- heating control
Por: Nick Geary
Updated July 6, 2022
- What is a smart thermostat?
- Is a Smart Thermostat Right for Your Home?
- What are the best smart thermostats?
- How much do smart thermostats cost?
- Do smart thermostats help you save?
- More ways to lower your heating bills
The best smart thermostats are designed to fit your property's unique central heating needs. This allows your central heating to work more efficiently, lowering your energy bills.
With the number of smart thermostats available growing rapidly, it can be hard to know which model will fit your home. Let us walk you through a list of the best smart thermostats.
What is a smart thermostat?
In their earliest form, thermostats simply had a knob that could be turned to set the heat to a specific temperature. Thermostats then became more digital and even allowed the user to set schedules, albeit in a very limited way. We now have smart thermostats that give you ultimate control over your central heating.
Smart thermostats connect to the internet and you don't even have to be home to control them. Using a smartphone or tablet, you can set the temperature and turn the heating on or off.
Depending on the model, smart thermostats can include a variety of features, and the best smart thermostats offer more. Smart Thermostat features include:
- The ability to monitor weather conditions and automatically adjust heating
- Know your heating habits at home and adapt to your routine
- Know when the lot is empty using geolocation technology
An acronym you might see a lot when shopping for a smart thermostat is IFTTT, which stands for "if this, then that." Smart thermostats with IFTTT functionality can be set to activate when a room drops below a selected temperature.
If you're already investing in smart technology, you'll be pleased to know that many smart thermostats can be paired with other smart devices. This includes your smartphone and tablet, as well as voice-controlled assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo. This pairing allows you to control the heating with your voice. It's important to verify that the smart thermostat you're considering is compatible with your voice-controlled device before purchasing.
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Is a Smart Thermostat Right for Your Home?
The main reason many homeowners choose a smart thermostat is to have more control over their heating, which can result in lower heating bills.
A smart thermostat is more beneficial compared to a traditional programmable thermostat when you don't have a set weekly routine. By this we mean that you enter and exit at different times depending on the day of the week. That's because many smart thermostats adapt to your heating routine by "learning" your habits. Many models even know when the property is vacant through geolocation technology. So if you often leave the heating on by accident or come home later than planned, a smart thermostat is the perfect solution.
What keeps some homeowners from installing a smart meter is the idea that they wouldn't be able to switch energy providers. The good news is that once you install a smart thermostat, you can shop around for a cheaper energy bill and even switch providers.
Despite these energy-saving technologies, a smart thermostat works best when paired with a modern, high-efficiency boiler. Byby filling out our simple online form, you can get free quotes on a new boiler from a heating contractor who can also help you with thermostat options.
What are the best smart thermostats?
There are currently several major players in the UK smart thermostat market and new systems are being launched all the time.
The best smart thermostats are Nest, Hive, Tado, EcoBee, Honeywell, Netatmo, Drayton Wiser, and Heatmiser.
It's important not to compare smart thermostats on price alone. While price is obviously a key factor in any purchase, you should also consider the following to find the best smart thermostat:
A smart thermostat keeps track of how your home is currently heating and programs itself based on that schedule, so it only uses energy when you need it.
Using your smartphone's GPS location, a smart thermostat can tell you when you're home or away and turn your heating on and off accordingly.
A monitor is used to detect when you leave and enter your home so that the heating can be adjusted automatically.
A smart thermostat checks the weather forecast or outside temperature and adjusts your home's heating accordingly. This prevents wasting energy on hot days and prevents pipes from freezing in winter.
Compatible heating systems
The smart thermostat must be compatible with your heating system, otherwise it will not work.
You can control individual rooms or "zones" in your home separately, so you only heat the areas you use.
Voice assistant support
Many smart thermostats can be controlled via a voice assistant, but you'll need to make sure it's compatible with the specific model you want to use.
Our smart thermostat comparison chart will help you find the perfect model for your needs.
|Model||Teach||geolocation||motion sensor||weather sensitive||Compatible heating systems||control multizona|
|Nest Learning Thermostat 3. Generation||✔||✔||✔||Mixed, system and condensing boilers, as well as geothermal and air heat pumps||✔|
|Nest-Thermostat E||✔||✔||✔||Mixed, system and condensing boilers, as well as geothermal and air heat pumps||✔|
|active heater||✔||✔||Gas, diesel, LPG and some electric boilers||✔|
|Tested by SSE||✔||✔||✔||Combination, system and condensation control boilers and central heating for heat pumps||✔|
|Ecobee3 Lite||✔||Most gas, oil, LPG and electric boilers||✔|
|Ecobee4||✔||Most gas, oil, LPG and electric boilers||✔|
|Honeywell Evohome||✔||Combination and system boilers running on gas and LPG, as well as most air and ground source heat pumps|
|lyrical||✔||most combinationsoffendand traditional boilers and heat pumps|
|Netatmo from EDF||Gas boilers, biomass boilers and some heat pumps||✔|
According to Nest, its smart thermostats have saved more than 8 billion kWh of energy in homes around the world.
