Remote control homes. Getting more clever by the day.


Long-time readers may be familiar with our love of home heating control systems. Back in 2014 we looked at the Nest thermostat, however since then we’ve seen competitors entering the marketplace and more people getting in on the programmable thermostat fun.

It doesn’t matter too much about how old your central heating is – our is over 45 years old and is still ticking along – the thermostat we have here will monitor the temperature inside the house, outside the house and is also clever enough to detect if you’re in the house at all. The days of setting and constantly adjusting a heating schedule are long gone – no more having to mess around with the clock, no more tweaking it during the winter months. Now it just does it all magically.


Best of all, it all hooks into the mighty “internet of things”, so you can control your heating where-ever you are in the world on your smartphone.

However, this still controls just the heat for your entire house. What if you only want to keep one room warm? Or if you don’t want to heat one room?

This is where thermostatic valves come in. Here you can cleverly adjust the temperature that each individual room will get to. However, even these have recently developed further. Now you can get “Smart Radiators” which are controllable via an app. This means that you can adjust one room in particular, having full control over each and every room in your house.

In addition to all that, you can also invest in some underfloor heating and control that with your phone if its paired with a particular thermostat. Ideal in the kitchen when you’re not wearing those comfy slippers, I’ve recently taken a look at this as we’re hopefully going to re-do the kitchen floor soon.

Although this might seem like pure geekery, it’s actually very useful and it also brings you an efficient heating system which isn’t pumping out to heat an empty house or one which is only half full. Now you get full control, wirelessly and instantly.

However, it does also mean that the “war of the thermostat” might not be over. Now it’s moved the clever apps that we use to remotely control the heating. Just yesterday, my wife turned the heating up even though we weren’t at home. We were actually still an hour away and we were sat on a train in London, but despite my best… “advice”, she turned it up anyway. Meanwhile, using my app on my phone, I’ve turned it down again – hopefully without her realising. The great thing about these clever remote-control heating apps is that they can even see your location and how close you are to home, so if you’re both out of the house it’ll detect when one of you is getting nearer and, if needed, the heating will automatically turn on so that you’re nice and warm when you get back. However, the bad thing is that – if you want – you can turn up the heating even when you’re not there and you can heat an empty home.

Oppo Reno - Up close
Oppo Reno 5G announced. Exclusive to EE.