House central heating under Indigo control - advice please

Posted on
Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:55 am
Busta999 offline
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House central heating under Indigo control - advice please

Ok

I am having to do this in a convoluted and far from best way for various reasons, but this is what I plan to do.

Background
House is about 2,500sq ft, 5 bed.
I rent it.
5 radiators have TRVs on them, 10 do not.
The thermostat is located over the hallway radiator (Don't get me started on that)
Originally the radiator system was unbalanced - i.e. a third of the house never got hot water and was very cold, while other areas were very hot - not fixed
Large kitchen and large sunroom are south facing and is completely ope plan - i.e. Sunroom gets very cold at night, making kitchen cold too and very hot (30C+) when sunny
Door between kitchen and hallway left open, (hallway radiator turned off (it was throwing thermostat out)), to ensure that thermostat responded to cold kitchen/sunroom
Every room has an Indigo Temp sensor in it ( Hue, Oregon)
Existing Heating control very simple mechanical timer, so Heating can be either available or unavailable in 15 min lumps, can't assign set point to time periods

House largely in thermal balance, with some exceptions of rooms overheating.

Next Steps

1. Install Secure Zwave Heating controller/wireless thermostat (£100)
Set existing Heating control to on 24 x7 and manage using zwave controller
Now can set time periods, Morning, Day, Evening, Night and can assign the heating SetPoint to the primary/secondary rooms we are occupying rather than just the hallway
This will ensure I can manage Home/Away SetPoint for house and assign variable temps to the specific rooms, i.e. in the evening ensure lounge hits 20C and Master Bedroom hits 19C turn off heating, turn back on again if it drops.
Downside will be in the rooms where the radiators don't have TRVs they will over heat
The Zwave controller can be removed when we leave the property restoring basic controller for heating

2. Fit TRVs to the remaining radiators (£200)
My theory is that I can recover the costs of this over one winter
This will stop rooms in the house from overheating, while Indigo ensures that the key rooms/time periods are at the right minimum temp

3. Fit zwave TRVs to most problem areas (£ hundreds)
Provide greater flexibility of control Home/Away
These will will be removable easily on vacating rental property

Given that 1. should be in place in days, 2. in weeks and three possibly months what is the best way to implement in Indigo

Each time period, Morning, Day, Evening and Night will have a different set point for primary and secondary zones.

What is peoples experience - what is the best way to implement that allows the planned changes and keeps it manageable ?

Any input much appreciated :-)

Mike

Posted on
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:41 am
mat offline
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Location: Cambridgeshire - UK

Re: House central heating under Indigo control - advice plea

Mike,

There are a number of topics on how this is done, and at least one plugin..

My experience of the Danfloss TVR's was not great. They lost connection constantly. When they did work, it was great, but more often than not I found myself reconnecting them every week. That was the initial release version and I believe they have updated firmware now, so it may be for others to discuss.

I for one will be looking to automate my heating in the new house at some point, but am tempted to go for an independent and self-contained system that indigo could talk to. I did look at the Honeywell system, although with over 35 rads, it was v. expensive. Nest doesn't appeal to me for some reason - may have to look again.

mini 10.11.6 and indigo 7.02

Posted on
Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:12 am
Busta999 offline
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Re: House central heating under Indigo control - advice plea

Mat

Thanks

I'm looking at Z-Wave Eurotronic Spirit Smart Radiator Thermostat, they look very promising especially with FLiRS support,

Posted on
Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:27 am
durosity offline
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Re: House central heating under Indigo control - advice plea

Yeah if it were me I’d get all the radiators upgraded to have TRVs (according to a plumber I know they’re all supposed to have them now anyway except the room that the main thermostat is in). I currently use the Stella-Z ones with Autolog’s plugin and they work well but predate FLiRS support so can be a little annoying because of that. I’m sure somewhere he said he had order some new ones that support FLIRS so I imagine support will be forthcoming. Then pair that with just a simple z wave relay or thermostat (which are just relays) and you’ll have a completely zoned heating system, and because the relay won’t be temperature sensing it being above a radiator won’t cause any issues.

Id love new TRVs but there’s no way I can afford them at the moment.

Computer says no.

Posted on
Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:41 am
Busta999 offline
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Re: House central heating under Indigo control - advice plea

Just waiting for the plumber/Heating engineer to come round .......

I'm fitting TRVs for all 10 radiators that don't have them now.

I'm also fitting a Secure SRT322 Heating controller and wireless zwave thermostat.

