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Thread: 6 Months in, my views of Evohome

  1. #1
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    Default 6 Months in, my views of Evohome

    Well that's me had my Evohome installation in for 6 months now or near enough.
    It consists of:-
    Wireless controller & stand
    14 x HR92
    2 x BDR91s
    1 x ATF500DHW
    1 x Wireless room thermostat.
    All organised into 12 zones.

    My initial Wireless controller, BDR91, ATF500DHW and 8 HR92s were bought from Evohomeshop. Who have been great to deal with, as you all know anyway.

    Overall so far so good. I'm looking at a projected 2000kw+ saving on Gas usage for the year, think I have that right
    The house comfort seems to be better than before and my wife has grasped the app.

    It wasn't all plain sailing, especially as no local plumbers would even reply to my requests on fitting quotes, so I ended up doing it myself.
    While probably not perfect it works and that's after forgetting to include the sealed boilers thermostat in the HW loop, 90degrees water from the tap anyone..ooops. (Thanks Richard you pointed that one out)
    I still get the odd report on the base that the HW 2 way zone valve BDR91 couldn't be connected too, despite the boiler one being about 45cm away and always connecting. Even tried switching the BRD's round. Will figure it out some time.

    Previously I had a Tado and with a 5 bed house, it just couldn't cope with 1 zone. Which did cost 1/4 of my Evohome setup.

    The app works pretty well and seems to connect reliably, even with the new skin I like it.

    The general setup was straight forward and maintenance has been fine from adjusting zones to adding new zones.

    Where the system has been disappointing shall I say, especially compared to competitors. Is as follows, even if workarounds exist: -

    - Multi-user away modes. IFTT works fine for one person using iOS location services. However IFTT doesn't cope with more than one user, so having tried Life 360, it is useless. Tado offers multiuser monitoring with out 3rd party apps, why not here.
    - When the system kicks in you have no idea which room is calling for heat. You can connect an HGI80 and run your own tools against it, why can't Evohome highlight what HR92 or thermostat called for heat. Tado would show you when during the day the boiler fired up. Ok it was one zone but I'd like a clear plot how often my boiler is called into action and from where.
    - Scheduled room changes. I'd like the ability to program a zone schedule change for a range of dates. If for instance family is staying, I need to change the spare room temps. Should I have to remember to reset them once they are away.

    I really like the system and get on well with it. I just feel the software is it's weakest point and that there is too much focus on using hardware or 3rd party tools to solve software problems, HGI80 & Life 360 as a point.

    If anything I have mentioned is my own stupidity or ignorance feel free to comment. Though I will argue, should they not be more obvious on how to solve and be ready bundled.
    Last edited by Nairnw; 19th April 2016 at 01:14 PM. Reason: Corrected model numbers

  2. #2
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    Hi Nairnw,

    Really good write up. I could not agree more, brilliant system let down a little by the limited ability to control it.

    You get the basics which are good but if the bells and whistles were added it would be like Christmas has come early.

    It is a bit like an app that I am commenting on for a company. They released the beta (their version) and it was terrible. After lots of comments they got help and asked a commercial company who specialises in app creation to create an app!

    Well it was much better and now looks great. Maybe Honeywell should try this, I think they would sell lots more if more functionality was available.

    Anyway, I'm saving roughly 450 a year having the system so in 6 months it's paid for itself, that will be the 2 year point. 12 zones, 15 radiators each with a HR92. I think it is great, would love a little more functionality. Would upgrade again to get it, even after the latest upgrade.

    Cheers

    Gl3n
    Last edited by gl3n; 18th April 2016 at 07:12 PM. Reason: Change a bit

  3. #3
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    I agree it would be better if the app told us which zone was asking for heat. As the HR92 has told the Control Panel it wants heat it ought to be simple for the message to relay to the app. After all if some one over rides a setting in a room it shows in the app. Often I am working in my study and hear the boiler fire up. It would be nice to know which room asked for heat just in case it ought not to have done.

  4. #4
    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    A lot of this comes back to a suggestion I've made before, both here and when talking directly to people on the Evohome team. I think it needs a 'numpty' mode for the general public, and an 'expert' mode for people like, well, US!

    In expert mode it wouldn't just show an on/orr for eat demand, it would show the 0-200 value which Evohome uses internally (and aggregates at the controller before calling the boiler). So you'd be able to see that you have 70% heat demand from one zone, 25% from another, and 5% from a remaining zone.

    Expert mode needn't look as pretty. Except to people who like data!

    P.

  5. #5
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    My wish, a little like Nairnw's, would be to be able to set a schedule for a day type in advance.
    For example, During the week, Myself and SWMBO, may be both out at work, or I may be working from home. During the weekends, there are occasions when she is working.
    Forgetting the times when visitors stay and additionally rooms are in use...

    So, I would like, in advance, to say Tomorrow is a normal working Day, Wednesday and Thursday, WFH and back to normal on Friday Next week could be totally different. I really don't like having to set the limited overrides that there are on the day it's required...May be several hours too late!
    We currently have 7 days to play with, so the concept of schedule per day already exists, I just want to make it a little (or a lot) more flexibile.

  6. #6
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    I'm glad it isn't just me with some of these omissions from functionality.

    With the introduction of Hive, Nest, Tado etc. Honeywell could very well end up being like Nokia has in the phone world. Out of touch and struggling for market placement.
    Tado for instance asked me what my existing equipment was including model numbers of controller and wireless thermostat. All through a well polished Wizard.
    So when my Tado arrived, it had full step by step instructions, blanking plates, cable numbering stickers etc.

    To get into the Smart Market with a greater foothold Honeywell need to think of users, my opinion is they focus on end installers too much.
    Especially as they have next to no actual confirmed installation network. Don't get me wrong Honeywell have great hardware, software not so much.

    Another thing I forgot to mention in my OP. Why can't you re-orientate the screen on an HR92? EU models ship one way up and UK the other.
    I know it's to suit market trends for fitting but one HR92 in bathroom could do with EU orientation for the towel rail. If it is possible, I can't find how to.

  7. #7
    Automated Home Sr Member electronicsuk's Avatar
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    Probably the best thing that Honeywell could do right now is open the Evohome controller up to developers. The hardware is, for the most part, pretty good with only minor niggles. The software is fine, it works, but with some input from the developer community it could be so much more and at minimal cost to Honeywell.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nairnw View Post
    Another thing I forgot to mention in my OP. Why can't you re-orientate the screen on an HR92? EU models ship one way up and UK the other.
    I know it's to suit market trends for fitting but one HR92 in bathroom could do with EU orientation for the towel rail. If it is possible, I can't find how to.
    If you look closely at the display you can see it's not a bitmap display, its a conventional (old fashioned ?) fixed function LCD display, like you might see on a digital watch, with pre-formed figures. So turning it upside down in software wouldn't be possible.

    The reason for using this type of display is probably power consumption - this type of LCD display still has the lowest power consumption of any display technology available aside from E-ink.

    The EU version of the HR92 will have a different LCD display that has the contacts on the opposite side with the LCD itself turned upside down.

  9. #9
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    Thanks, I'd started to come to that conclusion on the display and you've confirmed it.

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