Review: Heatmiser Neo Smart Home Heating Control System

Heatmier Neo Review - Kit

last weekend Automated Home reader Robin Edwards converted the boring old 20th century heating system in his holiday getaway to a shiny new smart home alternative, the Heatmiser Neo…

We have holiday home and every time we go in winter we are confronted by a cold house which takes three to four hours to heat. The system was installed eighteen months ago based on a Worcester Bosch combi boiler with Honeywell controls consisting of two zones (a programmer and two room stats).  I started investigating options but the costs seemed quite high, so when the Heatmiser Neo was announced in November 2013 I registered interest. I pre-ordered a starter pack and extra Neostat before Christmas with expected availability mid January. The components arrived as expected, mid January.

Heatmier Neo Review - Old Controls

So, it’s goodbye to two room stats(left) and the programmer (right)
They will now be heading off to ebay

The starter pack consists of a Neohub and a Neostat.  Also included is a short Cat5 cable, power plug and cable. The power plug and cable connect via a USB connector so rather than use a 13amp socket I connected the cable direct to one of the USB outlets on my extension cord.

The extra Neostat box contains just the Neostat and a set of instructions. In addition I had to buy two wall boxes as the Honeywell room stats are surface mounted and because of the Neostats need for a 35mm wall box. The final item was the electrician. I looked in the wiring box (a surface mounted double box) and decided I didn’t want to blow something expensive. The supplied booklet gives wiring diagrams for five different electrical configs with boilers.

Installation

While the sparky did the removal of old and install of new I set up the Neohub. In the photo below (right) you can see the Neohub sitting next to my router, connected via the supplied Cat5 cable and also connected to the power source. I also downloaded the Neo app from the app store to my phone and created an account. I got a confirmation welcome message from Heatmiser within a minute.

Heatmier Neo Review - Hub and App

Next job is to add a location to the account, so, once logged onto the account you select ‘add location’, then you just give it a name and the app shows the image below and starts counting down (you have two minutes to press one button on the Nehub!). About ten seconds after pressing the button the app returns with the new location created.

Heatmier Neo Review - App

At this point I had to wait for the sparky to finish.  Once he’d tested basic operation controlling the boiler purely by adjusting the Neostat temperatures like you’d do with a normal room stat it was back to me. He was effectively just overriding the programs.

Heatmier Neo Review - AppAt this stage we were back to where we’d been before the work plus we had a Neohub with a recognised Location. So, next job was to create two zones and pair up the Nestats with them. I selected the location, then hit the menu icon at the top of the screen.

I tapped on the menu item at the top of the screen on the app and a menu appears from the left (it causes the menu icon to move to the right as seen on this shot. I then tapped Manage Zones to get into Zone Management.

Heatmier Neo Review - AppWithin Zone Management there are a few actions, needless to say I selected Add Zone. At this point you go to the nearest Neostat tab to the setup button and hit the ‘tick’ button twice. This is much the same process as setting up the NeoHub earlier. The book recommends doing the NeoStat nearest the NeoHub first, which makes sense as they act as a mesh network.

This establishes a relationship between the Neohub and the Neostat and the zone appeared on my phone with current temp and set temp. I repeated this for the second zone.

So, at the end of this process I had two Zones set up with my simple naming convention. Note: For No3 Ground zone the room is not as warm as the Neostat is set so it is calling for heat (the flame). The setup temperatures were left from our manual testing earlier.

The next job was to create two profiles, one for when we are in residence and one for when we are not. Once the profiles were added you have the option of editing or activating them (at any time). It is possible edit the profiles to change them, create more or to remove them.

Heatmier Neo Review - App

Each profile has four settings per day, Wake, Leave, Return and Sleep. I’m using a profile that is weekdays/weekends as can be seen in the screenshot (Wake Weekdays at 6:00 an Weekends at 6:00 – set temperature to 21c. 24 hour and 7 day modes are also available in profiles Note: the next day I switched to 7 day profiles so every day of the week can be set separately.

To apply the profile to a Neostat tap the ‘activate’ button and you get presented with a list of zones. Tap the ones you want to apply the profile to and it gets applied. In my screenshot below I tapped both than took the shot, takes about five seconds or so to update.

Finally poking around in the app I discovered it is possible to get daily graphs for the last seven days. I don’t remember this being in the documentation, but I might have missed it and as the house and documentation are 150 miles away I can’t check. However, I can check on the house. To do this, select zones, tap on a zone, pick history off the menu. Pick the day you want and the graph appears (simple but meets my needs).

