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Thread: Which heating system?

  1. #1

    Default Which heating system?

    I'd be grateful if anyone could offer advice on the simplest/cheapest way to achieve what I need out of my heating system.

    I've recently moved into a larger house that has an 80's boiler, a two period 24 hour dial programmer and an attractive ancient brown and cream Honeywell thermostat, no TRVs.

    Initially I decided to trial Tado but quickly realised it wasn't going to be the most beneficial system for us.

    I like the geolocation and it's a feature I want to keep but it's not going to save us a fortune because my Mrs is home most of the day and the control of hot water wasn't really necessary as it is only for two 15 minute periods a day and setting it to holiday mode occassionally isn't a massive hassle.

    We have four bedrooms that are currently being pointlessly heated throughout the day, so programmable TRV's are a must. Initially I thought of using FS20 with a boiler relay but I can only really think of one situation where demand for heating needs to be based on anything other than the temperature of the lounge so I'm thinking that would be overkill.

    I have a Synology server and have installed fhem just to have a look at it, but have to admit I'm still unsure of exactly what capabilities it has as most of the documentation is in German.

    I keep deciding to go with a system but end up changing my mind, so thought I'd ask users of their experiences.

    Must haves:

    - Geolocation, probably through sending a http request through an android app like Tasker, so whatever heating controller/thermostat would need an open/hacked api and internet comms
    - Control based on a Google calendar event, I have found the Inspire thermostat offers this but it's ugly so I'm hoping fhem can achieve this?
    - Remotely monitored by mobile
    - Reliable
    - Wife friendly once installed
    - Ability to set a max thermostat temperature would be nice

    I have looked at Max! and FS20/FHV (what's the difference? Compatible?) but think it would be more suitable to have a single thermostat controlling the heating based on temp of lounge (largest room) with the programmable TRVs doing their thing but also easily altered for changes of schedule rather than the TRVs actually controlling the boiler. Any product recommendations would be appreciated, specifically for any thermostats that have the above functionaily or can talk to fhem. Perhaps a simple relay can be attached to the thermostat?

    Also, can fhem natively take input from one group of devices and output commands to another?

    Thanks,

    Dan

  2. #2
    Automated Home Sr Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    50

    Thumbs up Heat Genius - My recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by dan1w View Post
    I'd be grateful if anyone could offer advice on the simplest/cheapest way to achieve what I need out of my heating system.

    I've recently moved into a larger house that has an 80's boiler, a two period 24 hour dial programmer and an attractive ancient brown and cream Honeywell thermostat, no TRVs.

    Initially I decided to trial Tado but quickly realised it wasn't going to be the most beneficial system for us.

    I like the geolocation and it's a feature I want to keep but it's not going to save us a fortune because my Mrs is home most of the day and the control of hot water wasn't really necessary as it is only for two 15 minute periods a day and setting it to holiday mode occassionally isn't a massive hassle.

    We have four bedrooms that are currently being pointlessly heated throughout the day, so programmable TRV's are a must. Initially I thought of using FS20 with a boiler relay but I can only really think of one situation where demand for heating needs to be based on anything other than the temperature of the lounge so I'm thinking that would be overkill.

    I have a Synology server and have installed fhem just to have a look at it, but have to admit I'm still unsure of exactly what capabilities it has as most of the documentation is in German.

    I keep deciding to go with a system but end up changing my mind, so thought I'd ask users of their experiences.

    Must haves:

    - Geolocation, probably through sending a http request through an android app like Tasker, so whatever heating controller/thermostat would need an open/hacked api and internet comms
    - Control based on a Google calendar event, I have found the Inspire thermostat offers this but it's ugly so I'm hoping fhem can achieve this?
    - Remotely monitored by mobile
    - Reliable
    - Wife friendly once installed
    - Ability to set a max thermostat temperature would be nice

    I have looked at Max! and FS20/FHV (what's the difference? Compatible?) but think it would be more suitable to have a single thermostat controlling the heating based on temp of lounge (largest room) with the programmable TRVs doing their thing but also easily altered for changes of schedule rather than the TRVs actually controlling the boiler. Any product recommendations would be appreciated, specifically for any thermostats that have the above functionaily or can talk to fhem. Perhaps a simple relay can be attached to the thermostat?

    Also, can fhem natively take input from one group of devices and output commands to another?

    Thanks,

    Dan
    My recommendation is for you to invest in a Heat Genius Smart Intelligent Heating Control System or Honeywell Evohome. The Hive, Tado and Nest are ideal for small single Zone area like a bedsit or a single open area space with no closable doors dividing up the heating area. If you have a house with many rooms, this type of system will not save you much and you will hardly reap the benefit you are hoping for. To be fair to Net their system can be built to act as a Zone system but it would be prohibitively expensive solution for everyone who was looking for a savings or a 'return on investment'

    However, as you are adamant that you system must have Geolocation (GPS) as standard you have ruled out the two systems that I have recommended. If, however, you are willing to look at your requirement, with open mind and starting from a blank sheet of paper then you should be looking either at Heat Genius or Honeywell Evohome.

