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Heatmiser Smart Heating Installation Experience

Discussion in 'Your Projects' started by PhillCO2, 2 Feb 2019.

  1. PhillCO2

    PhillCO2

    Joined:
    13 Jul 2011
    Messages:
    58
    Thanks Received:
    8
    Location:
    Bradford
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Part 1

    I have been looking for some time at various smart heating set-ups and weighing up the different options.

    I have a 8 Rad + towel rail system on a 32 CDI and I specifically wanted controlled valves on each radiator to allow multiple room temperatures to be configured

    I was an early backer of the the Novo (https://novo-heat.com/) system through kickstarter, despite looking promising it never came to fruition and the backers were refunded.

    I also looked at systems like Honeywell EvoHome and Tado but didn't like the fact the TRV head was both the sensor and actuator, the cost was also prohibitive in my system.

    In the end I settled on the Heatmiser system (https://www.heatmiser.com/en/) and thought I would post my experience. For reference this is not a sponsored post and I'm not affiliated with Heatmiser, I purchased the kit myself and wanted to share my install experience.

    The system I've put in comprises:

    7 x Two Wire Valve Actuators
    1 x UH8-RF Valve Actuator Wiring Centre
    6 x Neo Air Wireless Room Thermostats
    1 x Neo Ultra Multifunction Thermostat / Switch / Programmer
    1 x Neo Hub Smart Control Centre
    1 x RF Boiler Switch

    Valve Actuators
    These are marketed by heatmiser for underfloor heating manifold use but also work perfectly on my standard TRV valve bodies.
    • 230V actuated normally closed operation.
    • Pros: no batteries to replace, reliable operation, robust
    • Cons: had to pull cable from valve to wiring centre
    I've yet to tidy up the installation where the wire protrudes from under the floor, will likely use a bit of self-adhesive mini trunking. If I were to do the installation again I would probably replace the TRV body on the radiators with a lockshield and bring all the rad feeds out of a manifold with the valve actuators installed there.

    Valve Picture: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1DwErO5V39lL1SUYxgVDhE0KvxzovIcJx
    Installed: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1W5pw1XW-w7TNLtGECH3CkenfO5vSwSEy

    Valve Wiring Centre
    Again, marketed for underfloor use but will actually operate any model of 230V actuator or other low power output.
    • 230V supply
    • 230V relay switched independent outputs
    • Supply and output fuse protection internal
    • Up to 8 zones, also includes boiler and underfloor heating pump switched outputs.
    • Independent zone control is by way of the Neo Air thermostats, one thermostat to one zone.
    • Can be mixed for radiators and underfloor.
    • LED indicators for each zone status and boiler status.
    • Can be configured to cycle the valves where there has been a long period without actuation (i.e. in summer) in order to prevent sticking.
    • Pros: Individual unit identifier setting so multiple units can be linked to very large systems, mains powered no batteries, wireless operation for flexible installation.
    • Cons: See valve actuators, wiring for every actuator has to be pulled through, fixed wiring does also have benefits though.
    System Picture:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1P7DmA4AaWOkLy_mbxR_GpeT7xPxi0nM3
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1HgFBdc4l6AXlzbHyQTar4O7h-CvOjk6m
     
  2. PhillCO2

    PhillCO2

    Joined:
    13 Jul 2011
    Messages:
    58
    Thanks Received:
    8
    Location:
    Bradford
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Part 2

    Neo Air
    Wireless thermostat, 4xAA powered.

    Lots of different methods of use:
    • Can be programmed individually or linked to Neo hub for programming centrally using the mobile App.
    • Can be used as a stand alone traditional room thermostat linked wirelessly to an RF switch for boiler control.
    • Can instead be used as part of a multi zone system linked to the wiring centre.
    • Has an option for an additional, wired floor temperature probe.

    • Pros: Very flexible, lots of different installation options. When used in a smart system the local Neo air can be used to override the central program per-zone for a immediate heat increase or decrease.
    • Cons: Not found any yet, other users have reported relatively short battery life though.
    Picture:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1GURujoYnWDYFnZn7GquIfK_7_6VuZfUL
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-MYrqMdViKFvuQSXg1VJsayPPhNxMJpu

    Neo Ultra
    Mains powered multi-function unit, full colour touch screen.

    Features:

    • Has a potential free SPDT (NO/NC) contact.
    • Options for additional remote air and floor temperature probes.
    • Can be used as a stand-alone traditional thermostat or time clock replacing an existing wired thermostat.
    • 4 digit passcode lockable touch screen.

    • Pros: Robust unit, easy to use, lots of config options. When used in a multi-zone system with the Neo hub it can be used to monitor and control all zones linked to the system in addition to being able to use the phone app. Can also control wireless 3-pin plug switches which can be linked to the system.
    • Cons: Requires a relatively deep back box for wall mounting, has a light sensor which can be turned on to dim the back light but back light does not turn off when not in use.
    I didn't wall mount but instead fitted in an angled box designed for console sockets and have it sat on my side board with flex and a 3 pin plug.

    Picture:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1suOEw9lgKL-pgJ0du7rzmOy7v7KtTK3P
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=13iHOooiVUAIheKERc08cZOC8dL0jcvN6

    Installed Picture:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1JZgANdCIUb23qO12YdCO_febZf1t5rU4
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1t_dZyosQlPNItx0hgQJJfW5Teny9bV_2
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1FcS0ZaoV46NFsPGvhJJXdAbjjYEg2M8o


    Neo Hub
    The brains of the operation, connects to internet router with a wired network connection and powered by a 5VDC mini-USB adapter. Led indicators for power and connectivity status. This provides the interface between the thermostats and the mobile app, each thermostat is added to the system using the app once the app has been linked to the neo hub.