There are two types of Nest thermostats: the Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Gen and the Nest Thermostat E.
And3rd Generation Nest Learning ThermostatYou can control both water heating and central heating. If you have a hot water tank, you can use the Nest app to set a hot water schedule and increase the temperature as needed. And if you leave your property for a few days, Nest will automatically turn off the hot water.
You can use the Nest app to monitor your energy use and see how much you're spending. With this easy-to-read report at hand, you can identify areas where you can reduce your energy use and save even more money.
The Nest smart thermostat not only gives you more control over your heating system and increases efficiency, it also increases security. Because they will warn you when the pipes are about to burst.
The Nest Thermostat E offers many of the same features as the Learning Thermostat and comes at a lower price. A Nest Thermostat E can also "learn" your heating habits and has voice control. However, the main difference is the limited design options and the number of heating systems it is compatible with. So before you pick up a Nest Thermostat E, make sure your heating system is compatible. Otherwise, the Nest Learning Thermostat may be required.
Key features of the Nest Smart Thermostat include:
- Know when you're not home to avoid heating an empty house
- Adapts to your heating habits after 1 week
- modern design
- hot water control
- Energy reports on your phone show your consumption and savings
- A green leaf appears when your home is efficiently heated
- Compatible con Google Home y Amazon Echo
According to British Gas, the company is behindHive active heating systemyou can save up to £130 a year on your heating bills with your Hive smart thermostats. This Hive smart thermostat not only gives you more control over your central heating, it can also control your hot water.
The accompanying Hive app lets you control your heating even when you're not home. You can use the app to set up to 6 daily time slots to turn your heating and hot water on or off. To prevent you from heating up an empty house, a notification will be sent to your phone when the heating is on and the property is empty. This alarm tells you to turn off your heating to avoid unnecessary increases in your energy bills.
During the winter months, boilers installed in attics or garages can freeze. To prevent this, the Hive thermostat turns on the heating when the temperature in your property drops below 7°C. A feature that helps you avoid an unexpected repair bill.
Key features of the Hive Active Heating Smart Thermostat include:
- Take control of your heating and hot water on your phone with the Hive app
- Geolocation technology knows when the house is empty
- multi-zone functionality
- Compatible con Amazon Echo y Google Home
- Canal IFTTT
- Fully compatible with the vast majority of heating systems and services
The Nest and Hive are arguably the best smart thermostats out there, and you can compare them belowNest vs Hive.
make aSmartes Tado-ThermostatPart of your central heating system can potentially reduce your energy use by up to 31%. This is a significant figure that would mean much lower energy bills.
Tado is so sure that his energy bills will go down thanks to the smart thermostat that he can ask for his money back if they don't.
The Tado smart thermostat always monitors the outside weather. So when it gets hotter outside, Tado automatically turns the heating off. In addition, Tado can also detect open windows and remind you to turn off the heating. With these properties, you always use your heating system in the most efficient and effective way possible.
Tado Smart Thermostat Key Features:
- Check and adjust temperatures with the Tado app
- It adapts to behavior at home.
- Recommendations are sent directly to your phone, e.g. Example: "Your bathroom is quite humid, open a window or turn on the fan to avoid mold."
- Geofencing technology
- Compatible con Amazon Alexa y Apple HomeKit
- Canal IFTTT
- Can be installed without the need for a professional installer
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With an EcoBee smart thermostat you can save up to 23% on your energy costs. Plus, EcoBee learns how and when you heat your home and adapts to your daily routine. The thermostat has an intuitive and easy-to-use design and can be controlled from a smartphone.
To help you lower your heating bills, the EcoBee Smart Thermostat has several key features:
- Warn of a sudden drop in temperature that could be caused by a broken pipe
- Receive a monthly energy usage report and compare your home to other properties in the area
- Learn how long it takes your home to reach specific temperatures
- Add a SmartSensor and the EcoBee Thermostat will know when you've left home
Honeywell smart thermostats are advanced heating controls designed to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. When you set the heater to a specific temperature at a specific time, Honeywell knows how long it takes to reach that temperature. This way, you can be sure that your home is at a comfortable temperature when you need it to be.
oHoneywell smart thermostatIt features location-based temperature control, also known as geofencing. This function prevents the system from heating an empty house and establishing a comfortable temperature when you return.
As with many of the best smart thermostats, you can control your heating system from anywhere via an app. The Honeywell Home app helps you with the first steps before you can better control your heating system. And depending on the number of people in your home, everyone can control the thermostat from their smart devices.
Key features of Honeywell smart thermostats include:
- Geofencing technology knows when the property is empty, so it will never heat an empty house.
- Control your smart thermostat from anywhere with the Honeywell Home app
- Compatibilidad con Apple Homekit, Apple Watch, Amazon Alexa, Google Home e IFTTT
oSmart Netatmo termostatogives you, along with other smart heating controls, more control over your heating.
Every month you will receive an energy report from Netatmo containing a clear summary of your energy consumption. You'll even get energy-saving tips that can help you lower your heating bills even more.
