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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At 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.
Within 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.
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).
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.
- 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.