Smart thermostats are cool. They save energy, lower bills, and they make your house look like the futuristic residence of a Star Trek character. The problem is, I live in an apartment in New York City that only has a radiator, so I can’t really get in on the connected home action.
Fortunately for me, Netatmo, a company that specializes in modern, minimalist smart home tech, just announced at IFA its new Smart Radiator Valves, which adds smartphone control to individual radiators. The Smart Radiator Valve can control valves to start and stop heating the room as desired, allowing for room-by-room temperature control and scheduling. The Smart Radiator Valves look great too, with a translucent plexiglass Philippe Starck design and an e-paper screen for displaying the current temperature.
However, there’s a couple catches to my smart radiator valve dream. First off, while the Smart Radiator Valve lets you control temperature through Netatmo’s app (or Apple HomeKit), the valves only work as an accessory to Netatmo’s Smart Thermostat, which is designed to connect to a main boiler. The valves serve as an addition to that system to allow for more fine tuned control of individual radiators in each room in conjunction with the main Smart Thermostat system. But you can’t just attach one to a single radiator and control a single room's temperature like I've been imagining for my apartment.
the Netatmo thermostat and valves are only designed to work with European heating systems
More crucially, the Netatmo thermostat and valves are only designed to work with European heating systems, so even if you’ve got a heating setup that can work with it, US homeowners are out of luck for now. But for those of you in Europe with compatible heating systems and a Netatmo Thermostat can pick up a pair of the smart valves for £59.99 later this year.