Heatmier Neo Review - App

Another useful feature is the Temperature Hold (seen above), if you select this you can set a temperature and a duration and it will hold that temperature for however long you set the duration to. I can see this would be useful if you are running late and want a zone to stay hot or cool for longer than programmed. After the duration set it returns to the normal setting for the zone.

Heatmier Neo Review - ThermostatInitial Conclusion

  • Easy to set up, we were up and running in under an hour.
  • Three boxes swapped for two
  • Easy to use app, remote monitoring from phone looks good
  • Gives me the control I’ve been hoping for, the proof of the pudding will be how we get on over the next couple of months.

Of course your benefit may vary from mine depending on what you want to achieve.  I have no links with Heatmiser, other that I’ve just bought the Heatmiser Neo we installed today.

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11 Responses to “Review: Heatmiser Neo Smart Home Heating Control System”

  1. I too am a fan of Heatmiser – I installed their Heatmiser PRTHW-TS WiFi in our house in Scotland, replacing two boxes (timer controller, thermostat) with one unit. Having a fixed ip address up there made port forwarding on my router easy to do. The android app looks similar.

    Given the extra functionality of the PRTHW-TS WiFi over a standard timer + thermostat, the extra cost is very well worth spending.

  2. Seems an excellent item to buy. I am just wondering if the existing heating system is as easy as it is made out to be.

  3. Not sure I quite understand last comment, however, the article is based on my experience and I have to say it was surprisingly easy. I just rechecked it and I cannot see anything I missed out. The heating system itself is a Worcester Bosch combi plus nine rads each with its own TRV. Clearly the TRVs are not connected to the Neo but then they were not connected to the old room stats either.

    Importantly there was no fiddling with the router or firewall other than plugging in the cat5 cable.

    Robin

  4. In spite of spending hours on the phone to Heatmiser and purchasing a USB device in order to get the hub to pair with the thermostat the system did not work The auto login never worked and they could not fix that either. It was a piece of junk. I sent it back and was told a refund could not be made as It had been installed. How you find it doesn’t work without installing it I don’t know. Would steer clear.

  5. Nice article. What I do not understand, and this might be me being silly, is how zoning works when you cannot control the radiators.

    Say Zone A (upstairs) is at the required temperature. If Zone B (downstairs) still has a few degrees to go before hitting its desired temperature, is it not going to ask for heat and in theory Zone A will continue to heat too (and then maybe feel too hot)?

  6. Exactly my thoughts Anthony – only a few ‘smart heating’ solutions seem to have TRVs involved, but claim to have multi-zone.
    It’s all very well having sensors everywhere, but unless there’s actually something within that zone to control the temperature within that zone then it’s not multi-zone at all.

  7. We got total new heating, heatmiser advised to go with neostat instead of their older hard wired wifi system. So put different wiring in house. Each room has it’s own pipe work and individual neostat. 13 neostat for now. System is horrible, stats can’t find the mesh, when attached flip off line all the time. Have been on to heatmiser, every time other story/ advise. Distance should too far: neostat are only 2m apart!!! They can only connect in straight lines… Put stats on their side etc etc. we bought 2nd hub to split house in. 2 circuits. We’re very very disappointed in the system and especially after care. At the point of ripping whole system out, but are screwed as we followed heaisers initial advise not to hardwire with cat back to boiler room.

  8. I am wodering of how you got working the profiles. My experience is that they are not working at all. Activating a profile has no effect. It is active always the one typed in manually into the comfort Level.

  9. Neo system using windows smartphone. All was OK until AM 14/11/14 when app update received, not been right since (now 19/11/14). I was promised problems would sorted today, 2000hrs now & still faulty. Neo App will not allow me to set any comfort/profiles & it has chosen to use default settings. I am going to re-install my old Danfoss Stat tomorrow.

  10. Sorry for delay in answering, I’ve not had time to look recently, will try to answer as much as I can now…

    The system is still working fine. Did have one loss of contact in the summer, however the router wasnt sending me it’s logs also so
    I suspect it was the router.

    Regarding the zones and TRVs, the house has always had two zones, one upstairs and one down. Any rad that hits temp will shut off, rest of zone will continue to be heated. This seems to be pretty much the norm implementation in our area for any central heating system being installed currently. If the rads in each room are hot enough and turn off then it is true there will be water flowing but not to the rads. So the other zone may still be on and the rads in that zone demanding heat. The Neo does not alter this at all.

  11. Sorry, missed on.

    I have two profiles, named Here and Away. Self explanatory, switching between the remotely with my iPhone (IOS8) works fine. My mistake was to name one Away because Heatmiser use that as well and initially I was getting myself confused.