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Smart Thermostats

Nest Heating Controller
Once upon a time not long ago, being able to control your heating from anywhere other than next to your thermostat, was only in the realm of the super connected smart home. However there has been an explosion of smart Thermostats, by which we mean an internet connected one that you can control from an App on your phone. For only a couple of hundred pounds, you have control from anywhere via the IoT (Internet of Things).

Smart Thermostat features

Some of these smart thermostats are quite smart , with features such as

  • Auto Away detection
  • Learning algorithms for auto setting timings
  • Thermal capacity learning
  • Weather forecast attention
  • energy tariff comparison

Auto Away detection shuts down your heating when you are not at home. This can be done via movement detection in the home, geolocation from your phone’s GPS or a combination. It means that you save energy by not heating your home when you don’t need it. Geolocation means that the heating can come back on again before you return by sensing as you’re approaching the house. The movement sensor based auto away means that you have to switch the heating back on again yourself before you return so as not to return to a cold home. Similarly, the geolocation system might not detect you’re on your way back soon enough to get your home warm and toasty for when you arrive.

Learning Algorithms allow a truly smart thermostat to learn your routine and warm up and cool down your house to your routine. You have to teach it, and can usually set some beginning times etc. however if you change the temperature to what is comfortable, over a week or two, the smart thermostat will learn the temperatures you like at each point in the day, so you have to adjust it less frequently.

Thermal Capacity Learning allows the thermostat to measure how long it takes for your house to warm up and cool down. It means that if you want the temperature to be 21 degrees at 7am, and the system knows that it takes an hour to warm up from an overnight temperature of 15 degrees, then it will automatically start heating at 6am.

Weather forecast attention, means that the heating can come on sooner or later depending on the outside air temperature. As the outside air temperature varies, the tempature in your home will either raise or drop more quickly. With an internet connection and knowing the location, your smart thermostat will know what the outside air temperature via forecasts, and use this to decide when to turn your heating on or off.

Energy Tariff comparison allows the smart thermostat to make an estimate of the savings that can be gained by swapping to another supplier. You have to tell it the cost of your existing energy, and the capacity of your boiler, however it can work out how much the heating is costing you and display that together with a search via the internet for alternative tariffs.

Listed below are 14 of the smart thermostats that have come to our consciousness. These have a variety of features, some are single zone conventional boiler systems only, whereas others can expand to include multiple zones and multiple heating types with remote sensors etc. There are also a variety of 3rd party interfaces: Most keep to a proprietary App and wireless controls, whereas others have open APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to allow other systems to control them.

All of these thermostats can all be controlled remotely from your iOS or Android (and in some cases Windows) phone. So allow you to set your heating even when out and about.

Drayton mi Genie

 

  Draytom miGenie Smart Thermostat

  • Single / multi zone up to 4  + Hot Water (as one of the zones)
  • From £149.99 for single room
  • wireless battery powered
  • Proprietary 868MHz RF link
  • Wired Internet gateway
  • Android & iOS Apps

 EON Touch

Eon Touch Photo

GEO Cosy

GEO Cosy Smart Thermostat

 

  • Wireless link to boiler control and wired interface to router
  • Single or 2 heating zones
  • Hot water control via extension
  • Android and iOS Apps
  • Integrate control for lights  via smart sockets
  • £279 starter pack (or free with First Utility)

Heat Genius

www.heatgenius.co.uk

 HeatGenius smart thermostat

  • Single / Multiple zones (via TRVs)
  • Conventional / + Hot Water
  • Uses weather forecast information (and displays it)
  • Wired link to router
  • Room sensor
  • Underfloor (wet only – no floor sensor) 2 zones
  • Smart plug RF Booster (+control of devices)
  • £299 start cost

Heatmiser Neo

Heatmiser Neo smart thermostat

 

Single / Multi-zone (up to 32 zones) Wireless +Hot water

  • Auto Away via Geolocation
  • Underfloor wet or electric with floor sensor option
  • Remote (thimble) sensor option
  • Neo Mesh proprietary RF link
  • Wired gateway to router
  • RF Booster for longer range
  • Open API for 3rd party integration
  • Android Windows & iOS App
  • £199 starter kit

