Which Smart Thermostat Is Right For You?

We have been carrying out an assessment of the new and available digital room thermostatic controls here at Ability.

Traditional thermostats are pretty much a fumble to use. It feels like it takes a million button presses to set or program anything and forget adjusting the temperature if you’re not at home or in the correct room. If you’d rather adjust your thermostat from your phone, with your voice, or if that isn’t futuristic enough, let it adjust itself automatically, you’ll want a smart thermostat like one of these new models that we have on offer here at Ability.

Google Thermostatic Control

Google’s Nest is the biggest name in smart thermostats, and with good reason. Originally designed by Tony Fadell, the father of the iPod, the Nest series use a click-wheel interface for turning the temperature up and down that feels incredibly intuitive. The Nest’s biggest feature, though, is its ability to learn your habits and adapt its temperature schedule accordingly, negating the need for you to futz with it.

Nest Thermostatic Control

Nest Thermostatic Control

The Nest Learning Thermostat is probably what you think of when you picture the Nest, but it isn’t actually my top recommendation for most people. The Nest Thermostat E, in our opinion, is a better buy. It’s cheaper but contains almost all the same features, and its clean white housing is more likely to blend into the walls of your home.

The Nest Thermostat E’s display isn’t quite as nice, but that’s a small downside considering the savings. It does, however, lack compatibility with some HVAC systems – so check Nest’s compatibility tool to see if it’ll work with your home, and keep in mind that if you don’t have a C-Wire, it may not be advisable to use the Nest at all (even though it will technically work). You can read more about C-wires on-line.

Honeywell Thermostatic Control

If you’re on a stricter budget, the Honeywell T5+ gets you the most important smart features in a great package. It’s not exactly “cheap”, and it isn’t as attractive as the other options on this list, but it’ll get the job done, you can control it from your phone or with your voice using Alexa and Google, and use its geofencing features to automate energy savings when you aren’t home.

But that discount has to cut corners somewhere: it doesn’t integrate with SmartThings, doesn’t support room sensors, and doesn’t learn your habits the way Nest does, but if you want basic smart home integration at a more affordable price, the T5+ will do the job.

Ecobee Thermostatic Control

Canadian company ecobee is the other big name in the smart thermostat space, and their latest offering is known simply as the ecobee SmartThermostat. It has a decidedly more techy look, with a black touch screen that’s easy to navigate and adjust, along with sensors for different rooms just like the T9. the ecobee sensors are slightly less powerful as the T9’s, since they don’t detect humidity, but they’re still quite useful. Like other thermostats, you can control it from your phone, set schedules, and automate energy savings when you leave the house. You can check compatibility with your home’s HVAC system here.

If your not sure which thermostatic control is for you then please give us a call here at Ability 01892 514495 and we can discuss the best option for your needs.

Commercial LPG in a local hotel this sunny Summer Wednesday

Commercial LPG

We have contracts with local Councils, Schools and Charities, however, these don’t always include a commercial LPG outdoor barbecue.
This is probably an unusual concept to most, well it is not to one local hotel we are working for. We have been out to give an estimate and after it was accepted we were able to put together this outdoor LPG clay oven.
For the benefit of the customers and visitors, we are told the barbecue will cater for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and in fact all manner of celebrations this summer.
We were able to carry out the commercial LPG installation in accordance with gas safe who are always on hand for our engineers when any advice or help is required.
So in the photos below, we show an unusual setup but a great way to introduce a safe working facility for the use and comfort of a local business and local residents.

if you require any help or information on buying gas please contact Calor.

Commercial LPG photos taken at a local hotel we work for.

commercial LPG,
Commercial LPG clay oven

commercial LPG
Commercial LPG clay oven bottles set up


Please see some safety information below regarding LPG and outdoor barbecue use;

Commercial LPG

Whether you’re camping at a festival, taking to Britain’s waterways or enjoying a caravan break, remember to follow these simple safety measures when using LPG

Liquefied petroleum gas, known as LPG, is commonly used outdoors, such as for camping equipment, BBQ’s and patio heaters. It is also used inside dwellings such as caravans, cabins, boats and rural homes. If you rent out your dwelling – even for a short term – you are classed as a landlord and therefore have legal duties when it comes to gas safety.


