Smart heating UK 2022: best smart thermostats to control energy bills in your home, from Nest, Tado, Bosch
Controlling your heating via smartphone or voice assistant could help you stay warm and save money. Here are our pick of the current smart thermostats on the market
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A smart thermostat is a thermostat you can control with a smartphone or other connected device. This means you can do things like turn your heating system on or off, change the temperature setting, or view reporting on your heating usage from anywhere in the world, using your connected app.
As if that weren’t clever enough, many smart thermostats are also compatible with home assistant tech such as Google Assistant, so you can configure your heating via voice commands.
Some models have additional cutting-edge technologies such as auto-programming and ringfencing.
What should you look for in a smart thermostat?
If you’re getting a smart thermostat, there are a few things you’ll need to check about your chosen model before you buy:
- Is the smart thermostat compatible with your boiler?
- Is the app used to control the smart thermostat compatible with your smartphone/tablet?
- Are you able to install the thermostat yourself, or will you need to call out an engineer to install it at added cost? Some smart thermostats are much harder to install than others.
These three concerns are easy enough to check online ahead of purchasing your thermostat - the information will be listed on the retailers website.
The models here have been selected from retailers that are the best price at time of publication, and who provide aftercare.
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The Google Nest Learning Thermostat has a trick up its sleeve that sets it apart from other smart thermostats: it programs itself.
To use this brilliant smart thermostat, all you need to do is get the device installed, and then trigger it to change the temperature whenever you like. After a few days, the thermostat will have learned a thing or two about your usage patterns, including how warm you like to be at certain times of day. It then uses what it has learnt to automatically set the temperature just how you like it. It will switch to ‘Eco’ when it knows you’ve left the house, making it ideal if you’re interested in cutting your heating bill.
Another key selling point of the Learning Thermostat is its simple, stylish display. The option to have the thermostat show just the temperature on a big, bright screen is a world removed from the information overload you get with some old-school electronic thermostats.
You don’t need an engineer to install the Google Nest Learning Thermostat. Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Compatible with other Smart Home products, such as Google Home. Can control hot water boilers.
The Tado V3+ Smart Heating Thermostat Starter Kit gives you all the gear you need to put together a smart heating setup from scratch, including an internet bridge to connect the thermostat to your router.
We were really impressed with the V3 thermostat. It performs all the core functionalities of a smart thermometer brilliantly, from ringfencing that switches off the heating when your connected device leaves the vicinity, to voice control hookups with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit.
There are also a few bells and whistles on offer here that will really appeal to gadget-lovers. For instance, as well as measuring the temperature, the V3 also measures humidity, and provides feedback on your household climate via the reporting feature of its app.
No engineer required to install. Can control the hot water boiler.
How often in life do you get to say you own a designer thermostat? That’s exactly what you’re being offered here. The Netatmo Smart Thermostat was designed by none other than French master of minimalism, Phillipe Starck. It certainly looks chic.
In terms of smart functions, this smart thermostat ticks all the right boxes, including voice control via smart assistant, and remote control via your connected app. There’s also an Energy Savings Report feature included with the app, which could come in handy if you ever decide to investigate your energy usage in detail.
Open window detection means it will also shut the heating off in a room where a window is left open, to prevent energy wasteage.
You do not require an engineer to install a Netatmo Smart Thermostat. Compatible with Apple HomeKit, Alexa and Google Assistant. Can control the hot water boiler.
Versatile, effective and easy-to-use, the EasyControl CT200 lives up to the high expectations that tend to come with Bosch appliances.
The flat, tablet-style design of this thermostat strikes us as particularly snazzy. It can lie pretty much flush against the wall, rather than sticking out like most thermostats do.
In terms of smart functionalities, this thermostat focuses on doing the basics brilliantly, rather than rewriting the rulebook. Where the CT200 really excels is in its connectivity: you’d be hard pressed to find a boiler that is incompatible with it, and there are options to connect to smart home technologies including IFTTT, Nest, Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Alexa and more.
You will likely need an engineer to assist with installation. Can control the hot water boiler.
For those of you who plan on installing your own smart thermostat, the Google Nest Thermostat E would be a really sound choice. This smart thermostat is particularly easy to install and uncomplicated to set up, with no smart hub or specialist knowhow required.
Nest is good for helping to cut your energy costs - it predicts when you want the house to warm up. Install it, and use it as normal - adjust the temperature when you’re too warm, or too cold.
Give Nest a week or so and it will start adjusting itself based on tracking your habits - so it will pre-warm your house as you are coming home from work, or shut the radiators off just as you leave the house in the morning. It sends updates about your energy usage, so you can track your habits and adjust to try and save energy wherever you can.
Remotely controlling the temperature via the connected Nest app is a breeze, and there’s also a handy option to control the thermostat by voice.
One downside is that there’s only one smart assistant you can use to operate the Thermostat E: namely, Google Assistant. However, if you’re happy with that limitation, we think you’ll find the Thermostat E to be both highly effective and easy-to-use.
You will not require an engineer to set up.