We Compare Smart Heating Controls

Which smart heating control is suitable for my home? Which is the best smart thermostat on the market? What are Smart Radiator Valves? What is a wifi thermostat? 

Welcome, to the ULTIMATE guide to thermostats that allow you to control your heating from your phone! We explain smart heating controls and review the best smart thermostats on the market from Hive Heating, Honeywell, Nest Heating, Heat Genius, Tado and Drayton, amongst others.

Using this Guide...

This guide is designed to help you find the most suitable remote heating controls for your home. We have placed control systems into three groups to better explain the types of product on the market. Use the table below to find which is the most suitable system for you and then review all the products available in that group using the tables below our 'Smart Controls Explained' section.

Smart Heating Control System Description of Smart Controls When are they suitable
1) Individually Zoned Heating and Hot Water Controls
  • These are sophisticated systems capable of setting different temperatures in different ‘zones’
  • The zones are created either via two or more separately piped radiator circuits or room by room via smart radiator controls
  • Can also control hot water timing and temperature​

Good for larger properties or where there is a mix of radiators and underfloor heating

2) Heating and Home Automation Controls
  • These are reasonably sophisticated heating control systems that form part of a much wider home auotmation system for cameras and electrics

Anyone who wishes to automate multiple aspects of the home

3) Whole House Controls
  • These are more like traditional thermostats that call for the boiler to come on in order to meet a pre-set room temperature
  • Most are capable of operating more than one radiator circuit, providing they are separately piped, and many have geo-location features
  • A couple also now work with smart radiator valves

Suitable for any property with a combi, regular or system boiler

Smart Heating Controls Explained:
  • Smart Heating Control: usually a thermostat & programmer connected via the internet & controlled remotely from your smart phone
  • Smart Thermostat: a central heating temperature control connected via the internet that can remotely control your heating 
  • Remote Heating Control: usually a thermostat & programmer connected via the internet & controlled remotely from your smart phone
  • Remote Thermostat: a central heating temperature control connected via the internet that can remotely control your heating 
  • Wifi Thermostat or Wifi Heating Control: thermostat/programmer connected via the internet, controlled from your smart phone
  • Zoning/Zones: where your heating system is split into two or more heating circuits and controlled by seperate thermostats
  • Smart Radiator Valves: individual temperature controls on each radiator that can be adjusted by the smart heating control system 
  • One channel programmer: controls a single heat source, such as a whole house heating system - works with combi boilers
  • Two channel programmer: controls two heating circuits or a single heating circuit and hot water tank - for regular/system boilers
  • Three channel programmer: controls two heating circuits plus a hot water tank
  • Hot water temperature kit: required if you want to control the temperature of your hot water remotely as well as timing.
  • Geo location: turns the heating on as you approach home - uses GPS signal on your phone
  • Motion sensors: bring the heating on and off by detecting activity in the home.
  • Home Automation: control systems that operatre more that just your heating system, e.g. security, lighting and fire alarms.
1)  Individually Zoned Heating and Hot Water Controls

The two tables below set out A) Prices and B) System Functions for internet heating controls that are capable of controlling multiple and/or individually zoned heating along with hot water functions. We have reviewed: Honeywell Evohome, Heat Genius, Drayton Wiser and Tado Smart Thermostat.

Product Summary

  • The Honeywell Evohome and Heat Genius products are by far the most sophisticated home heating and hot water smart controls on the market.
  • Both offer options to either control separate (zoned) radiator/underfloor heating circuits or individual rooms (or groups of rooms) via smart radiator valves.
  • Both provide hot water timer AND temperature controls.
  • Both are quite expensive and both are 'stand-alone' heating control sytems, currently with no option to control other home systems.
  • The Drayton Wiser range and Tado offer much cheaper alternatives to the Honeywell and Genius, but with many of the important functions.
  • Neither offer an option to control the hot water temperature, but the Tado does allow for geo-location activation. Again these are stand-alone heating products.
Product   Price for heating controls Price for hot water time kit Price for hot water temp kit Price for additional room stats Price for individual temp sensors on radiators Presence detection and/or geo location Available to buy

Honeywell - Evohome

£249.99

Included

£94.99

£106.99

£60.00

NA

Screwfix

Heat Genius - Genius

£249.99

Genius Starter Kit: Includes a room thermostat, relay and mobile access kit for internet connection

£45.00

£99.99

£69.99

£59.99

£44.99 - motion sensors, must be fitted with individual temp sensors

Heat Genius Website

Drayton - Wiser Multi-zone

£129

Wiser Thermostat Kit 1: for one-channel (combi boilers only) heating control

+£10 (£139 total price for two channel 'Kit 2')

Not available

£79.99

£34.99

NA

Screwfix

Tado - Home Control

£139.00

£79.99

Not available

£109.99

£59.00

Geo location

Currys

Product   Heating features Can also control hot water? Options with basic unit Other zoning options Overall review

Honeywell - Evohome

Controls multiple zones

Yes - both timer and temperature

The Evohome can control a one zone system without alteration and multiple zones with pipework alteration

It is possible to create more zones without altering the pipework by fitting Honeywell's individual temperature sensors on radiators.

The Evohome is expensive if you are only going to use it as a one-zone programmer with standard TRVs. Unless you plan to zone the system or use the individual temperature sensors, one of the standalone products below might be better value. Will work with Alexa.

