Your thermostat controls 60% of your energy bill, and with the rise in gas prices, installing a smart thermostat has been more important than ever. Smart thermostats are becoming more popular here in the UK. They offer great features like turning the heating on/off on your app, and some even offer smarter features like learning your heating needs and adjusting the room temperature automatically to help you save energy. It’s time to install a smart thermostat and take control of your heating!
So if you’re a gadget lover, or even just all about saving a few quid – this blog is for you! Here, we delve into the world of smart thermostats to let you know the best thermostats on the market, their features, prices and warranty.
1. Google Nest Smart Thermostat
By far, the best smart thermostat available on the market. It retails for a hefty £219*, but you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth!
What makes Nest Learning Thermostat so smart?
Nest Learning Thermostat is compatible with all boilers.
This sleek thermostat can learn your daily routine and habits and use this data to switch your heating on/off when you leave or arrive home. It can also adjust the temperature based on the time of day, but if you prefer to adjust the scheduling manually, you can do that too.
Nest Learning Thermostat is easy to set up and use. It is fully compatible with Google Home, so if you have a Google Assistant smart speaker like Google Home, Google Home Mini or Google Nest Mini, you can simply say, “Hey Google, set the thermostat to 19 degrees.”
How does Google Nest Smart Thermostat help you save energy?
- It learns from your habits and automatically programs itself
- Can help save energy while you’re away – In addition to learning your schedule, your Nest thermostat will automatically switch to a custom Eco Temperature when you’re away.
- Teaches you to save when you’re home through “gamifying” energy saving! Each time you change your thermostat to an energy-efficient temperature, you’ll see the Nest Leaf on the thermostat screen and in your Nest app. Over time, it becomes harder to earn a Leaf, which encourages you to save even more energy without freezing!
Google Nest Smart Features
1. Learns from your habits
Simply put, the Nest Learning Thermostat never stops learning from you.
As your life changes (due to different work schedules, sleep schedules, weekdays vs weekends schedules, etc.), your habits at home change too. That’s why the Nest automatically adapts as your life changes to set your house at the right temperature.
It also considers all the internal factors, such as insulation and external ones, like the weather and uses that data to adjust the temperature.
Not only does it learn from your habits, but it also creates a unique schedule just for you. Pretty smart!
2. Control from anywhere
Nest mobile app lets you control your heating on the go using your mobile, tablet or laptop.
So you can turn the heating on when you’re coming home or turn the temperature down while you’re in bed – so convenient!
3. Save energy with the Nest Leaf
Every time you change the temperature to save energy, you’ll be rewarded with a Leaf – kind of like a little digital sticker to say well-done!
The Leaf learns how to help you save, so it appears at different temperatures for different homes.
4. Control your hot water
Now you can control your hot water tank with the Nest Learning Thermostat.
It comes with a hot water schedule — just adjust it from the Nest app.
You can boost the heat so that you have extra hot water if you want it. And when you’re away from home for a few days, you don’t have to remember to turn off the hot water.
The Nest Learning Thermostat will cleverly do it for you.
5. Quick view
Press the display and turn the ring. You’ll see a summary of what your thermostat is up to, and you can reach Settings, Energy History or your schedule.
6. Sleek Design
The circular, sleek and minimalistic design helps Nest stand out, and the high-resolution display takes the interface to the next level.
Nest comes in four colours, so you can choose the most suitable fit for your home aesthetic; stainless steel, black, white and copper.
You can fix your Nest thermostat on the wall or buy a Nest stand (sold separately for £35) to put the Nest thermostat on a bookcase or desk, which allows you to move it to a better position.
You can change the language displayed on Google Nest to English, French, Dutch, Spanish or Italian.
7. Keep your home safe
Each of your Google Nest products can send you alerts to let you know when something in your home needs your attention. Whether it’s push notifications to your phone, emails, or both, they’ll try to alert you about important events, emergencies and technical issues.
