Clever heating systems have really proven themselves in recent years. There are various solutions available that you can use to control your heating with your smartphone.
The systems in place are designed to make it easier and easier to control the heating of your home, whether you're on the go or on the sofa, while saving money at the same time.
Here is a roundup of the best smart heating solutions in the UK, what features they have and how they can help you save pennies.
Our guide to the best smart thermostats available today
Nest learning thermostat 3.0
Nest's key product is known as a learning thermostat because it can learn how to use it and create a heating schedule to match.
In just a few weeks, Nest will find out when, how long and at what temperature the heating should be switched on. Finally, patterns such as the time period in which people leave the house on a Tuesday, lie down on a Saturday and an empty house every other Friday are recorded. Nest connects to your WiFi network for online weather forecasts, and there is a 150-degree sensor on board that detects if someone is home.
The UK version also has a feature called True Radiant, which aims to reduce temperature swings and heat up early so you can get the temperature you want when you want it. Nest is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you have a wide variety of customization options.
Nest learning thermostat E.
The Nest Learning Thermostat E has many of the same features as the Learning Thermostat 3.0, including the ability to learn your schedule and routine, and the True Radiant feature.
The E-model has a matt display and a white polycarbonate finish so that it blends in a little more with its surroundings. It also comes with a battery operated Heat Link which replaces your existing UK thermostat for easy self installation. The Thermostat E itself has a built-in stand that offers more placement flexibility compared to the Thermostat 3.0. You can place the Thermostat E anywhere in any room as long as there is an electrical outlet and it is within 30 meters of the Heat Link.
The thermostat E does not have the Farsight function for the constant display of weather, time or temperature on the display, nor does it support hot water control. However, it's Nest's cheaper smart thermostat and doesn't require professional installation, yet still has top-notch build quality and lots of great features, including a preset schedule.
Tado Smart Thermostat V3 +
Tado can be retrofitted to your current heating setup and uses a cloud-based heating app with which you can control your heating from your smartphone. The Tado V3 system also offers home control in the form of a small square control unit with LED lights that show the current temperature. You can also control individual zones via Smart Radiator Thermostats. The V3 + system adds air quality control through the redesigned app.
Tado tracks the location of your smartphone so it knows when you've left the house and when you'll be back and uses what the company calls "model predictive control". This technology is designed to take a series of data points to calculate when you will return home, what the weather is like outside and what temperature you requested when you returned.
Tado will then get your house ready for you in time for you to step through the door by measuring the weather forecast, the time it takes to get home, and how quickly your house is heating up. Thanks to its compatibility with all intelligent assistants, including Apple's HomeKit, you can also turn the heating on or off via voice.
Honeywell's Evohome is a wirelessly connected heating system that allows you to control individual radiators and thus specific rooms. It connects to your boiler and existing radiators and you can control the entire heating system from a central console or a smartphone app.
With Evohome you can control up to 12 zones. Within these zones you can control each radiator up to a specified temperature level. However, you can also set the same temperature throughout the house if you prefer.
There are a number of preset settings that can be used to shrink the entire house a few degrees or to overwrite the system entirely. The Evohome system is compatible with IFTTT, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Hive Active Heating 2.0
British Gas offers Hive Active Heating 2.0, which replaces your existing thermostat with a wireless system and a connection to your broadband. Once you have it installed, you can control heating and hot water through the Hive app as well as through the website. It means, like the others, if you want to check the temperature at home and increase it at the supermarket, you can.
You can set alerts to let you know when the temperature in your home has changed. The system has a modern looking thermostat that allows you to change your settings or set schedules when you're at home so you don't have to use your smart device all the time. You can also buy multiple thermostats if you want to set different rooms to different temperatures, but they can all be controlled from the same app.
The Hive system does not rely on British Gas to supply your energy so you can buy it even if you have another supplier. There are also smart lights, plugs and sensors within the Hive range, all of which can be controlled through the Hive app. Hive Active Heating is also compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Honeywell Lyric T6 Smart Thermostat
Honeywell offers a number of connected heating products, including the aforementioned Evohome and Lyric T6.
The Lyric T6, like the other services on this list, offers heating control from your smartphone or tablet, but is slightly less than Honeywell's Evohome offering. For example, there is no multi-zone control, although it offers location-based temperature control via a geofence.
The T6 monitors the location of your smartphone to determine whether you are at home or on the go. Both can be programmed with a 7-day schedule. In contrast to Evohome, the Lyric T6R is compatible with Apple's HomeKit as well as with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT.
Netatmo Smart Thermostat
Designed by Philip Starck, the Netatmo Smart Thermostat offers the same remote access as other devices available while claiming to be the perfect balance between functionality and design.
You can control and monitor your heating anytime and anywhere with the app. After answering some initial setup questions, the company states that it is adapting to your lifestyle by observing your habits in order to create a program based on them.
The temperature can be set on the thermostat itself or through your smart device, and you can also keep track of your energy consumption. The Netatmo Smart Thermostat is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. The control of individual zones is also possible with the Netatmo Smart Radiator Valves.