Are you considering a Salus Wireless Thermostat?
Salus offers a wide range of thermostats that connect to your boiler and allow you to control the temperature remotely using your smartphone. In this review, we’re going to take a look at the range as a whole, with a special focus on the catchily named Salus RT310i.
Salus thermostats are incredibly popular in the marketplace due to their low price point and simplicity. There are a lot of more advanced thermostats on the market that offer additional functions but the Salus has been a popular choice for a long time for the price-conscious and those who don’t want to mess about with gadgets that control their heating.
What is a thermostat?
A thermostat is simply a device for controlling temperature. A thermostat reacts to temperature changes in a room to turn itself on or off automatically to match the selected setting you choose.
Many thermostats use a simple function of expansion and contraction based on heating and cooling to create or break electrical circuits, thereby turning your thermostat on or off.
Other thermostats use devices like thermistors, semiconductors, and thermocouples to detect the temperature without the need for moving parts.
Traditional thermostats are devices fixed to the wall with a temperature dial you can turn clockwise or anticlockwise to change the temperature. They are physically wired into the boiler, controlling the temperature directly.
Thermostats, like all technology, are becoming more useful and smarter all the time.
What is a wireless thermostat?
A wireless thermostat (like the Salus) is a thermostat that is connected to your boiler via wires (the wireless bit refers to the way it’s controlled via the internet). A receiver is connected to your internet router so that there is communication between the receiver and the hub that is connected to the boiler.
A wireless thermostat will still have a traditional wall thermostat control but it isn’t wired to the boiler, it is connected to the boiler via the receiver in your home. Occasionally you will need to change the batteries on your thermostat.
Another benefit of a wireless thermostat is that you can control your home temperature through your smartphone. Just download the appropriate app from the app store and you will be able to change the temperature from your phone and manage the schedule of when your heating is on or off. This allows you to turn the heating on before you get home so it’s nice and warm or turn the heating off after you’ve left home if you forgot to turn it off.
Many wireless thermostats offer additional benefits such as holiday mode, which allows you to turn off your heating for a set amount of time, to frost protection, allowing you to set a minimum temperature for your home before your heating comes on.
A wireless thermostat allows remote connectivity, giving it a massive advantage over traditional thermostats. Wireless thermostats can be added to traditional boiler set-ups, if you want to give yourself added control over your heating.
What is a smart thermostat?
A smart thermostat is often confused with a wireless thermostat. A thermostat that you can control with your phone is not necessarily a smart thermostat. For it to be ‘smart’ there has to be another level of sophistication, such as learning your home habits and adjusting the heating accordingly.
For example, the Nest Learning Thermostat learns what times you are home, what rooms you occupy, and what temperature you like to be. Later-generation Nest’s can even recognise how far away from the display you are and adjust the screen display in accordance.
Smart thermostats are getting smarter all the time with added functionality – such as energy usage reports, room sensors, home automation (connecting with other smart home devices such as smart lights), touchscreens, and geofencing (your phone triggering the heating to turn off or on depending on the proximity from your router).
I’m not sure what kind of thermostat I need
The answer to this question will often depend on the needs you have in your home. If you don’t need anything fancy or you don’t have a smartphone, then the answer is simple – a traditional thermostat will be just fine for you.
You won’t get the savings on your energy bills that you would get a wireless or smart thermostat but you will get a simple mechanism that is easy to operate which won’t stop working if your internet goes down.
If you like the idea of being able to control your heating from your phone and save money by getting your heating to work as and when you need it, then a wireless (or programmable thermostat as they are also known) is the one for you.
If you’re a gadget lover and want to go down the home automation route, building a smart home where all your gadgets talk to each other to try and save you money and make your life easier then a smart thermostat is the best option. If you have a Google Nest Thermostat and a Google Home (same principle as the Amazon Alexa), you can control your heating by asking Google to change the temperature for you.
Smart home technology is increasing in sophistication and application all the time, more and more devices are becoming smart, allowing them to connect to the home automation system and make life easier for owners. With more gadgets there are also more issues, the more connections there are the more chance there is of something dropping out, but the increase in efficiency and quality of life should more than compensate for the risk.
What are the benefits of a Salus thermostat?
Salus has been going since 1974, so they know their stuff when it comes to thermostats and ancillary heating products. As we have previously discussed in this article, they are much more limited in function than the Nest, Honeywell, or Hive smart thermostats but they also have a much lower price tag to match.
The RT310i can be purchased for around £50 on Amazon and it can be fitted to your current boiler with a decent amount of electrical experience. Having said that, we would always recommend getting a trained heating engineer out to fit a new thermostat.
Another benefit of the Salus is the ease of fitting. They have been designed to be easily fitted to current heating systems and most heating engineers will have fitted quite a few in their time
Salus thermostats generally gain good reviews, despite being at the more budget end of the market, this means consumers are given good value for money for a simple but effective thermostat.
What are the downsides of a Salus RT310i?
The downsides of the RT310i include limited functionality when compared to leading smart thermostat brands such as the Google Nest or the Hive but the price tag is also much lower.
A small number of users report having connection issues with the RT310i, with the connection between the gateway and the receiver dropping out intermittently. This could have something to do with the thickness of walls or if there is metal blocking the signal or it could be that some of the units have a hardware issue that is hard to diagnose.
The majority of Salus users never experience any issues with the device, you just set it up and leave it be, easily controlling your heating from your phone.
What features does a Salus RT310i have?
The Salus RT310i is a fairly basic programmable thermostat and as such does not have a lot of features, but it has all you need to remotely control your heating and set up schedules based on your needs.
- Holiday mode. It offers a holiday mode, so that you can turn your heating off until a set time or date. This is a less sophisticated version of the geofencing found on smart thermostats, which turn themselves off or on based on the proximity of your phone to the device.
- Scheduling. You can set a 5/2 or a 7 day schedule on your thermostat. So if you work 5 days a week you can set a separate routine for weekdays than you would for the weekend. You can set each day’s timing individually, it just makes it easier to make bulk changes – like when the clocks move back/forward or if your morning schedule changed.
- Frost protection. Set a minimum temperature for your heating system to ensure it never drops below a certain level and keep the frost at bay.
- Internet controlled. You can adjust your settings/temperature remotely using a PC or smartphone.
- Pre-synced to plug and play. Designed to be easily installed and set up.
- Geolocation. Your Salus will alert you when you are within a certain distance of your home.
Hopefully, you now have all the information you need to make an informed decision about what thermostat suits your needs best.
Salus Smart Thermostat offers a great way to save money on your heating bills by giving you more control over your heating but it’s also an affordable programmable thermostat.
Unless you have a smart home, you’re a tech buff or there is a specific feature you want from a smart thermostat we think that the Salus Thermostat is a solid choice that will do a fine job of controlling your heating with little confusion or hassle in setting up.