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(Pocket-lint) - Smart heating systems are great, but there are now a number of options available, all of which have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Choosing between them and finding the system that will suit your needs best can be difficult as it will depend on all sorts of factors from what kind of boiler you have, to what you want your smart heating system to actually do for you.

We have put Honeywell's Evohome up against British Gas's Hive Active Heating to see how they compare, what they both offer and how the two well-established systems differ.

Honeywell Evohome and British Gas Hive: Quick summary

The Evohome system from Honeywell allows you to create and remotely control up to 12 heating zones, which can be grouped together or controlled individually.

Hive Active Heating from British Gas allows for control of your heating and hot water remotely from a smartphone, tablet or laptop. It won't allow you to divide your home into different zones like Evohome, but like Honeywell, British Gas claims its system will save you money on your heating bills.

Honeywell Evohome and British Gas Hive: Features

Evohome from Honeywell enables you to control each radiator within your home separately down to a degree in temperature but you will need to have bought radiator kits for each radiator you want to do this for.

Splash the cash and it will mean you can make the bathroom lovely and toasty for your morning shower from your bed, or increase the temperature of the bathroom radiator up a couple of degrees to ensure you have a nice and warm towel for after your shower.

Evohome has separate modules available for controlling hot water and underfloor heating and there is a timing feature that allows you to set individual times and temperatures for each room.

Honeywell's system comes with a central control unit that offers you full control when you don't want to use your smartphone or tablet and over time, Evohome will analyse your home so it knows exactly how quickly it can heat the room.

British Gas Hive comes with a wireless thermostat, a hub, a receiver and an app to allow you to control your heating and hot water from your smart device.

You can set up schedules to make your heating fit in with your life and Hive will check the weather and adjust your heating accordingly so it shouldn't ever be too hot or cold. You can also set up email alerts so you can be made aware of when it is getting too hot or too cold.

A frost protection feature activates when your heating is off and the temperature inside goes below 5C to protect your pipes and Hive also has a geolocation feature. This will use your smartphone's location to remind you to turn the heating on before you get home, or off if you have left home.

Like Evohome, Hive has the wireless thermostat to allow users to control their heating directly from this rather than their smartphone if they want to. There is also what British Gas calls a boost button, which will enable you to turn your hot water on for an hour if you fancy a bath in the middle of the day for example.

Honeywell Evohome and British Gas Hive: Installation

Honeywell's Evohome is suitable for any home with a hydronic (wet) central heating system. It doesn't disrupt any existing pipework or décor and it won't damage any fittings or fixtures. It does require a professional installer though.

British Gas Hive Active Heating will work with your exisiting heating system and you don't need to have British Gas as an energy supplier to be able to have Hive in your home. Like Evohome, it also requires a professional installer, which is included in the price.

Honeywell Evohome and British Gas Hive: Cost implications

Honeywell has a system builder that allows you to create an Evohome product to suit your individual home. It asks you a range of questions from the kind of boiler you have to the number of zones you are looking to create.

We created a system based on six rooms comprising a bathroom, kitchen, living room and three bedrooms. We put two radiators in four of the rooms and one in the other two. Evohome starts at £250, but the system we created here would cost just over £700.

British Gas Hive has a flat rate of £199 for non-British Gas customers and £159 for British Gas customers. As we said above, this includes the installation cost so it is quite a bit cheaper than Evohome.


Both Honeywell Evohome and British Gas Hive have their benefits. They both offer a plethora of features but Evohome slightly pips Hive to the post here as it offers multi-zones while Hive will only allow you to control the entire house temperature.

You can schedule with both systems, remotely control with both and both will take the weather into consideration when adapting your heating. Where Evohome has the benefit of zones, Hive has the geofencing benefit so as we said, they both have their advantages.

Evohome isn't cheap though, in fact it is probably the most expensive of the smart heating systems out there but it is also the only one that will allow you to control one individual radiator from your phone in order to heat up your socks.

Both are fantastic systems and so ultimately, it will come down to how much you are willing to pay for smart heating and which features are the most important to you. 

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.