I came across a micro-review of a phone app that could be used to control a wifi thermostat. Intrigued I investigated further. A company called Heatmiser sells a range of products for wireless and wifi thermostats and heating controls. The prospect of controlling the control heating over the network/internet via a phone seemed like the sort of thing I could be interested in.
The existing system
The old central heating system is pretty standard. One thermostat downstairs and a heating clock upstairs that allows for 24 hour/ once / twice /off operation. The times are set using four sliders, which don’t exactly give you precise control. The existing thermostat was an a 1970s plastic brown dial.
In time the boiler will need replacing and at that point the heating clock and wiring center will get replaced too. However, replacing just the existing thermostat with a wifi thermostat will give the ability of finer heating control and remote control.
The new wifi thermostat
I went for a Heatmiser PRT-TS WiFi which is a touchscreen programmable thermostat. It is a compatible replacement for standard three wire thermostats (before purchasing I took the cover off my existing thermostat and checked it would be compatible) and has a cool backlit touchscreen.
The unit comes with a mini-usb cable and some software so that you can configure the wireless and network settings before installation. This allows you to test the wifi settings before installation on the wall. It is designed to be flush fitted on the wall – which I will get around to – but temporarily I used a standard 25mm surface mount back box.
Fortunately, my existing thermostat had a wiring diagram inside the cover so I could identify what each wire was before removal and the instructions for wiring the new unit were clear and easy to follow.
On the old control unit upstairs I’ve set the central heating to be constantly on which gives total control over the system to the new wifi thermostat.
Through a web browser you can connect and set all aspects of the wifi thermostat.
Or you can control everything via the phone app:
I’m pretty happy with the functionality and look of the unit. It is pretty cool to turn the heating up whilst sitting on the sofa, or lying in bed, or at my desk at work, or …