Thermostat on wall

Which is the best smart solution for my boiler in 2023?

If you have decided that 2023 is the year you turn your home into a smart home, the chances are you’ve been researching the options - and there is plenty of tech to choose from! When it comes to controlling your boiler, however, there are two particular offerings that remain firm favourites among UK homeowners - the Nest learning thermostat by Google and Hive Active Heating by British Gas. So which is the best choice for 2023? We take a closer look at the pros and cons of each.

Why choose a smart thermostat in 2023?

The main reason to install a smart thermostat in your home is to reduce energy wastage, helping you to reduce your household emissions, and save money on energy bills at the same time.

Smart thermostats help you to achieve this in a number of ways. With increased visibility of your energy usage and ease of use, intuitive smart controls make it easier than ever before to take control of your heating and improve your efficiency.

What does a smart thermostat offer?

The features available with your smart thermostat depend on whether you choose a Nest or a Hive device. Here is a quick comparison of some of the key features.


One of the core features of the Nest Learning Thermostat, as the name suggests, is its ability to 'learn' the heating habits of your property. It can then use this data to automatically programme itself to match your routine. Once correctly set up, your smart thermostat begins to teach itself about your lifestyle and preferences, which over time can result in significant savings without any effort from you. This feature is not included in the Hive and is a key consideration when deciding which one to choose.


Both the Hive and the Nest smart thermostats are able to track your GPS location on a smartphone. This means that your smart thermostat knows when the property is empty and when you return home, and can adjust your heating accordingly, helping to avoid wasting energy by heating an empty home.

Motion detection

Another advantage of the Nest thermostat is that it is able to sense when somebody enters or leaves the property. It will then set the heating accordingly, again helping you to significantly reduce the amount of energy your household wastes.

Weather responsive

By monitoring the weather forecast and outdoor temperature, both the Nest and the Hive smart thermostats can obtain local weather data and use this to set an appropriate temperature in the home. As well as helping to ensure greater efficiency, weather responsive technology also helps to prevent pipes from freezing during the winter months.

Multi-zone controls

Both Hive and Nest allow you to turn rooms or areas of the home into 'zones' making it easier to only heat the spaces which are being used. This means you can heat rooms to different temperatures to improve comfort and reduce energy waste. For example, you might prefer a cooler temperature in the bedroom than in the living room, while you may like the bathroom a little warmer.

Voice assistant

Voice control devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo are an increasingly popular component of smart homes. Although both devices do offer compatibility, there are far more options available with the Google Nest.

Compatible heating systems

Before making the final decision on which smart thermostat you wish to use in your home, It's important to check the compatibility of your central heating system. The Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation is compatible with most modern condensing combi, system and regular boilers as well as heat pumps. Meanwhile, the Hive Active Heating is compatible with gas, oil, LPG and some electric boilers. If you’d like to learn more about your options, get in touch with your installer today.

The final word

Based on the number of features and broad compatibility, the Google Nest tends to stand out as the first choice for many homeowners, and can be fitted by any properly trained installer. Hive, on the other hand, is only available for compatible, British Gas approved boilers. Before making a final decision, we’d recommend you get in touch to discuss the options available to you with our expert team.

For more information on smart thermostats or to enquire about replacing your boiler, call D.R. Plumbing and Heating today on 01978 291 923 / 01352 620 125.

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