Smart heating thermostat

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
Looking for advice on a smart thermostat.

This is what I have currently.

20201003_192400.jpg


The 2 switches to the right are the zones. One for the bedrooms, one for the rest of the house.

I have oil central heating. If I turn the heat on with both switches off, it heats the water only.

I'm kinda aware of Nest, Hive etc but from what I can see they are used to control the house overall temperature to a set level. I'm not really looking for that, I literally just want a smart version of that timer control and preferably the 2 switches, so I can adjust the timers and turn the heat on or off remotely.

Same as a basic WiFi plug that allows you to turn power off or on remotely, I just want to be able to take control of the heat. These days we have the oil on a timer to come on in the morning and evening but if we happen to be coming home early and want to turn it on sooner, or if we're not going to be home and want to turn it off, I just want that control.
 
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Seb Briggs

Distinguished Member
Add a WiFi dual relay instead of the switches that are then are activated by the thermostat or via app
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
I literally just want a smart version of that thermostat and preferably the 2 switches, so I can adjust the timers and turn the heat on or off remotely.

That’s not a thermostat though it is a programmable timer (where is it?) You would normally have a thermostat elsewhere in another room. If you don’t then you would normally rely on radiator stats and the boiler itself to switch off on when it go to temperature.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
As per @sbriggs suggestion but if you don't already have room stats you could get two smart thermostats to control the switches. It depends on how it is all wired up though
 
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neilball

Well-known Member
Replace the timeclock and switches with a smart timeclock for hot water and two wireless stats/receivers for each heating zone and you will have full control from the appropriate app.

Neo Air stats and hot water timer with a Neo Hub would do the trick, or Honeywell Evo with HWS Kit and two Y87RF stat kits. Evo could be upgraded to full zone control with their HR92 wireless radiator controllers too if you wanted.

The advantage of proper heating controls is that you get temperature feedback, frost protection, temperature-based high limit control of the heating circuits (no circulation of hot water and boiler cycling once the set temperature at the stat is achieved) etc. So much more convenient, user friendly, and energy efficient than what you have just now, and also which continues to work from the local controls if the wi-fi/app is down.
 

Chester

Well-known Member
Totally agree with Neilball that it would make sense to deploy a system that isn’t just ‘smart’ in the loosest sense of the term, but automated as well. You can then setup the system to behave as expected on a per zone basis, and override via an app when a pattern of behaviour changes. The massive advantage to a system like Evohome when working from home is the ability to heat occupied rooms only saving energy and costs. You should find the system pays for itself after a period of time and you get to enjoy the control and comfort straight away.
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
Yeah the cost is the barrier. Just completed a very expensive renovation of the bedroom and ensuite, and installed solar panels which weren't cheap.

Also we don't work from home so are only home from 5pm onwards apart from the weekend.

I may look at this going forward, in the meantime I'd still like to have a smart version of the basic timer.
 

neilball

Well-known Member
If cost is an issue then stick with Heatmiser, it’s one of the cheaper options.

The Neo Air heat+hot water mini hub kit would replace the timeclock and switch functions, as it controls two heating zones plus hot water. So this could get you started and would control one of your heating zones plus hot water, leaving the second zone on a switch as now (and operated from the hot water or heating zone depending on how you wire it). Then you can add the second Neo Air stay later if you prefer.



 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
Thanks, that looks like just what I'm after.

So the hub essentially replaces my current timer and the 2 switches. Would allow me to set timed schedules for both zones (individually or together) and also let me remotely override that timer to power on or off?

And the Neo Air is a thermostat for each zone? The only issue with the thermostat is that each zone is so widespread.

On the 2 current switches, B is for all 4 bedrooms and the ensuite. So one Neo Air thermostat can't read them all. I could place it just in our bedroom though. The other rooms are unoccupied for the most part.

The L switch is for the kitchen, dining room, living room, hall, utility room, main bathroom and small toilet. So not sure there's any point in one stat for them all.
 

neilball

Well-known Member
You’ve just about got it right - the Heatmiser hot water relay in the hub is time-only control so directly replaces the relay from the existing time clock.

Each of the two heating zones can only be associated with a single Neo Air stat, and the stat must be present to use that zone from the hub. So using the Master Bed for the bedroom zone is fine. In the other zone you would pick a suitable room and leave it there. If you use the desk stand for the stat then you can also simply move it to another room if you need to (bearing in mind it needs to be within wireless range of the hub, otherwise you need to add one of their wireless repeaters). So unless you fix the stats to the wall they are completely portable within any range limits of comms to the hub (which itself needs to be within range of your 2.4GHz wifi).

Your heating zones then have switch points that are time and temperature based. So at a given time you set the target temperature to be used until the next switch point is reached. So for example the bedrooms may be set to 21 degrees at 6am, 16 degrees at 9am, 20 degrees at 8pm, and 12 degrees at 11:30pm. All time/temperature switch points are adjustable, and you can choose how many switch points are to be used each day, and whether the stat has a 24 hour, weekday/weekend, or independent 7 day program too. Just remember that the heating zone output on the hub only switches on if the temperature measured at the stat is below the current setpoint value, so when the room with the stat is satisfied then none of the other rooms receive any more heat. So you would not want to place the stat in a room that always warms up to your chosen temperature really quickly as the other rooms may not have reached the temperature you want.
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
Hmm, I'm confused again.

If I don't use the stat at all, will the clock work as a basic on/off for the boiler and for each zone? I.e. Can I turn it to manual on but knock both zones off and therefore heat just the water?

If I don't get a second stat, or if I don't use the one that comes with it, then the controller doesn't have a temperature to aim for so will it just be on or off?
 

neilball

Well-known Member
If you don’t use the Neo Air stat then nothing will work - it uses a mode on the stat to run two separate timeclocks on one device - one with setpoints for the heating zone, and the other as on/off for the hot water. When you pair the first Neo it “binds” to the 1st heating zone and hot water channels, leaving the second zone output ready for a second stat if/when it is set up.

If you only want on/off control directly from the device without a separate receiver then you will need to use the Neo Timeclock module instead for each zone ie 3 devices, and a separate Neo Hub Gen 2. Even if you only got a single Neo timeclock and the Gen2 Hub, keeping them heating controlled from the existing switches, it would be more expensive than the Mini Hub kit previously listed above.
 

neilball

Well-known Member
I’m not sure if it helps to know or not, but in the Heatmiser Neo range all the control strategy is handled in the thermostats, and the relay modules/wireless receivers/manifold wiring centres etc are relatively dumb (often just a bit of relay logic/interlocking for boiler demand and local pump control etc). The new mini-hub is a change from this, and in this product there is an additional wifi module and cloud interface fitted internally alongside the usual relay control elements. But it still does not contain any of the thermostat or time control logic, that remains inside the Neo Air Stat, which is why you have to use at least on of these to get the system working, even if you only want the time control for hot water.

So the new unit means you save on cost and module installation compared to using separate timeclock units, thermostats/receivers, and the original (ethernet wired) Gen 2 hub, and also have only a single device to wire up to the heating zone valves and hot water thermostat/control valve.
 

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