A guide to smart thermostats – how do they work?

The days of arriving home to an empty, cold house are over!  Yes, that’s right. Upgrade to one of the many smart thermostats on offer, and you can turn your heating on from wherever you are.

There’s nothing worse than going from your warm office to a cold house. With a smart thermostat, you can set your heating to come on while you’re still at work, so when you get home, it’s already warm and cosy.

So, what is a smart thermostat? Here’s all you need to know. 

What is a smart thermostat?

A smart thermostat is a much more advanced and intelligent alternative to a traditional thermostat. Becoming increasingly popular, a smart thermostat will work with most boilers and enable you to control and heat your home and hot water from wherever you are.

It will give you live updates, allowing you to track statistics and monitor how efficiently your heating system is working. With this knowledge, you can save money on your energy bills – and by making your home more economical, you’re helping to protect the planet. 

Your wireless thermostat can be moved around your home and placed in a room of your choice. The best place for your thermostat is in the room you use most frequently to provide the base temperature for your home.

Placing the thermostat in the coldest room or area of the house may well keep the boiler working longer than necessary and increase your energy bills. 

For example, if the thermostat is in your hall and your family is in the living room, then even though you may be lovely and warm, the boiler will continue to work as the temperature in the hall is lower. 

To the opposite extreme, if your thermostat is in the kitchen while cooking your evening meal, it may turn the boiler off, thinking the house is up to temperature when other rooms may be significantly cooler.

Some wireless thermostats even allow you to programme them based on your daily routine. They learn about your lifestyle and even the weather conditions outside.

A wide range of smart thermostats are available these days, but the better-known and more popular choices are Hive, Google Nest, and Honeywell Evohome. These models are more likely to integrate seamlessly with other smart devices in your home. 

How do smart thermostats work?

Smart thermostats, or smart controls, work much the same as a regular thermostat in that they sense the temperature in your home and talk to your boiler, telling it when to turn the heating and hot water on and off according to your settings. Connecting your heating system to the internet is the ‘smart’ part.

Once installed, you download an app specific to whichever brand of smart thermostat you’ve chosen.  Whether at home, at work, or out for dinner, you can manage your heating from your phone or tablet.

Within your app, you can set timers to schedule when your heating comes on and goes off and adjust the temperature. Some thermostats can integrate with the other smart devices in your home for complete control.

Smart thermostats can even be controlled using Google and Alexa.

You can view a range of reports via your app that will tell you how energy efficient your home is, allowing you to make changes and save some money. Live updates are also available with some wireless thermostats, so you’ll be able to see any issues with your heating system as they happen and fix them before they become a major problem. 

Do smart thermostats work without Wi-Fi?

Yes, they do! Smart thermostats aren’t wholly reliant on a good Wi-Fi connection to enable them to work, but the functionality might be limited to controlling the temperature.

You’ll likely lose the more advanced features until your connection is restored. So if you’re moving home and your internet isn’t being switched on for a week or two, or you’re simply experiencing a temporary outage on your connection, you’ll still be able to adjust your heating while at home.  

Can I install a smart thermostat myself?

Smart thermostats may look easy to install, but most of them should be installed by a competent and qualified heating engineer or electrician.

There is some wiring to be done to the receiver on the initial installation, so if you’re not confident in doing this, it’s always best to leave it to the experts.

Installation of any hubs (or mini hubs) afterwards is similar to connecting a Google Home hub to the app on your phone. If you want to add hubs and have them in multiple rooms of your home, you should be able to set these up later with no issues.

Arton Heating install smart thermostats 

With over 35 years of experience, Arton Plumbing and Heating is well-equipped with the knowledge, experience, and qualifications to help with all your plumbing and heating needs, including installing smart thermostats.

Based in Maidstone, Kent, we’re a local family-run business providing services to the surrounding areas. Our friendly Gas Safe registered engineers are qualified and ready to help.

We make the process as easy as possible to ensure the minimum disruption during our work, whether carrying out a boiler repair or installing a whole new system. We pride ourselves on looking after your home as though it was our own, and the quality of our workmanship is second to none.

Did you know that we also offer ongoing protection with our boiler cover packages? Regular servicing and maintenance of your boiler will enable it to keep providing heat and hot water for longer. See what our customers say on Google, Checkatrade, and Trustpilot. 

Do you still have questions about smart thermostats? Give our friendly team a call on 01622 749700. They will help you decide between the options and discuss what you want to achieve. We’re well known for providing five-star service, so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. 

Post author

Daniel Arter

Date of post

January 20, 2023


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