Home Glossary What is a Smart Thermostat?

What is a Smart Thermostat?

Intelligent thermostats: saving you money in 2020

Welcome to our guide on the wonderful world of smart thermostats. In this overview, you’ll learn everything you need to know about these fantastic new energy-saving devices, and how they fit into your smart home.

While some smart home tech is designed to make life more fun, or help with the lighter side of life, there’s some devices you can get that have far deeper uses. Smart thermostats definitely fall into that category. Fitting one in your home can not only save you time, but could cut a whopping 33% off your energy bill each year.

Hive Active Heating and Hot Water Thermostat with Professional Installation
The Hive (Amazon UK) is one of the most popular smart thermostats.

What exactly are Wifi connected thermostats?

Smart thermostats are a modern replacement for your home’s existing temperature control. They are a small device that replaces the heating control you have on your wall. (The bit that lets you turn the heat up or down). *

* In countries other than the UK, smart thermos can also be used to control air conditioning and keep you cool. Living in the UK, I’m not sure we’ll use that much.

You wire them in like a regular thermostat and, like other smart devices, they connect to your home’s Internet connection. Once they’re in place, they will control your home heating, and give you complete control over your heating.

Nest Learning Thermostat
Smart Thermostats use an app to control your heating See the Nest Learning Thermostat at Amazon

Seriously clever thermostats are using AI

Some smart thermostats, such as the Nest, will actually start to learn about how you use your heating and be able to reduce your usage without you doing anything.

Easy-to-use thermostats

One of the beauties of owning a smart thermostats is that they don’t take any complex programming. All the functions are controlled from a simple-to-use app. You can set heating schedules, or allow the thermostat to make choices for your home intelligently.

Alexa controlled heating, and other benefits

So we’ve looked at what is a smart thermostat – now let’s look at the WHY. There’s a number of sersiouly cool things that smart thermostats can do. While the features obviously vary between manufacturers, lets look at some of the basics:

  • Control your heating from your phone
  • Turn the boiler on so the home is warm when you arrive
  • Only fire the boiler when absolutely necessary
  • Use proximity to your house to turn on the heating
  • Turn off the heating when you’re not home (never heat an empty house)
  • Easily set programs that fit around your life
tado° Smart Thermostat Starter Kit V3+ - Intelligent heating control
Above: The Netatmo thermostat is one that works with Alexa(See at Amazon UK)

What are the steps to installing an app controlled thermostat?

Unlike some of the things we’ve featured on SmartTechStuff, thermostats are a little bit more complicated to install. Not impossible, by any means. If you decide to go for a self install, check Youtube for a guide for your particular thermostat.

  1. You’ll need to remove the existing thermostat from the wall
  2. Wire in the new smart thermostat
  3. Connect it to your home Wifi
  4. Download the Android or Apple app
  5. Pair the smart thermostat to your phone

Here’s an example video on how to install the Nest Thermostat (3rd Gen). It’s not as difficult as it sounds. However, a lot of people opt to hire a tradesman – normally an electrician or a plumber – to install their smart thermostat.

Quick TIP: Pick your own Wifi thermostat yourself

We’ve found that plumbers or electricians tend to have a favourite smart thermostat that they want to install. If you want our advice – do your own research and pick one that’s right for you. Then find someone to install it.

What are the most popular smart thermostats in 2020?

There’s a number of competing smart thermostats on the market right now. You’ve probably seen or heard of some of them. A quick search on places like Amazon will reveal the healthy level of competing smart thermostats you’ve got to pick from today.

The top selling smart thermostats this year are

  • Nest
  • Hive
  • Homekit
  • Honeywell
  • Tado
  • Honeywell

What’s a decent & affordable smart thermostat?

While all this talk of smart tech always sounds expensive, smart thermostats can be purchase fairly cheaply. Some, like the Moes Smart Thermostat can normally be picked up for around the £40 mark. However, even the ‘big names’ like the Nest are way more affordable these days and well worth a look.

Wondering which thermostat to buy?

Like the sound of smart thermostats? Great! But which one should you buy? There’s really good thermostats available. A quick version would be either the Drayton thermostat, or the Nest Smart Thermostat. They’re both excellent products that are easy to use, and have the best choice of features. But do your own research and maybe check out our guide on smart thermostats.

Once set up, they’ll have control over your home’s heating and water. As well as giving you an easy way to control things like temperature, you’ll also be able to do things that weren’t possible before.

  1. Save money though smart energy use
  2. Set your heating when you’re not home
  3. Learn patterns and reduce energy
  4. Keep track of how much energy you’re using
  5. Use your voice to control your home’s heating
  6. Set different temperatures for different zones in your home
  7. Control radiators individually with your iPhone
  8. Set up smart underfloor heating

We’ve got a handy guide on the best thermostat’s out there in 2020.

Sources & References

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Hello, thanks for reading my guide. My name is Tom and I am a tech blogger who loves everything about creating a smart home. I live with my wife and two children in the North East of England.

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