Critical alerts let you know about important events, like a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm, even if your phone’s volume is set to low and you’ve turned on Do Not Disturb.
8. Location tracking (Geotracking)
Nest can use the location on your phone or/and your family members’ phones to turn the heating off when you’re all out, which can save energy.
9. Child lock
Kids tend to love playing with gadgets instead of their own toys (speaking from experience!), so Nest lets you activate the child lock feature to protect you from little fingers- and extortionate heating bills!
10. OpenTherm Tech
OpenTherm is an advanced language which allows your thermostats and boiler to talk to each other, and this allows your thermostat to control the boiler, saving you even more money on your heating bills.
These Google Nest thermostats support OpenTherm:
- Nest Thermostat E
- 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat
Nest Thermostat General Specifications
- Hot water – Yes
- Installation – Depends on the model
- Operating systems – Android, iOS
- Thermostat controls – Buttons
- Height – 8.4cm
- Width – 8.4cm
- Depth – 3.22cm
- Price – £219*
- Standard warranty – 2 years, but if you get it installed by a Nest Pro installer, you’ll get a 3-year extended Pro Warranty, making the total warranty period 5 years.
Can I install Nest Thermostat?
Nest recommends professional installation for a 3rd- or 2nd-gen Nest Learning Thermostat, but you could install a Nest Learning Thermostat by yourself, depending on your system.
Google Nest Smart Thermostat Reviews
Google Nest is a Which? Best Buy Product. Which? Gave Google Nest Smart Thermostat an overall rating of 75%, that is the best rate for a smart thermostat, and here’s their verdict;
“It might be one of the older models on the market, and it’s one of the more expensive smart thermostats you can buy, but this is still one of the best we’ve tested. The scheduling can be difficult, but its impressive learning capabilities means you might not need to manually program anyway.”
2. Hive Smart Thermostat
The intuitive Hive smart thermostat is the perfect tool to control your heating and help reduce your gas bills.
Hive was created by the energy and home services provider, British Gas, so you know it’s from a household name brand. Hive offers a range of smart home devices such as cameras for your home, energy-saving lights, and more. Hive Active Heating is the flagship product. Hive believes that with its smart thermostat, you can save up to £110 a year by never heating an empty home.**
Hive Active Heating can be used for all types of boilers. Whether you have a combi boiler or a heat-only boiler, Hive Active Heating can start helping you reduce your heating bill right away. It is also compatible with most Gas, LPG, Oil, and Electric boilers. While you can use it with most boilers, it is best to check if it is compatible with your current system. For optimum results, this smart thermostat is best suited to newer boilers.
It works by wiring a receiver into your boiler and connecting it with the wireless thermostat, which can be mounted to the wall or left on a stand. You can then download the Hive app if you wish to be able to remotely control your heating. The Hive Heating hub is connected to your internet router and can then be connected to the app, where you can start to unleash some of its amazing features.
Hive Thermostat Smart Features
Like the Google Nest, Hive has several useful features, such as frost protection to stop your pipes from freezing, a child lock, and geotracking to switch your heating on and off when you enter and leave your home.
On the other hand, Hive lacks features like; the ability to learn your heating habits and adjust its routine and motion sensors to detect when someone enters or leaves your home to adjust the heating accordingly.
1. Control your home temperature with the Hive App
You’d expect this feature with any smart thermostat. You can turn the temperature up or down and turn the heating on or off with the Hive app. You can also set your own heating schedule on the app and get notifications on your phone if you’ve left the house without turning the heating off.
2. Voice-activated heating control
Hive Smart Thermostat works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. You can control your heating, find out the current room temperature and more with a few words.
3. Set your own schedule
You can use the hive app to create your own schedule.
4. Multizone heating
You can add more thermostats to control up to 6 zones of heating if you have an existing multizone heating system.
Hive Geolocation reminds you to turn off the heating if you’ve gone out and left it on. It will send you notifications on your phone.
6. Frost protection
When the temperature drops in the winter, we see several cases of frozen pipes. This smart feature protects your home from burst pipes in winter.
