Honeywell Evohome vs Heat Genius - any thoughts?

18 Feb 2015
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United Kingdom
Hi all,

I'd like to get a room zoned smart thermostat system such as Honeywell Evohome or Heat Genius because we've got about 11 radiators/towel rails in different rooms which we certainly don't use all of the time, and my fiancee and I would like to be able to control the schedule and temperature per room. We have a wireless room stat and timer at the moment so very much "on" or "off" and there is no obvious useful place to put it, so something which monitors temperatures and controls the rads in each room and calls for heat "sensibly" should be more comfortable and more efficient.

I've also got 5 rooms with electric UFH floor stats/timers and one cloakroom with an electric towel rail which maybe in time I'd like to slave to a room stat, but not urgently - at present neither Evohome and Heat Genius support this "officially" and using a zone controller to switch an electric load means the boiler will be triggered un-necessarily. However for the moment I'd like to decide between Evohome and Heat Genius as they both have mobile / internet control, per rad sensors/TRVs, etc. Cost wise it seems swings and roundabouts for an initial basic install.

My thoughts:

- Heat Genius is a UK home grown small start-up kind of thing who could get acquired or go under and leave me with a "dodo" system - Honeywell are, well, "we invented the thermostat" Honeywell so I don't imagine they will be disappearing although that doesn't mean they will keep Evohome supported & the servers running indefinitely
- Honeywell seem to have already "moved on" from Evohome a little as new things like Lyric seem simpler (more Nest-like) and leave behind the per-room sensor/TRV kind of approach, whereas Heat Genius are actively investing and developing and adding things as we speak
- Heat Genius has some nice touches like linked rooms, so you can say eg this corridor or bathroom should be warmed whenever this bedroom is
- the current incarnation of Evohome is a couple of years old and just says we don't support electric heating (you can abuse a zone valve to switch an electric load current permitting, but it means it calls for boiler heating with no need - the "fix" is a 2nd Evohome which isn't connected to the boiler - Heat Genius say they are actively working on it
- Heat Genius has support for way more zones (may be relevant if I added any of the electric rooms) whereas Evohome has just 12, but this is sufficient for my rads
- Heat Genius seems to use Horstmann stats/switches and Danfoss smart TRVs and adds their own config/firmware/controller box - they all use Z-wave wireless which has less range so you need (or rather - are given) smart plugs which are repeaters for the mesh network - to make it all work - whereas Evohome uses a different frequency, no repeaters, and has better range and maybe rumoured to be better battery life
- Evohome has a controller unit with a screen and the wifi/internet bit is optional bonus - that means the entire sysyem is usable/configurable/etc without reliance on extra network stuff - for visitors/house-sitters/etc this will be better than giving them a tablet/app/login/etc - Heat Genius is "headless" and all control is via app or web
- Heat Genius are responsive on Twitter but seem to be slow at replying to e-mail :)
- Honeywell are unresponsive via Twitter and don't seem to invite any e-mails at all, but they have installers/resellers like The Evohome Store who are very helpful at explaining the system features/config/limitations/etc
- any contractors/plumbers/etc I get in are more likely to be familar with the Honeywell system than Heat Genius, I suppose
- Heat Genius have optional room sensors which detect occupancy and temperature and can tune the room programme based on actual occupancy over time - seems quite appealing for at least a few key rooms - Evohome doesn't have this as it's a feature of different products like the Honeywell Lyric

I guess I am leaning towards Heat Genius because of the room sensors but I wondered if anyone (eg installers?) had experience with both and had a clear opinion to help me decide one way or the other...

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Heat Genius is just rebranded Danfoss stuff, which uses Z Wave to bring in third party hardware.

Honeywell Evohome is a product with a lot up its sleeve.

I know what I would have. ;)
I looked at both of these and ended up going with heatmiser neo. We have 4 x water UFH zones, 3 x rad zones, 3 x electric UFH, 3 x electric towel rails and the hw timer all set up and officially supported and all controlled from phone . Yes doesn't have quite same functionality of heat genius but cheaper and me need for additional PIRs. Does do geolocation from phone to turn on and off.
Has history of opening up API for 3rd party automation so could replicate heat genius logic with z wave type hub in the future.
The others either didn't support all our zones or were too expensive. Did look good though.

Ps the neo stats are very good looking, as far as thermostats go
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Just re read your post. My plumber wasnt familiar with heatmiser so I called their technical line a few times. Both to get help designing system then for wiring plans for my plumber. They were very helpful everytime.
I looked at both of these and ended up going with heatmiser neo. We have 4 x water UFH zones, 3 x rad zones, 3 x electric UFH, 3 x electric towel rails and the hw timer all set up and officially supported and all controlled from phone.

