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Thread: CMZone vs. EvoTouch vs. HouseHeat

  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    16

    Default CMZone vs. EvoTouch vs. HouseHeat

    Hi,

    First post from me, so be gentle

    We've got an old oil fired boiler in our house (worcester), and the programmer is playing up, so it needs binning and replacing with something new. While looking for replacement programmers and adding a stat (we don't currently have any room stats), I found progressively more 'cool' (and expensive) bits of kit - from wireless programmable stats, to CMZone, and then onto EvoTouch and the HouseHeat type systems... If I'm going to replace it, I may as well do it 'properly'

    We currently have:

    Kitchen (2 rads)
    Front Room (1 rad)
    Study (1 rad)
    Bedroom (2 rads)
    Bathroom (1 rad)
    Bedroom 2 (1 rad)

    All rooms have manual TRVs, there's no zoning or anything via valve currently. The house is also very old, with a modern extension - the old part isn't well insulated, with the new part being much warmer. At the moment in the winter there's massive temp differences between the two, and the old parts get a lot colder overnight while the heating is off.

    The second bedroom and the study are only used occasionally, so really I'd need to divvy the house up into 3 zones - living (kitchen, front room), upstairs (main bedroom, bathroom) and unused rooms (spare bedroom, study).

    For CMZone, I can get the 'installer kit' for about 500, which comes with 6 rad stats. From what I can tell, this would give me control of 2 zones, if I wanted to add another zone I'd need to purchase another controller for about 70.

    With EvoTouch, the documentation seems to be a bit sparse - but from what I can tell, if I installed the electronic rad valves on every rad, I could control everything from a single unit, and it would effectively turn every room into it's own zone - I'd end up with 6 rooms that I could control the temp of independently. Pricewise it's about 250 for the controller, and then HR80 stats for every rad I wanted to control, so about 750 in total (Possibly it'd be cheaper to buy the CMZone kit and flog the unwanted bits?)

    With the HouseHeat / Conrad system, I'd need valves for every room (FHT 80BTF?) at about 60 each, additional valves where we have 2 rads in a room (2 x 30), a boiler controller (84), and a central controller (FHZ1000 - 80). So all in, I'm looking at about 600. This would give me similar functionality to the EvoTouch, with temp control of every room. If I wanted to link it up to the PC in the future, I could do this with a PC controller at about 100, but then I'd lose the central controller functionality.

    None of the above systems will control the timed hot water on my worcester boiler - there's a small local tank of hot water that is kept warm when the hot water is on via the timer - so I'll still need a separate controller for timed hot water.

    Is my thinking reasonably accurate so far?

    One of the main considerations is that it has to be easy to use - I get it in the neck when I install something technical (like freesat ) and the 'boss' can't work it - the first time I'm not home and the house is cold when it should be warm I'd get an unhappy phone call and I'd never hear the end of it From the look of things, EvoTouch appears to be the most user friendly..

    Any comments / feedback / advice?

    Cheers

    Jon
    Last edited by jonn; 7th April 2011 at 01:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Personally, we went for the Homeheat system and it's been okay - there are some niggles with it (the batteries don't seem to load the quoted 1 year on the valves - nothing like it!), but on the whole it does the job, and it is very user friendly.

    Two things to bear in mind with the Homeheat system:

    1. You can't use USB control AND the central control unit
    2. You can get unofficial USB controllers for around 30 quid, but I suspect you'll have to use open source control software like FHEM.

    For me though, the per-room thermostats separate to the radiator give you the best energy saving potential, so long as your rooms are each well insulated, well zoned, and people in your house are in the habit of closing doors.

    Russ

  3. #3
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Thanks for the feedback

  4. #4
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Not sure if you took the plunge yet. I bought a test set up of both CMZone and the Homeheat. Vastly preferred the build quality on the CMZone kit and plan to replace the 2 zone controllers with Evotouch some time in the future. The Homeheat actuators and thermostats both feel tacky and the actuators are much more noisy.

  5. #5
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    16

    Default

    I went with Evotouch in the end, along with a Siemens controller to look after the hot water

    Currently we have the Evotouch controller and boiler relay, and I added 4 rad valves on Friday (it was cheaper to buy the controller from one place, the valves from another).

    After a few issues getting it all paired up properly (the docs aren't wonderful), and for some reason ending up with the living room being in the wrong zone, it all seems to be working OK. Now it's just a case of working out the optimum temp for each room, but that's more trial and error than complex!

    Later in the year I'll buy more valves for the rest of the rooms.

    The only issues I've found so far is that you have to repair the valves if you want to make any changes (eg. from internal sensing of temp to external on the evo unit), and that if you pick up the evo head unit to make any changes, it warms up 8-10 degrees due to your body heat!

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