    Unfortunately your "Must Haves" wish list rules a lot of systems out that perhaps would give you a better system and the all important 'return on investment' However this is what you can tick off your 'Must Haves' list and whatever is left on your wish list will help you to focus if you really need whatever is left or you can continue searching for your elusive dream system.

    • Heat Genius comes as standard with a built in Internet Gateway.
    • Heat Genius is reliable and provides many fall-back-features. If your Internet goes down the system reverts to a WiFi system only through a room thermostat that is normally installed at your front door. This gives you a way to operate your system through this thermostat if your Heat Genius Home Hub brakes down then the system provides override facilities through the the TRVs.
    • Heat Genius is wife, children and pet friendly - sensors can be made less sensitive to take into account if you have animals in you home.
    • Heat Genius has the ability to set a max thermostat temperature for any type of heating deeds i.e. Radiators, Underfloor Heating, Electric Panel Heaters etc. Heat Genius provides as a default Frost Control protection for your home.
    • Heat Genius can be operated and monitored by a iOS and Android Mobiles, Tablets and all types of PC computers.
    • Heat Genius can natively take input from one group of devices and output commands to another. Heat Genius relies on data from Sentrollers (sensor, actuators and controllers) but sentrollers are devices that monitor and control our home. Heat Genius built in algorithm then calculates this data and then instructs another device to either raise or lover the temperature based on what the parameters have been pre-configured into the system.
    • Heat Genius can provide you with temperature and room by room utilisation Charts that you can access over the internet on your mobile devices or your home computer.


    Below is a link that takes you to two articles that I wrote on this Forum to explain in detail what functionality the Heat Genius can provide. http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/vbull...t-Genius/page2

    You mentioned that you had looked at the Inspire Heating Controls. Inspire is not that different to what Hive, Tado and Nest provide. Again it is a great system if the only thing you want is advanced room thermostat or a single house thermostat, which in your situation does not make any financial sense.

    The Inspire can be accessed using the Internet as indeed you can do with Heat Genius but that is where their similarities stop. Heat Genius is a modular system that you can gradually increase in size if your budget does not allow you to fork out for a full system in one go. It is a fully configurable Zoning system but if you check out their costs for a full system I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

    I have been using Heat Genius for a year now and I love my system. I live in a three bedroom two story house. My house is divided into 6 Zones. To save me the time to write about my installation I have provided you with a link to a review article that I wrote in June this year: http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/revie...-controls.html

    I have also written few more supporting articles in this forum as answers to questions from people like you who are interested in installing Smarter Heating Controls in their homes. You find my answers if you look for them by searching the Forum by typing in "Heat Genius"

    As I have had my system for over a year now I have acquired reliable data on the savings my system has managed to provide me with "return on investment" and in my situation this has amounted to 400 per annum. If you read my Review you will note that it is not complicated to install the Heat Genius yourself but you can always get Heat Genius to do the installation for you.
    Last edited by Hot; 19th October 2014 at 05:48 PM. Reason: Additional text and correction
    I am totally independent writer and my writing is not skewed in any way by receiving payment for my writing. I reduce my gas bills by using Heat Genius Smart Intelligent Heating Controls with more efficient Column radiators.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Legend
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,001

    Default

    I am sure that there are more-qualified people than me to address your more detailed questions. That said, my own research led me to consider two zoning systems: Evohome and Heat Genius. I went for the former as Honeywell have a proven track record when it comes to heating controls. Up until last week, it did not offer geolocation but I think that this might now be possible through the IFTTT app. Read this site's news page. Remotely controlled /monitored by mobile - yes (if you buy the access router). Reliable - yes, so far - the only problem that shows in the fault log is a brief loss of wifi connection to the HW relay during a violent thunderstorm in July. Wife friendly - yes: it is simple to turn up the target temperature on each thermostat, and the controller software doesn't require an able 5 year old to operate. Temperatures can be set for each zone, and alerts can be set up via IFFTT.

    It is though a closed system in that, a bit like Apple, it is built around the Honeywell ecosystem.

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi,

    Thanks for your responses. Those two systems are unfortunately out of my budget at the moment having just moved and having other renovations to make.

    Max and FS20 are more the price range I'm looking at and I want to build the system in stages as cash allows. It's just annoying that no system seems to exactly what I want with Max not having any boiler control, FS20 being quite ugly and neither having any replacement for an existing thermostat which is surely a much simpler method of boiler control.

    I was thinking to get a thermostat that could talk to fhem and then getting fhem in turn to talk to the TRVs but after doing some more reading today I think I'm probably going to just get boiler control and ew programmable TRVs with two going in the living room connected to a wall thermostat which will get me back to the functionaility I have at the moment.

    Install programmable TRVs in the bedrooms to stop heating them during the day and work on implementing the calendar control and geolocation in the meantime (not looking for it as standard), but I still don't know which product to use. I like Max the best but I'd need to create my own boiler control somehow. Homematic is another but can't get my head around the boiler control yet.

    Still open to any other suggestions and thanks again for your input.

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