    • Pros: Small unit, simple operation and easy to set up.
    • Cons: Not necessarily a con but the first time you set up the app on a phone it must be located on a wireless network linked to the same wired port the hub is on. Not a problem in most home networks but this is not the case in mine so a little network tweak was needed.
    Picture:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zTrl_1GoRrXkjWziH0RD6C1Bx80mCkbu
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cF2_8UDz98z-i_lXU0zFcBafX4dHPwe2

    RF Switch

    Mains powered, wireless controlled switch. Central heating and hot water relay contacts supporting different system configurations.

    Features:
    • Can be linked to a single Neo air thermostat unit for use in standard one zone for whole house control.
    • Can be linked to the UH8-RF wiring centre for control in a multi zone system.

    • Pros: Robust, simple wiring, easy to install and link. Local override buttons for heating and HW relays.
    • Cons: None apparent, if linked to a single Neo Air and then you want to move to a multi-zone system with the wiring centre you need to factory reset the Neo Air and RF switch.

    If you have the UH8-RF wiring centre then you don't necessarily need the RF switch. The wiring centre has a heating control relay. If you want to position the wiring centre somewhere away from the boiler however then you can link the RF switch to the system to fire the boiler instead.

    Picture:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=13-bat13BeIK119F9fj8ZcwhzTBwgS6FJ
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Lvv32DAiHKaNC2XvHiJ-iZMZcq0d6ssD

    System Mode of Operation

    App > Hub

    Hub > Neo Airs
    Hub > Neo Ultra

    Neo Airs > UH8-RF

    UH8-RF > Valve Actuators
    UH8-RF > RF Switch
    • The app interfaces with the hub.
    • Each Neo Air or Neo Ultra is linked wirelessly to the Hub, using the app to initiate pairing.
    • The hub maintains the programme for the different thermostat zones centrally, they are not configured on the thermostats themselves.
    • Each Neo Air is then connected to the UH8-RF on a different zone number.
    • The Neo Air units are then responsible for commanding the UH8-RF to call for heat and actuate the relevant zone valve.
    • The UH8-RF is wired to the zone valve actuators.
    • The UH8-RF is paired wirelessly with the RF boiler switch.

    My Set-Up
    Each room has one rad with an actuator and a Neo Air, with the exception of the hallway / landing where a single Neo air at the head of the stairs controls a zone with two radiator valve actuators on, one for the hallway and one for the landing.

    Bathroom towel rail does not have an actuator and is therefore always on when any other zone is on.

    If one were to put actuators on every rad then it would be necessary to fit and calibrate a bypass valve for periods where the boiler pump has kicked in but the valves are still winding open. The UH8-RF has a setting to delay boiler firing to give the zone actuator time to fully open but I would still recommend an automatic bypass valve to avoid damage to the pump.

    Price
    In my opinion very reasonably priced, purchasing from different suppliers to get the best price. I actually bought 8 valve actuators and 7 Neo Air units with one zone for future fit in the loft. I believe the whole system cost me somewhere IRO £600.

    Overall Comments
    System installation was quite straight forward. Easy to link all the devices and operation was as expected with no surprises. It was a bit of a pain in the backside pulling cabling through for the zone valves.

    As mentioned I would tempted to ditch the TRV valve bodies and bring all the rads back to a pair of manifolds, one upstairs and one downstairs if I did this again.

    My biggest grumble is the mobile app, which has pretty dismal reviews and I can definitely see why. The app itself is easy to use an intuitive, however it appears very glitchy. It took me some time to get programmes set up for my different zones and I found that settings would sometimes not store properly and had to be re-done. The trick seems to be patience with changes being slow to propagate from the phone app and be picked up by the Neo Hub.

    I eventually got the system programmed but it was a bit of a saga.

    Sharing control of the system through the app with other users in the house is easy, the just need to set up an account and the main user gives them access.

    The app has functions GPS geolocation to do actions based on if you are leaving the house or coming home but I have not used these.

    The system also supports wirelessly connected 3-pin socket switches which can be linked to zones and controlled via the app or Neo Ultra. However I have not used these.

    I hope the review is useful, I hadn't heard of Heatmiser before doing this installation but overall I have been pleased with the setup.
     
  3. ToastyToes

    ToastyToes

    Joined:
    15 Jul 2018
    Messages:
    163
    Thanks Received:
    6
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hey, thanks for this. Very detailed for someone like me who's looking to invest in pretty much the exact same system minus the NeoUltra.

    How are you finding it?

    I'm a little puzzled with the diagrams provided for the wiring centre and the RF-Switch. Both mention a HW stat, but I was under the impression a HW stat isn't required because you can control the HW from NeoAir stats?

    Secondly, if the UH8-RF is located next to the UFH manifold which is not near the boiler or heating and hot water valves, does the RF-Switch act as a wireless link to the UH8-RF wiring centre where it would normally connect with cables to the boiler enable, hot water stat, and radiator zone valve?

    Essentially, instead of the wiring centre connecting with a wire to the boiler, radiator zone valve, and hot water zone valve, does the RF-Switch act as a wireless connection between those parts and the wiring centre?

    Thanks!
     
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