Hive Thermostat General Specifications
- Hot water – Optional extra
- Installation – Professional recommended
- Operating systems – Android, iOS
- Thermostat controls – Buttons
- Height – 10cm
- Width – 10cm
- Depth – 4.9cm
- Price – £179*
- Standard warranty – 1 year
Hive Heating compatibility
The Hive Thermostat is compatible with;
- Most gas and LPG boilers
- Oil boilers, if they have an existing thermostat or programmer
- Electric boilers with a standard room thermostat and/or programmer
This comes down to personal preference. Although Hive’s design is modern, I personally think that the Nest wins when it comes to design because it’s more sleek and modern.
Hive has a smaller display which requires you to physically touch the screen to view the room temperature.
Hive Smart Thermostat Reviews
Which? gave Hive a total score of 71% – great score!
Here’s the verdict from which.co.uk;
“It might have been around since 2015, but this is still a very good smart thermostat that we’re happy to recommend. The app can be confusing, but it’s easy to control the device manually or through the web portal. It also reads temperature accurately and is easy to install.”
You can find an in-depth Hive Installation Manual online. However, here is a quick breakdown for you if you’re looking to install your smart thermostat yourself.
To install your hub, you’ll need a broadband connection with a spare network port and a power socket must be nearby. Once this has been located, connect the hub as follows:
Connect the hub to the household’s broadband router using the network cable provided.
Fit the power cable into the hub and plug it into a power socket. Wait for the middle light to flash amber. During start-up, the green light will flash, followed by the amber light. This usually takes 5-10 minutes.
Once the amber light is flashing, the hub is set up, and you can move on to installing the receiver. If no lights are displayed immediately after the hub has been turned on, check all cables are connected, and the power socket works. If the problem still persists, contact Hive Technical Support.
3. tado° Smart Thermostat
tado° is one of the first companies to launch a smart thermostat. It started in 2012 and has come a long way since then. tado° combines minimalistic design with German engineering.
What makes tado° stand out?
tado° has one of the most flexible and easy-to-control systems on the market.
tado° offers unique features like air comfort skills, weather forecast adoption and open window sensors. These features aren’t available in any other smart thermostat (yet!).
And most importantly, tado° offers its one-of-a-kind solution for multi-zone control.
Since tado° launched its latest version – the Smart Thermostat V3+, the company has changed its strategy, so now you have to pay a monthly subscription fee for some of the energy-saving features you used to get for free.
tado° Starter Kit
You can buy tado° as a bundle. The available starter kits are;
- Wireless Smart Thermostat V3+: You need this option if you have a hot water tank with a hot water controller and want to control your hot water with tado°. Or you have a thermostat with a wireless boiler connection or no thermostat at all.
- Wired Smart Thermostat V3+: You need it if your home has an existing wired thermostat with a combi boiler (for example, not connected to a hot water tank).
And you can get additional add-ons like tado° Smart Radiator Thermostat, which can independently control your rooms from the radiators.
tado° V3+ Smart Features
1. Multi-zone heating control
tado°’s zonal heating control is one of their unique selling points. Although you might be able to control multiple zones using other smart thermostats like Nest, their functionality is still limited and pricy. tado° Smart Thermostat, on the other hand, lets you control the heating zone effortlessly – just fit Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV’s). Or, if you’d prefer to keep your old valves, a heating engineer can program your radiators to work with tado°.
Why is multi-zone heating important?
Controlling multiple zones lets you heat the areas you use instead of the entire house, which will reduce your energy consumption and heating bills.
2. Set a smart schedule
Like other smart thermostats, You can create your own 7-day schedule, and turn the heating up/down in time blocks based on your daily routine. You can also edit this schedule on your phone from anywhere.
3. Weather adoption
Tado°’s innovative thermostat takes local weather forecasts into account. It changes your heating based on the forecast to cut down your energy bills.
