Best smart thermostats – Read this to cut heating bills

What type of smart thermostat do you need? 

There are numerous smart thermostats to choose from, each offering a variety of features, so it’s important to pick the one that suits your lifestyle and home. First, you need to consider the type of heating system you want. A regular smart thermostat simply replaces your existing thermostat. You’ll still save money with such a system, but your heating settings will be applied to your entire home.

A zoned heating system offers room-by-room control via smart thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs). Such a system will save you more money since you’ll be heating only the areas you’re using at any given time. The downside is that the initial outlay for such systems can be costly: typically around £50 to £70 per radiator. They’re a better option for houses with a greater number of rooms.

What control options do I need? 

All smart thermostats should be controllable, to a degree, from the main unit as well as from a dedicated smartphone app. Voice control is becoming a more important feature, in the form of Alexa on the Amazon Echo, Google Assistant or Siri using Apple HomeKit.

Being able to simply tell your thermostat to turn the heating up or down is a convenient way to control the temperature in your home. Alexa and Google Assistant support is more widespread, with HomeKit support lagging somewhat.

Do I need “call for heat”?

This is the ability, particularly for smart radiator valves, to turn on your heating when they’re too cold. An increasing number of smart radiator valves can’t “call for heat”.

Instead, they offer finer control over a room’s temperature than a traditional mechanical thermostat, which will simply let you set your controls between one and five without giving you any indication what this means. Smart valves shut down radiators when the desired temperature has been reached.

So, why would you want to go down this route? If you have an old boiler that you can’t upgrade, or you’re a renter who isn’t in control of overhauling the smart heating system, these options can be a helpful addition. And if you’re looking for greater control over an existing smart thermostat that doesn’t offer its own smart TRVs as an upgrade then such devices can be useful.

Can they really save me money? 

In short, yes. According to Tado, UK customers can save up to 19% on heating costs in comparison to the costs of using a traditional dumb thermostat and normal heating controls, as our full guide to how much money a smart thermostat can save you explains

Do I need OpenTherm?

OpenTherm is a protocol that allows a boiler to modulate. That is, the thermostat tells the boiler how much heat is required based on the current demand, and then the boiler lowers or increases the temperature of the water it pushes around the system automatically. This helps save another few percent on energy bills. However, to get OpenTherm to work, you need to have a boiler that supports it and a smart thermostat that supports it, too. Most modern thermostats do, but if you’ve got an older boiler, you may find that it’s not so well supported.

Can smart thermostats control underfloor heating?

Some can, some can’t. If you have underfloor heating, and want to control it individually, you’ll need a system that supports this, such as Honeywell Home Evohome, Genius Hub or Tado.

Do smart thermostats support heat pumps?

Many thermostats have been updated to support the running of heat pumps, including Evohome. Heatpump support is important to get maximum savings. Generally speaking, heat pumps are at their best when running at lower temperatures for longer to heat your house; they can be set to use more energy to heat water to higher temperatures to increase heating times. A smart thermostat needs to understand both the system it’s connected to and how you want it to run, so you can choose between the best savings or the quickest heating times. If you’re getting a heat pump, then make sure you buy a smart thermostat or heating system that is compatible with it.

Source link


On Key

Related Posts

Scroll to Top