Using fixed appliances

All fixed LPG gas appliances should be regularly serviced and safety checked every year by a suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineer. You should check your engineer is qualified to work on your property type, as well as qualified to work on the individual appliance.

For example, if you have an LPG cooker on your boat, the engineer will need to be registered to work on: boats, cookers and LPG.

When buying a new or replacement gas appliance you should check that it is suitable for its intended location (e.g. in a caravan) and the type of gas that will be used (i.e. LPG or natural gas). It must be installed by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer.

We highly recommend you install an audible carbon monoxide alarm. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an extremely poisonous gas, which can kill quickly and with no warning, as you cannot see, smell or taste it.

Using portable appliances

If you are using a portable appliance with an integral gas canister make sure you:

  • Check the equipment’s condition before each use. If the gas canister seal looks damaged, or if the gas canister is extremely rusty and deteriorated, or shows any signs of distress, do not use it.
  • Familiarise yourself with the operating instructions before use.
  • Ensure that you have the correct type of gas canister for your appliance and that it is being inserted in the correct position and in the right way.
  • Do not force the gas canister retaining lever into position. It could damage the mechanical linkage and the pressure relief device.
  • Do not attempt to light the appliance if you are having problems with the lever, or if you smell or hear gas escaping. Call a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer to check it is safe.
  • On a boat, stow the canisters, used or unused and the stove if it has a canister inserted, in a self-draining gas locker, or on an open deck where any escaping gas can flow overboard.

Using gas cylinders

  • Install a gas detection system, if possible.
  • Keep the area well ventilated when in use, to avoid a build-up of poisonous carbon monoxide.
  • When you have finished with the appliance, turn off the gas cylinder before you turn off the appliance’s controls – this means that any gas in the hose and pipework will be used up.
  • When changing cylinders make sure all cylinder valves and/or gas taps are turned off before disconnecting. Only change a cylinder in open air.
  • Do not over-tighten joints.
  • Return used cylinders to your supplier. Do not throw them away. If you are unsure what to do consult the UKLPG website or your nearest stockist.
  • On a boat, regularly hand-pump bilges (the enclosed areas at the inner bottom of the hull) to remove potential low-lying vapours.


  • Only use rubber hoses marked BS 3212 or stainless steel convoluted hoses marked EN10380.
  • If connecting directly to a cylinder or if the outlet pressure of the regulator exceeds 50 mbar use a hose marked ‘High Pressure LPG’.
  • Ensure the length of the hose is as short as practically possible, but long enough that they are not pulled tight.
  • Replace any hose that is damaged or shows signs of wear, stiffness, soft spots or cracking.
  • Keep hoses clear from hot surfaces

Mobile Catering Gas Safety Checks; Festival Season

The festival season is upon us again and the glorious weather will entice everyone to attend outdoor events.  However, if you are planning on providing mobile catering to members of the public you will need to have a valid mobile catering gas safety check as it’s a legal requirement.  The certificate record can only be issued by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer who specifically holds the relevant professional qualification. The certificates need to be renewed on an annual basis.  Ability are able to provide the gas safety certification for mobile catering units and it’s also  important to remember that LPG is highly flammable and potentially dangerous so it needs to be treated with respect.  So let us help you and your commercial catering business remain fully compliant and contact us today to arrange for your LPG appliances to be checked and maintained.

Safety and maintenance; you need to consider the maintenance of pressure regulators and automatic change over devices; they should be located as close as they can to the actual cylinder. Flexible connections should be as short as possible but also be sufficiently long enough to provide the flexibility required without excessive strain on the hose or the end fittings.

gas safety check, lpg, mobile catering, butane, propane
mobile catering unit

When your LPG heating or boiler needs repairing, we are here to help. Our engineers are local, reliable, friendly and highly experienced in propane and butane gas. We will do everything to repair your system quickly and cost effectively. They will communicate with you at every stage so that you are always fully informed.

So wherever you maybe situated in the South East of England please don’t hesitate to call us at Ability and we will endeavour to help you with your gas safety check as we are always in and around the Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex and Surrey areas, in particular Tunbridge Wells, East Grinstead and Sevenoaks.