Smart Thermostats (not meters!) and saving money

Hi all,

Has anyone replaced their thermostat with a smart, wifi-connected one? I’m looking at doing that, so up for any tips or things to watch out for.

I have a Worcester combi boiler connected to an old Salus RT500RF programmable thermostat. All my radiators are controlled by this (one zone). I’m in a 3-bed old stone house built 1860ish. Double glazing but not much insulation.

I’m thinking of getting a Salus IT500 (linky) as from what I read you can just plug a receiver module into your boiler (mine is compatible) and it’s all go.

I’ve not looked at doing anything to my radiators, or fitting anything else in rooms, but interested in suggestions. I have an hour’s commute to get home, and it can vary unexpectedly between 4pm and 8pm so being able to turn on the heat when I set off home would be perfect.

Thanks

I installed a Nest Thermostat just under two years ago and although I don’t have exact figures, I suspect it has saved me quite a bit of money over having a standard thermostat.

Being able to turn on and off your heating wherever you are is extremely useful. Nest will do it based on your phone’s GPS location (which works OK) and also in theory figure out when you’re going home and how long it’ll take with Google Now integration and switch your heating on automatically in advance of you getting home (which works less OK in my experience, I tend to just do it manually).

If you were interested in a Nest, CEF had them on offer when I was in the Leeds store at the weekend (£159.99 IIRC) so that might be worth a look.
It’s just requires some basic cabling from your boiler to the Heat Link and then is wireless to the on-wall/stand thermostat. It should just need exactly the same cabling as your Salus RT500RF.

I can’t personally comment on the new Salus thermostat you mentioned. I’ve never heard of it before.

Thanks, @mowcius , good info about your Nest.

I’m going to do a bit of research on the various manufacturers before I decide, and will definitely be finding out more about Nest as it seems to be well-rated, if a bit more expensive.

Interested to know if anyone’s gone further - with smart radiator valves for example.

@gavinramsay, hit me up if you have any specific questions on the Nest. They have just let me know that I need to update the connection to Google Assistant so the ‘time to home’ feature may now be improved from when I last used it. I’ll give it another test soon.

I’ve had a look at smart radiator valves but IMO, they’re super expensive (for what they are) and don’t actually work very well.
To actually work, the sensor would need to be a lot further away from the radiator, and there are a few gotchas with how most people’s radiators, thermostat position, and heating system are set up that also limit the effectiveness of even a basic TRV over just turning the radiator valve down a bit.

Multi-zone heating is really the way to go but that’s not normally an easy retrofit, even if someone needed a new boiler!