Although it's been over a decade since the first real smartphone was introduced, it hasn't been until a few years ago that everything has become smarter. No longer just phones, we now have smart TVs, smart watches, smart fridges and even smart clothing.
For something to be "smart" it has to meet at least one requirement: that we can connect to it remotely, like the WiFi thermostat we are going to talk about in this article.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best WiFi thermostats
- 2 Advantages of a WiFi thermostat
- 3 Is a WiFi thermostat compatible with my boiler?
- 4 How to install a WiFi thermostat
- 5 Best WiFi thermostat brands
Best WiFi thermostats
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If you want a safe bet, you might be interested in this NTH01 from Netatmo. It's a very popular WiFi thermostat that gets very good reviews from its buyers, partly because it has everything we might need, like support for voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri. With this we can control the thermostat not only remotely as we would do with a mobile device, but we can also do it with the voice, something that will improve even more if we are owners of a smart watch like Apple Watch Apple.
In terms of other functions or specifications, the NTH01 has programs that will allow us to set schedules to turn the boiler on and off automatically, includes the Auto-Adapt function that adapts the temperature taking into account the external temperature, has a design that looks good in almost any scenario, is compatible with most current boilers and is easy to install, which is always a plus because it will allow us to save us the euros that we would have to pay a specialist technician.
Honeywell Home Y6R910WF6042
Another of the WiFi thermostat brands that users like the most is Honeywell. It probably has a lot to do with the design of their products, and this Home Y6R910WF6042 is a good example of that. When it's turned off, we see something that will look good on any wall, but what it displays on screen is also very neat. True, none of this would be important if it didn't work well and offer interesting features, and this is something that this Honeywell also does.
This WiFi thermostat is compatible with voice assistantsThe most popular ones are Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri and Google Home, as long as we combine it with the necessary hardware to take advantage of this function. Like any good self-respecting WiFi thermostat, it also has programs that allow us to configure when it turns on and when it turns off.
Nest Learning 3
As we explained, that a thermostat is WiFi usually also means that it is intelligent. And if there is a really smart one it is this one that developed by Google. In the name of the model they have included the word "Learning", and they have done so because it includes a different intelligent programming that adjusts automatically, for which it checks our favorite temperatures, the insulation of our house and the external weather conditions. In addition to this, it also controls where our mobile phones are to avoid heating empty rooms.
This Nest is compatible with iOS and Androidwhich means we can control it with an iPhone/iPad/Apple Watch or our Samsung phone/tablet, Xiaomi and so on, taking advantage of wireless connections. It's a very popular brand, so it's no surprise that it's compatible with most of today's boilers and heating systems.
BTicino Smarther SX8000
If you are looking for a discreet WiFi thermostatthis BTicino has been designed with you in mind. Especially if our wall is white, this device will camouflage perfectly on our wall, as its color and everything displayed on the screen stands out very little or nothing.
On the other hand, it includes the programs that will allow us to configure when it is turned on and off, but with the difference that these will work even if the WiFi network is disconnected. We will be able to control it remotely with an iPhone or iPad and Android devices.
MOES WiFi Smart Thermostat
If you are not a very demanding user and what you are most interested in is a tlow-cost WiFi thermostatIf you're looking for a thermostat, the first thing you need to check out is something like this one from MOES. In terms of features and compatibility, it's far from the versatility of other options, but it makes sense when you consider that this thermostat is priced four times less than other full-featured thermostats.
But just because it doesn't have the flashiest features doesn't mean it won't work, because this MOES WiFi thermostat has programs that allow you to set when it turns on and when it turns off, we will be able to control it with our voiceIt is compatible with many boilers and heating systems and is very accurate.
Advantages of a WiFi thermostat
The theory tells us that smart consumes more power, but this is only true when we are talking about a device, such as a smartphone, and we have it all turned on. On other devices, one of the benefits that we will obtain will be the saving. And is that a normal thermostat, "dumb" or non-intelligent is running at the same level continuously unless we stop it manually. For this reason, the consumption will be done in a sustained manner, which will not always be necessary. In addition, this can mean that there will be times when we spend more heat than necessary.
This does not usually happen if our thermostat is intelligent. In addition to what we will explain in the next point, there are thermostats that include or are compatible with motion sensorsThe way they work is the same as what we see in some smart buildings with their lighting: when they detect movement, they work; when there has been no movement for a while, they switch off. Therefore, this type of thermostats will only consume energy when they think there is no one to heat.
The fact that a thermostat is WiFi usually also means that it is programmablewhich is one of the most important points in this type of appliance. Anyone can imagine a situation in which we leave work, arrive home and, when we enter, it is almost as cold as the outside. This can be avoided with a programmable thermostat: if we know that we leave work at 8pm and that we will arrive home at 8.20pm, we can program it to switch on at 8.05pm and, in the 15 minutes it will take us to arrive, our home will be waiting for us with a more pleasant temperature. In some cases, we can program it to heat only one room, such as the dining room where, as soon as we arrive, we will watch the latest episode of our favourite series.
Compatible with Alexa, Siri and Google Home
A WiFi thermostat is going to connect to the internet, and it would make little sense to offer this possibility if it did not have a "smart" part. That smart part will be the one that will allow us to control them with mobile devices and, in some cases, with populare voice assistantss, such as Amazon, Apple and Google, which are Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant respectively. This compatibility, the only thing that is going to bring us is greater comfort, since all the configurations we could do them with the smartphone or tablet without assistant, but doing things with the voice is much more comfortable and faster. For example, if what we have is a thermostat compatible with Apple's HomeKit, controlling it will be as simple as raising the Apple Watch and asking it, for example, to lower the temperature to a certain number or a few degrees in particular.