Additional Features Which Need a Monthly Subscription to Automate
4. Geofencing - Never heat an empty home
Just like Nest and Hive, tado° can track your phone’s GPS to make sure it never heats an empty home.
In the free version – It does that by sending you notifications to turn off the heating when the last person leaves the house and turn it back on when the first one comes back in.
You can also switch this feature off.
With the monthly subscription, you can automate this process.
5. Open window detection
Because no one should pay to heat their entire neighbourhood, tado° detects open windows and reminds you to turn your heating off to save energy.
Like the Geofencing feature, you’ll receive push notifications to turn off the heating as part of the free package, but with the monthly subscription, you can fully automate it.
6. Get comprehensive reports
As a tado° user, you’ll be able to access detailed reports within the app, which can help you see your energy consumption and analyse your daily habits.
You can expect to see data such as;
- The overall savings with tado° – who doesn’t like to know how much money they’ve saved in their piggy bank!
- Geofencing – The number of hours at least one of your rooms was set to Away Mode.
- Weather Adaptation – The number of hours of sunshine tado° took into account along with your building’s characteristics to help reduce unnecessary heating.
- Open Window Detection – The number of times your heating was turned off when tado° detected an open window.
- Smart Schedule – The number of hours in a day that your Smart Schedule was set to an energy-saving temperature.
- Manual Control – The percentage of total heating time over the month that you manually set your tado° devices to an energy-saving temperature.
tado° V3+ General Specifications
Wireless Smart Thermostat
- Wireless Temperature Sensor: 104 x 104 x 18 mm
- Wireless Receiver: 80 x 140 x 26 mm
- Internet Bridge: 81 x 27 x 22 mm
- Full packaging: 174 × 174 × 110 mm
Wired Smart Thermostat
- Smart Thermostat: 104 x 104 x 18 mm
- Internet Bridge: 81 x 27 x 22 mm
- Full packaging: 174 × 174 × 70 mm
Wireless Smart Thermostat
- Wireless Temperature Sensor: 138 g
- Wireless Receiver: 216 g
- Internet Bridge: 30 g
- Full packaging: 895 g
Wired Smart Thermostat
- Smart Thermostat: 156 g
- Internet Bridge: 30 g
- Full packaging: 490 g
- Material: The outer shell consists of polycarbonate (PC) and ABS plastic in matte white.
- User interface: The LED matrix has 10 x 19 mm LEDs and a size of 32 x 20 mm. Buttons: 2x capacitive touch, 1x mechanical.
- Languages: The tado° app instructions and software are available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch.
- Warranty: 2 years
- Wireless Smart Thermostat Starter Kit V3+ with Hot Water Control – £199.99
- Wired Smart Thermostat Starter Kit – £179.99
tado° V3+ Compatibility
tado° features OpenTherm, which allows the V3+ thermostat to work with all common heating systems as well as most thermostatic radiator valves;
Connectivity – tado° works well with Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and Alexa.
tado° V3+ Design
Tado° V3+ has an award-winning minimalist & sleek design that matches most homes’ aesthetics.
Generally speaking, the tado° products can be placed anywhere in the room and blend seamlessly into the background.
Unlike Nest’s high-resolution huge display, tado+ opted for a simple numerical digital display.
Which? Rated the tado° V3+ (63%). Here’s what they’ve said about the brand: “Despite being around for a while, this is a very good smart thermostat that has high-end features, is easy to control and is very accurate. It only misses out on a Best Buy because the functionality of the display is very limited compared with the best on the market.”
If I had to describe tado° installation using only one word, I’d say ‘easy’!
tado° is one of the simplest thermostats to install by yourself, which helps you save on the installation cost.
Their website provides you with detailed instructions tailored specifically to your heating system. Check out their database here.
4. Honeywell Smart Thermostat
Honeywell has been in the manufacturing industry for a while. Their latest smart thermostats (T6, T6R and T6R-HW) were designed to meet the demands for smarter, connected controls. This smart thermostat has been created with the consumer in mind, ensuring easy-to-understand controls, easy installations, and an easy set-up process.
