UK boiler automation - Nest, Neatamo, Hive or tado


First post :slightly_smiling_face:

Looking for anyone’s experiences with adding home automation to their boiler. I have an old Ariston which seems to be compatible with most systems.

I want to:

  • switch it on and off with my phone / computer
  • turn it on / off remotely
  • I like the Tado thing about turning it off if no one is on the house
  • Change timeclocks on phone / computer
  • easy to use once set up i.e. I don’t want to lock outmy wife or children from the heating system :slight_smile:

I really like the HA platform and was wondering people’s experiences with doing the above? I’ve looked at Hive, Nest, Neatamo, Tado and they all seem good. Any thermostats need to be wireless and preferably look good.


I don’t have experience with the other systems but I have a Netatmo Thermostat for about a year now and really like it. It works reliably, looks good and is pretty easy to use. I’d say it does everything you asked for.

Ive read good things about the Nest system. I decided to make my own system with Sonoff Switches and automations for the programmer.

Oooh it was my favourite from the list. Thank you.

I like Nest but it just seems expensive for what it is. I also don’t like the design or believe an AI can actually do anything.


I’m also very interested in this…
Hive is not a solution though as I believe the thermostats have to be wired.

Also @Stringyb92 would you care to share a little about your setup? I’m using Sonoffs for other things but it is not clear to me how you would integrate them into a heating system. I can see how they could be wired into the original controller to turn the heating on anad off but what for example do you use for thermostats?

I have tado. I chose this as they have smart trv’s as well as boiler control so trv’s can call for heat from boiler if required. I find it very efficient

Hive thermostats (unlike, for example, Nest) are wireless.

I’m a reasonably happy Hive user. It ticks all the boxes on the OP’s list (if you include with the help of the HA for occupancy detection) and has a high WAF. I’ve had it for just under 18m, and I pretty much never touch the thermostats now - all management is done with phone/computer. Original batteries are still showing 60%.

The HA component is comprehensive with an active development community widening out the HA tools into the wider Hive hardware ecosystem (which I don’t use). There are bulbs, plug sockets, cameras, damp detectors etc. which all use the same hub and API. No TRVs as yet, but these are rumoured from time to time.

Personally, for privacy reasons I’d now prefer a system that isn’t cloud-based, but Hive is fine and I’m certainly not going to change it any time soon.

I have a large number of Sonoffs @klogg and could easily use these to control the Hive (by setting them up as HA Generic Thermostats). But there is no real need to. I am considering (when the next version comes out) using Appdaemon and Heaty to manage my heating system - the main advantage being the ability to automatically change between heating programs when seasons and/or occupancy change.

@PianSom yes sorry, I got Hive an Nest round the wrong way :roll_eyes:

I have just been reading about Heaty. Thanks for the pointer.

I’m sorry if this is a stupid question - I see that Hive can be set up as a ‘stand alone’ installation but In order to use Hive in HA do you have to have a hub and create an account in their cloud? The HA Hive component documentation appears to suggest you do:

…you will need to use the same Username and Password you use on the Hive website to configure this Hive component in Home Assistant.

Like you I’d rather not be reliant on a vendor’s cloud. Especially not for something as important as my heating system.

The other thing I find slightly concerning is where it says that the API is ‘unofficial’. Does this mean it may in the future be changed and render the HA component useless?

For me heating control is the ‘killer app’ for home automation and is where I would like to be, but I am totally new to all of this, only having played’ with HA for a couple of weeks on some fairly trivial applications.

The Hive heating system can be used standalone with no hub - but in that case it operates as a “dumb” thermostat with none of the advantages of home automation. (This can actually be an advantage - for example, it will (should) carry on working in the event of a catastrophic internet failure.)