Control from your mobile
The above will always be the most convenient, but we have to have software and hardware compatible with the assistants. If they're not an option, what will be is do the formalities from your mobile phone or tablet. In some cases, the transactions can also be done from a computer, but the brand has to offer this possibility, which usually comes in the form of a web service.
To be able to do this, all we need to do is to install the manufacturer's mobile appThe management will be done in a similar way to how we make changes in the settings, or as when we create a calendar event. The latter will be much more similar if what we want to do is to program a schedule. And best of all, we can do it all from our couch.
Personally, I am not someone who is very interested in statistics of this type, but I am aware that others are. With these stats we will have total control over what we have, and we will be able to consult them from the same app which allows us to carry out the rest of the tasks. In addition, it can be used to know if the thermostat has been activated at any time, so we can know if there has been someone in our house, in which rooms and at what temperature. In part, we can use it as a spy, especially if we have a family member who likes to walk around our house when he should not. That you were not? My app says otherwise.
Is a WiFi thermostat compatible with my boiler?
It depends on both the thermostat and the boiler, but more on the boiler than the thermostat. And there are still many old boilers, as old as the house they are in, but WiFi thermostats are much more modern. If our boiler is relatively modern, it is most likely to be compatible with the thermostat, but the best way to find out for sure is go to the manufacturer's support website and check it out from there.
Having looked at several, I have found that the websites of most WiFi thermostats include all sorts of information, including interactive tools to find out if our boiler will be compatible with the thermostat we want to buy. If the page is not so modern and complete, a call to the support telephone number should clear up any doubts, but it is not worth rushing madly and buy without consulting because this can lead us to initiate a return process that would not have been necessary if we had previously been well informed.
And the fact is that there are many types of boilers and some thermostats or brands are not compatible with all heating systemssuch as solar or some of them or hybrids. Better to err on the side of asking questions than not asking any questions at all and wasting your time.
How to install a WiFi thermostat
Well, not all WiFi thermostats are the same, but they are very similar. Installation is usually very simple for those of us who have done some small installation in our home, and usually we will only need a private WiFi network, a smartphone or tablet and a little time that we will invest in the following:
- If we have not done it previously, we go to the website of the thermostat manufacturer and check that it is compatible with our boiler and its type of installation.
- The next step, the first of the installation itself, is to disconnect the current from the main switch of our house. This step must be done whenever we are going to manipulate the current, at least if we are not electricians and we know exactly what we are doing with respect to the electric current.
- If necessary, we remove the protection or trim of the boiler to be able to work more comfortably.
- In the box should have come some wires that we will use to connect the thermostat to the boiler. In general, we have to look at connectors 3 and 4, LS and Lr, TA or RT and also P-N or L-N.
- With everything in place, we reassemble the boiler.
- Next, we reconnect the power from the main switch that we had disconnected in step 2 and go on to configure the thermostat relay. If everything is connected correctly, when the relay is switched on, the boiler will turn on and when it is switched off, it will turn off. If we do not see this behaviour, we have to check that the wires are all in place and making a good contact.
- We power the thermostat, which means we put the batteries in it if it runs on batteries, the battery if it uses a battery or, very rarely, we connect it to a power socket if it is wired.
- We mount the thermostat close to the boiler, for which we can use the tools that came in the thermostat box. The thermostat must be at least 1m away from any source of heat or cold so that it does not give wrong readings. It must be kept away from windows, heaters or any other cooling system.
- Download the thermostat manufacturer's app on your mobile or tablet. If requested, we register.
- Finally, we configure the thermostat following the instructions that appear in the app.
If the above has not made it clear to you, which is logical because it is a general explanation, it is recommended to follow the instructions that you will find either on the box or on the manufacturer's website, but personally I think that the best option is to search for them on YouTubewhere either the brand or another user can show us how to assemble our WiFi thermostat in images that will make everything clearer.
Best WiFi thermostat brands
Netatmo is a company based in France, founded in 2011 and specialised in manufacture and sell home automation productsthat is to say, to provide our homes with some intelligence. In its catalog we find items such as security cameras, weather sensors, smoke detectors or anti-fire or WiFi thermostats of the most liked among users.
Nest is another young company (2010) specializing in making and selling home automation devices. It lasted a short time being small, as it was doing things so well that Google acquired it to include it in your equipment. In its catalog we find all kinds of items for smart homes or make them smart, such as speakers, screens, streaming devices, smoke detectors, routers, security systems and much more, but all of them smart. They also manufacture WiFi thermostats, ones that were already good when the company was founded and that improved when Google bought the company, as they improved their support with the rest of the components of the big G's family.
Withins is a French-based company, the second of the three we'll mention in this article, but unlike the first, it's not solely and exclusively dedicated to making and selling smart home products. What it actually does are connected" deviceswhich means that you can create any device that can be connected to the internet or to another smart device such as a phone, tablet or computer. It has a wide catalog, and in it we find, for example, smart scales and WiFi thermostats. Like Nest, Withings was also doing very well, so it was bought by another major company, in this case Nokia.
BTcino is a company global specialist in electrical and digital home infrastructures and buildings of all kinds, but dominates especially in lighting control, power distribution, structured cabling, trunking systems and monitoring facilities. Among the items it manufactures and sells are devices such as WiFi thermostats that tend to get good reviews from buyers.
Legrand is another French company that has specialised in accessories, but whose strong are the connectors, power strips, etc.. Reading the above we may wonder what this has to do with WiFi thermostats, and the answer at first would be that nothing, but Legrand has existed for over 150 years, long enough to learn to do something else and also manufacture other types of accessories, such as the protagonists of this article that we use to heat us.
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