A thermostat or a home radiator is the saviour when it comes to combating the temperature as it dances around the sub-zero category around Christmas arrival.
If you are looking for a smart radiator valve to automate your heating requirements, then keep on reading as we discuss your room heating needs, and help you zero in on the right product.
What are Smart Radiator Valves
Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV’s) are found on individual radiators and can be used to adjust the temperature of each radiator. If you’re wondering what a smart radiator valve is (also known as a smart TRV), it’s the connected equivalent that allows the radiator settings to be controlled from a central app. This is useful for two reasons:
- Zoned Heating: Whilst central smart thermostats control the entire home’s heating, with the use of smart radiator valves, you can set temperatures for individual rooms.
- District / Shared Heating: If you share a central boiler with other homes or flats, you cannot fit a central smart thermostat. That’s where smart radiator valves can help make your home heating a bit smarter.
Smart Radiator Valve Buyers Guide
Here are the key considerations you should keep in mind when buying smart radiator valves:
Compatibility with your existing devices
If you plan to fit smart radiator valves, you’ll need to ensure they are compatible with your existing heating system:
- Smart TRV’s do not work with electric radiators (use smart plugs or get a smart electric heater instead)
- You will need to have existing ‘dumb’ radiators valves as the smart valves retrofit over the top
- With some kits, you need to install a boiler link or replace your timer control panel – this may cause issues if you already have a smart thermostat
Most kits are relatively easy to set up and don’t require any professional installation. Manufacturers go to extreme lengths to ensure compatibility with older radiators.
Number of zones required
If you have a small home, this should not be an issue, but if you have a larger home you’ll want to ensure the system can expand enough and keep the cost in mind too as it can soon mount up, especially for the systems that require a thermostat in every room as well as the valves.
Smart Home Integration
Ensuring the system integrates with your preferred smart home ecosystem is key. Several of the smart radiator valves now work with Alexa and Google Home, plus some also work with IFTTT, Home Assistant and HomeKit for Apple users.
Best Smart Radiator Valve Starter Kits
Here are the best smart radiator valve starter kits currently available in the UK:
- Best Overall: Tado
- Runner Up: Netatmo
- Fully Integrated Heating/Cooling: Honeywell Evohome
- For DIY Zigbee Smart Homes: MoesGo Tuya
- Budget Pick: Drayton Wiser
- For Shared/District Heating: Bosch Room Climate
- For Hive Users: Hive Smart TRV
Below, you’ll find full reviews of each kit along with pros and cons, plus the link to buy.
Tado Starter Kit
Our favourite starter kit with everything you need to make your radiator valves smart, and at a very reasonable price too.
The smart radiator by tado is as easy as it can get. You do not need to call in an expert for installing it. Unscrew the old valve and install the new right away. No elaborate tutorials or process that needs to be followed.
When it comes to the features, one that stands out is Geofencing. Using the location on your phone, it notifies you to turn down the heat when the last person has left or turned it up when a person is expected to arrive. Moreover, the heating can be regulated automatically with the auto-assist skill.
Furthermore, Tado knows when you’ve opened a window from the fast drop in temperature. It can use this information to turn down the radiators in that room to prevent wasted enegry.
All the digital features are pulled together within the app which can help you keep an eye on the overall heating system and to manage the settings for different zones of the house.
The starter kit includes both a thermostat and a radiator valve, if you wish to expand the kit you will need one thermostat per room and one radiator valve per radiator. Not only is this one of our favourite smart heating valve starter kits, but also one of the best priced.
Netatmo Smart Radiator Valve Starter Kit
Another great smart home system from Netatmo’s leading range. Works with district heating or conventional boilers.
Netatmo is a French company that has a broad range of smart home products from security cameras to smoke detectors. All of their products are high quality, so you won’t be surprised to find that their smart radiator valve kit is top of the range too.
As well as looking very sleek and blending in with your radiator, they are really functional too. Two heating modes, comfort and economy, work to maintain the heat on a room-by-room basis. Comfort mode directs the radiator valves to heat up the rooms whilst economy tells it to limit the temperature.
The room by room heating schedule helps save energy while you sleep, literally! Heat only the bedrooms at night time while decreasing the temperature in the rest of the house.
The starter kit shared here contains both a smart thermostat and radiator valve, you only need one thermostat per home so it’s easily expandable with additional radiator valves.
Netatmo’s energy app allow you to set up and control your heating from anywhere in the world. This is particualrly helpful for when you’re away from the home as the absent mode maintains the minimum amount of actviity to prevent frost build up.
