Smart thermostats are a smart technology that let you remotely control your home's temperature via a tablet, smartphone or desktop for greater control over your central heating. (They should not be confused with smart meters, which digitally send meter readings to your energy supplier.)
A typical room thermostat just lets you change the temperature in your home using a dial or control panel. A smart thermostat gives you more efficient, more user friendly and more accessible control over your home’s heating using three basic components.
The first component plugs directly into your boiler and can wirelessly talk to the second comonent, the in-home device that is the thermostat and main control.
The third component is an app that is downloaded to a smartphone (or tablet). Users remotely control the thermostat/main control device via the app, allowing them to adjust their heating from wherever they may be.
This is the basic makeup of most smart thermostats. Some smart thermostats offer more, such as 'learning' your schedule by detecting when your smartphone is in the house, or even taking it step further by detecting when you're on your usual route home, and preparing your home to the desired tempature.