A smart thermostat can be a great addition to any home set-up, offering you the ability to control your heating at a touch of a button from anywhere in the world, using your phone, tablet or even smart speaker.
Smart thermostats can be an effective way to make your property more efficient and environmentally friendly, as the device ensures your boiler is only working when it absolutely has to. They also offer some obvious convenience benefits – no more arguing over the thermostat or fretting because you’ve gone away for the weekend and left the heating on.
So how do they compare, and which one is best for you?
While the Worcester Wave and Nest Learning Thermostat are closely matched, their creators represent two ends of the smart heating spectrum.
The Wave is produced by Worcester Bosch, a UK market leader in domestic heating with nearly 60 years of experience in the sector.
On the other hand, the Nest is Google’s smart home brand, which enables customers to connect a wide range of home equipment, such as cameras, speakers, doorbells and smoke alarms to the internet and one another.
The design of both the Worcester Wave and Nest Learning Thermostat makes it clear that these are not conventional thermostats. Measuring 100 x 145mm the Worcester Wave is the larger of the two devices, and uses a combination of gloss black plastic and brushed aluminium, to achieve a contemporary appearance.
The Worcester Wave allows you to make temperature and time adjustments using a circular touch screen at the centre of the device, while two touch-sensitive buttons just below allow you to toggle through options, make selections and return to previous menus.
The third generation of the Nest Learning Thermostat is considerably smaller than the Worcester Wave, measuring just 75mm in diameter. It too has a central touchscreen, while the exterior can be customised in four finishes to match your home decor. Nest’s device allows the user to use its sharp 480 x 480 pixel touch screen to perform all functions, without the need for additional buttons.
Buttons aside, both the Worcester Wave and Nest Learning Thermostat are intuitive to use, with naturally responsive touch screens and menus that are easy to navigate.
As you would expect, both the Worcester Wave and Nest Learning Thermostat are designed to be controlled using other smart devices.
The Worcester Wave can be paired with a dedicated Wave app, which works across all Apple (iOS5.1 or later) and Android devices (2.2 or later). The app allows users to customise their heating and hot water programmes over a seven day period, and make ad hoc changes from their phone or tablet.
Worcester’s smart device also uses real-time local weather data to adjust your heating settings to account for the outside temperature without the need for an outdoor sensor.
The Nest app offers this same functionality as Worcester’s and is also compatible with Apple (from iOS 8) or Android devices (from 4.0). It also works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
As the Nest Learning Thermostat’s name suggests, this device can also grow to understand your routine and automatically adjust to it. By using a combination of in-built sensors and your phone’s location, it learns when you’re usually at home, and what temperature you prefer at different times of the day.
Its sensors also enable what Nest calls ‘Farsight’ which allows it to recognise your presence from across the room and turn on its screen so you can see the current temperature and settings.
While both smart thermostats are relatively simple to install, there are some key differences.
Firstly, it is important to note that the Worcester Wave is only compatible with Worcester’s Greenstar boilers. Second, the Wave requires two wires to run from the device into the boiler, which can limit how flexible you can be with installation.
In contrast, the Nest Learning Thermostat is compatible with a wide variety of boilers. Its installation consists of two parts. First is the Heatlink unit, which is wired to the boiler. The second is the thermostat device itself, which communicates with the Heatlink unit via a Wi-Fi connection, meaning it can be placed almost anywhere within the home.
The Worcester Wave and Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation are closely matched on price. As always, it pays to shop around, with our research showing that the Wave can be bought new from around £150.00, while Nest’s latest smart thermostat is available from £175.00