What’s in this guide?
Smart thermostats are the newest addition to the range of smart gadgets for your home, following smart meters and AI like Alexa.
They control your heating using the internet, meaning that you can switch your heating off remotely via your phone or smart tablet.
This can be handy if you’re going away at the weekend and want to ensure that your home isn’t using an excessive amount of energy.
Or, if you’re at work and you can’t shake the feeling that you left the heating on.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about smart thermostats, including where you can get them, how they compare against each other and the types of costs you can expect.
What is a Smart Thermostat?
Not to be confused with smart meters, which sends your energy usage information automatically to your supplier, a smart thermostat takes care of the heating in your home.
Like a traditional thermostat, your smart thermostat controls the heating in your home, but with a few key differences.
For one, you can control everything remotely from your phone – even if you just can’t be bothered to get out of bed in the morning to turn the heating down.
Secondly, some smart thermostats can even learn your routine which would then lead to it being able to predict when you want your heating turned on and off. It should then do that for you automatically!
Finally, smart thermostats tend to come with an added load of extra features that can help you better understand your heating and your energy usage. This can include things such as a breakdown of how much energy you use as well as even doing things such as controlling your hot water, provided you don’t have a combi boiler.
How can they save me money?
While it is true that some smart thermostats can come with a hefty price tag, the ways that they can save you money might make it a worthwhile investment, depending on your situation.
Interested? Here are a few ways that they can save you money.
✔ You can switch your heating on or off when you aren’t home, meaning you won’t be wasting energy
✔ Switch your heating off away from home if you forget
✔ Some smart thermostats learn your routine and turn themselves on or off
✔ Smart thermostats sometimes ask you to turn down your heating by a degree or two to save money
✔ Sometimes they can control single rooms in your home, so you are only heating the places you’ll be using
✔ Some smart thermostats adjust themselves on a warm day, so you aren’t wasting your energy
✔ They can sometimes track you and your family via GPS, so it knows when to start heating your home
If you’re wondering which of the smart thermostats can offer you these benefits, take a look below at the different kinds available today and what they can provide you with.
What are the different kinds of the thermostat?
Some smart thermostats are more cost-effective than others, but some offer a much better range of extra abilities like GPS tracking and controlling single rooms.
Tado° was launched in the UK in 2013 with an aim to provide customers with smart homes that don’t require a lot of effort.
✔ Learns from your behaviour
✔ Tracks you via your smartphone to determine your preferences
✔ When everyone leaves home, it turns the heating off
✔ Similarly, when people come home, it detects this and turns the heating up
✔ Helps to save users up to 31% on their energy bills
✔ Price: £199
An offer from British Gas, Hive wants as much input from you as possible which is why it gives you a detailed dashboard that will allow you to control your heating.
✔ For those who aren’t comfortable not having complete control over their heating
✔Enables users to create their heating schedules
✔ Turns the heating on if your pipes are at risk of freezing
✔ Price: £199
Bought by Google in 2014, the Nest device was designed by the same person responsible for the iPod, and it aims to heat your home according to your behaviour, similar to tado.
✔ Creates a heating schedule based on your behaviour
Intends to mean that you will never have to adjust your temperature by hand
✔ Has motion sensors to detect when your home is empty
✔ Control your heating away from home
✔ Customers have saved approximately 20% on their energy
✔ Price: £173 on Amazon
Produced by Honeywell, the Evohome smart thermostat can control your home in sections or ‘zones’, which you can heat on an individual basis. For instance, you can heat a spare room for your guest without heating your entire house.
✔ Save up to 40% on your heating costs
✔ Heat different zones independently
✔ Control your heating remotely
✔ Understand your energy usage better
✔ Price: £249 then a further £70 for every extra device in each zone
From Heatmiser, the Neokit2 is designed to provide your home with an easy way to upgrade your current thermostat and hot water programmers.
✔ Upgrade your heating and hot water controls
✔ Use the neoApp to control your heating remotely
✔ Price: £265
Launched in 2015, the HeatSmart smart thermostat is provided by EDF but not just to their customers. Its main features are heat scheduling and controlling your heating remotely, so you never end up heating an empty home.
✔ Control your heating away from home
✔ Make a heating schedule
✔ Never heat a vacant house
“Frost guard” function which means your heating system will be protected from freezing over in frigid temperatures
✔ Auto-Adapt to account for any weather changes
Although this smart thermostat works pretty much just the same as the others, it was designed and created by heating specialists.
✔ Control your heating from anywhere
✔ Use an app for iPhone and Android
Smart thermostat Reviews
Mark Davis on Amazon: Don’t buy this. If you want a headache with the so-called Geo Location function, then go ahead. In the process of ripping mine out.
Andrew C Rowsell-Jones on Amazon: The remote app for smartphones is super basic. It should mimic the controls offered by the device itself. It does not. You can see Honeywell is a heating and controls business, not a software developer. If your customers value fancy mobile apps install a Nest, not a Honeywell.
Berther on Amazon: It does what I want, easy to use, much cheaper than competitors. My house schedule changes week by week, so this is a perfect solution for me. I spend a few minutes adjusting heating times on a Sunday and that it for the week.
Rick on Amazon: Installed and working and this oozes quality, the stat was very easy to program to Wi-Fi and set up and even has a program schedule to work with the auto-learning. Stat body has some weight which backs up the quality of feel and touch.
Vincent Cullen on Amazon: The thermostat is simple to use and when weather conditions change it is easy to alter the Target temperature to maintain a stable, balanced temperature particularly during icy conditions. A system is expandable and can include motion detectors and lights. Great piece of kit and easy on the eye.
Steven Williamson on Amazon: The app to control central heating and hot water are so simple to use I have also installed on wife’s phone for her to use even though she usually’s not good with technology. The system does everything I need, looks very good and doesn’t have and daft panel flaps that eventually break.
CR8 on Amazon: Tado is hands-down the best smart thermostat on the market, and so far, the best smart home device I own. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to think about it once it’s installed; as soon as you leave your house, it starts saving you money.
Would a smart thermometer be the right thing for you and your home?
Have you got any other questions about your energy?