Hive Active Heating - Review

  • 2 November 2020
  • 24 replies
  • 1601 views

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As part of the new ‘Pure Planet Futures’ section I have been asked to write an honest review of the Hive Active Heating product, so here goes...


24 replies

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Hive Thermostat Review – Part 1 Components

 

There are 2 basic versions of Hive: one for an all in one combi boiler which is what I have, and one for a boiler with a separate hot water cylinder which requires additional controls and switching, so the receiver unit is different. Both versions retail at the same price.

There are three main components to the set: The Hive Hub, the Thermostat and the Receiver each in its own box within the main packaging.

The Hive Hub

This is the main component that provides the ‘smart ’part of Hive and plugs in to your internet router included in the box are the unit itself, a network cable to plug in to your router and a power adaptor and cable. It can take quite bit of time for this unit to register and activate so it is best to plug this in before starting any other work.

The Thermostat

In this box is the thermostat, 4 batteries and a quick start guide.

The Receiver

This is the part that that is connected to and controls the central heating boiler.

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Hive Thermostat Review – Part 2 installation

My heating is a fairly new system with a proprietary wireless, but not smart controller, so installation was a fairly simple process of replacing the components. Here’s my airing cupboard before I started

First up was removing the original receiver unit taking photos with my phone and making careful note of the existing wiring.

Transposing the wiring was easy and Hive use standard terminology as in NC (normal closed) NO (normal open) Neutral, Live and Common plus an Earth tether.
I like the fact that you wire up the terminals on the mounting plate and then fit the receiver unit to it which make it far less fiddly than having to wire up the unit while it is dangling like my previous receiver.
 

The thermostat as supplied is designed to be wall mounted and the wall mounting plate/back pannel makes it impossible to have the unit freestanding without falling over with it fitted. A stand is available to purchase separately at a somewhat expensive at £29.99 which is a little hard to swallow, but it is very solid and there is some serious weight to the metal base and does an excellent job of keeping the unit in place. 

 

This is really interesting stuff @greenstripe looking forward to next instalments!

A quick link to this post with promo code details for anyone intrested in getting a Hive kit :thumbsup:

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I have had Hive since I was previously connected with an apparent large company (Big Giant)!

I have the separate water and heating receiver. 

I was advised by a friend to get it as it was saving him lots of money in energy bills. Against my better judgement I dived in and paid for the gadgets and installation.


Now there is nothing wrong with the system, it is very clever and if you love your tech and controlling your heating whilst out and about with your phone or putting in varying daily schedules to turn on and off your heating is your thing, then it’ll be great. But if you are already Savvy with your energy requirements like me and let’s face it, savvy with your heating control is the main aim of this, then I’m not sure how much it has benefited me.

I used to put on my heating when I needed it, when I was in the house. Now, with the schedules I got, my hive decides when to put it on based on the temp whether I’m in or not. Why don’t you turn the schedules off I hear you say, well the answer, I’m married with kids. If they were completing this review, they would be raving about it because the house is never too cold!😂

In the end, it is a clever gadget, but it could end up costing you more in energy if you are already savvy (or a Scrooge as my wife says). But your friend saved so much money, how did it do that for him? the answer, he’s also married with kids, the difference being his wife used to control the thermostat (which was normally always set at 28 degrees when it was on!!!)😅😅

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Very interesting @greenstripe 

 

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@Sbeagen The one advantage not mentioned is with the remote app you can sneak the temperature down while they aren’t looking….(repeat after me, I’ve not touched it dear it must be the auto system doing it’s own thing….):robot:

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@woz 🤫i didn’t want that secret to get out😂😂….pre-covid I travelled globally for work and had sooooo much fun remotely changing the temperature from half way around the planet😂😂

From what I have read here with Hive you just have the one thermostat. Am I right in thinking you cannot control the temperature of each room individually from the app or control box? If I am then I don’t see any benefits in having Hive.