T6 Smart Thermostat – The T6 is a wall-mounted fixed installation thermostat designed to replace a traditional thermostat location.
T6R and T6R-HW Smart Thermostat – The T6R is mobile. Its desk stand design allows it to be used on flat surfaces. Requiring only mains power, it communicates wirelessly to the boiler control unit (included).
The T6R-HW additionally includes hot water control.
Honeywell Smart Features
You can control your heating anywhere via smartphone or tablet.
The Honeywell Home app takes care of everything at home using your smartphone location to determine when you’re home or away. Saving energy when you’re away, ensuring the temperature is just right when you return.
2. Set a schedule
You can create your own 7-day schedule which suits your daily routine. And if your plans change, all you need to do is change the schedule on the Honeywell app, nice and easy!
By doing that, you’ll be reducing your energy consumption and saving money!
The T6 Smart Thermostat works with Apple HomeKit, Apple Watch, Amazon Echo, Google Home and IFTTT to take care of your comforts and keep your home connected, now and in the future.
Honeywell Smart Thermostat General Specifications
- Number of zones supported: 1
- OpenTherm boiler support: yes
- Room temperature display range: from 0oc to 50oc
- Dimensions (w x h x d):
- T6 (wired) 103 x 103 x 28 mm
- T6R (wireless) 108 x 103 x 68 mm
- Time display: 24-hour or 12-hour AM/PM format
- Timekeeping & accuracy: Synchronized with the Internet when connected or typically better than 10minutes per year
- Program: 5+2 or daily schedule with 6 daily time and temperature level changes
- Time setting resolution: Program – 10-minute steps
- Power: T6 (wired) ~20VDC/300mA by Receiver box | T6R (wireless) 5VDC power adapter
- Warranty: 2-years
- Honeywell T6 Wired Smart Thermostat – £117.99* (without VAT)
- Honeywell T6R Wireless Smart Thermostat – £124.99* (without VAT)
- Honeywell Home T6R-HW Wireless Smart Thermostat – £150.15* (without VAT)
Honeywell Smart Thermostat Review
A review from the Good Housekeeping said: “One of the more cost-effective devices on the market, you can use either the thermostat itself or you can use the uncluttered smartphone app to adjust your heating…
If you’re looking at the cheaper end of the market for a cost-friendly, smart thermostat but still want plenty of bang for your buck, the Honeywell Lyric T6R or T6 are well worth considering. It’s simple to use, connecting to the internet and allowing you to switch your heating on or off even when you’re not at home.”
Honeywell Smart Thermostat Installation
Since Honeywell smart thermostats require to be wired directly into your boiler, we advise that you leave the installation part to the professionals!
The Best Smart Thermostat - Our Final Verdict
- The easiest to use – Nest Learning Thermostat
- The most flexible – tado° V3+
- The best Multi-zone control – tado° V3+
- The best Design aka Thermostat Eleganza Extravaganza – Nest Learning Thermostat
- The best reporting – tado° V3+
- The most budget-friendly – Honeywell T6
- The best connectivity with smart devices – Honeywell T6
- The simplest installation – tado° V3+
Why should you buy a new boiler from WarmZilla?
When you purchase a new or replacement boiler with WarmZilla, your boiler package will also include;
- Your chosen boiler, along with the necessary flue kit needed for your central heating system
- Installation by a qualified Gas Safe Engineer
- Removal of your old boiler and parts
- A FREE system cleanse of your central heating system
- Chemical Inhibitor for added protection for your new boiler
- 10-year guarantee, which will be registered by WarmZilla after installation
- A FREE magnetic system filter for ongoing protection
- The Neomitis RF Digital Wireless Room Thermostat
There’s also 0% interest for 2 years on selected models, plus you can advantage of our great-value tech bundles – meaning you save on your boiler purchase AND get smart thermostats and home devices included.
Note – add out tech packages; Viessmann and Worcester Bosch (include boiler and smart thermostat).