So close to fitting it myself but chickened out for fear of really screwing up the heating boiler circuit board...

Then I'll fi the Z-Wave Eurotronic Spirit Smart Radiator Thermostats to the rooms that will most benefit from it. Autolog has got three of these and reports they are working well.

It will be rolled out the same way as hue bulbs were rolled out through the house, little by little based on usage and available toy budget :-)

The whole house lighting is under Indigo now, most with Hue but specific areas under zwave where most appropriate.

I'm keen to get it done now, the first step was putting an Indigo readable wireless thermometer in every room, then graphing using Dave17s MatPlotLib.

That allowed me to understand where we were wasting money and determine priorities.

Posted on
Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:52 am
durosity offline
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Re: House central heating under Indigo control - advice plea

Good good. Yeah it makes sense to get the plumber to do it.. with mine it was exceptionally easy because the existing controller used the universal mount that the secure SSR302 I have uses, so it was literally just take one off and stick the new one on. That said the wiring is very easy regardless, it’s basically just a switch to turn the boiler on and off.

(Ps sorry if my previous post sounded a bit weird.. I had a big panic attack this morning so I’m feeling all a bit out of sorts)


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Computer says no.

Posted on
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:04 am
Busta999 offline
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Re: House central heating under Indigo control - advice plea

durosity wrote:

(Ps sorry if my previous post sounded a bit weird.. I had a big panic attack this morning so I’m feeling all a bit out of sorts)



Monday mornings will do that to you :-)

And no problem at all.

The condenser boiler I have basically has a clockwork timer for turning on/off heating - The original thermostat was a really old one, that had a 6 degree lag in it so the house would get very hot or very cold.

They guys we rent this from added a big extension on 10 years ago, it has the TRV radiators. When we moved in the whole new part basically had no heating, the boiler wasn't reaching the radiators.

So did a bit of research and learnt how to 'balance' the system.

Got it working fairly well now, but still a long way from efficient.

I can now get the rooms we use warm but it overheats other areas so hence the need to put TRVs on.

I suspect my first place for the zwave TRV will be the bedroom, because the base temperature expectations changes, i.e. we want it at 20C when we wake up, 18/19C during the day, 20C when we go to bed and 17/18C over night.

For that I need a zwave TRV preferably with FLiRS to speed up changes.

We shall see, looks like I have a new job coming up that will seriously reduce my time on Indigo :-0

Mike

Posted on
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:14 am
durosity offline
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Re: House central heating under Indigo control - advice plea

Ah yeah my grans house had a similar issue with its heating system, eventually they stripped the whole system out (expensive as it had asbestos wrapped pipes) and replaced it all with a brand new one.

Good luck with the new job!


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Posted on
Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:12 pm
MartinG offline
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Re: House central heating under Indigo control - advice plea

Honeywell Evohome; it's great.

Mine runs fully standalone managing 12 zones plus hot water, each with its own schedule. I monitor it via the Indigo Honeywell plugin, which also (i) controls the secondary hot water circulation loop, taking certain heating states as inputs, and (ii) alerts me if something goes awry.

You could also fully remove this when you leave the property too - the only "permanent" connection would be at the boiler if I remember correctly.
Last edited by MartinG on Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

Posted on
Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:15 pm
Busta999 offline
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Re: House central heating under Indigo control - advice plea

MartinG wrote:
Honeywell Evohome; it's great.

Mine runs fully standalone managing 12 zones plus hot water, each with its own schedule. I monitor it via the Honeywell plugin Indigo, which also (i) controls the secondary hot water circulation loop, taking certain heating states as inputs, and (ii) alerts me if something goes awry.

You could also fully remove this when you leave the property too - the only "permanent" connection would be at the boiler if I remember correctly.


Thanks I’ll take a look at it.


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Posted on
Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:10 pm
neilk offline
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Location: Reading, UK

Re: House central heating under Indigo control - advice plea

I would second that and have exactly the same scenario. The plugin gives full functionality and control but the whole system operates independently of indigo and of Honeywell’s app and cloud service. It could be more expensive but not necessarily so and will just work and fail safe and is well engineered and supported. The heating forum on automatedhome.co.uk is effectively an Evohome one and the Honeywell guys are active participants if not quite as engaged as our hosts here.

Posted on
Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:42 am
howartp offline
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Re: Evohome error

Hi James.

I should retire this plugin; it’s superseded by the Honeywell Plugin by NLagaros.

If you can’t find the link I’ll post it later.

Peter


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