Remote control for central heating systems
The best smart thermostat systems and smart-heating systems you can buy in the UK in 2017. The best home-automation services dedicated to keeping you warm and saving you money. It's Nest vs Hive vs Tado vs Heat Genius and we've just added our full Netatmo and Honeywell reviews. PLUS: Inspire, PassivSystems and HeatMiser.
You've probably seen the adverts for Hive with its quirky song about how great it is to control your heating from a laptop, smartphone or tablet. And yes, it is - pun intended - a cool thing to be able to do. But more than that, smart heating is likely to be a key part of every home going forward. As fuel costs rise and supplies run dry the ability to heat our homes in an efficient way will stop being a nice bonus, and become an essential part of every home's economics. We're in the process of installing and testing the second-generation Hive thermostat and will be updating our full review soon.
As part of the burgeoning 'Internet of Things', IoT smart home heating systems are only the beginning of a process that will see us able to control power and fuel consumption. Expect in time to be able to switch off your fridge and freezer for the peak hour of each day. And even to order food and other supplies only as you need them. The aim of the game is efficiency: maximum comfort for minimal cost to you - and to the environment.
In the course of 2014 and 2015 smart thermostats and smart home heating systems have become readily available to almost all homes. If you have a boiler and central heating you will likely be able to fit any of the systems we have reviewed in this article, and the other systems we examine. Storage heaters are another matter, as we discuss in this article: Can I use a smart thermostat if I have a storage heater?
But not all smart home heating systems are made equal, and which one works best for you is another question altogether.
We have been testing these systems over the last year or more to give the best possible purchasing advice. As you can imagine it takes time (and a home) to fit and test these systems, and you can't judge a system simply on its features or a single days' testing. Also see: Best robot vacuum cleaners
Best IoT smart heating systems 2017 UK: Smart heating buying advice
The key question is the level to which you need- or want to make your heating smart. Most of these systems - Hive, Nest, Netatmo, Honeywell and Tado - simply put a smart thermostat into the most-used room in the house or the hallway, and moderate the temperature of the whole house to match that room. For smaller houses in which most rooms are in regular use this is probably a cost-effective way of attaining the desired results. You can always turn off the radiators you don't need to avoid heatnig rooms unnecessarily.