With the cold weather that now seems to have made itself at home here in the UK I thought I would share my experience of the Hive Heating system from British Gas.
I’ve been running the Hive system since we had a new boiler installed a few months ago and I thought it was the ideal time to move to an online controlled heating and automation system.
Our heating engineers setup the system with the help of a qualified electrician and installed the new controller as below
This is the main hive heating control unit / thermostat which we installed into our hallway in the same location as the old unit. This communicates with a control unit which controls the heating and hot water, basically tells the boiler when to come on! This was installed into our airing cupboard, it looks a very unassuming device given its controller big brother.
The final piece of the jigsaw is the hive hub, this needs to be located and connected to your broadband router of network switch ( same thing for most people ) We have just placed ours next to the router in our front room. The hub enables you to control your hive heating device(s) from the web / mobile app and also links all the connected products in your home. The device does can come preconfigured for your home but as we didn’t get ours direct we needed to register the device which is just a matter of having the registration code on the device and logging into the portal. It took about 15 mins once online for the system updates to complete and the jigsaw to be complete.
Next job is to configure the heating and hot water schedule, I forget exactly what the basic configuration was but there is a heating schedule in place and we just tweaked this to our needs using the smartphone app and we were away.
We have noticeably felt the house is warmer as we have actively managed the heating, an example is that the app and the apple watch integration which reminds us every time we leave the house or senses we are coming home to alert us to the temperature and asks if we want to turn off or turn on or boost the temperature, you can configure the distance from home that this alerts you too!
I have also in the last few days received an email update on our energy usage we showed we were using our heating 0.2% more than other users in our area, they obviously don’t have a wife who feels the cold like I do, or a 3 year old who likes to take his top off at the slightest sign of some dirt or if it gets wet!
The heating was just the start, we have now added to the hive control an active plug and thanks to the nice people at British Gas we also have some light bulbs coming, free of charge.
My tech rating on this is 8/10, the device eco system is amazing and the lineup of additional products is good, the lack of a home security webcam is stopping this getting a 9/10 or 10/10