With winter ahead, making the most of our heating – while saving money – is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. And there’s a device you might not have considered that can help with your electricity bills.
The best way to target your heating spend while keeping yourself comfortable is only to heat rooms when you’re in them. Aqara’s radiator thermostat E1 can help you to do that.
A radiator thermostat like Aqara’s is something you can install yourself, in just five minutes. It attaches in place of the ordinary valve on your radiator and lets you control the temperature of that specific radiator using an app on your phone.
Once it’s on, it’ll give you granular control over your heating.
It’s much easier to control the temperature when you can see it clearly on your phone screen, instead of crawling around on the floor trying to figure out what the lines on your radiator valve mean.
And you can schedule heating on that radiator as well. If the Aqara radiator thermostat is in your bedroom, even when you want the heat on in the rest of the house, you can have it switched off in your room. You can then schedule the radiator to come to life as you’re heading up to bed, or to warm you up first thing in the morning.
Aqara’s radiator thermostat also has a grouping feature that allows users to sync multiple radiators for easy scheduling around the home. Geofencing is also supported. That means if you go out and leave your radiator on, it will automatically turn down when you go outside. It can also be used to warm up your home just in time for your return.
Users can integrate the Aqara thermostat into their smart home setups, as it is compatible with all the key smart assistants and smart home platforms: Apple HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT. It’s also Matter ready.
And you’ll get even more from the Aqara radiator thermostat if you use it in conjunction with other smart home devices. For example, use it with a motion sensor to switch off the radiator when everyone has left the room, or schedule it to turn down at the same time a curtain or roller shade driver opens to let in sunshine at noon.
Aqara’s door and window sensor will alert you if a door or window is left open. Even better, it can control other devices on the same network, so if it senses an open window, it can turn down your radiators, so you don’t waste money heating up your back garden.
And for even more control, if you use the Aqara radiator thermostat alongside the brand’s temperature and humidity sensor, you can use that sensor to regulate the temperature of your radiator.
Most TRVs rely on internal sensors to measure temperature. As you can imagine, given that they’re so close to the radiator itself, this may not give you a very precise picture of how warm the room is. So, if you want the radiator to come on when the room temperature dips below a certain threshold, or switch off when it gets warm enough, this is the most accurate way to do that.
If you have concerns over damp in rooms you don’t heat often, or where clothes are drying, this sensor can help there as well. Not only can you monitor home humidity levels on your phone via the sensor, but you could set up a smart dehumidifier – or an ordinary dehumidifier with a smart plug – to come on at a given threshold to control damp.
Aqara also makes a TVOC air quality monitor with an E-ink display, which not only shows temperature and humidity, but also tracks indoor air pollution. During the winter, when all your doors and windows are sealed shut to save heat, your home air quality can suffer. The TVOC sensor will let you track your air quality in real time. It measures VOCs in the air: these are all the gaseous pollutants that come from cleaning products, paint, glue, new furniture and personal care products and they can be bad for your health. Monitoring your home air quality for them is especially important if you’re decorating or renovating your home.
The TVOC air quality monitor can also help you to keep an eye on your home heating in the longer-term, with easy-to-view historical data tracking. To use any Aqara products, you’ll need to get an Aqara Smart Hub, which lets the devices talk to each other. There are several options, from the budget-friendly Smart Hub E1 to the comprehensive Smart Hub M2, which can connect up to 128 Aqara devices. You can buy all of Aqara’s products from its UK and US Amazon stores.