Back in July 2021, my husband and I sat down to go over our shocking energy bills. They’d doubled since we’d been working from home and we needed to try and make changes; for the sake of the environment, as well as our back pocket. My husband suggested that we bought a Drayton Wiser thermostat. At around £200 per unit, plus £40 per additional radiator thermostat, the Drayton Wiser thermostat system is one pricey piece of kit. But has the investment been worth it?
What changed in our home?
Our energy started to rise when the pandemic set in. I found that I was turning the heating on whenever I started to feel cold. In retrospect, it wasn’t always necessary. There were times when I could have put on an extra layer, or grabbed a blanket, or a jumper. I didn’t though. Probably because I didn’t really think about the cost of my energy consumption until the bill arrived on the mat.
I’m a bit of a reluctant adaptor when it comes to new technology and I give new tech accessories a lot of consideration before purchasing. But having studied our energy bills, it was clear that having a system where we could just heat specific rooms made sense for us.
How does the Drayton Wiser thermostat system work?
This smart heating system lets you control the heating in each area of your home. You can set a schedule for each thermostat in your property, via your smartphone or computer. You choose a desired temperature for each area of your house, at different times of the day. For example, you could set the bathroom to warm up first thing in the morning and last thing at night, if you don’t go in there during the day. Or, you could set the living room to go warm in the evening and the home office to be warm during office hours.
But despite the schedule, the beauty of this system is, that if you are in particular room and you decide it’s too chilly, you can give that room a boost without adding heat to every room in the house.
It is possible to link your Drayton thermostats up with your Amazon Echo. If you do that, then you can control the system though Alexa. She will be able to tell you what the temperature is in the room and you’ll be able to tell her to turn it up or down.
What are the set-up costs associated with a smart room thermostat system?
The start-up kit will cost you around £200, but you’ll probably have to buy extra Wiser radiator thermostats. We bought six extras (at £40 a pop), as we have eight radiators in total and each one needed its own thermostat. As a general rule of thumb; the bigger your house, the more expensive it will be to kit your property out with a smart Drayton Wiser heating system.
The start-up kit comes with one room thermostat. You should try to place that room thermostat in the area of the house you’re in the most, because that’s the place where you’ll want to get the most accurate temperature reading. You don’t need to buy additional room thermostats though, one is enough.
Are Wiser thermostats hard to install?
My husband installed our wireless thermostat system. He said it was pretty easy to do, but he’s an engineer, so he would think that. Personally, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start. But if you have some DIY knowledge and you follow the instructions, you should be able to fit it yourself and if you get stuck, you’ll find a range of comprehensive videos available on YouTube.
If you think that setting up your Drayton Wiser thermostat system is beyond you capabilities, then Drayton does offer an installation service. If you book the installation directly through Drayton, then somebody will be sent from the Wiser approved installer list. However, you might want to book somebody independently. If you do this and you want extra peace of mind that the job will be done right, then see if your contractor appears on the Wiser approved installer list. If they don’t, ask them about their experience with smart thermometer systems before confirming the booking.
Alternatively, you could ask a DIY-minded friend to install the system for you. In terms of tools, you should be able to set it up with a small screwdriver.
What’s the Wiser app like?
The Wiser Home app is pretty easy to use and you can install it on numerous devises. On the app, you can check what the current temperature is, view your schedule, tweak your schedule and opt to boost the temperature in a certain room. We have also connected lights to the app, which is handy for controlling lamps that are a little hard to reach.
If you’re going away for a couple of days, then you can use the app to put your thermostats into ‘away mode’. This means that you won’t be wasting energy when you’re away from the house. Just ensure you remember to change the app when you’re on your way home. You can put lights on (via the app), when you’re away from home though, so it looks like somebody is there.
You can also access an insights page via the app. This will tell you how much energy you’ve saved so far that month. You’ll also be able to access simple stats, like how many times you’ve turned the heating down, how often you’ve turned the hearing up and how many hours of sunshine there’s been. You’ll be able to look at a graph too, which shows how the temperature is impacting on your heating. It is good to have this information at hand and to see where you’re making savings. I also like looking at how the general temperature influences our heating habits.
The Wiser home app does the job needed and it doesn’t take up much storage on my iPhone. It’s yet to fail me and I use it frequently to tweak the temperature.
What kind of savings have you seen since you start using it?
We haven’t yet done a full year with our Drayton Wiser thermostat system, but it is already saving us money. We are definitely down year on year and we are glad that we have this system in place, especially given the amount that energy prices have jumped over the past year.
At the time of installation, we were spending around £50 on gas and the Drayton Wiser thermostat system instantly saved us around a quarter. But now energy prices are up, we are saving much more. We are still saving a quarter, but the monetary saving is now much higher, due to the surging energy rates.
Does it represent value for money?
There’s no denying that the Wiser smart heating set-up kit is expensive and buying extra radiator thermostats drives the price up further. I’m also aware that many people won’t be able to find circa £400 down the back of the sofa to pay for one of these smart thermostat systems. But it’s likely that this system will pay for itself over the next couple of years. Especially if you consider the current cost of gas and the fact that I was using the heating so freely.
Having this system in place has also made me more mindful about when I put the heating on. Does the room really need a boost? Or do I need to put a jumper on? “Alexa, what temperature is it in the living room?”
Would you recommend a smart heating system?
Not everybody can afford the luxury of a smart thermostat system like this. It isn’t a cheap solution and buying additional thermostats quickly bumps up the overall cost. But if you have the cash and you’re looking to drive your energy bills down over a long period of time, then this smart thermostat system could offer a solution.
So far, we are very happy with the results and providing it lasts the course of time, this piece of kit could save us hundreds over the next five-ten years. Time will tell and I’ll let you know if anything changes, but we think we’re onto a winner with Wiser.
If you enjoyed this article, then you may also enjoy reading my guide to the 1p challenge.