Here you have to pay attention when buying a smart thermostat

Internet & Home

smart thermostatDo you set the temperature in the house a few degrees higher from your work? Or do you want to operate each room separately? Then a smart thermostat can be a good purchase. Moreover, you have better insight into your energy consumption and in some cases, you can also save some money.

With a smart thermostat in the house, it becomes a bit easier to regulate the temperature. Not in the least because you can operate the system from any location, even without being physically present in your home. For example, you can already set the temperature in your home to a pleasant level from your work, in the car or train.

At a distance

All smart thermostats offer the possibility to be operated remotely. This can often be done with an app on your smartphone, with some systems you can also set up the business via a web interface from your browser. In addition, systems that you use via an app also provide the necessary feedback on the status of the system. You will see it when the set temperature has reached the correct value or when there is a problem with the system.

Systems and protocols

Depending on the type of boiler and heating system you have, you can choose from a number of types of smart thermostats. Important to know is that not every system is suitable for every central heating boiler/heating system. Although all smart thermostats can regulate the temperature in your home, it is important to know that there are two ways in which a smart thermostat can control a central heating boiler: via modulating or via on / off. A modulating thermostat can control the central heating in smaller steps so that different water temperatures can be generated. With an on / off system, the smart thermostat does nothing but turn the burner on at full power until the correct temperature is reached and then switch off the burner again.

With a modulating system, a special protocol is often used: OpenTherm. All modulating smart thermostats can use OpenTherm but not all central heating boilers support it. If your central heating boiler does not support OpenTherm but is modulating, that manufacturer uses its own protocol. You can sometimes opt for a smart modulating thermostat from the cv manufacturer, otherwise, you have to choose an on / off a system. Smart thermostats that work via OpenTherm also support the on / off control system. There are also systems that you can connect to your existing smart devices, such as Apple Homekit and IFTTT.

Self-learning systems

A number of smart thermostats can accurately keep track of how long it takes before a room or house is heated to the right temperature. If such a system is programmed via a time clock – for example, if the owner wants the heating to be at 21 degrees at 6 o’clock in the morning – such a system will start heating up the house earlier so that the temperature at the set time has been reached. Systems that are not self-learning you will have to enable yourself earlier.

Computer programming

Almost all smart thermostats can also work according to a clock program. Here you can, for example, set the heating to be set at 21 degrees every weekday morning between 06:00 and 08:00 and at a lower level during the day. In the evening, when everyone is backing home, the temperature can be raised again. These clock thermostats can also be set in this way via the controls on the panel itself.

Zoning

Zoning is the term used for smart thermostat systems that can serve different spaces separately. With such a system you can, for example, set the heating in the workroom a few degrees higher (let), while the temperature in the living room remains the same. For a zoning system, extra hardware is required, because apart from the smart main thermostat you need a system per room that monitors the temperature and the heating up or down. Increasing and lowering is then done by means of a motorized button which is placed on the heating button and which opens the radiator valve. When the correct temperature is reached, the tap is closed (partially) again. The motorized button replaces the button on the radiator itself,

Energy saving

According to most manufacturers, the use of a smart thermostat results in a lower energy bill. The reason often given for this is that your heating is no longer on unnecessarily when you are not at home. Do you currently have a clock thermostat that you have tuned with a good timetable, and then we expect that the saving with a smart thermostat will be very small?

Incidentally, you can save energy yourself through extra expansions on a smart thermostat, such as motorized heating valves that close automatically at the right temperature. With a number of systems, it is possible to view the actual energy consumption. This awareness can also lead to savings.

Floor and district heating

Many smart thermostats have the ability to operate underfloor heating systems and/or cooperate with district heating systems. Underfloor heating systems work independently of the central heating system so that a smart thermostat must have a second connection with the control of the floor heating. A number of smart thermostats can also be used with district heating. This form of heating enters the house directly in higher temperatures, after which it is cooled by the system or heated up to reach the right temperature, depending on where the heat is needed.

Thermostats tested

At the time of writing, we are busy with testing various thermostats. You will soon be able to read the results on this site.

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