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The Internet of Things—or connected home devices—has grown hugely. In 2018, there were an estimated 7 billion devices, by 2019 that figure had reached 26.66 billion. In 2020 it was estimated that 127 new IoT devices were connected to the web every second. Your thermostat is only the latest item to become “smart,” but it can be hugely beneficial to both the environment and your wallet. Here’s what to consider before adding one to your basket.

Most smart thermostats will work with most types of heating systems and individual boilers—including gas boilers, oil boilers, condensing boilers, heat pumps, underfloor heating, and OpenTherm systems. Depending on your existing system—and your confidence in your ability—you may be able to install it yourself. Otherwise you can sometimes buy installation as part of the package, or you may find it less expensive to have a local tradesman do it for you.

Many thermostats come with an accompanying app on your phone to control your devices. Plenty of models will also integrate with home assistants, such as Alexa and Google Home, enabling voice control as well. Some systems even allow you to install individual smart radiator valves that make your entire heating system controllable from a single app.

 Different systems come with different features, so check if specific attributes are important to you. Many use knowledge of the external weather to ensure that the boiler is set and that pipes don’t freeze in cold weather, can use the geolocation function of various phones in the house to ensure that your home isn’t being heated when nobody is there, and you can enter you holiday dates to make sure you come home to a warm house.

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