Radiator valves (TRVs) control the flow of hot water into your radiators to ensure the heating system reaches the temperature you want it to. Smart TRVs take this to a new level by communicating with your heating system via WiFi and offering remote control from your smartphone or tablet. They can be used in conjunction with a smart thermostat or independently, as part of a fully automated heating system that operates at optimum efficiency.
A good quality set of wireless radiator valves costs around PS120 installed, although many brands offer professional installation for an additional charge. If you’re not confident in installing them yourself, look for a kit that includes a bridge to work with your existing heating system. For example the Drayton Wiser Starter Kit (PS49) works with both combi and conventional boilers and comes with a heat hub, 1 x smart room thermostat and 5 x smart radiator valves. It can also be controlled via voice control with Alexa or Google Assistant and has a frost protection setting to prevent pipes from freezing in the winter.
Some smart radiator valves come with built in occupancy sensors so that the heating only operates in rooms occupied by you and your family. This can save a significant amount of energy by ensuring the radiators only heat up when a person is in the room and by preventing wasted heating of unoccupied spaces. Other smart TRVs can be set up to limit the maximum temperature of a room so that it never gets too hot, saving even more energy.
Almost all smart radiator valves can be controlled through an app on your phone or tablet so that you can change the temperature from anywhere. This makes it easy to turn up the heating before you arrive home so that your house is nice and warm. Alternatively, you can remotely switch it off so that you don’t waste money heating a room you’re not using. The best smart radiator valves also feature geofencing so that the devices will recognise when you’re away and switch off your heating automatically, helping to save energy and money on your electricity bills.
The Qiumi Smart Heating Valve enables you to operate your existing heating with a simple phone app without the need for an internet hub or additional wired connection. It connects to your Wi-Fi network directly and can be controlled through the free iOS or Android apps. A rotatable display means that it can be read from all positions and there is no need to open the valve to see the status of the heating. It can be connected to an existing thermostat to make a fully automated heating system and is compatible with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
It can be bought individually or as part of the Hive Smart Heating system, which offers a complete automation solution with other products including a smart thermostat and light bulbs. It is also compatible with other smart home systems like Nest and is available as a plug-in for your smart speaker.