But, yes, in reality a cloud account is required; their cloud servers control your heating and HA is completely reliant on an unsupported API. AFAIK this is true for all vendors, not just Hive. I suppose there is some advantage to the vendors in continuing allowing access to their APIs - they get to collect/sell your data, keep the hobbyist/hacking community interested in their product and so on. But in principle any of these systems could be shut down in an instant. And I am not paying any monthly fee to Hive …

There is an alternative, I suppose - hooking up a Sonoff or Arduino to the relays that control your boiler heating circuits and then using Heaty/HA or something similar without any cloud involvement. (May need something a bit more sophisticated if you want to use Opentherm or something like that - which I believe is supported by Nest.) But that is a bit too far down the electrical engineering side for me, and Hive is ok. For now :slight_smile:

Sorry for the late reply on this.

So I have a setup, which controls the Central Heating Pump, Gas Valve & Hot Water Pump and 2 other wires going to the boiler housing for mains power. I then have temperature sensors on the Flow Pipe, and on the main Hot Water Cylinder so I can take a reading on the temps.

From this, I have wrote an automation to bring all the main parts in a sequence, and then allowed for pump over runs on system shut down. Also with the temp sensors, it allows the Flow Pipe for example to reach 60 degrees, and then shut off for a period of time, before turning back on.

I’m with @PianSom and am more than happy with my Hive. To be honest, got it more for the novelty value when they were flogging the functionally identical older version off for £60.

Hive is more an infinitely variable heating programmer that is controllable in many different ways rather than a true smart heating system. It usually just gets on with its stuff but occasionally control it from the thermostat itself, via HA (that’s more for monitoring than controlling though) and most commonly with Alexa.

All my HA stuff that matters is deliberately controllable without HA or the internet so there are no wifey, dropping dead or whatever issues and Hive fits the bill there.

Funnily enough, I have practically never used an Alexa to control my Hive, even though I use her for lighting, TV etc

Hive-wise I do have a few Dash buttons around the place for the family to boost heating or hot water if needed, though.

The one piece of functionality that is missing from Hive (and the others??) in HA for me is the ability to save and retrieve heating schedules, so that I can programatically choose a schedule to use (are you listening @Khole @rendili ? :slight_smile: ). That is why I am looking at Heaty

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i’ve also had netatmo for a couple of years now - bought it as it was a direct and easy straight swap for my remote programmer that was wired to the boiler, where as the nest programmer needs a power supply that I didn’t have.

Everything in your list is achievable with HA and Netatmo also. I use HA presence detection to put the boiler in away mode when everyone is out, and in terms of acceptance, it’s no different than any other thermostat - if anything - it’s actually easier, as it’s only got a turn up/down function on the physical ‘programmer’.

The downsides - it was a bit of a bitch to fit - it’s just the wrong size for a standard UK back box which is what my previous programmer was ‘over’. I had to cut out a square of wood with a hole in to feed through the wires and allow me to fit the netatmo in the same place, and then still - i had to use the frame to cover the edges of the backbox which were on display - I suspect they all have these issues to be honest :smiley:

Dear All,

Thanks for the feedback. Going to go with the Netatmo and HA in the near future - mostly as it looks nice and ticks all boxes.

I’m not in a hurry so now just to find one cheap on ebay or online!


Hi @PianSom

:slight_smile: yes
Waiting on the PR for the next release to be reviewed and released, then after that I will work on a bug fix for something I discovered this week and possibly also continue your schedule selection :slight_smile:

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My Netatmo was 18 months old last week and just died a few weeks back… the relay stopped connecting to wifi and manual operation wasnt possible. Netamo support was slow, and unable to fix, without heating for over a week. Amazon were awesome and it is being returned for a full refund. Now going with tado, as it also does hotwater and heating using the tado extension unit.

As I said, I’m only just coming to this so really only had strong awareness of Hive and Nest. I just looked at the tado website and see they offer a 12 month (almost) unconditional guarantee of satisfaction or your money back. That is impressive!

yes tado were absolutely brilliant with setup as well, when i had to wire in my Netatmo it took them 2 weeks to reply to my original support showing the wiring of my existing thermostat… during which i learnt about salus timer + thermo wiring and installed it myself. The tado guys were available over the phone and i installed it in less than an hour.

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