The aim of this guide is to help you find the right smart thermostat for your home/heating system and then compare models by brand and price to find the best value. To make life easier, we have categorised smart thermostats into three groups: 1) Simple controls; 2) Complex controls; and 3) Hybrid home automation. To find out how boiler branded smart thermostats such as the Worcester Wave and Vaillant VSmart compare, read our other 'insider' guide: Nest & Hive V Boiler Brand Smart Thermostats. For conventional heating controls, read our Guide to Thermostats, Programmers and Timers.
We Compare Smart Thermostats by Type, Brand & Price
Overview of smart thermostats
|Smart Heating Control Type||Product Examples||When are they suitable||Description|
|1) Simple Smart Thermostats||Nest and Hive||Any property with a combi, regular or system boiler||Like a traditional thermostat, this is a single unit that calls for the boiler to come on to meet a room temperature. Some have additional functions such as geo-location, hot water boost and the capacity to work with smart radiator valves|
|2) Complex Smart Thermostats||Honeywell Evo Home, Heat Genius, Drayton Wiser||Good for larger properties or where there is a mix of radiators and underfloor heating.||These are sophisticated heating control systems capable of setting different temperatures in different 'zones' and controlling the temperature and timing of hot water.|
|3) Hybrid Smart Controls||Devolo and HeatMiser Neo||Anyone who wishes to automate multiple aspects of their home.||These are easonably sophisticated heating control systems that form part of a wider home automation system for security cameras and electronics.|
- 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.
- 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 heating control systems only, 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. Neither are capable of controlling other home systems.
- 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 heating 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 security cameras and electric controls.
- Smart Heating Control: usually a thermostat and 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 separate 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.