Best smart thermostat 2021

(Pocket-lint) – Clever heating systems have really come into their own over the last few years, with several solutions available to allow you to control your heating using your smartphone.

The systems that exist all look to make it simpler and easier to control your home heating, whether you’re out and about or on the sofa, while also aiming to help you save money.

Here is a round-up of some of the best smart heating solutions available, what features they offer and how they could help you save a few pennies.

Best smart thermostats available to buy today

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Nest Learning Thermostat (Third-Generation)

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Nest’s third-gen Learning Thermostat may have been superseded in the US and Canada by a cheaper model, but this is still the top dog for most users.

Over a couple of weeks, the device will learn when you like to have the heating on, for how long and at what temperature. Eventually, it will pick up patterns – when you leave the house on a Tuesday, how long you lie-in on a Saturday and if you have an empty house every other Friday.

The True Radiant feature is on board, too, to help reduce temperature swings, starting heating early so you get the temperature you want when you want it. 

Naturally, the device will also connect to your Wi-Fi for online weather forecasts, with a 150-degree sensor on board to detect if anyone is home.

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Tado Smart Thermostat V3+

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Tado can be retrofitted to your current heating set-up and uses a cloud-based heating app to allow you to control your heating from your smartphone.

With its V3+ system, the panel allows users to experience greater control – the LED lights display the current temperature, while this can also be adjusted in individual zones via the Smart Radiator Thermostats. Air quality control is available through the app, as well.

Tado will also your smartphone’s location so it knows when you have left the house and when you will be returning and it uses what the company calls “model predictive control”. This technology can even take into account the weather outside, when you’re likely to return home and how long your house typically takes to heat up.

Its compatibility with all the smart assistants, including Apple’s HomeKit, means you can use voice to turn the heating up or down, too.

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Honeywell Evohome

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Honeywell’s Evohome is a wireless-connected heating system that will let you control individual radiators and therefore specific rooms. It connects to your boiler and existing radiators and you will be able to control the entire heating system through a central console or smartphone app.

Evohome allows you to control up to 12 zones and within those zones you can control each radiator down to a set degree in temperature, but you can also set the same temperature throughout the entire house if you prefer.

There are a number of preset settings that give you the option to reduce the entire house by a few degrees or override the system entirely and the Evohome system is compatible with IFTTT, Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.

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Nest Learning Thermostat E

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The Nest Learning Thermostat E offers many of the same features as the Learning Thermostat, including the ability to learn your schedule and routine and the True Radiant feature, but for a cheaper price.

It has a frosted display and a white polycarbonate finish, enabling it to blend into its surroundings a little more. Installation is also a breeze – the Thermostat E itself features a built-in stand, offering more placement flexibility compared to the Thermostat 3.0. 

The Thermostat E doesn’t have the Farsight feature for displaying the weather, time or temperature on the display all the time, nor does it support hot water control, but it still offers premium build quality and plenty of great features.

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Hive Active Heating 2.0

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Hive’s Active Heating 2.0 is an excellent all-round system, replacing your existing thermostat with a wireless system and connection to your broadband.

Once you’ve had it installed, you will be able to control heating and hot water using the Hive app. You can also set alerts to let you know when your house has changed temperature, and the system comes with a modern-looking thermostat that you can use to change your settings or set schedules when you are at home.

You can actually buy multiple thermostats if you want to set different rooms to different temperatures, but all will be controllable through the same app. And for those who want voice activations, it’s worth knowing that Active Heating 2.0 is supported by Google Assistant and Alexa.

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Honeywell Lyric T6 Smart Thermostat

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Honeywell offers a number of connected heating products, including the aforementioned Evohome, but the T6 is a great pick for those who need wide smart assistant support.

The Lyric T6 offers heating control via your smartphone or tablet, like the rest of the services on this list, but it does a little less than Honeywell’s Evohome offering. There is no multi-zone control, for example, though it does offer location-based temperature control via a Geofence. 

The T6 will monitor your smartphone location to determine whether you are home or away, and both are programmable with seven-day scheduling.

As we say, one of the big pulls of the Lyric T6 is compatibility – users of Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT are all catered for.

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Netatmo Smart Thermostat

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The Netatmo Smart Thermostat offers the same remote access as others, while also aiming to strike a balance between functionality and design.

You can control and monitor your heating anytime and anywhere using the app (or indeed the controller itself), and, after you’ve answered a few initial questions at setup, the company claims it will adapt to your lifestyle by observing your habits and creating a program based on them.

The Netatmo Smart Thermostat is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit, and control of individual zones is also available with the Netatmo Smart Radiator Valves. 

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Ecobee SmartThermostat

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Ecobee has plenty of great smart thermostat and heating control systems to recommend, but the latest and greatest is the Ecobee SmartThermostat. To make it easier for those that are keeping count, this is the fifth-generation model, also known as the Ecobee5.

We emphasise this distinction because, in truth, it’s hard to tell the difference by simply looking at the latest model. Packed inside, though, is plenty more functionality than we’ve seen before.

The biggest inclusion over previous models is full-fledged Alexa support – there’s both a speaker and microphone, giving it the ability to harness features like Drop-In, Alexa Calling and Announcements. 

The smart sensors that integrate with it have also been tweaked, with better battery life and range. And though it’s able to offer the most complete integration with Alexa, it’s also able to connect with Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT.

Writing by Britta O’Boyle. Editing by Max Freeman-Mills.





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