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Smart Control help - Please!

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by sh4d0w, 14 Aug 2019.

  1. sh4d0w

    sh4d0w

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    Good morning all,

    I am looking for some help and advice if i may.

    I have just submitted my E.On readings and the prices are through the roof! so much more expensive this year than previous years yet on a better "Tariff" apparently so its time to try and make some savings.

    I will look to get a Smart meter installed rather than me submitting every 6 months and basing things of estimated readings.

    Main Question:

    I have A Vaillant ecoTEC Plus 624 System.

    VR81 on the landing UPSTAIRS

    VR61 in landing cupboard

    VRC 470F DOWNSTAIRS

    Albion 210 Hot water store with temperature probe running straight to the boiler. GAS ONLY, the Electric heating element is not connected.

    3 Honeywell zone valves all hard wired into my VR61.

    I would like to know what system would be best to look at that is capable of meeting our heating system and providing us with a "Smart" home.

    I know my current stat has modulation and proper weather comp but i feel that the extra features of a smart system will have have greater benefit - correct me if i am wrong.

    I bought a couple of Gen2 Nests a while back but ended up selling them on as from the research i did back then proved them to be unfit.

    back when i was looking into this last time round the vSmart really wasn't that smart and also didnt work for what i have, have they improved things now?

    Many thanks to all that take the time to read and a high five to those who reply :)
     
  2. mrStat

    mrStat

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    So my personal opinion is rip the Vaillant controls out and go Nest/Tado/Honeywell/yadayadayada (Nest is my personal go to brand).

    Leave boiler companies to boilers and controls to control companies.

    It is a personal opinion and many will disagree, but I personally hate Vaillant controls and the vSmart is just a rebranded Netatmo with “Vaillant Language” programmed into it to make it a little bit more efficient. It’s still plastic toot with a plug. But this is my opinion.

    The thing is, look at your energy suppliers rates and how you are using the gas. Companies like Bulb are making inroads because their rates are lower than the big 6 and changing is pretty easy.

    Ignoring the cost, do you have energy reading from last year to this year? Has your KWh increased or decreased, if your consumption has stayed the same then it is the tariff that is the issue, was you in a fixed price deal that you’ve exited or is your tariff inline with energy costs.

    A smart control will not decrease your bill on its own, the only thing that will decrease your bill is turning the heating and hot water off and using it more effectively - whenever anyone says their bill has gone up, I always say look at the physical units consumed and compare with last year. If it’s dramatically different, then something is wrong with the way you have been using it or their could be a fault.

    If it’s about the same, then savvy energy supplier shopping is the way to go.

    It’s also worth mentioning than making sure your system is correctly setup for efficient operation is always a worthwhile cause, TRVs fitted and working, turned down in unoccupied spaces. Time control set for the cylinder, proper timing for the zones etc
     
  3. stem

    stem

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    I have installed / helped to install hundred's of 'smart thermostats' and as yet despite my asking frequently, no one has been able to say afterwards that they can identify any significant (or even noticeable) savings on the quantity of energy they use. Why? because everyone heats their home to a temperature they find comfortable regardless of what they use to control it, and so will consume exactly the same amount of energy to do so.

    To reduce energy consumption, improve insulation, don't heat rooms you don't use, put a sweater on and lower the temperature that you heat your house up to (you can do this with any controls)

    The bottom line is that your house will leak the heat that you put into it and to keep it at a temperature you are comfortable with you will have to use a certain amount of energy to do so. Cutting down the heat leakage, or the temperature you keep it at is the way to make savings.
     
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  4. sh4d0w

    sh4d0w

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    Thanks both,

    My main reason for wanting to switch is to be able to control my heating away from the home, there are many many times where we have been out all day and our house is sat there heating up for the cats! - its a pretty large house with 18 Radiators.

    House is very well insulated, Extension 175MM Cellotex roof and 50mm Floor, main house is 250mm high density roll insulation under my loft boards, new windows throughout the full property, Rads all balanced and unoccupied rooms are turned off on the TRV.
     
  5. mrStat

    mrStat

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    I too have this experience, but I do have to say that we have reduced our consumption since going “smart” with our controls, but for us I can attribute it 100% to do the fact that the over half understands how to turn it off whereas our old control setup (Funnily enough Vaillant controls), she could not get her head round it and just used to open a window when hot.

    Stem is 100% right in the fact that you only save by turning off and if it is the case you are heating a home for your cats, then smart control should be a consideration as it will turn off when you go out.

    Unfortunately, all that Vaillant stuff will have to go to make the system more generic and enable 3rd party controls to be connected. So with the cost of it all factored together, it you may not recoup your outlay unless shrewd with the way you do it and of course, how big your energy bill is in the first place.
     
  6. sh4d0w

    sh4d0w

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    Might i just add that i absolutely do not want to heat the home for the cats alone, haha.

    I fully understand that the gas savings can only be made by turning off the gas.

    I just want cleaner and more efficient way of controlling my heating and hot water
     
  7. sh4d0w

    sh4d0w

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    Guys can you confirm that Nest will work with my three zones?

    It was my understanding that the hotwater is on/off rather than working off temp IE, once hotwater is at temp the boiler shuts off but with nest it just heats and keeps heating...
     
  8. mrStat

    mrStat

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    Nest will work in a multi zone setup, but you will need to remove the Vaillant wiring centre and replace it with a more generic style of wiring.

    As for the hot water, Nest will be on/off control for all the zones, you will need to provide a cylinder thermostat for the cylinder to control the temperature. Nest will then send a on command to the cylinder stat and depending on the temperature of the cylinder, the cylinder thermostat will then pass the on command to the zone valve or keep the valve off if temperature is satisfied.

    So in short, yes you can have Nest or most smart systems, you just need the investment of removing the Vaillant eBus control gear.
     
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  9. sh4d0w

    sh4d0w

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    That is really helpful, thank you ever so much for your time here.

    It is such a shame nest cant work with rad valves like with Tado - would be great to be able to just heat one room.

    PS, when are you free to come and do my install :)
     
  10. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    I have the OP's control system and I find it absolutely great. I didn't expect it to save much on running costs and I was correct - it does though save a tiny bit as near as I can tell. The big thing is it holds temperatures much closer to those set and there are no big temperature swings I was seeing before fitting the Vaillant units. The boiler also runs much less aggressively, because it knows from the controls exactly what is expected of it before it fires and during its burn.

    I very much doubt swapping it for any other, will bring him any worthwhile improvements. What will make more difference, is as suggested by 'stern'.
     
  11. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    I have my 407f system set to 16.5C daytime and 12C night setback. I manually nudge it up when I need to, then manually nudge it down when I go out. I rarely need to nudge it up on a morning (in all day), until around 11:00. I have usually nudged it up to around 20C by evening time.

    I usually switch supplier each year, at the end of my 12 month contract in December, but this year, part way through - E.on offered me a special deal in March, which I took - so I'm with them until next March.
     
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