Which Smart Thermostat should I buy ?

Smart Thermostats come in all shapes and sizes and have been designed for a number of different heating systems.

Its worth taking a few moments to understand your type of system and what kind of control you want from your smart thermostat.

Existing systems that have a thermostat in the UK will more than likely be wired in 230v. Most recently installed systems will have been wired in such a way that upgrading to a mains powered smart thermostat is possible.

If you don’t have a thermostat, the cabling at your thermostat is not sufficient for a mains powered smart thermostat or you simply want to have your new thermostat in a different location then don’t worry. Your option is to have a battery powered wireless smart thermostat installed.


Your wired Smart Thermostat Options

WiFi: Various manufacturers offer WiFi Thermostats. These connect directly to your router and so you will need to ensure you have good WiFi Coverage where you will install the thermostat. Switching of the boiler is hard wired to the thermostat. SmartStat is the WiFi Thermostat from Heatmiser.

MESH:  Select manufacturers offer Mesh Thermostats. These create their own network, automatically routing the data signals around your home and then back to a separate hub that connects to your router. The benefit of such a system is the communication distance can be greater than that of a WiFi Thermostat. Additionally, the unit cost of Mesh Thermostats are usually lower than comparable WiFi Thermostats and so the system cost for multi zones can work out more cost effective. Switching of the heating system is hard wired into the thermostat. Neo from Heatmiser is a multi zone mesh network system. 


Battery Powered Wireless Smart Thermostat Option

Many manufacturers now offer simple wireless thermostats that communicate back to a hub that connects to your router and a relay box that switches the boiler. These systems are ideal for those without a thermostat or where you want to re-locate the thermostat.

As the thermostat is battery powered, they don’t form a network like the Mesh Network system and you need to replace the batteries, on average once per year depending on the system. neoAir Kit is our battery powered wireless thermostat solution. 


Wired vs Battery

Here at Heatmiser, we always advise our customers to wire their thermostat whenever possible. Of course for upgrades and for those re-locating their thermostat that isn’t always possible. However for those installing new systems, especially Multi zone underfloor heating systems, we would always say to use wired smart thermostats so that you don’t have to consider replacing batteries in the future.

What makes a Thermostat a Smart Thermostat

Smart Thermostats have really taken off over recent years and its clear to see why. With heating our homes accounting for more than 80% of our energy bill, it makes sense to do all we can to reduce our energy consumption.

Convenience

Like anything, make something simple and accessible and we are more likely to use it, and this is the same for our heating. Programming the heating system from an app on your smartphone is always going to be easier than on a small thermostat display.

Energy Saving Smart Technology

Location based Control :  Some Smart Thermostats now offer Geo Location facility whereby the heating is controlled based on your location. This works by using the GPS in your smartphone.

Heatmiser Neo and SmartStat operates across multiple users in the home, automatically turning off the heating when the last person leaves and back on when the first person returns.

Smart Auto Preheat

Some smart thermostats will automatically adjust the schedule to ensure your home is warm at the right time. Neo and SmartStat are constantly learning the heat up time in your home and will change the preheat time throughout the year as the seasons change.

Automation

As we install more and more smart technology in our homes, it makes sense that they talk to each other. For example, when you relax to watch a film in the evening you might turn down the lights, turn on the TV and up the thermostat a degree.

Amazon, Google,  Apple  and IFTTT are all pushing their smart home technologies so it’s worth taking a look which systems are supported and which are important to you before opting for any particular product.

Here at Heatmiser we already support Alexa, Apple HomeKit and IFTTT and Google Home is planned for Q1 2018.