The labyrinth that is, the ‘Internet of Things’ is rapidly expanding throughout our homes and the consequence of this is that the competitive market on home heating technology is growing exponentially. Smart home heating devises are at the beginning of a process that will eventually see us controlling all power and fuel consumption throughout our homes, a system that can eventually make our day-to-day life more energy efficient. The purpose is simple, to deliver a heating system that is personable, easy to use and environmentally friendly.The vast majority of these systems can be fitted to a wide range of boilers within our homes; therefore their appeal has grown amongst the technophobes, plus those of us who are a bit more tech-savvy. However not all of these systems are made equal, so the question is which devise is best suited to your home.
“We love home. It’s the best place in the world.”
Who are they? – NEST was initially launched in 2011 and is owned and developed by Google. Over the years they have diversified into home security developing cameras and smoke alarms, however the NEST thermostat remains the companys Cash Cow. NEST is compatible with many third party products such as Philips and integration systems such as Control 4. The company’s latest offering is the ‘learning thermostat’ which reads your behaviours and adjusts its features to suit your life style. The devise can cool down when it knows you are away from the property to therefore save energy and ultimately save you money on your heating bills.
The Look – The next generation comes with a bigger, brighter and clearer display. The sleek design is non-intrusive so would blend in with a majority of internal surroundings. The screen can be seen from any point in the room giving you easy visual access to keep an eye on the current temperature. The display is uncluttered and very modern and acts as a simple display, not a control panel. All that information is kept on the NEST app.
Installation – The system is available to buy without installation, however we would advise against this option unless you have some experience in installing these types of devises, as it relies on mains power with a battery backup. The set up all takes place within the app and connecting the devise to your homes Wi-Fi, with simple instructions. This should be a straightforward process. However, there have been customers saying they have had issues around adding additional devises to an already installed system (for example adding a NEST smoke alarm).
Control – All of NESTs devises can be controlled via their app. However, we can also integrate them into an in-house control system such as Control 4. Meaning you can control your heating through the same app on your phone, table, TV or PC that you use to govern the rest of your home. The beauty of this is that we can programme your heating to work seamlessly with other smart technology devises in your home. For example your heating can be taught to come on at a specific time of day and turn itself down at night when your lights and TVs are turned off. The options are all bespoke to suite an individual client’s needs.
“Beautiful Design, Clever Control”
Who are they? – Hive is owned and run by British Gas and is therefore a UK only product. The company has been supplying home thermostats since 2012 and has recently branched out into creating home censers to help heighten your home security.
The Look – The new Hive active thermostat comes with a mirror like finish to help it blend in with its surroundings. It also displays a lot more information on its screen than NEST, such as the time, date, actual and target temperatures. The aesthetics of both these products depends entirely on personal taste and how minimal or impactful you prefer your interactive screens.
Installation – The Hive thermostats are solely battery powered which comes with some drawbacks. Although the main benefit is that you can move them easily around your home to suit you, from a safely aspect the feature of not having a mains backup isn’t ideal in case of a battery failure. The system is marginally easier to install than NEST, however you need to way up the plusses and minuses of having a system that isn’t mains powered.
Control – Along with NEST the Hive system can also be integrated into a smart home control system. Giving you easier access to your heating wherever you are on the planet. Both NEST and Hive have very similar app interfaces with both products offering very similar tools, the difference is simply down to personal choice.
Cost – With each devise coming in at under £200 the cost shouldn’t be the deciding factor when purchasing your heating devise. This is to help give an indication as to where the best deals can be found.
All prices are correct at the time of publishing 06/12/2016
To find out more about NEST please visit: store.nest.com
Or to find out about Hive please visit hivehome.com