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Smart Thermostats

What are smart thermostats and how do they work?

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Written by  Emma Spencer
5 min read
Updated: 07 Feb 2024

Read our guide to find out more about smart thermostats.

What is a smart thermostat?

A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi-enabled device that allows you to control your home's heating and cooling systems via your smartphone, tablet, or voice-controlled smart home system. Unlike traditional thermostats, which require manual adjustments, smart thermostats offer the flexibility to change your home's temperature from anywhere, at any time.

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Key features of smart thermostats

Your smart thermostat’s functionality will depend on the make and model you buy, and how much you’re willing to spend. Some of the most useful features include:

  • Voice control: Simply tell your thermostat to adjust the temperature without lifting a finger

  • Temperature alerts: Receive warnings if your home's temperature reaches levels that could freeze pipes or harm pets

  • Zoned heating: Manage the climate in different areas of your home independently for personalized comfort and efficiency

  • Geo-fencing: Your thermostat can sense when you leave or return home, adjusting the temperature accordingly for savings and comfort

  • Integration with other smart technology: Connect with devices like Alexa or Google Home for a seamless smart home experience

  • Learning capabilities: Smart thermostats can learn your schedule and local weather patterns to heat your home more efficiently

  • Holiday mode: Keep your home at a safe temperature to prevent issues like frozen pipes when you're away

  • Hot water settings: Take control of your hot water schedule, though additional equipment may be required

The benefits of investing in a smart thermostat

The advantages of smart thermostats extend beyond mere convenience. These devices can lead to significant savings on your energy bills by ensuring that you're only using heating when necessary.

They're particularly useful for those with irregular schedules or for anyone who's ever left the house only to realise they've forgotten to turn off the heating.

How much do smart thermostats cost?

When it comes to purchasing a smart thermostat, prices can vary widely, typically ranging from £150 to £280, not including the cost of professional installation, which can add another £50 to £100 to your bill.

If you're considering zoned heating, you'll also need to factor in the cost of smart thermostatic radiator valves, which can be around £60 each.

Smart thermostats vs. smart meters

It's important to distinguish between smart thermostats and smart meters. While smart meters display your energy usage and costs within the home, smart thermostats give you the power to control your heating remotely. Both can play a role in managing your energy consumption, but they serve different purposes.

Can smart thermostats really save you money?

The potential savings from using a smart thermostat depend on your current energy habits. If you often forget to adjust your heating according to your needs, or if your schedule varies day to day, a smart thermostat could help you cut down on wasted energy, leading to lower bills.

What happens if my internet goes down?

Even if your internet connection fails, your smart thermostat will continue to operate on its last set schedule. While you won't be able to use the app or online features, you can still make manual adjustments directly on the device.

Choosing the best smart thermostat

For information on the best smart thermostats on the market, read our handy smart thermostat guide. This guide will help you navigate through the various options and find a thermostat that fits your needs and budget.

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