Now while the Hive heating system can be controlled by the Hive thermostat directly, you do require the Hive App to get the most out of it. This would allow for:
- Remote access of the heating controls even when out of the house.
- It will allow for you to register various devices to be to a Hive account, and allow for the Hive support team to help address any issues with the system remotely.
- It will allow you to more easily set the schedule for the central heating and hot water system.
I did need to download the free Hive App from the App Store, register an account and respond to the email Hive sent me before I could starting using the App. The main screen shows the various devices that are registered to your account, so Hive active plugs or light bulbs or home sensors can also be controlled from this page. So far, I only have the hot water and heating controls here.
There are options available which help to save money – for example the holiday mode to reduce the heating while this is not required when you are away on holiday.
The Manage devices page gives you an update on the status of the devices registered in your account. It shows whether the devices are connected and for the thermostat it also shows the battery life as well. I have been told that the batteries in the Hive thermostat last up to two years, so should not need replacing very often. But it is good to see a battery indicator for the thermostat on this page, for those who would like to know.
For the control of the hot water, they do have various default settings, which would work well enough for the average household while saving on heating costs by preventing wastage.
Currently I have left the central heating on manual and only turned on if the house temperature falls below a certain setting – below it is set at 20 degrees Celsius. But it is also great to see the local weather forecast on this screen, as it is useful information to know.
What do I like about the Hive system?
- It allows for remote access to the heating system, as well as other devices from Hive.
- The Hive app is easy to use and makes changing of settings very accessible and efficient.
- The Hive support team can remotely help resolve technical issues with the Hive system. They even updated the firmware for my system when I rang them to solve the issue with the thermostat being offline.
- The Hive thermostat is far more accurate than the old dial thermostat it replaced; the dial thermostat will turn on the central heating when set at 18 degrees Celsius even if the rooms are much warmer than that i.e not accurate at all.
- It will work with Alexa and Amazon Echo/Echo dot for voice-activated adjustments of heating.
What is not as good?
- The process to get the Hive system installed was most off-putting (see beginning of this post).
- The fact the Hive controller box had to be replaced by the emergency plumber shortly after installation makes me concerned about the quality control for the Hive devices.
- With Hive support team being able to remotely access your Hive system, gives me concerns that it may put a route for your router and network to be hacked.
- The Hive system does need a Hub to work, which means that you will need a free network port on the Router to accommodate this.
There are many things I’ve mentioned which can deter someone from installing the Hive system – cost, the concerns about the British Gas engineer booking system (no show from engineers more than twice in my case), the quality control of the Hive components, the fact that the Hive system can be accessed remotely by Hive support team (and perhaps hackers). But there are great benefits once it is installed, to give you more control over your heating and hot water system.
But with so many concerns, I cannot give my recommendation for the Hive system even though I do appreciate and am gaining from its benefits. If I had known all the potential pitfalls, I probably would have not committed to this system.
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