Category: Product Reviews
Battle of the smart thermostats - vSmart vs Wave
The battle of the thermostats returns! This time it’s a face-off between the Worcester Wave and the Vaillant vSMART, with their ability to intelligently control your heating over your internet connection. Both smart thermostats allow you to fine-tune your central heating and hot water whether you're at home or on the go to be better suit your lifestyle. Worcester and Vaillant are the UK’s top boiler manufacturers but how do their smart thermostats compare?
The display of the Wave thermostat is simple with a modern finish. Its touchscreen interface can be used to control temperatures and set schedules straight from the display. The vSMART pushes simplicity to a whole new level with its crystal-clear display, using the latest in electronic paper technology. Despite its white plastic box design and lack of a touchscreen, the vSMART does offer temperature controls using the + and - buttons via the top corners of the device. However, the lack of control straight from the vSMART thermostat does hold it back in comparison with the Wave. The Wave gains one point.
The Wave and vSMART both offer internet connectivity, which enables you to control your heating from within your property or on your way to work. If you have a 3G/4G or WiFi connection on your smartphone or tablet, you can use the app for either device to set temperatures and manage schedules. With the scheduling features in both apps, you're able to set up your thermostats to turn on as soon as you walk through your front door or switch off once you're leaving for work. The Wave comes bundled with a pre-set heating programme to reduce energy costs and improve energy efficiency from the start. However, you will still be able to override these pre-set settings and fine tune your central heating and hot water schedules to your requirements. The Wave app also allows you to monitor your energy usage so that you can make savings in the right places. The vSMART app offers the same monitoring features and settings but with some added extras.
Both devices offer a weather compensating feature without the need for an external sensor. The main difference between the two is that the vSMART can adapt your schedule to meet your requirements due to its self-learning feature (more on that later). The vSMART also has the upper hand with its ability to control multiple thermostats using the same app and account. This feature could be valuable to landlords who want to monitor their tenant’s energy use or families to keep an eye on an elderly relative’s heating.
Point to vSMART. It’s now a draw between the two thermostats!
The Vaillant vSMART can learn from your home’s heating needs and adjust your settings automatically. Self-learning ensures that the temperature of your home always stays at precisely the right temperature. In some instances, the vSMART will make suggestions as to how you could change your schedule to make savings on your energy use. Unfortunately, the Wave doesn't offer this feature. It may not be an essential feature for a thermostat, but it will give you that little extra control over your heating and hot water use, without the need for manually changing schedules.
The vSMART gains another point and is now in the lead! Can the Wave level the playing field?
To start off, we strongly recommend you use a professional to install the thermostat correctly. Professional installation will give you the peace of mind that the thermostat will work as it should straight out of the box. The Worcester Wave’s receiver is installed onto a Worcester Greenstar boiler with its simple two-wire connection. The receiver can also be retrofitted onto other Worcester boilers, but we recommend that you check with us or Worcester directly if this applies to your current boiler. A massive downside of the Wave installation process lies with the installation of the thermostat itself. No matter where you install the Wave, there needs to be a wire that runs between the Wave’s receiver unit and thermostat. This can be quite invasive and complex if the location of your thermostat is quite a distance away from your boiler.
The vSMART eliminates the need for a wire to run from the thermostat to the receiver unit. Much like the Wave, the vSMART comprises of a receiver unit and the thermostat itself. The receiver unit is connected directly to the boiler using an eBus connection, which is available on most of the new Vaillant ecoTec combi boilers. Unlike the Wave, the vSMART thermostat talks to the receiver unit completely wirelessly. The installation process for the vSMART is far easier and allows you to install the thermostat anywhere in your home. The vSMART also offers the option to either install the thermostat on a wall or on a shelf/table using the stand. You will be unable to use a stand with the Wave as it's only possible to install it onto a wall.
It’s another point to the vSMART and sadly no movement from the Wave.
It's important to research whether your chosen thermostat will be compatible with your existing boiler. Both the Vaillant vSMART and Worcester Wave thermostats are only compatible with their respective manufacturer’s boilers. The Worcester Wave is only compatible with the Worcester Greenstar boiler ranges, but you can retrofit the thermostat onto some older boilers. The device is compatible with the following Worcester boilers:
- Greenstar CDi: combi and system boilers
- Greenstar Si and i System boilers: manufactured from February 2011 onwards
The Vaillant vSMART is only compatible with new Vaillant ecoTec Combi boilers (if you want to check for yourself, the boiler must have an eBus connection for it to work). The compatible combi boiler ranges are:
- ecoTec Plus
- ecoTec Pro
- ecoTec Exclusive
The vSMART wins with 4 points! Unfortunately, the Wave only managed to score 2 points in this match.
Both the vSMART and Wave thermostats offer a fantastic opportunity for homeowners to extend their levels of control over their home’s heating and hot water. The main question you need to ask yourself is whether you'd prefer to stick with a smart thermostat produced by the same brand or invest in universal controls. The vSMART and Wave will only work with compatible Vaillant or Worcester boilers. Therefore, if you'd prefer universal controls, you may be better off with the Nest or Hive.
The vSMART offers a lot more to the user with its learning functionality, easy installation, and its ability to control multiple thermostats from the same app. Bonuses aside, they are both great additions to your home's hot water and central heating system. However, the vSMART is more of an all-rounder and can offer far more to the user as opposed to the Wave. If you're looking for an intelligent thermostat that can start to save on your energy use without excessive manual input, the vSMART is the smart thermostat for you.
On a related note, both Worcester and Vaillant make data protection their highest priority. They have several levels of encryption in place once your data is stored to ensure that your settings and personal information are protected. In the case of a security breach, both manufacturers are quick to act to protect your information.