Hive Thermostat Mini review

Right now, heating bills are a worry for many people, with costs rising significantly. A smart heating system offers a simple way to schedule your home’s heating, switch off radiators in unused rooms and can even provide spending safeguards with features such as a timed boost function and geolocation technology, so you don’t forget to switch off the heat when you go out.

Hive’s new Thermostat Mini has all of these features, in a compact and affordable package. It’s sold only in the UK, and isn’t available in the US.

Design & appearance

  • Minimalist design
  • Mirror finish when not in use
  • Limited functions on thermostat itself

Like its predecessor – the Hive Thermostat – the Thermostat Mini is a beautifully designed device. When not in use, the small, square thermostat’s screen has a blank, mirror-like surface, marked only with two arrows and a circle to indicate where to press.

Where the previous model of the Hive thermostat has buttons and a dial, the Mini is touchscreen-only. It’s more compact and perfectly minimalist.

Press it and the display will illuminate. At first glance, you can see if the heat and hot water are on, as well as the current and target temperature. You can easily turn the temperature up and down using the arrow buttons, as well as switching scheduling on and off.

In the box

Buy the Hive Thermostat Mini and in the box you’ll get a Hive Hub, the thermostat itself (measuring 8.5 x 8.5 x 2cm), 4 AAA batteries and a receiver, which connects directly to your boiler. This kit costs £119 and contains everything you need to set up smart heating. This makes it an affordable option: it’s about £40 less than the Hive Thermostat, which is already competitively priced.

If you already have a Hive Hub, you can buy the Thermostat Mini and a receiver for just £59.

The batteries should last about a year, and unlike the Nest Learning Thermostat, there’s no option to power it from the mains or from the wiring of an existing wall thermostat.

Installation

  • Installation costs £100
  • Performed by a certified British Gas engineer
  • Takes 1.5 to 2 hours

If you know what you’re doing with boiler electrics you could install the Thermostat Mini yourself, but it’s generally recommended that you opt for professional installation. It will cost £100 and will be performed by a certified British Gas engineer.

It’s a reassuring process. The engineer will know the product and is unlikely to be fazed by anything in your set-up. However, if you are having problems with your existing boiler, don’t schedule an installation in the hope that they’ll be able to fix it as part of the appointment – they won’t.

The process will be more or less complicated depending on your current set-up but it can usually be done in about an hour and a half.

Hive is compatible with most gas and LPG boilers, both combi and regular. It should also work with electric boilers that have a standard room thermostat or a programmer, as well as oil boilers with a thermostat or programmer. If you’d like to check if your boiler is compatible.

My installation was very straightforward but it still took a couple of hours, so we would advise leaving a morning or afternoon free, just in case. I have a common Alpha boiler and, unusually, I didn’t have an existing wall thermostat, which meant that the engineer didn’t have to worry about removing it. He only had to fit the receiver in the cupboard next to the hot water cylinder.

Hive radiator valves

  • Cost £54 each
  • Can be self-installed
  • Control the heat to individual rooms

However, there’s a handy workaround to control radiators in specific rooms. If you buy Hive smart thermostatic radiator valves (priced at £54 each, available from Hive), you can replace the thermostatic valves that are already on your radiators and use them to independently control the heating in these rooms.

Installing these TRVs and adding them to your system is easy to do, so long as your radiators have compatible valves. In that case you won’t need them professionally installed and you can do it yourself at a later date – they don’t have to be purchased at the same time as the thermostat.

Read More: https://www.techadvisor.com/review/hive-thermostat-mini-3813628/

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