbonate (PC) and ABS plastic in matte white.
Languages: The Tado° app instructions and software are available in English, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Spanish.
Wireless Smart Thermostat Starter Kit V3+ with Hot Water Control – £199.99
Wired Smart Thermostat Starter Kit – £179.99
Warranty: 2 years
What is Tado° V3+ compatible with?
- Worcester Bosch
In addition to these brands, it is also compatible with many more.
Tado° V3+ Design
Tado° V3+ is unique for its minimalist & smooth design that would fit with most homes’ aesthetics.
The Tado° products can be put anywhere in the room and blend into the background without being noticed.
Tado°+ has a simple numerical digital display.
4. Honeywell Smart Thermostat
Honeywell has been part of the manufacturing industry for a while. Their latest versions of smart thermostats (T6, T6R and T6R-HW) were designed to meet the demands for smarter and connected controls. This smart thermostat has been created to offer easy-to-understand controls, easy installations, and an easy set-up process.
What are the types of the Honeywell Smart Thermostat?
T6 Smart Thermostat
The T6 is a wall-mounted fixed installation thermostat made so that it would replace a traditional thermostat location.
T6R and T6R-HW Smart Thermostat
The T6R is mobile. The desk stand design of this device allows you to use it on flat surfaces. It would only require mains power in order to communicate wirelessly to the boiler control unit, which is included. What is more, the T6R-HW includes hot water control.
What are the features of the Honeywell Smart Thermostat?
You can make your own 7-day schedule that will suit your daily routine. And in case you have a change of plans, all you need to do is to easily change the schedule on the Honeywell app. This has the potential of reducing your energy consumption and saving money on energy bills.
Your heating can be controlled by using your smartphone or tablet anywhere you are.
The Honeywell Home app would take care of everything at home by using your smartphone location to determine when you’re home or away. It will both save energy when you’re away and make sure the temperature is just right when you are back home.
The T6 Smart Thermostat is compatible with Apple HomeKit, Apple Watch, Amazon Echo, Google Home and IFTTT to take care of your comforts and to keep your home connected.
What Are the Honeywell Smart Thermostat General Specifications?
- Room temperature display range: from 0oc to 50oc
- Dimensions (w x h x d)
- Number of zones supported: 1
- OpenTherm boiler support: yes
- T6 (wired) 103 x 103 x 28 mm
- T6R (wireless) 108 x 103 x 68 mm
- Time display: 24-hour or 12-hour AM/PM format
- Timekeeping & accuracy: Synchronized with the Internet when connected or typically better than 10minutes per year
- Program: 5+2 or daily schedule with 6 daily time and temperature level changes
- Time setting resolution: Program – 10-minute steps
- Power: T6 (wired) ~20VDC/300mA by Receiver box | T6R (wireless) 5VDC power adapter
Honeywell T6 Wired Smart Thermostat – £117.99 (without VAT)
Honeywell T6R Wireless Smart Thermostat – £124.99 (without VAT)
Honeywell Home T6R-HW Wireless Smart Thermostat – £150.15 (without VAT)
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How does a thermostat work with boilers?
By utilising a sensor to detect your home’s temperature, it can keep track of what your boiler is doing. The room thermostat would detect that your house has achieved the desired temperature. This, as a result, will turn off the central heating system. It will restart the boiler again when the temperature are lower.
When do I need a new thermostat?
1- The temperature reading is incorrect.
2- Heating or cooling system will not turn off or on.
3- Recent spike in your energy bill.
4- Thermostat is 10 years old or older.
5- Frequent temperature fluctuations.
How to tell if my boiler thermostat is broken?
Your thermostat has no power or is unresponsive.
Your A/C or heater runs constantly and won’t turn off.
Room temperature and setting don’t match.
Can you install a smart thermostat to any boiler?
They usually work with most boilers. That includes standard gas boilers, heating oil and electric boilers. However, not all. As long as the system can be controlled by a standard thermostat or programmer, you will likely be fine.
When should I reset my thermostat?
When you are having an issue with heating and cooling units, such as after a sudden power failure or after your children have had ‘control’ of the system while you’ve been away, resetting the thermostat should be the first thing you try when attempting to rectify HVAC system issues.