Time to get smart about smart thermostats
For a growing number of people energy bills are increasingly becoming a worry. To the extent that energy prices are more of a concern to people than paying rent or their mortgage. As we all look for practical ways to combat escalating energy bills and get smart about home heating, it’s led to an increase in demand for so-called smart thermostat technology.
2014 has been a popular year for clever heating technology, with more and more people determined to bring down energy bills and save money by taking control of ridiculously high heating bills. The time is now to start embracing this growing technology. It’s the future of home heating and the answer to helping combat extortionate energy prices.
It’s still early days for smart thermostats. Costing anything from between £150 to £250 to buy, they can be retrofitted to your existing boiler. The likes of British Gas, Honeywell, Tado and Heatmiser have already launched their own first generation smart thermostats in the UK; all of which are designed to save us money, enable us to control our heating remotely and provide invaluable insight into how we use energy.
Buy Your Smart Thermostat Today!
Team up any of these smart thermostats with a new energy saving condensing boiler to make the most savings. Together they will help to reduce the amount of energy you consume, lowering your energy bills even further. Sounds good to us!
So let’s take a look at the main contenders for the smart thermostat crown currently on the market.
About: Fancy reducing your heating bills by up to 40% a year? The Honeywell Evohome is a comprehensive smart heating solution that claims to be able to help you do just that. This smart thermostat is controlled by a remote touchscreen device, which connects wirelessly to your
broadband router and other devices in the home. The boiler and radiators are controlled through a smartphone app or central console. And you can control the heating in individual rooms too, zone by zone, which allows for greater efficiency. Of course its sheer level of control means it can be a bit tricky for the end user to get their head around initially. But with such huge potential savings to be had, it’s surely worth the effort?
Cost: The Evohome Connected pack – which includes a single radiator zone kit – will set you back £170 – £230. Extra radiator zone kits cost around £50-60 each. Plus don’t forget you’ll need to pay for having it installed, too.
About:Tado is a clever little heating system and a solution to heating your whole house. It can be retrofit to your home’s current heating system and uses a cloud based app (both iOS and Android) so you can control your heating from your smartphone. From the German company of the same name, Tado is compatible with most central heating boilers. What we like best about this smart heating system is its ability to know exactly when you leave the house and return home by tracking your location via your phone. Unfortunately you won’t be able to control the heating in individual rooms. Still, Tado claims to be able to reduce annual heating bills by on average 26%.
Cost: £135 – £200, plus installation costs.
About: Probably one of the most well known products on the smart thermostat market, the Nest Learning Thermostat was launched back in 2011 in the US to much acclaim. Now available in the UK, Nest is suitable for condensing boilers and combi boilers, as well as system and heat only boilers. As with other smart heating technology, you can control your hot water and heating from any internet connected device. Simply connect Nest to the wi-fi and you’ll be able to control it from your laptop, smartphone and even your tablet. Easy to install, this clever heating and cooling
system learns your energy habits off by heart, from your preferable time to switch the heating on to what temperature and for how long. It will even turn itself down when you’re away to save energy. It’s very clever like that. But then the Nest Learning Thermostat was created by one of the guys who developed the Apple iPod. Given that information, it’s not surprising that it’s very pleasing on the eye, too.
Cost: This smart thermostat costs £150 – £200 if you include installation costs.
About: Hive Active Heating from British Gas is a wireless system which connects to your home broadband to give you complete control of your hot water and heating from any wi-fi enabled device. You can set schedules when you’re at home and turn the
temperature up and down to suit. The manufacturer claims Hive Active Heating can help to lower annual energy bills by up to £150 and will work with gas, LPG and oil central heating systems. A white block with a blue-backlit display, it’s not as stylish to look at as Nest. But what it lacks in looks it makes up for in price – Hive is one of the cheapest smart thermostats currently on the market.
Cost: £160 – £250 supplied and fitted. This includes a wireless thermostat, a hub and a boiler control unit. You don’t have to be a customer of British Gas to get your hands on this smart thermostat, either. Hive Active Heating is available without installation for £165.12.
Neo by Heatmiser
About: The first company to introduce a wireless thermostat in the UK back in 2011, the Heatmiser neoStat is another popular smart thermostat which is designed to help energy consumers take control of
their heating with their iOs or Android smartphone and tablet with the neoApp. Replacing an existing three wire thermostat, the neoStat is designed to work as a thermostat or a timer. It is available in two colours: Sapphire Black or Glacier White.
Cost: You’re looking at around £185 – £205 for the Heatmiser neoKit 2 which includes one neoStat, one neoStat-hw and a neoHub. The Heatmiser neoKit 1 costs £64.99 and includes a neoHub and a neoStat. Installation is extra. Smart thermostat technology is a growing market. There really has never been a better time to drag your heating system into the 21st century. Look out for Honeywell’s second generation smart heating thermostat, Lyric, which is set to launch in mid-to-late 2015. And the second generation Nest is already available in the US market, so it will only be a matter of time before it hits these shores.
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