Skip to main content
Loading...

Drayton Wiser Review

Drayton's Wiser heating system can control the temperature in individual rooms, yet won't break the bank. Here's our review.

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED
  • From £139.99
There are lots of smart heating systems to choose between. From big names such as Nest and Hive to lesser-known systems from Tado, Genuis and Netatmo. One name you’ve probably heard of is Drayton, one of the biggest brands in UK heating systems.

Its Wiser system aims to make the upgrade from dumb to smart heating as simple as possible, while also giving you a system that’s both easy to use as well as comprehensive.

And on the face of it, we think it has succeeded. There are various starter kits to suit different types of boiler, and multi-zone kits which include smart radiator valves that let you create heating zones without having to change any plumbing.

The kit is very simple to install if you have a standard old-style programmer wired up to your boiler. And everything else is wireless and battery powered so there should be no need to pay for an electrician to install it.

Recent updates to the system include support for Alexa and Google Assistant as well as integration with IFTTT. 

PRICE
We were sent the Wiser Multi-Zone Kit 1 for review. This includes a one-channel thermostat, plus two radiator valves. You can buy this from Screwfix for £189.99

That’s good value considering most smart radiator valves (smart TRVs) cost between £50 and £70 each. Nest’s third-gen thermostat costs £179.99 on its own and as of yet, Nest hasn’t launched its own TRVs.

Bear in mind that a one-channel kit is what you'll need if you have a combi boiler. But if you have a separate hot water tank and want to control that as well, you’ll need the two-channel thermostat kit. You can buy this from Screwfix for £199.99. Like all Wiser kits, this also supports multi-zone.

Individual TRVs cost £34.99 each, which is the cheapest we’ve seen and means you can control extra rooms without the costs spiralling out of control.

If you need it, there’s a three-channel thermostat kit for £199.99 which doesn’t come with any TRVs but does include two thermostats, and extra wireless thermostats are £79.99. 

And if you don’t want the TRVs, the basic thermostat and relay bundle is only £139.99.

The latest addition to the system is the Smart Plug. These cost £41.99 each (£36.43 from Amazon) and allow you to turn the sockets on and off from the Wiser app.

They're more expensive than the Wi-Fi smart plugs you can buy from TP-Link and others, but they do double as range extenders for the Wiser system and can be set to automatically switch off when you enable Away Mode in the app. So the extra cost could well be worth it for the extra convenience.

Plus, the plugs also support Alexa and Google Assistant (and IFTTT) so you can control them with your voice, or trigger them using an IFTTT applet. 

DESIGN
The control box uses the industry-standard connector so in a lot of cases, upgrading from your old manual heating programmer to the Wiser takes just a couple of minutes and a screwdriver. Note that on the one-channel kit the box has only a Heating button. On the two-channel version you also get a Hot Water button.
If it does need wiring up, diagrams are included in the installation instructions or you can pay an electrician to do this job for you if you’re not confident.

Then it’s a case of installing the Wiser app on your iPhone or Android phone, creating an account and using the on-screen instructions to set up the system, including connecting to your Wi-Fi network. In all, it should take you under 30 minutes.

The thermostat is wireless and powered by a pair of AA batteries. You can place this anywhere, and even take it from room to room. It has a decent colour display and clearly displays the current temperature, the programmed temperature and the current humidity level.

The only hiccup could be if your radiators don’t have compatible valves already, but several adapters are included for popular valve types.

Drayton has designed the TRVs well. They have a control on top so you can manually control the valve: turning towards + boosts temperature by 2 degrees, and decreases by the same when turned to -. Even though there’s no screen which shows the temperature, it’s still handy if guests are staying or you don’t want to fire up the app just to adjust the temperature of one radiator. Some smart TRVs (even those which cost more) have no manual control or temperature display at all.

The valves also self-calibrate when you first install them, which should ensure that they all work properly.

FEATURES
The app itself is also well designed. The interface is clean and intuitive. You can set up a schedule just as you would with a traditional programmer. And thanks to the TRVs, you can also create schedules for individual rooms.

For example, you might install the valves in two bedrooms and set up a schedule so they’re not heated during the day, saving money in the process.

Alternatively, you might want the kitchen and bathroom to heat up earlier than other rooms. Whatever your preferences, the smart TRVs give you precise control over what happens when, so it’s well worth investing in a few more if you can afford it.

If you opt for the two- or three-channel version you will also be able to set schedules for when the hot water should be heated.

