So, what is a TRV? TRV stands for Thermostatic Radiator Valve. They are used to turn the heat up or down on individual radiators. TRVs are often overlooked within the heating system, and you may not remember the last time you went and adjusted them.
Regulating each room’s temperature is an excellent way to help reduce energy consumption, which will help reduce your energy bills. Suppose you are not in a specific room all that often. You can turn it down or off entirely. However, we suggest it is not the best practice to turn them off but to put them on low, ensuring that the radiators are connected and still functional.
Each radiator fitted in your home should ideally have a pair of valves that act like taps. One of the valves controls the hot water entering the radiator, and the other, called the lockshield valve, manage the heat output.
A lockshield valve is usually covered with a plastic cap for protection. This valve will control the water flow that enters and exits the pipework. Your Gas Safe engineer will often perform something called ‘balancing your radiators’, to ensure an even water distribution around your home. Check out our Radiators and TRV’s Explained blog for more information.
What is a Smart Thermostatic Radiator Valve TRV
A Smart TRV is a far more advanced version of your traditional manual TRV. Smart TRVs must be connected to Wi-Fi and, in most cases, linked to a represented Smart Thermostat. There are far more benefits to a smart TRV as they come with many valuable functions, which include smart adjusting, where you can change the temperature of a single radiator from the accompanying app.
An increasing number of Smart TRVs are entering the market, all with the same primary function, but each doing things slightly differently. The brands and models that will be discussed in this blog will include,
TP-Link KE100 Kasa Smart Thermostatic Radiator Valve Starter Kit
You may not consider TP-Link as a company that will introduce a TRV, as they are typically known for routers and Wi-Fi extenders. They are, however, a very diverse company that has introduced many smart home products into the open market.
The Kasa Smart Thermostat Radiator Valve (TRV) requires a hub with this starter kit. The TRV ensures it can speak to the thermostat and boiler to ensure it works effectively. The hub can then provide temperature precision for up to 32 radiators working from the same system. Every TRV installed will ensure the room is set to the perfect temperature and can be individually adjusted on the Kasa app.
The Kasa Hub transmits signals to devices on less-crowded, lower-frequency broadband signals, granting reliable and long-range connectivity.
With this smart TRV, you can set up heating schedules based on your routines, eliminating the need to alter your TRV even in the app on a regular basis. Installation is also simple and a DIY product that includes a handy step-by-step guide.
The KE100 is packed with impressive features like frost protection, which will ensure that pipes never freeze, and child lock features – so you don’t have to worry about accidents or tiny fingers tampering with the set-up.
A beneficial feature is the ability to use voice commands if you have a device that operates Amazon Alexa or Google Home. Basic commands include adjusting your home temperature with just a few words.
The device’s size is small at H5 x W8 x D8cm and has a quality feel. Overall, it is a handy bit of technology that makes your heating system efficient. If you have already purchased the starter kit, you can buy the KE100 Kasa add-on devices.
Tado Smart Radiator Thermostat Valve – Add-on
As an add-on to the V3+ Wireless Smart Thermostat Starter Kit, this TRV allows you to extend the fantastic features to more radiators, increasing room-to-room control and scheduling. Each TRV can have its own created accounts on the tado° app, so you can easily let room users independently control the temperature in their room. The app is available for all mobile devices, offering versatility and preventing limitations depending on your mobile devices.
If you are not confident or do not like using a smart device, this model offers a manual twist function that lets you change the temperature quickly without needing an app. For it to work, it will need to be connected to a hub and Wi-Fi so help may be required.
Installing the Tado Smart TRV is very straightforward and can be done yourself without the need for an installer. It is also battery-powered, which can last between 6-12 months, and will notify you when low. Instructions will be included, but here is a video on how to change the batteries. The V3+ model is a very modern looking device; when holding it, you can feel its quality. The size of H7 x W5 x D5cm also makes it small enough to fit in with any home aesthetic but not too small to prevent it from being difficult to use manually. The bright LED display is also large enough to be accessible for most and is a simple device to use.
Honeywell Evohome HR92UK Wireless Thermostatic Radiator Valve Zone Kit
Like the other TRVs, the HR92UK offers single room heating and easy installation. The Honeywell Evohome radiator zone kit is designed to create heat areas in your home to satisfy all your family members (those who are always cold and those who aren’t). Creating and managing the heating zones can be done using existing systems without the need for any additional valves. You can instantly see the temperature of each room/zone with the digital display.
The feature that works well for this device is the ‘open window feature’ as it recognises when the window is open and will automatically adjust or turn it off to stop unnecessary energy usage. So, if you decide to open a window, but your TRV is set high instead of continuing at the set heat, it will turn itself down to accommodate the environment.
Download the Total Connect Comfort Intl app to access programmable options on your smartphone and adjust the temperature using the app, a handy feature for when on holiday and uncommon schedule changes.
Possibly one of the best options for accessibility is a bit larger than others on the market at a size of H9 X W6 X D5cm; however, it does have the option to adjust the backlight brightness of the TRV display.
Hive Radiator Valve
The Hive thermostat is possibly the best on the market, on par with the Google Nest, so having additional Hive Radiator Valves connect with it is a valuable way to help save money on your energy bills.
Set up a schedule to keep your rooms at your preferred temperature, lower the thermostats during the day, and then turn up at night. This technique will allow your radiators to only heat to the required temperature, preventing overworking and high energy consumption.
Room-by-room control is again a prime function of this device. You will need one on each radiator to have complete control of the heating in your home. Focus the heat on the rooms you occupy rather than in a spare or empty space.
As you can imagine, Hive devices will work best with other Hive devices. The Radiator Valves are no different and work best with Hive Active Heating. If you don’t have a Hive thermostat, you can still use the Hive radiator valves as they are compatible with other Thermostats.
Controlling any room at any time is helpful, especially for those who struggle with mobility around the home. Use the app at any time to keep on top of your energy usage and prevent heating a room in which you don’t need to. You can even schedule operating times for individual rooms, so if you know you go to bed at a specific time, you can plan that room to be cooler until a short period before you go to bed. Alternatively, you can override it via the app for an earlier or later night.
The Hive Thermostat Valve will set the room to the exact temperature you select, removing all the guesswork out of knowing the room’s temperature, which has been an excellent help for certain people with health issues requiring specific temperatures to remain well.
Open window detection is also an option with this device. If the temperature drops, the TRV will adjust itself accordingly, preventing waste of energy.
With a quick and easy installation that you can do yourself, you need to unscrew the existing head and replace it with a Hive Radiator Valve.
If you get into any difficulty, the Hive app offers helpful images to guide you through removing your old controls, selecting the correct adaptor if needed and ensuring you install it correctly.
The Hive Hub is the heart of your smart home and by plugging it into your broadband router, it will connect all your Hive devices wirelessly, ensuring all the devices have full functionality and can be controlled remotely. The size of this device measures W5.5 x H9.4 x D5.5cm, which isn’t the smallest but much like the others, it is an attractive device and wouldn’t look out of place in any home.