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Thread: Home automation newbie - go gently...

  1. #11
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    Page 18 of the attached PDF:


    http://www.beama.org.uk/en/utilities...4819ADC06FBFBC

    You make a good point on how people use manual heating controls; however, imho, quoting a 40% saving is somewhat misleading. I note that the latest Evohome brochure quotes the following:

    Upgrading your basic timer and thermostat controls to evohome smart zoning could deliver as much as 40% savings on heating your home.

    This is an entirely accurate statement; however, I suspect the many people who have installed Evohome or Heat Genius will be getting nowhere near a 40% saving as they were already energy-saving savvy; turning down manual TRVs in un-used rooms or even turning radiators off.

    FWiW, I am saving money; however, I suspect that it will be many years before I recover the cost of my Evohome installation.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenGus View Post
    Page 18 of the attached PDF:


    http://www.beama.org.uk/en/utilities...4819ADC06FBFBC

    You make a good point on how people use manual heating controls; however, imho, quoting a 40% saving is somewhat misleading. I note that the latest Evohome brochure quotes the following:

    Upgrading your basic timer and thermostat controls to evohome smart zoning could deliver as much as 40% savings on heating your home.

    This is an entirely accurate statement; however, I suspect the many people who have installed Evohome or Heat Genius will be getting nowhere near a 40% saving as they were already energy-saving savvy; turning down manual TRVs in un-used rooms or even turning radiators off.

    FWiW, I am saving money; however, I suspect that it will be many years before I recover the cost of my Evohome installation.
    I am very aware of the Salford University document, indeed I have promoted it many times. This was based on a natural gas fired system and a basic 2010 part L building regs system. Evohome exceeds 2010 part L by quite some way and is much more accurate in its level of control the system Salford University used.

    But basic heating system facts - turned down TRV's in un-occupied (but normally used rooms i.e. not unused bedrooms turned to frost protection) will still heat up to the set point and waste energy in doing so. If you are not in the room simply don't heat it and evohome has the ability to do this either by schedule or at the touch of a button.

    I agree the savvy eco-warrior heating system user may not get the full 40% benefit but lets face facts - the majority of people are lazy when it comes to adjusting TRV's and heating controls, controls are misunderstood or incorrectly set and on/off characteristics in basic heating system components cause inefficient systems. Heating engineers installing boilers on 'price' (especially on building sites) will skimp on controls - FACT. Upgrading away from these controls to something that has a good user interface and can be intelligently and accurately controlled will have excellent saving potential even on new properties!

    I fitted one of the first installer 'trial' evohome systems a year ago into my Mum and Dad's house (gas fired combi boiler, 10 rads, one hallway fitted with non-digital room thermostat). My dad (a heating engineer of 50 years) is now much more frugal with his heating system, as he accurately knows the temperatures room by room and he makes sure he doesn't heat any rooms he is not occupying at that point in time. This has caused him to save money - FACT. The savings are in the region of 35% compared to the previous years gas bill, but this is an estimate as my Mum and Dad also cook with gas (but assumption is that their cooking habits have remained the same).

    I agree it is difficult to gauge accurately how much each person 'could save' and agree not everyone will 'save 40%' (more in particular with underfloor heated homes), but in my experience (as a second generation plumbing and heating installer) the majority of 'Joe public' certainly have the potential to do so and percentage saving figures should not take away the fact that a 'smart controlled' home will save much more on heating bills than one not.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by The EVOHOME Shop View Post

    I agree it is difficult to gauge accurately how much each person 'could save' and agree not everyone will 'save 40%' (more in particular with underfloor heated homes), but in my experience (as a second generation plumbing and heating installer) the majority of 'Joe public' certainly have the potential to do so and percentage saving figures should not take away the fact that a 'smart controlled' home will save much more on heating bills than one not.
    I do not disagree with anything that you have said; however, having Evohome (or Heat Genius for that matter) installed is a significant investment. I have 21 TRVs. I made my purchase knowing that my saving on gas was likely to be less than 40%. That said, I am very happy with the system - not least, because I no longer have to crawl under study tables etc. Overall, I would give the system an 'A-': the lack of a web browser to see at a glance - and change - zone settings, and a reporting function is the system's weakness. FWiW, one of the installers that quoted for my installation made the very fair point that most people would probably get a better Return on Investment by investing in a modern boiler.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenGus View Post
    I do not disagree with anything that you have said; however, having Evohome (or Heat Genius for that matter) installed is a significant investment. I have 21 TRVs. I made my purchase knowing that my saving on gas was likely to be less than 40%. That said, I am very happy with the system - not least, because I no longer have to crawl under study tables etc. Overall, I would give the system an 'A-': the lack of a web browser to see at a glance - and change - zone settings, and a reporting function is the system's weakness. FWiW, one of the installers that quoted for my installation made the very fair point that most people would probably get a better Return on Investment by investing in a modern boiler.
    I completely agree a full evohome system is not cheap, but a very worth while long term investment (you can take it with you should you move home - well at least the HR92's easily). The evohome system does have some limitations, but is a really good step in the right direction when people want to ensure any heating used in the home is done very efficiently - which brings me onto your second point about boilers!