 

Hive 

Hive Smart Thermostat

 

Wireless / Conventional + Hot water

Hub connection link to router

  • Multi-zone (£179 starter kit)/ thermostat (up to 3 zones)
  • Auto detect away (geofence) via App
  • Requires separate switching unit + Hub
  • Signal booster for better RF Range
  • Multi-colour “skins”
  • Occupancy / Door Sensor / Outlets / lights coming
  • Android / iOS App / Amazon App

 

 

Honeywell Evo Home

 Honeywell EvoHome smart thermostat

Single / Multi-Zones (via TRVs – up to 12) single zone thermostat option

  • 868MHz proprietary wireless links
  • Wet(only) underfloor controller option
  • WiFi Link to router
  • Voice control option (single zone)
  • IFTTT integration
  • Android / iOS App
  • Weather forecast displayed (but not used I think!)
  • Startup kit (1 zone) £158

 

 

 

Inspire Home Automation

Inspire Home Automation smart thermostat

Conventional / Wired / Wireless + Hot water

  • 2.4Ghz wireless link to Optional receiver unit
  • Ethernet connection to router
  • £145 starter kit
  • Geolocation auto away sensor
  • Landlord / rental calendar versions
  • Local or remote switching 3A relays
  • Battery powered
  • Android / iOS App

 

LightwaveRF

LightwaveRF smart thermostat

 

  • 433MHz / 868MHz proprietary wireless link to Boiler control (relay)
  • Single or multi-zone heating control via TRVs (up to 80 heating zones)
  • Wired link to router via Lightwave Link
  • Boiler and Electric heating / Aircon controls for mixed heat sources (via power)
  • Window / door sensors
  • Additional controls (sockets, lighting)
  • Signal booster to extend the RF Range (6 commands only)
  • Android / iOS Apps

 

Nest

Nest smart thermostat

wireless / conventional + hot water

WiFi link to router / Blutooth / proprietary 2.4GHz comms

  • Multi-zone (£179 / thermostat (not inc inst) up to 20 zones per system
  • Requires separate switching unit (Heat Link) 3A load switching
  • Auto away detect (movement sensor)
  • Weather forecast integration
  • Android / iOS App
  • IFTTT integration
  • Web cam / Smoke Alarm integration
  • “Works with Nest” integration

 

 

Netamo

Netamo smart thermostat

 

  • Single zone wired / wireless conventional (no Hot Water)
  • Battery powered
  • WiFi wireless link
  • Android, Windows & iOS Apps
  • Other devices (cameras Weather/environment)
  • Uses weather to change heating times
  • £119 start kit

 

 

 

 

Passiv Living HEAT

PassivLiving Heat smart thermostat

 

Conventional + Hot water

  • Single zone system
  • Wired link to broadband router via Hub
  • Wireless link to thermostat
  • Home / Away via Button
  • £279 system cost

 

Salus 

Salus iT500 smart thermostat

 

Single Zone only,  timer plus internet control

868MHz proprietary comms to switch unit – choice of 3 switch units

  • Ecotech interface direct to boiler (Valiant + Bosch)
  • Requires separate switch unit to replace timer controls Volt free / mains 1A switching
  • Requires Interface module to router
  • Android / iOS App
  • £119.99 startup kit

 

Tado

Tado smart Thermostat

Wired / wireless / conventional / underfloor electric (but no remote sensor) / Cooling / Hot water

868MHz proprietary mesh network

  • Multi-zone (£179for thermostat) with wireless TRVs (£59 ea unlimited zones)
  • Optional Separate switching unit (extender) requires gateway link to router
  • Geofence away detection
  • Weather forecast integration
  • £199 startup cost
  • Android / Windows / iOS App
  • IFTTT integration

 

Warmup 4iE

Warmup 4iE smart thermostat

 

  • £166 startup cost
  • Custom covers and background photo
  • Conventional, wet and electric underfloor
  • WiFi Wireless link to router
  • Air / floor sensor options
  • Thermostat displays weather & traffic too
  • Single / multiple zones
  • Android iOS and web based control