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@G4RHL you can control the temp in each room from the app, but you will need to purchase a smart radiator TRV for each radiator you want to control

https://www.hivehome.com/products/hive-radiator-valve?cid=ppc.cid_tool=goo.cid_ctype=bran.cid_cname=UK_Brand_Hive_Heating_TRV_Exact&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhZKjxovw7AIVSLTtCh0QeQ08EAAYASAAEgKPmvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Thanks. I see the 15% discount is only for the thermostat. I have no plans to change but I calculate it would cost me £631 in total if I installed it myself (straight forward) and it seems another £70 if I paid to have it done. In addition there is the cost of the relay needed for the hot water system. I don’t have a combi boiler and not likely to get one. If my maths is right it works out cheaper to install than Evohome but it seems Evohome is more advanced in what it does. It learns and adjusts which leads to greater economy.  Worth the extra? Don’t know.

I installed Evohome 6 years ago and it works fine. No problems. But I have to say if I come to replace my old boiler of 23 years and existing radiators then I would look again at whether to continue with Evohome. I may still do for it will work fine with a replacement boiler and system tank.

Now there is nothing wrong with the system, it is very clever and if you love your tech and controlling your heating whilst out and about with your phone or putting in varying daily schedules to turn on and off your heating is your thing, then it’ll be great. But if you are already Savvy with your energy requirements like me and let’s face it, savvy with your heating control is the main aim of this, then I’m not sure how much it has benefited me.

Thanks for this @Sbeagen it’s a very interesting point, and totally valid! Yes, once you’ve got a good understanding of how your energy is used, and how you can reduce it (saving money!) then the app-controlled stuff is extra, or a luxury.

For me it’s a bit like the activity rings and step counter on my watch. I already know that moving more will burn more calories, but having it spelled out daily - and rewarding me with badges - keeps more moving. Whereas, otherwise, I’d stay on the couch…

Hmm, badges for saving energy? I wonder…. :thinking:

I am seriously looking at the concept of all electric but not a boiler.


PP can put my heating on a super economy rate for using the power!

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I am seriously looking at the concept of all electric but not a boiler.


PP can put my heating on a super economy rate for using the power!

Alas @G4RHL 

There is no super economy rate, just the variable or fixed rates 24 hours a day

Hive is useful if you haven’t got a clever thermostat already, but the same results can be achieved with a programmable wired or wireless thermostat plus a standard timeclock.

Aha, but what about the Hive  “learning” facility, so that it remembers your pattern of usage? Well, most people have a fairly regular pattern of coming home and going out, with differences for school during the week, and perhaps slower routines at weekends.

As long as you have a balanced system with TRVs on all radiators and a good idea of when you need heat, are able to set different timings for weekdays and weekends, and can easily override the system when you wish to, that will work fine. How often do you suddenly want to put your heating on from 50 miles away?!

Thanks. I see the 15% discount is only for the thermostat. I have no plans to change but I calculate it would cost me £631 in total if I installed it myself (straight forward) and it seems another £70 if I paid to have it done. In addition there is the cost of the relay needed for the hot water system. I don’t have a combi boiler and not likely to get one. If my maths is right it works out cheaper to install than Evohome but it seems Evohome is more advanced in what it does. It learns and adjusts which leads to greater economy.  Worth the extra? Don’t know.

I installed Evohome 6 years ago and it works fine. No problems. But I have to say if I come to replace my old boiler of 23 years and existing radiators then I would look again at whether to continue with Evohome. I may still do for it will work fine with a replacement boiler and system tank.

I would recommend looking at replacing your boiler with a condensing one as soon as you can. The reduction in gas consumption may be in the order of 20-30% and this would be a faster return on investment than a new thermostat.

As long as you have a balanced system with TRVs on all radiators and a good idea of when you need heat, are able to set different timings for weekdays and weekends, and can easily override the system when you wish to, that will work fine.

Nice one for getting stuck in @pilotlighter 

Good points, but a bit complex for some?

 

How often do you suddenly want to put your heating on from 50 miles away?!

Oh, I reckon when driving home in the electric vehicle from a day out to see a wind turbine! Feels like sci-fi to me! :wink:

 

 

How often do you suddenly want to put your heating on from 50 miles away?!

It is a criminal offence to do that if you are driving!

I have often though, when setting off from being away from home, switched the heating or hot water on from afar.

In another forum a person who I think is a heating engineer and certainly knows his way around all systems has reported that a friend asked his advice recently on the best system to instal. They looked at all the control systems for heating and came back with one simple conclusion - Evohome. It just works and simply with decent control. I can of course confirm that! My criticism of it is only the app which could be updated and some improvements thrown in.
 

