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Smart Thermostat Guide: All You Need to Know

Author: Alyssia Dudley
Updated: Oct 19, 2023
8 minutes read

Modern technology helps us run our lives more efficiently, so it makes perfect sense to use a smart thermostat to improve the way you control your heating.

Easy to add to just about any boiler, these thermostats provide a superior level of flexibility to the way you control your heating, so you can enjoy a tailored heating experience.

Why the need? How often is your heating left on when your home is empty? How many times have you come home or woken up to a cold house? With a smart thermostat, you don’t have to endure unwelcome temperatures.

Personalised heating that’s fit for purpose means precious energy doesn’t go to waste. Meanwhile, you’ll reap savings on your energy bill and reduce your carbon use.

Smart boiler controls make automatic adjustments. You can also manage how your home is heated yourself from wherever you are during the day. Mobile apps and wireless connections mean whether you’re at work, home or on the go, organising how your home is heated is easy when you have a smart thermostat in place.

Here’s your complete guide to smart thermostats for all you need to know before you install.

A Nest smart thermostat sitting on a table

What Is a Smart Thermostat?

These devices connect your boiler to the internet and your chosen devices so you can manage your heating in a greater range of more personalised ways from anywhere.

Making it possible to control your heating from your phone, a tablet, a PC and more, you can ensure your heating is responsive to your changing daily needs.

The smart thermostat is a highly intelligent piece of software which can perform a multitude of functions to automatically adjust your heating to suit your needs. Unlike a manual thermostat, with smart controls in place you’re not restricted to only being able to make adjustments yourself.


Most smart thermostats provide heating control but top-performing brands, such as Hive and Nest, include options to manage your hot water. Standard functions include things like: wireless connections and apps for management of heating from anywhere, whether in the home or on the go.

More advanced models offer further automation with tools such as voice activation and learning software which tailors your heating to your common routines and daily weather forecasts.

How Much Does a Smart Thermostat Cost?

Considering the many advantages they offer, smart thermostat costs are very reasonable. Cheaper brands and models can be bought for around £60.

If you’re not too concerned about automation and just want to be able to manage your heating from your phone or a tablet on the go, well-known brands such as Amazon offer solid options that are more affordable.

At the higher end of the market, industry-leading brands such as Ecobee, Hive and Nest have all the latest features.

GPS to track how close you are to home, temperature alerts, snazzy colour displays, sensors, connections to voice controls, such as Alexa, data reports and more, all help to make your heating use as efficient as possible. For these additional functions, prices can rise as high as £200 – 300.

Smart Boilers

Smart thermostats connect to your existing boiler so unless you want to purchase a new boiler at the same time, you’ll only be paying for a new thermostat. If you are buying a new boiler and want to make it smart, you can simply purchase a smart boiler control at the same time.

The leading smart boiler control brands, such as Ecobee, Hive and Nest, make universal smart controls that can be used with different boiler makes. Smart devices are everywhere so there are lots of universal options from well-known brands you can trust, such as Bosch and Sensi.

Alternatively, you can purchase a smart thermostat from the manufacturer of your boiler. Each of the boiler brands, including Worcester, Valliant and Baxi, make their own smart thermostats to complement their boiler models.

Offering different models and features, if you want an exact match for your boiler, this is the way to go. See how smart controls from the leading boiler brands compare.

Such a wealth of options to choose from means you can pretty much find a smart thermostat to match any type or make of boiler though the options for electric boilers may be more limited. Want to know more about smart boilers? Read our complete guide to smart boilers.

Installation Costs

Smart devices are a common feature in most everyday appliances so installation will be simple and easy for most. With so many makes and degrees of complexity available, some smart thermostats will be more straightforward to install than others.

You should be able to set up your smart thermostat yourself but if you do want to hire an operative to install one, it would be a short job costing no more than £60-100.

Why Install Smart Controls?

For the same reasons we use technology across every area of our lives, smart heating controls offers advanced management over your heating use which far surpasses the limited, blanket options a manual thermostat provides.

The weather is constantly changing and so are our routines. With a smart thermometer installed, you can use technology to make it quick and easy to adjust your heating and if you have one, your cooling system, to suit your varying daily needs.

Automated technology means you don’t have to remember to make changes yourself whilst can benefiting from all sorts of assistance to help you make your energy use as efficient as possible.

Smart Thermostat Benefits

  • GPS: GPS tracking can tell when you’re close to home so your smart thermostat can turn your heating on, ensuring you’ll walk into a warm home without having had to leave the heating on for hours in a property that’s empty.
  • Turn heating on and off on the go: With a more basic device you can turn the heating on yourself as you get close to home.
  • Tailored heating: As the last person leaves the house your thermostat can switch the heating off so no-one has to be left at home in a cold house. Your smart boiler control can also be programmed to decrease the temperature when you or another family member leaves the home or to turn on or off in certain rooms.
  • Wi-Fi Connection: Wireless controls allow you to manage the heating from anywhere in the home so if you’re upstairs in bed you don’t have come downstairs in the cold to switch on the heating.
  • Multi-person and device control: Multiple connections mean different family members can control the heating, when both at home or away, from a range of devices.
  • Reporting: Data reports from advanced models enable you to track your heating use.
  • Alerts: Sensors can send alerts for things like: heat wastage from open windows, humidity or heating that’s been left on by mistake when there’s no-one at home.
  • Automated personalisation: Learning technology can remember how you like to heat your home so the temperature is always just right for you.

Each of these functions, plus the many others smart thermostats offer together prevent the hours of wasted energy we accumulate from standardised, impersonal settings on manual thermostats.

You can see the percentage savings in energy bills in the interactive graph below. This is according to various studies done by or for the manufacturer.

Providing bespoke heating controls, your smart heating thermostat will help to lower your heating bills, reduce your carbon footprint and save you lots of time. Best of all, you can leave it to do the work for you. Smart thermostats go hand in hand with a brand new boiler and can often save you money, irrespective of new boiler costs.

Which Are The Best Thermostats?

There's an enormous range of smart heating thermostats on the market, so depending how much you want your smart boiler control to do, you may not need the best thermostat to get the level of control you want.

It’s always helpful to know what the top brands offer so here’s a quick breakdown of the top features the best smart thermostats provide.

The Best Boilers of 2023 gives further information on the systems available with these new boilers.

How the Best Smart Thermostats Compare, UK

Here’s a side by side comparison for easy reference.

Want to know more about the best smart thermostats and how they compare? Find all you need to know in our smart boiler guide or get a tailored quote from our expert installers in minutes.