Hive on heating: smart thermostats and boilers

Smart thermostats have revolutionised the way we heat our homes. Super-charging your boiler and giving you complete control of your heating and hot water, wherever you are.

In this article we’re going to take a closer look at how smart thermostats and boilers work together. So if you’re wondering how to connect a wireless thermostat to your boiler or why you should use one, you’ve come to the right place.


How do smart thermostats work with boilers?

A smart thermostat connects your boiler to your smartphone via the internet. This means you can set, adjust and turn off the heating when you’re at home and when you’re not.


How does a smart thermostat connect to your boiler?

Most smart thermostats are made up of three parts: a hub, a receiver, and the smart thermostat.

The hub plugs into your broadband router and the receiver is then wired up to the boiler. This connects your boiler to the internet so it can be controlled remotely and allows it to talk to your smart thermostat.


How to connect a smart thermostat to your boiler:

Every smart thermostat connects up a little bit differently. We’d always recommend calling in the experts (here at Hive, we partner with British Gas engineers). But if you’re experienced with electrical wiring, here’s how to connect a Hive thermostat to your boiler:

  1. Connect the Hive hub up to your broadband router using the network cable provided. Then fit the power cable into the hub and plug it into a power socket.

  2. Before you go any further, make sure the mains supply to the central heating is off.

  3. Once that’s done, fit the receiver in a convenient location close to your boiler but at least 30cm away from large metal objects (to avoid interference with radio signals).

  4. Finish setting up your thermostat using the Hive app.


Can a smart thermostat work with any boiler?

Smart thermostats typically work with most boilers. But if you find one you like, we’d recommend double checking with the manufacturer before clicking ‘buy’.

Hive Active Heating works with most UK gas and LPG central heating systems, as well as most oil boilers. And if you have a separate hot water tank, it can control that too.

Electric boilers are a bit different. If your boiler works with a standard room thermostat or programmer, then Hive can control it. But it doesn’t work with storage heaters or individual plug-in electric room heaters.


Why should you use a smart thermostat for your boiler?

Where do we start! A programmable thermostat fixed to the wall in your hallway is great if you have the same schedule every day. But luckily life isn’t quite so predictable.

What happens if you decide to go for a drink after work? Or there’s an unexpected sunny spell. All the while your boiler is merrily heating your home.

With a smart thermostat you can quickly adjust the schedule using your smartphone.

And there are heaps more benefits too. Some, like our Hive thermostat, come with a geo-location feature that will send you an alert if you go out leaving the heating on. And another one when you’re on the way home again. So you can always come home to a warm house, without ever heating an empty one.

Lots of smart thermostats also come with a weather-response function. They’ll monitor the weather and automatically adjust the boiler thermostat temperature. So if there’s a sudden cold spell outside, it will notch the temperature up inside, without you needing to do a thing.

Useful features like this are a great way to make everyday life a little easier. Find out more about our award-winning smart thermostat, Hive Active Heating, on our main website.

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