The system is suitable for both collective/district heating systems as well as traditional boilers. With traditional boilers, the thermostat controls your overall boiler, whilst the radiator valves allow zoning of the rooms.
Honeywell Evohome Radiator Controller Starter Pack
Honeywell’s Evohome ecosystem is an all-in-one platform for controlling all your heating and cooling appliances including underfloor and AC
Evohome is Honeywell’s smart heating ecosystem. The biggest benefit of this system is that it can incorporate almost any kind of heating or cooling system in to one platform. This includes hot water, underfloor heating, electric radiators and more. Choose this option if you plan to expand your smart home in the future to add other forms of heating.
Their Evohome smart TRV’s are used on individual radiators to allow zoning. Note that you will also need the Honeywell thermostat and boiler relay which doesn’t currently come bundled with this kit.
Like what is being offered by Netatmo, an evohome wireless radiator also supports smart assistants such as Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Alexa, and more. On top of that, the functionalities can be extended thanks to IFTTT compatibility.
Each of the valves sports a bright digital LED display that offers a lot of information than just the temperature. Check the heating mode, wireless connection status, and more.
Weather changes at the drop of a hat in the UK. Let the different heating modes such as holiday, eco, and day-off ensure 24*7 comfort.
MoesGo Tuya Radiator Valve
If you have a smart home running on Zigbee, the MoesGo Tuya Radiator Valves make a great addition
This product does require the Tuya Zigbee Gateway Hub to operate properly, once set up you can use with Alexa and Google Home via the Tuya smartlife skill. That being said, some users have shared experiences of using the product with other Zigbee hubs, but you cannot fully rely on this.
The valves are great for DIY smart homers who love to integrate tech from various manufacturers. It can be used in conjunction with any other boiler control that integrates with Smartlife, Alexa, Google Assistant or Home Assistant.
You can utilise the automatic scheduler or manually set schedules in detail with up to 6 periods per day and multiple weekly schedules to choose from.
If you do choose automatic control, there is open window detection. It can detect a drop in temperature below the threshold and turns off the heat for 15 minutes, or until the temperature rises again.
Drayton Wiser Multi-Zone Kit
A ‘Wiser’ choice for your wallet (sorry about the pun). This smart radiator starter kit includes smart TRVs, a thermostat and a control panel that replaces your existing timer
Drayton Wiser is among the cheapest of the smart radiator valves currently available. In this pack you get a thermostat and two radiator valves for less than £100 which is incredibly good value.
The control panel (not pictured in the image but is included) is designed to be a simple replacement for your existing control panel and uses a standard base plate for easy install. There are different kits to suit your needs, including a pack for combi boilers or conventional boilers.
The smart radiator valves fit on to your existing valves using the included ring, no need to drain your radiators so the installation is simple. You can add on as many thermostats and valves as you need, up to 32 different radiators and 16 different rooms per home. You can also integrate their smart plugs which could be used with other heating and cooling systems that sit outside the main system.
The one-touch app is easy to configure if your hub is already in place and the whole system can be integrated with Alexa, Google Home and IFTTT. The Drayton Wiser system has eco-mode, comfort mode and away mode which is what you’d typically expect.
Bosch Room Climate Starter Kit
The Bosch system works reliably and without relying on any central boiler, so makes a great option for shared or district heating systems.
Bosch is the parent company of Worcester who make most of the boilers in the UK, which makes them the perfect brand to turn to smart heating systems. But ironically, this system works completely independent of a boiler so is better suited to district or shared heating systems.
This system differs as the thermostat is built in to the TRV itself, this means there are less products to worry about but does mean that they are quite big and a little unsightly. You’ll need to make sure that there is room to fit them.
Hive Smart Radiator Valve
If you’re one of the 1million+ homes that have a Hive heating system, adding their smart TRV is a great way to ensure compatibility.
Hive, from British Gas, is one of the biggest smart home systems in the UK with over a million households using their smart thermostat. If you’re one of those customers, then opting for a Hive smart radiator valve seems like a great choice to ensure full integration with the rest of your system.
Add one of these to your existing Hive set up and create a multi-zone heating system for your dwelling. With the help of the Hive app, you can create custom temperature profiles for different rooms, with a set of specific schedules.
The valves have a heat on-demand feature that will come in handy when the Hive thermostat is installed along with it. As designed, the valve will boost the thermostat as and when required in the room.
Even if you don’t have the Hive heating setup, you can still use this product, although it isn’t always as reliable. If you don’t have a Hive system already, we would recommend you look at some of the alternatives mentioned before that are more reliable and affordable.