What surprises me is you don’t see Evohome advertised. Well I don’t. But then I mostly don’t see/read advertisements! 

I hadn’t heard of Evohome before, it looks very impressive on their website, but its main advantage appears to be to control multiple heating zones within one property, which is perhaps not a huge advantage to flat-dwellers and most other householders.

Controlling a range of temperatures during the day is essential for proper heating control, and it does this, but so do many other programmable thermostats on the market, such as Danfoss, Drayton etc - plenty on Ebay! And pick a wireless one, so there’s no wiring hassle, and you can put it where you want.

As to switching on the heating when returning from afar...do you leave the family in the cold when you’re away…?!

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Well done @greenstripe 

Thanks. I see the 15% discount is only for the thermostat. I have no plans to change but I calculate it would cost me £631 in total if I installed it myself (straight forward) and it seems another £70 if I paid to have it done. In addition there is the cost of the relay needed for the hot water system. I don’t have a combi boiler and not likely to get one. If my maths is right it works out cheaper to install than Evohome but it seems Evohome is more advanced in what it does. It learns and adjusts which leads to greater economy.  Worth the extra? Don’t know.

I installed Evohome 6 years ago and it works fine. No problems. But I have to say if I come to replace my old boiler of 23 years and existing radiators then I would look again at whether to continue with Evohome. I may still do for it will work fine with a replacement boiler and system tank.

I would recommend looking at replacing your boiler with a condensing one as soon as you can. The reduction in gas consumption may be in the order of 20-30% and this would be a faster return on investment than a new thermostat.

But there is no cost saving replacing the boiler unless you need to me. It costs more.

I hadn’t heard of Evohome before, it looks very impressive on their website, but its main advantage appears to be to control multiple heating zones within one property, which is perhaps not a huge advantage to flat-dwellers and most other householders.

Controlling a range of temperatures during the day is essential for proper heating control, and it does this, but so do many other programmable thermostats on the market, such as Danfoss, Drayton etc - plenty on Ebay! And pick a wireless one, so there’s no wiring hassle, and you can put it where you want.

As to switching on the heating when returning from afar...do you leave the family in the cold when you’re away…?!

Perhaps for a flat there nay be simpler methods but most other houses there are many advantages. For “zone” read “room”. Every room has its own control. Managed through a central point and an app, although you don’t have to use the app. The system learns to be efficient over time.

Got no problems leaving family in the cold. There are none to leave behind now! 

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This thread seems to have prompted some lively discussion, I really need to move on and post the next bit…

 

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Part 3: Initial setup

 

Once everything has been physically installed, all three components should start talking to each other as they are pre-paired at the factory. Assuming that you have already registered for a Hive account you should then be able to start using the system straight away from your phone – it’s just a case of registering the hub ID that is printed on the base of the hub itself and you’re ready to go. Hive is geared up to work from your phone: The smartphone app is very straight forwards and seems pretty reliable. I found the internet setup using a PC a little trickier, and I seem to have to reset my account password at every log-on, so I wouldn’t recommend using this method.

The Smartphone user-interface (Android I don’t have an iPhone to test) is intuitive and clearly laid out. There are three main tabs along the top: Control, Schedule and Actions

This is the home screen once set up which is the Control tab. The measured temperature us displayed top left below the tabs and temp status top right: heating/temp/off reached etc.

The large orange circle displays the required temperature and this can be adjusted by dragging up/down in 0.5-degree increments. The circle changes colour between blue, to green, then orange and finally red to as you set the temperature higher or lower.

Along the bottom there are the basic mode buttons: Manual, Schedule and Off plus a Boost button and an advance. Moving on to the schedule tab – this screen is pretty self-explanatory, there’s also a nice feature to copy the settings from one day to others and add and delete time slots.

Hive has a nice feature called ‘Ready By’ whereby you can tell the heating to be at a certain temperature for a certain time and the unit learns how long it takes your house to warm up and if you tell it to be at 20 degrees C for 6:30am then it will learn when to come on before so that you house has reached 20 at 6:30am rather than needing to set the heating to come on at 6:00 or whatever.

 

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