Smart heating has become one of the biggest smart home growth areas, and it's easy to see why - not only does it offer convenience, but through smart scheduling and location features it can also help you cut down your energy usage, helping both your monthly bill and the environment.
The starting point for most people is a smart thermostat like the Nest, but that's a blunt tool that only lets you turn the heating on or off across your whole house at once. Then there are more comprehensive smart heating systems that include loads of kit, but these can quickly climb into costing hundreds and hundreds.
A good compromise for most could be to just buy a few smart TRVs - or thermostatic radiator valves. These can be bought individually and fitted to the radiators in your home, letting you remotely turn individual radiators up or down, and thus control your heating room-by-room. Buying them individually means you only need to get the amount you need to give yourself control of the specific rooms you care about.
Bear in mind that some of these valves will still require you to buy the respective company's smart home hub or smart thermostat to function, so it might not be as simple as just buying a few valves. Look out for bundles that include a valve or two together with the appropriate hub. This also means it's not easy to mix and match brands - you're better off picking one to stick with, and you should also consider what other smart home products that manufacturer offers, as some go well beyond heating.
Smart radiator valve reviews
1. Eve Thermo
- Reviewed on: 21 January 2020
The Eve Thermo is a good option for Apple users who either don't want to invest in a full smart heating system or want a smart TRV that'll work with their existing smart home ecosystem.
The Eve is a well-designed device with an app to match. It attaches easily to a radiator and can be used to set a heating schedule for a single room, or, using Apple HomeKit, in conjunction with other Eve or Apple smart home products.
Read our Eve Thermo review.
- Reviewed on: 28 January 2016
So, what do we think of the Devolo home control system as a smart heating system? Even though it was designed with the whole home in mind, the heating accessories make the Devolo system a great smart heating system, although not as invasive as the likes of Hive and Nest. Unlike those, you don’t need an engineer to install it – in fact, it only took us minutes to do it ourselves. It provides per-room temperature control, where Nest and Hive can only control the temperature of the house as a whole. However, to control the boiler you'll need the smart thermostat as well.
The app experience lets it down a bit, but the full website more than makes up for a frustrating mobile app. Devolo’s additional accessories can turn a dumb home smart, and it can be a gradual process as all accessories are sold separately.
- Reviewed on: 19 March 2019
The Lightwave smart radiator valve has a few downsides - it's bulky, pricy, and requires the Lightwave hub to work - but once you get it up and running it's a solid, reliable smart heating setup for room-by-room control.
The app itself is a little fiddly at first, but if you can't get the hang of it you can always just use voice controls anyway - the kit is compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit, so it'll fit right into any existing smart home setup.
This is undeniably a better buy for people who are already invested in Lightwave's ecosystem of smart light switches and plug sockets - or are considering the investment - and if you don't fancy the rest of the Lightwave range you can probably do better elsewhere.
Read our Lightwave Smart Radiator Valve review.