Keeping your energy costs down can be tricky, but during the current situation where we're all spending more time at home, it can be even more of a struggle. The warm weather has meant that many of us have been giving our heating a rest over the last few weeks, but what happens when the temperature starts to drop again? One way that many have found can be useful at saving money on their heating bills is by installing a smart thermostat. Despite being a bit costly to begin with, many have found them to be a great way to save a few quid when it comes to heating our homes. But are they worth the initial investment? We wanted to take it to the experts, so we've teamed up with John from Best Heating to find out more!
Should You Get a Smart Thermostat?
Home heating is key for our comfort and relaxation. However, there’s no doubt it’s a completely necessary if frustrating expense to fork out for. But could your energy bills be costing a lot more than they need to? And could a smart thermostat be the simple solution required to reduce them?
When you think about it, lots of your monthly energy costs will relate to your home heating, and thus the use of a thermostat - so you might expect it to prove as much. So, let’s take a closer look at this modern heating control device and help you decide the answer to the question you came here for – should you get a smart thermostat?
What is a Smart Thermostat?
First things first, you should understand what a smart thermostat actually is before investing in one. These are programmable devices that enable the user to adjust temperature settings in accordance with a range of factors. These include your work-life pattern, daily routine, outdoor weather conditions, and levels of heat in different areas of the home. Operational via WiFi, smart thermostats can command your heating to switch on or off, or gradually heat up at a specific temperature, all at the touch of a button on a smartphone or tablet. Lots of different models offer lots of different functions, but that’s the general gist of these nifty little gadgets!
Smart Thermostats vs Manual Thermostats
You might be thinking that on a basic level, your existing manual thermostat can perform similar tasks to a smart one. It might take a bit more effort, but manual thermostats generally allow you to set your home heating to blast off at specific times, even if they can’t match the level of control given with smart devices! However, the main advantage that a smart thermostat provides is its ability to learn the heating patterns of your home automatically. It can heat up or cool down your home in perfect time for your return home from work or the gym, whilst maintaining the most efficient performance possible at all times. That last part is really the most important because this is what can help save you money! Essentially, smart thermostats help to ensure that heat isn’t being wasted in an empty space, and that you aren’t paying through the nose for it. What's not to like?
How to Get the Best Value from a Smart Thermostat
Of course, smart thermostats will be more expensive to purchase initially, so you need to make sure you’re getting the absolute best value out of the device once installed. To do this, you’ll need to properly program them in accordance with your typical home heating habits. If you already pay close attention to your thermostat, switching it at regular intervals when you leave the home or head to a different room, in all honesty, you could probably get by just fine with a manual one. But who has time to meticulously keep an eye on the thermostat anyway?
The biggest and best savings are noticeable in households where users program their smart thermostat properly, and make few adjustments to the set schedule. The key takeaway? Careful programming can pay long-term dividends, as your weekly and monthly energy reports should show after the installation of the device. Let's not forget either, the opportunity to adjust the heating remotely is an useful asset on the rare occasions you do need to alter from the norm!
Choosing the Right Smart Thermostat
Personal preference will largely dictate which type of smart thermostat is the right one for you.
To team with a horizontal radiator, you can’t go far wrong with the ‘aftershave bottle’ styling of the Tado Smart Radiator Thermostat (Horizontal), aesthetically at the very least. The compact thermostat tacks on neatly to the end of your chosen rad, displaying the temperature on a smart LED display. It adjusts the temperature of the room in relation to the location of its paired smartphone.
The Tado Smart Radiator Thermostat (Vertical) offers the exact same functions meanwhile, not surprisingly, for vertical radiators!
Or, there’s the versatile Milano Connect Wifi Thermostat. This is compatible with all electric heating devices, including underfloor heating. This neat spherical dial wouldn’t look out of place on the Death Star, and would afford Darth Vader plenty more chance to focus on paternal issues, with open-window detection and over-heat protection just two of the many features! It's also compatible with the most popular smart home devices such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa – perfect for tech nuts! Alexa, turn the heating on!
So, Should You Get a Smart Thermostat?
Back to the question at the crux of it all. Really, whether you should get a smart thermostat depends on your heating habits and how disciplined you currently are with adjusting your existing one manually. You're almost certain to enjoy benefits both financially and convenience-wise, which we think is definitely a positive! So, if you’re not busting your budget to make the initial investment, all in all, they’re well worth it!
Guest Post Written by John Klee - Senior Blog Editor at Best Heating - 8th June 2020