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which is the best model to buy for winter 2020?

Image 1: Connected thermostat: which is the best model to buy for winter 2020?

When the mercury drops, the goal of any home quickly becomes that of improving the thermal comfort of its walls and reducing the energy bill. The thermostat is a solution to consider, all the more reason in its modernized and connected version, very practical for controlling your heating system as well as possible, whether you are at home or not.

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Our selection

Verdict:

It is one of the oldest connected thermostats on the market. If its control device remains basic (on / off), it improves over the years with the arrival of new functions, such as Auto-Adapt (taking into account insulation and outside temperature to anticipate). Thermostatic heads can complement this.

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Heating compatibility Mode of action Optional thermostatic head for multizone control Home automation interoperability
Oil / gas / wood boiler, heat pump, underfloor heating
On / off
Yes
Celiane with Netatmo – Google Home – Amazon Alexa – Apple Homekit

Technical sheet
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Verdict:

It is a fairly design thermostat and also quite complete: taking into account the thermal inertia of the housing, humidity sensor, modification of the hystrsis, detection of open window … Please note, there is a wired version and a version without wire, the latter being a little more expensive because accompanied by a radio relay.

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Heating compatibility Mode of action Optional thermostatic head for multizone control Home automation interoperability
Oil / gas / wood boiler, heat pump, electric (via dry contacts), underfloor heating, pellet pole
On / off
No (except via Tahoma box, with Danfoss heads)
Tahoma – IFTTT – Google Home – Amazon Alexa

Technical sheet
+

Verdict:

This thermostat from the German Tado is one of the most sophisticated of the moment. It learns thermal characteristics of the house and takes into account multizone control (via thermostatic head or additional thermostat), OpenTherm and certain proprietary protocols for modulation. Wireless installation requires an expansion kit.

more

Heating compatibility Mode of action Optional thermostatic head for multizone control Home automation interoperability
Oil / gas / wood boiler, heat pump, underfloor heating
On / Off – OpenTherm – Analog / digital interface for Atlantic / Bosch / Vaillant / Viessmann boilers
Yes
IFTTT – Google Home – Amazon Alexa – Apple Homekit

Technical sheet
+

What was it used for?

A connect thermostat plays the same fundamental role as a conventional room thermostat: it acts on the operation of the generator for heating the home, typically the boiler, so that the temperature reaches the value set by the user.

But his IP connection gives it some interesting additional functions: remote control through the smartphone and a mobile application, switching off and switching on the heating according to the user's geographic position, learning the habits of residents for a temperature suitable for all circumstances , algorithm which calculates the thermal inertia of the accommodation, monitoring of energy consumption?

Added to this is the time and calendar programming, already seen on a programmable thermostat, but easier to learn on the screen of a smartphone.

Does it work with all heating systems?

These thermostats operate with heating systems the most common: individual boiler (gas, fuel oil, wood / biomass), heat pump, underfloor heating, collective heating with individual valve and possibility of regulation?

Their action is most often binary (switching on and off of the boiler), more rarely modulating, which is more effective because the temperature in the water circulator is continuously adjusted to improve operation and comfort.

Recent thermostats (Nest v3, Tado v3 +) take standard language into account OpenTherm or control protocols specific to the equipment of Atlantic, Saunier Duval, elm Leblanc, etc.

When acquiring a recent model of boiler, however, it is preferable to opt for the thermostat of the same manufacturer, certainly more expensive but more and more connected and making the most of the intelligence of the boiler.

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Image 8: Connected thermostat: which is the best model to buy for winter 2020?The most recent connected thermostats are compatible with OpenTherm and certain proprietary protocols. The control of the boiler is then more precise.

Electric heating is not as well taken care of, in particular radiators controlled by pilot wire, a French particularity. However, the Qivivo thermostat (now owned by Comap) exists in a version adapted to the pilot wire.

The latest Nest models are also compatible, provided you have an electrician. Netatmo and the Muller group have developed radio modules to control the brand's radiators.

How did it get set up?

The principle is to connect the control unit, namely the thermostat, the heating unit and to establish the Internet connection, via an IP gateway which communicates with the box.

The replacement of an existing wired thermostat represents the simplest scenario : it is a question of taking the two control wires (dry contacts, without polarity) coming from the boiler and then reconnecting them to the new thermostat.

The power supply is provided by a set of batteries. Then, the WiFi gateway connects to an electrical outlet, at Somfy and Netatmo in particular, or directly to the Ethernet port of the Internet box (Tado).

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Image 9: Connected thermostat: which is the best model to buy for winter 2020?The IP gateway connects to an electrical outlet or directly to the Ethernet box, depending on the thermostat model.

If the existing thermostat communicates by radio, the replacement connected thermostat must be accompanied by a radio receiver (Somfy's radio thermostat for example), which may be available as an option (Tado extension kit).

Then you have to drop the radio relay near the boiler, then reconnect the control and power cables to the new one. The IP gateway is installed as above. That of Netatmo is however a special case, because it also acts as a radio receiver for the boiler if necessary.

In the event that the boiler does not have a relay or a thermostat, you must open the boiler cover and connect the control and power cables of the radio relay to the terminal block of the boiler. People who are angry with screwdrivers and DIY in general can turn to a professional heating contractor.

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Can we control the heating in several rooms?

If central heating serves at least two independent heating circuits, the first option is to install a thermostat per zone. Tado offers, for example, additional thermostats, dedicated to multi-zone control.

At Nest and Tado, thermostatic heads (communicating by radio), placed on the radiators, are also a means to individualize the temperature room by room. An interesting solution in a collective heating situation, however with independent radiators.

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Image 10: Connected thermostat: which is the best model to buy for winter 2020?A thermostatic head is used to individualize the temperature of a room. It communicates with an IP radio relay and can operate independently of a thermostat.

Does it fit into a home automation system?

These thermostats, for the most part, can communicate with the IFTTT platform and services Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple Homekit. Voice control and linking with other connected objects or home automation boxes are therefore possible.

The Somfy thermostat is also supported by the Tahoma box from the same manufacturer. That of Netatmo can also be controlled by the home automation application Celiane with Netatmo, by Legrand.

What savings are the key?

Heating accounts for two-thirds of a home?s energy consumption, according to Ademe, and the well-configured connected thermostat is certainly welcome to reduce the bill. The most reasonable studies speak a saving of 5 15%, while some manufacturers are even more enthusiastic. This estimate should be qualified as it generally takes a heating system as a reference without any regulation.

A connected thermostat is eligible for a tax credit, which can accelerate its amortization. But the intervention of a RGE certified professional (Recognized guarantor of the environment) is required.