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annakm
22nd Apr 2018, 19:37
Any experience or comments anyone would like to add?

Looking to update my uk place and have had several suggestions from friends to consider smart thermostats. Useful if I do a lot of travelling and to be able to come back to a pre warmed house?

obgraham
22nd Apr 2018, 20:00
I have no desire for my thermostat to “learn” how I live.

But I do like my wifi Honeywell thermostat. I use it to do just what you say..it monitors the temp in the place when I am away for several months, and I can reset it or preheat/precool the place by two keystrokes on my phone. Very handy.

Groundloop
22nd Apr 2018, 20:12
Have you looked at Heatmiser - better than Hive.

MG23
22nd Apr 2018, 21:23
I can reset it or preheat/precool the place by two keystrokes on my phone. Very handy.

Most likely that means your phone is talking to a server in 'The Cloud', and you won't be able to control the thermostat if Amazon goes down. I'm guessing most of these 'smart' devices do something similar, because a lot of people were complaining about being unable to control them the last time Amazon was down.

Personally, I'm quite happy with our $25 thermostat that's set to 21 for heating and 23 for cooling, and... well, that's it.

racedo
22nd Apr 2018, 22:26
Spend a lot of time away from home over last 2 years, including winter.
Turn off the heat on a Sunday/Monday morning and turn on whenever I return.

Normally takes about 36 hours for house to get to right temp in winter.
It survived the mega cold this winter so will leave as is.

obgraham
23rd Apr 2018, 04:56
Most likely that means your phone is talking to a server in 'The Cloud', and you won't be able to control the thermostat if Amazon goes down. I'm guessing most of these 'smart' devices do something similar, because a lot of people were complaining about being unable to control them the last time Amazon was down.

I’m not following here. Amazon is not involved. Honeywell is ...they provide the app, the device, and the connection via web.

True, the same complaint could be made that every web encounter depends on the company being up snd running — airlines, banks, businesses you are billed by, the IRS, on snd on. We are all hostage to the Internet these days.

UniFoxOs
23rd Apr 2018, 07:38
I don't want anything in my home that is controlled by data passing over the web unless I know it is going straight from my phone or tablet to my home IP address. Even then I'd have reservations.

ImageGear
23rd Apr 2018, 08:04
Having recently had to assist with a failed "learning" Nest installation, I would say a few things.

1. Nest routes data through to a Nest Server which links to a mobile phone app to control temperature, etc. (and "learns" your usage patterns in the process.)

2. Not every furnace/Aircon, or boiler works with Nest out of the box. In my case the issue was the 5 wire/or 6 wire connection. More specifically, the errant "black" return wire. If the aircon provides a 5 wire cable for the thermostat, it will work but because there is no return, however charging of the internal Nest battery (and keeping settings and Wi-Fi alive, will only take place when the aircon is actually running. So if one leaves the property for a week or more, the battery will eventually go flat and the Wifi connection then dies along with your aircon. Not to mention the connection to the Nest Server.

If the cable is a 6 wire connection with a return, and provided that the aircon has power, the battery stays charged and Wifi remains active.

3. Nest can also talk to Amazon Alexa, through your local network, however, if you go away, you must still use the Nest Server.

4. The Nest sometimes goes "Haywire" and does not retain settings. E.G it seems to me that certain settings are monitored or stored on the Server. When the internet drops out (As it does now and then).. the Nest has a melt down doing things like driving aircon to the max and viewing settings shows the temperatures have been adjusted to some ridiculous level.

Personally, I would go with a simple thermostat, and when going away just set it to a low value to keep the place from freezing.

IG

VP959
23rd Apr 2018, 08:27
I'm with the others here who point out that any web-connected system will only continue to work for as long as someone keeps the web side of the system running.

There have already been examples of web-connected systems ceasing to function because the company providing the web-side service have just gone bust, been taken over, or simply decided to stop providing the service. When this happens (and it will) then any web-connected system will just stop working.

As an example, our solar panel system came with an option to monitor it's performance over the web. The inverter talks to a web-service (or used to) and then you can access the data and make decisions as to whether to turn the washing machine on etc, if you're generating a lot of power at that time. Two years after installation the company providing the web-side service went bust and the system no longer has that functionality. As it happens it doesn't bother us, as we never used it anyway, as we have a separate energy monitor, so we'd never bothered to allow our solar inverter to connect to our wireless network. For all those customers who had bought this system, in part because of the useful web monitoring app, then they were left with no way of easily being able to tell when they were generating more power than they were using, so giving them info on whether they could run something like a washing machine for free, effectively.

Technology is fast moving, and smart phones and their operating systems are out of date after a few years. How long will any of these systems that rely on an app running on such a device be supported? The thermostat and programmer at our old house is around 15 years old and still works perfectly. I suspect that investing in any web-connected system to replace it would mean budgeting to have a new system installed every 5 to 10 years, as technology marches on.

zed3
23rd Apr 2018, 09:03
racedo... agree with your comments, it keeps everything simple which I like. We live in a 1927 detached house on the Yorkshire coast, it has no cavity walls. I was worried, when we bought it four or so years ago, that it was going to be difficult to heat. We installed new, modern, double glazing when renovating. With a manual thermostat set to 18c in the morning the house warms up nicely, from a 15c setting at night. After being away it does take around 24 hours for everything to warm up properly in winter. I wouldn't have any of these Hive/Nest thingies.

banshee
23rd Apr 2018, 09:33
For what it’s worth, have been running a dual zone Hive system for a year, and generally it works very well. One attribute that I found attractive was the ability to remotely access the system, and in particular, set a “holiday mode”.