Here are some of the key features of the Netatmo Smart Thermostat:
- Ability to use the outside temperature and the level of insulation in your home to calculate when the heating should be turned on
- Auto Care function alerts you to problems with the heating system
By pairing Drayton Wiser smart heating controls, you could cut your energy use in half when you're not currently using the controls. If you're looking to replace your existing controls, the Wiser thermostat can even reduce energy consumption by up to 40%.
To get the most out of the Drayton Wiser Thermostat, it has several features:
- With the Wiser app you can control your central heating from anywhere in the world
- An open window detection detects when you have opened a window and adjusts the heat accordingly
- Eco Mode, Comfort Mode and Away Mode make it easy to limit power consumption and increase efficiency
- Combine the thermostat with Wiser radiator valves and you can control the temperature in individual rooms
- Compatible con Amazon Alexa y Google Home
AHeatmiser Neo smart thermostatincludes neoStat, neoStat-hw and neohub. These items are the thermostat itself, a programming device, and a hub that allows the devices to communicate with each other. Once connected, a Heatmiser Neo offers better control of central heating in a user-friendly way.
Features that give you more control over your central heating include:
- The ability to set unique temperatures in different rooms across multiple zones
- Adjust the temperature of your home wherever you use the neoApp
- It also takes control of the hot water (if you have a hot water tank)
How much do smart thermostats cost?
On average, the best smart thermostats cost between $100 and $200.
Some smart thermostats are extremely easy to install, and in some cases can even be installed. However, some manufacturers offer a professional installation service, which is mandatory for some models.
|Brand/Manufacturer||Model||Average price without installation||Average price with installation included|
|google nest||Nest Learning Thermostat 3. Generation||£ 140 – £ 200||£ 220 – £ 280|
|Nest-Thermostat E||£ 170 – £ 200||£ 250 – £ 280|
|British Gas Hive||Active Hive Warming 2||£ 140 – £ 250||£ 210 – £ 320|
|Tested by SSE||£ 100 – £ 200||£ 170 – £ 299|
|Environmentally friendly||Ecobee3 Lite||£ 130 – £ 170||£200 – £240|
|Ecobee4||£ 160 – £ 250||£ 230 – £ 320||Honigwell||Evohome||£ 229 – £ 310||£ 329 – £ 410|
|lyrical||£ 120 – £ 170||£ 190 – £ 240|
|Netatmo from EDF||£ 120 – £ 250||£ 190 – £ 320|
|drayton wiser||£ 126 - £ 186||£ 196 – £ 256|
|aversion to heat||Neo||£ 70 – £ 205||£ 140 – £ 275|
Where a specific installation cost cannot be determined, an average installation price of £70 has been used.
Do smart thermostats help you save?
A smart thermostat gives you better control over your heating system, which can help lower your heating bills.
Smart thermostats have been developed with the aim of reducing the energy consumption of a property. And with that comes lower energy bills for those who live on the property.
While the best smart thermostats have a number of features designed to reduce the amount of energy wasted, there isn't much they can do. To get the most out of a smart thermostat, you still have the responsibility as the user.
The best smart thermostats give you clear energy usage reports and alerts when you leave your heat on. It's up to you to use this information to take action and adjust your home's heating habits accordingly.
More ways to lower your heating bills
There is no doubt that a smart thermostat can play a significant role in increasing the efficiency of your heating system. But they are not the only solution.
Heating bills can also be reduced by replacing your boiler, arranging for annual boiler maintenance, purging radiators, improving insulation, installing double glazing and switching to a cheaper energy provider.
replace your boiler
The best place to start is by looking at your boiler. A boiler installed more than 8 years ago is not as efficient as before. This means that over time more fuel must be used to provide the same central heating power. And that leads to an increase in your heating bills.
Replace an old inefficient boilerwith a modern condensing boiler can have a direct effect on increasing the efficiency of a property. They achieve a high efficiency of around 93%, which means very little heat is wasted.
After installing a new boiler, it's important to make sure it runs efficiently for as long as possible. And the best way to do it is with annual boiler maintenance.
Reducing the heating bill does not only affect the boiler. You might have a new high-efficiency water heater on your property, but if the heat escapes, you won't see a reduction in your heating bills. This is where insulation comes into play.
Insulation comes in many forms: cavity wall insulation, attic insulation, double glazing, and floor insulation. If you have a shared system or boiler, it is also worth insulating the hot water tank.
bleed the radiator
If you've noticed that some radiators don't heat as well as others, you may need to bleed them. Bleeding a radiator releases trapped air from the heating system. Too much air in the heating system can cause a blockage that prevents hot water from circulating through the radiators. This creates cold spots in the radiators and puts unnecessary pressure on the heating system to heat the room. You can bleed the radiators yourself, but don't hesitate to contact a professional heating engineer.
While a smart thermostat can help you lower your heating bills, and the best smart thermostats can do even more, don't forget that there's a lot more you can do.
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About the Author
Nick has extensive experience writing about conventional and renewable heating solutions and is constantly expanding his knowledge by exploring new heating technologies on the horizon.