Naturally, you can use the app to control the system when you’re out. So if you’ve been away for a few day and you end up coming home earlier than expected, you can remotely turn on the heating so your home is warm when you arrive.

Wiser also offers an Eco mode which takes into account the outside temperature and learns how quickly your home warms up and cools down. This way it won’t needlessly turn the heating on early or keep it on for too long.

A boost function on the thermostat, replicated in the app, allows you to increase temperature in a certain room or zone for a set amount of time. This is useful, but it would be nice to have the option to keep the change until the next scheduled temperature change.

There’s also a holiday mode and an Away Mode. Originally, the latter was a manual control, but there’s now geo-location which uses your phone’s position to work out that you’re not at home and turn off the heating (and any Smart Plugs you have attached to the system).

Alexa support was there from the get-go, but there's now support for the Google Assistant too. Plus, IFTTT support has been added. It’s unlikely to get Siri support since the Wiser isn’t HomeKit compatible.

We had an issue with a weak signal from the control box to the thermostat and radiator valves. However, after a call to Drayton’s support, we were sent a booster box which largely fixed the problem.

As the system uses RF rather than Wi-Fi to communicate it isn’t necessarily the size of your house which determines signal strength but rather the level of interference from other devices. We installed the Wiser in a standard-sized terraced house, and after plugging in the booster box immediately say an improvement in signal strength.

Drayton says boosters will be sent to any customers experiencing problems for free.

We’ve had the system installed for almost a year now and, aside from a couple of teething problems, we’ve been impressed with it. It’s simple to use and does the job well.

SPECS
  • One-, two- and three-channel kits
  • Android and iOS app
  • Compatible with most boilers: uses standard controller interface.
View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

2019 BMW i8 Review

The 2019 BMW i8 is a head-turner for its looks, which hides its plug-in powertrain. That’s good or bad, depending on your priorities.Even among six-figure cars with two doors, the 2019 BMW i8 steals stares. That could be because of the dramatic wing doors and futuristic shape, its laser headlights at night, or the 2019 i8’s silent propulsion for up to 18 miles.
Or it may steal attention because, even after more than four years on sale, it’s a very rare sight.

LG G5 Review In-Depth

Can LG take on the Galaxy S7 with a metal design, dual-cameras and an accessory slot? Here's our first LG G5 review, focusing on LG G5 design and build, LG G5 specs, LG G5 cameras and LG G5 software and apps.
Alongside the Galaxy S7, the LG G5 is one of the biggest phones (not literally) to launch in 2016 – and we're not just talking in the Android world. It's one of the heavyweights and LG will be looking to set the market alight with the G5's alternative and innovative modular design.

Apple iPhone XR Review

If you aren't sure you are ready to leave the Home button behind and embrace Face ID, think again. We'll tell you why the iPhone XR is worth the sacrifice - especially because it's just as good (if not better than) the iPhone XS. Find out more in out full review.
Should I Buy The Apple iPhone XR?
The iPhone XR brings Face ID to the masses. We’re sure people will continue to rebel against the lack of Home button, but eventually we expect them to come round and embrace the larger screen, Portrait mode (front and back), animoji and memoji.We have no doubt that this will be a popular iPhone and it deserves to be. The only question is why would anyone buy an iPhone XS when the iPhone XR is just as powerful and has a bigger screen.

Google Pixel Review

Not everyone wants a phone with a big screen, but most small-screen phones compromise on performance and cameras. Not so with Google’s latest flagship Android phone: Here’s our Google Pixel review.
Joining the ranks of the Pixel C and Chromebook Pixel are Google’s new Pixel phones. We’re reviewing the smaller 5in Pixel here, but you can read our separate Pixel XL review if you’re after a bigger phone.

BlackBerry KEYone Review

BlackBerry soliders on with a curious Android device that gets nearly everything right. It’s not for everyone though, in fact, it’s not really for anyone. But if you want a physical keyboard you will absolutely love it.
Should I Buy The BlackBerry KEYone?
But then, the KEYone is the best BlackBerry phone for years. It has (finally) successfully melded classic BlackBerry design with the necessary mix of Android and nostalgia. Importantly, the latter is only faint this time – this is a device for 2017, not 2007.If you love your iPhone or Samsung, you’ll hate the KEYone and won’t even consider buying it. But if you’ve made it to the end of this review, chances are you’re weighing up a buy. If you think you’ll love the BlackBerry KEYone, then I’m pretty certain you won’t be disappointed. You’re part of a minority, but finally BlackBerry has a phone for you that doesn’t force you to compromise.

Like Fan Page