Holiday mode is easy to set through the app, once you have found it ! However, on 3 occasions, when Holiday mode had been set for a long absence (5 weeks), the Hive system dropped “off-line”. In this case, the only way to recover the system is to do a power down of the Hive Hub. This is all very well if you can get someone to do the job for you, as it clearly not possible if you are miles away.

I have had a number of discussions with the Hive team, who clearly are aware of the issue, and even more so after bending their ears. It seems that if the Hive hub looses a connection through your internet due to internet instability, or a power interruption, the hub will look for the Hive server and reconnect once found. Trouble is, if the hub does not detect the server in time, it goes into an off-line mode as a “protection” strategy. Not helpful. I understand that a software change should be in the pipe line which may solve this reconnection issue.

Otherwise I am happy to recommmend the product.

Tone
23rd Apr 2018, 09:56
Had Hive for a few years now, works well and trouble free. If the interweb goes off the system just plods on with its pre-programmed settings for time and temperature. Settings can be changed locally through the thermostat even without a connection. We have not screwed the thermostat down, just move it to where we want it - excellent feature. The only annoyance is the email barrage of offers for lighting, cameras and other essential nonsense. Being able to turn on the heating and water on the way back from a holiday is great (and turn it off again if flights cancelled) The system did lose connection the the server once which was annoying as there is no way of remotely resetting the modem - unless one of you knows how

Sallyann1234
23rd Apr 2018, 10:12
Before going away we just turn the thermostat down to a low setting in winter, or off altogether in summer.
It doesn't take long to get the house warm again on returning, and we are usually too busy unpacking etc to notice.
I'm a great one for gadgets, but these remote heating controls are just technology looking for a use.

ORAC
23rd Apr 2018, 10:31
VP959,

Technology is fast moving, and smart phones and their operating systems are out of date after a few years. How long will any of these systems that rely on an app running on such a device be supported? The thermostat and programmer at our old house is around 15 years old and still works perfectly. I suspect that investing in any web-connected system to replace it would mean budgeting to have a new system installed every 5 to 10 years, as technology marches on.

What, like smart meters?

http://euanmearns.com/uk-smart-meters-a-ghastly-mess-created-by-decc/

Bill16STN
23rd Apr 2018, 13:16
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/aekj9j/internet-of-things-ransomware-smart-thermostat

Background Noise
23rd Apr 2018, 13:36
Have Hive and find it easy to use. The thermostat links wirelessly to the boiler control (not via the internet) so no wires required and it can be unclipped and moved around as required. Nest, I think, needs a fixed power supply.

Easy to control the temp and/or boost from the thermostat but easier to program schedules from the app, and if you feel really lazy you can reset the temp, or advance etc from your phone, without even walking to the hallway! Holiday mode, which can be done from the stat or the app, suspends the schedule for a set duration at a set minimum temperature and we usually set it to end (ie return to schedule) the day before we return. All of that can be over-ridden on the app when you come home early or stay away longer than planned.

We went for the one-off installation - there is a Hive-live setup which requires monthly payments. Don't have any other Hive lights, cameras etc. Any time we have had issues, the phone call centre has sorted it immediately.

meadowrun
23rd Apr 2018, 13:58
Sallyann has a good point. We never wake up with a hovercar in the driveway. The future creeps up on us. New technology is milked for all the money it can generate in as many applications as possible.
The dross, the not required on board, falls away in time and we take another gliding step on the path forward, hanging on to the useful.
I will never have the need to tell my house what to do remotely or order papertowels talking to a sensor and a whole bunch of other stuff.

meadowrun
23rd Apr 2018, 14:57
sans comment...


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-23/amazon-is-said-to-be-working-on-another-big-bet-home-robots

MG23
23rd Apr 2018, 19:25
I’m not following here. Amazon is not involved. Honeywell is ...they provide the app, the device, and the connection via web.

And what does that run on?

I've no idea about Honeywell, but most of the cheap 'Internet Of Things' devices just rent a virtual machine at Amazon to handle the interface between the app and your device. No Amazon, no control via the app. And if there's no manual control...

We're becoming so reliant on these things that I have to wonder how long it will be before we reach the point where a sustained Amazon outage could take down Western civilization.

annakm
24th Apr 2018, 16:50
Thank you all for your replies. I had no idea there were other smart thermostats out there at a fraction on the cost. My agent was clearly trying to sell Nest or Hive.

The quotes I have had have also varied wildly even for the same add ons. I don’t wish to have the security camera option but enquired about the fire and carbon monoxide alarm which added another 300€ or 400€, depending on fitter, to the original purchase cost.

I might have to rethink my plans.

izod tester
24th Apr 2018, 20:28
We have had Tado for 2 years now. It generally works well and allows remote control of the heating system. It also keeps track of our smart phones to see whether we are in the house or away. An unexpected feature of that is that the 2 overseas daughters use the Tado app to see whether we are in before they try to call us.

Fareastdriver
24th Apr 2018, 20:51
An unexpected feature of that is that the 2 overseas daughters use the Tado app to see whether we are in before they try to call us.

Just the sort of App that burglars need.

izod tester
24th Apr 2018, 21:23
But the burglar would need me to register his phone with my tado hub. The girls phones are so registered so the heating does not go to the house empty reduced heat mode when they are home but both I and Mrs IT are out.

MG23
24th Apr 2018, 22:12
But the burglar would need me to register his phone with my tado hub.

Or hack into the server that they talk to. Though I agree, it's a relatively small risk.

Deep and fast
25th Apr 2018, 07:14
I second TADO. Been using for 2 years as well. Only complaint is they are a little battery hungry but rechargeable ones going in next. I fitted it myself in 30 mins replacing a standard UK programmer and two zone stats.

izod tester
25th Apr 2018, 07:20
Of course, a far higher risk is that thieves would notice that there are no cars parked in our driveway and deduce that there is no-one at home.