Hmm this is very appealing from a mild OCD perspective of having one ring to rule them all - but the installation seems a bit of a pain - do you have like, 13 Neos basically? Were they installed during a refurb/build or did you retrofit?

One random question about the Neo-e for controlling electric UFH, can you use them with existing sensors? Each of my UFH zones has its own Warmup chrono stat and a floor sensor already buried so I'm kind of required to use a Warmup stat for thermal cut-off unless the sensors are standard enough I can connect it to something smarter one day.

However... using thermal actuators on the radiator TRV valve bases and enough Neos to set up my zones is going to require a fair bit of electrical cabling in my house, or cutting zone valves in places (I'm not really sure where the pipes go yet!) and chasing wires and stuff.

I think being able to retrofit the rads into zones wirelessly is stronger than my need to have everything in one system - for the time being. The Warmup stats are a bit hokey/annoying but I have them reasonably under control compared to the rest of the house. :)
I've just started with my Evohome installation and so far loving it, still got another 8 TRV's to get to finish the installation and will add these as well as the remaining Danfoss valve bodies once the system is drained for our new boiler install.

I also looked at Heatmiser, Heat Genius and another identical system from nCube that is actually slightly cheaper and they also offer a module for your lighting which is all Z-Wave. Ultimately I went for Evohome because the touch screen interface is more modern looking and also more convenient than always having to access the App for minor tweaking.

I was offered a very good deal from one of our trade suppliers but there was quite a delay with delivery from Honeywell; however one of the cheapest online retailers had them in stock and matched our supplier for price.

I shall however buy the nCube lighting kit as a totally separate system, mainly as a security feature while on holiday etc.

The one remaining factor is battery life of the TRV's and only time will tell.
Yes I did the neostat install in a complete refurb. The electric neostat are direct replacements for any standard electric start and I have mine connected to the sensor buried in the floor, and the sensor in the stat turned off.
Yes the neostat need to be wired back to the boiler and I have zone valves plumbed in there so not a great retro fit option if you don't have zone valves already. To save on new mains wiring though you could fit wall temp sensors in your rooms and run that cable back to you boiler and have all neostat there.
I think you can cut new valves in before radiators but you would still need mains power and cable to boiler, I think?
Heatmiser stuff is poor quality. . Apart from the wiring centres.

We installed a shed load for a customer with a big house at the builders behest. The owners hate the user interface and now have it booked for removing and replacing with Evo.
Having looked at EvoHome in the past, and just did the old "design your system" on the Heat Genius page, I'd say EvoHome is cheaper! I'd love to get EvoHome myself but for two things - price (it will never pay back for me) and no windows sensors. Been looking at eQ-3 Max! from a German company. Probably a better match for the Vaillant 838 with weather compensating controller. Much, much cheaper too.
I've just installed my Evohome system today - in the end I decided that the slightly "heath robinson" feel of Z-Wave with lower range and repeaters, mix of vendors, etc, lack of physical control, and risk of the company disappearing (acquisition or worse) didn't justify the "benefit" of the motion sensors which to be honest, I didn't know about (or think I needed) until I found Heat Genius. Also my fiance told me to get the polished product as it was more likely to work properly (she is a little skeptical of my love for Open Source, gadgets, etc) and be supported/upgraded in future. So that settled it. I have a suspicion that Honeywell Lyric room stats, with their motion sensor Nest-like stuff, might be pair-able with Evohome at some point in future anyway...

Happily very little work to install as my CH already had a Honeywell room stat with a relay, so I just did a binding of the Evohome controller to that and set the timer to CONT for the time being. I can pull more of that out when I get the weather compensator fitted in the boiler and it has it's own integral HW timer.

Very impressed by the window sensor feature which did exactly the right thing today - turning off the heat when it detects a temperature drop of 0.4C - as there were workmen removing the entire windows to put double glazed sashes in, opening doors, etc, and it detected and acted accordingly. So I don't expect to miss actual separate window sensors.

One slight frustration, but not a bad one, is that you can't make real-time changes to the setpoints of the HR92 radiator zone valves from the mobile app - you can go and twiddle the dial on the valve, but they otherwise run according to their programmed setpoints which you can edit (temporarily or permanantly) from the app or Evohome controller. Program changes can take 10 (or was it 30?) mins to make their way over, as the valves don't "call home" that often to save battery on radio chat.
The Lyric is compatible.

Was that one of the things you couldn't tell me earlier? :p

I did ask Honeywell and they gave me a totally useless reply like "yes we expect the Lyric to go on sale soon but otherwise have no details".

My question is if the smart motion sensor/learning/etc will update the program on the Evohome controller?

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