    Most people do turn to modern condensing boilers to save money. There is no doubt an A-rated condensing boiler is a good investment when the existing boiler is D-rated or below. The problem I personally find is that people skimp on heating systems and because of this, condensing technology is not maximised. A boiler swap will rarely give you the full efficiency the boiler is capable of and therefore maximum savings will not be made. The main reason is due to not changing the old radiators to sizes that maximise the 'condensing effect' of the boiler (return temperature of 54 degrees or lower for a long time). This can lead to extended payback periods due to loss of boiler efficiency (B-rated boiler syndrome).

    I find lots of homes I go into have 'undersized' radiators, which are fine when using a standard efficiency boiler but to achieve a 20 degree Celsius drop across the flow and return of a condensing boiler fired heating system (once up to operating temperature) is a difficult thing to do and the boiler won't stay A-rated for very long (even if the boiler has clever things like fully modulating pumps and weather compensation).

    The fact is good advice and knowledgeable heating engineers are dying out in the UK. Excellent standards are also being compromised due to cost. I personally have stopped doing boiler installations in our area and have been concentrating on our smart controls business, as most people don't know a good heating installation from a bad one (and there are a lot of bad ones). At the prices some 'heating' installers are charging now, there is just not the margins in the priced jobs to allow you to do the work to the standards it should be done (including basic flushing of existing systems).

    When boiler installations you come across look like this it is time to pack up your tools...

    IMG_0645.jpg
    Last edited by The EVOHOME Shop; 4th January 2015 at 09:57 PM. Reason: bad spelling

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by garmcqui View Post
    Afternoon all.

    We just moved into a new build 4-bed house and I'm looking at ways of automating the gas fired heating and hot water systems.

    At the minute we have a two-zone central heating system. One zone is the living room, which has it's own wireless (I think) Danfoss TP5000 programmable room thermostat

    Attachment 447

    The 2nd zone is the heating in the rest of the house, and is controlled by a Danfoss TP9000i programmable thermostat (which also does the hot water):

    Attachment 448

    This main programmer is located in the airing cupboard upstairs, but there is a remote thermostat located in the hallway downstairs.

    So, what would people recommend to automate this system? I've looked at loop, hive etc, but none seem to fit the bill. I'd like to be able to control individual room temperatures, but none of the systems I've seen seem to cater for dual zone systems.

    Any advice appreciated,

    Thanks
    Hi! Since you're looking for zoned heating control, I can tell you from experience that there is one that does zoned heating (by controlling your radiator valves) and also allows you to control hot water. I personally installed their system for a few customers and they are really happy. The company is called Heat Genius, Google it and have a look.

    The way it works, they will replace your existing thermostat with their Genius Hub, which is the main component of the system and is made of three parts - Genius Hub, the Boiler Controller and the Room Thermostat. You'll be able to control your heating from any mobile device with access to the internet.

    For your hot water, you can easily set a time schedule for periods where you want hot water to be made on the App. The system also allows you to boost your hot water at a moments notice, for example if you think that you may run short of hot water when a lot of baths or showers are being taken.

    Apparently they also work with Danfoss, so that should work.

    Another thing they have is the Room Sensors, which are able to learn occupancy patterns, nobody else does that.

    I have the system in my house as well, I installed it myself, 'cus I know it doesn't take long and if I get stuck, I just ring them.

    I really recommend to have a look at these guys, although they're young on the market, it's the only company that truly does zoned heating and although it might not be the best looking systems, at the end of the day, I personally care more about the way it works and how much it will save me on my heating bills, rather that the look.

  6. #16
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    Am finding this forum useful being a relative newcomer to Evohome.

    With respect to boilers and whether to change my view is somewhat cynical. My heating engineers who have done servicing for me for nearly 40 years have amassed a lot of experience in fitting condensing boilers to replace "old" systems. They get many call outs to deal with condensing boilers compared to the old storage tank system. They have found life expectancy is not wonderful. Quoting me 8 years for some of the so called state of the art energy saving stuff. If I were to have maximum savings in running costs then I understood it could save me up to 200 per annum. That does not allow for degradation in efficiency that may occur. It seems to me that by the time I may ever have saved these wonderful amounts it is time to lay out the cash again to replace the boiler! The advice I have had to date from a number of professionals in the field is if my existing boiler is working well then leave it alone and even then some are suggesting not to change to a condenser. The firm that wired up Evohome controls were the last ones to advise that. I am no expert but I think the main part in my type of boiler to go wrong is the fan and that there is little else that will. A replacement fan is about 300 - had one two years ago! My wife though likes the idea of having the existing airing cupboard as extra storage space and I suppose I could well use the space in the loft taken up by 3 tanks! I'll hang on though!

    To my mind it seemed I will save more by ensuring that I have more direct and better control over the use of the heat. The Evohome system provides that. I did not though go the Evohome route in order to save any money nor did I consider pay back time. I just wanted better and more efficient control over my heating and hot water and a more balanced temperature from room to room. All that has been achieved.

    Sod's law that having written this my boiler will now pack up!

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