Charlie Hill reviews the Hive service from British Gas
Hive is a product provided by British Gas to make it easy to control your home heating and hot water from wherever you are using an app on your mobile or tablet, or from your laptop.
Their own engineers make the installation, it takes around 90 minutes to set up and you don’t need to be British Gas customers. You will need a wireless broadband connection at your property and a hot water tank if you wish to control your hot water as well as your heating.
Once my installation date was set, several reminders were sent by text and the engineer called on the morning of the appointment, and then again as he arrived. An email had been sent prior to this with login details and it stated that the engineer would go through it with me on installation.
First impression of the engineer was that he was a smart, well turned out, polite and knowledgeable young man. We sat down and he explained about the components, the installation and the controls. We set up my login on my MacBook and then downloaded the app on my iPhone and iPad. He showed me how to set the schedules for the heating and hot water and how to manually increase or decrease the temperature of the heating via the app and on my laptop, all of which was very easy to do.
The installation was in 3 parts. The first unit was installed on the boiler (the Receiver), a gizmo that allows the thermostat and boiler to communicate with each other. Secondly The Hub, which plugs into the broadband router so that the thermostat can connect to the internet and be controlled remotely. Finally, we discussed where to place the Thermostat. I decided that it should be in my living room at the bottom of the stairs as that is the coolest spot and would mean that once that space reached the required temperature, the rest of the house should be a degree or 2 warmer.
It took a few weeks of slightly adjusting the schedules and temperatures for me to be happy with the settings. It is worth noting that in the midst of winter, if the temperature drops below 7 degrees, the heating will automatically switch on, protecting your property from burst pipes.
I have found the ability to control the systems remotely absolutely invaluable. There are times when I have been away for the weekend, realised when I am half way up the motorway that I have forgotten to switch off the hot water and accessed it via the app when I reached my destination.
Before you return home, you can also use the “boost” on the hot water so that instant hot water is available once you are back in the house and of course, you can put the heating to “on” so that your home is nice and warm once you get in.
Now that we are into the summer months, I have left my boiler on, but set the temperature lower so that it doesn’t activate, except if there is a sudden spell of “British summer chill”. I can go away safe in the knowledge that if this happens the boiler will kick in.
I have found The Hive Active Heating system really easy to use, I feel more in control of my heating and hot water now and I am sure that I will see the results in my Gas bills over time.
For more information on Hive, visit the website https://www.hivehome.com/