Heat Genius - Genius

Controls multiple zones

Yes - both timer and temperature

The Genius starter kit and Stater Kit + Hot Water will only control a one heating zone

It is possible to create more zones without altering the pipework by fitting Heat Genius' individual temperature sensors on radiators. Option for motion sensors to 'learn' occupancy and temperature levels.

The Genius is expensive if you are only going to use it as a one-zone programmer with standard TRVs. Unless you plan to use the individual temperature sensors, one of the standalone products below might be better value

Drayton - Wiser Multi-zone

Controls multiple zones

Yes - timer only

The basic control packs will do one or two (Kit 3) plumbed zones with hot water timer.

It is possible to create more zones without altering the pipework by fitting Drayton's individual temperature sensors on radiators.

A well priced one or two zone controller with options to create zones at a much lower cost to the Genius and Evohome systems. Not as sophisticated but easy to use.

Tado - Home Control

Can control 2 zones

Yes - timer only

The unit can control upto two heating zones but only with pipework adjustment

It is possible to create more zones without altering the pipework by fitting Tado's individual temperature sensors on radiators.

Will adjust temperature according to how far away you are from home (GPS). Can be voice activated via Siri, Alexa

 
2)  Heating and Home Automation Controls

The two tables below set out A) Prices and B) System Functions for internet heating controls that are capable of controlling multiple and/or individually zoned heating as part of a home automation system.. We have reviewed: Devolo Home Control and HeatMiser Neo.

Product Summary

  • The Devolo and Heatmiser systems form part of whole house control systems and for many these are the future of home heating controls.
  • Both offer reduced functionality compared with the Evohome and Genius products.
  • The Devolo offers no hot water controls and the Heatmiser no option to zone via smart radiator controls.
  • However, these systems offer the homeowner other add-on functions, including cameras and electric controls.
Product   Price for heating controls Price for hot water time kit Price for hot water temp kit Price for additional room stats Price for individual temp sensors on radiators Presence detection and/or geo location Available to buy

Devolo - Home Control

£258.99

Home starter pack including thermostat

Not available

Not available

Not available

£59.99

NA

Devolo

HeatMiser - Neo

£286

Heatmiser NeoKit 2 Gen 2 Platinum Silver

Included

Not available

£59.99

Not available

Geo location

Heatmaster

Product   Heating features Can also control hot water? Options with basic unit Other zoning options Overall review

Devolo - Home Control

One zone

No

The unit can only control one zone control

Can work with
Devolo individual
temperature sensorson radiators

Home starter pack forms the basis
for whole house controls, including
security and electrics

HeatMiser - Neo

Controls multiple
zones

Yes
timer only

The Evohome can control a one zone 
system without alteration and multiple zones with pipework alteration

Not available

Good platform for whole house

controls, limited functions for

heating zoning and no hot water temperature control.

 
3) Whole House Controls

The tables below again set out A) Prices and B) System Function for whole house heating controls. This group contains some very well-known internet heating controls – Nest and Hive – as well as some less well known products. 

Product Summary

  • Of the five products featured here, the Nest has the most function, including the ability to control two separate radiator circuits (zones) and bring the hot water on.
  • Nest have also introduced geo-location and motion sensors to know when you are home, or close to home, to turn the heating on, and the ability to work with third party smart radiator valves (although it does mean using a second app).
  • Of the remaining four, only Hive can control the hot water and only Netatmo has brought out compatible smart radiator controls. 
  • For those with a combination boiler that would like smart radiator valves, the Netatmo and Nest will make for a very decent control system.
  • For those with a hot water tank, it will be have to be Nest.
  • The remaining three are well priced heating only smart phoned controlled thermostats for combi boiler systems, but no more than that.
Manufacturer   Price for heating controls Price for hot water time kit Price for hot water temp kit Price for additional room stats Price for individual temp sensors on radiators Presence detection and/or geo location Available to buy

Nest - Learning thermostat

£179

3rd generation

Included

NA

NA

Third party only

Both

John Lewis

Hive - Active heating

£179

(£249 installed)

Included

NA

NA

-

NA

Nest Website

Netatmo - Smart thermostat

£99.00

NA

NA

NA

£59.00

NA

AO

Momit - Home thermostat

£99.00

(£128 for wireless extension)

NA

NA

NA

-

Both

Screwfix

Inspire Home Automation - Room thermostat

£159.00

(£179.00 wireless)

NA

NA

NA

-

NA

Inspire Home Automation

Manufacturer   Heating Features Can also control hot water? Options with basic unit Other zoning options Overall reviews

Nest - Learning

thermostat

Can control

2 zones

Yes

timer only

The unit can control a second

heating zone but only with pipework adjustment

Nest can now work with third party 

individual temperature sensors on radiators

The Nest includes the ability to

automatically adjust according to

anyone is home using motion sensors and phone

GPS. Will also control Nest Cam 

and Nest Project CO detector.

Hive - Active heating

Can control

3 zones

Yes

timer only

The unit can control upto

three heating zones but only

with pipework adjustment

None

Fewer features than the Nest,

no options to work out your

home patterns

Netatmo - Smart

thermostat

One zone

No

The unit can only control

one zone control

Can work with Netatmo

individual temperature

sensors on radiators

Voice activated via Siri and Alexa

Momit - Home thermostat

One zone

No

The unit can only control

one zone control

None

Better features on other producst for

a similar price

Inspire Home Automation - Room thermostat

One zone

No

The unit can only control

one zone control

None

Attractive, basic internet thermostat

for smaller homes. Better features

on other products for a similar price.