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Home Automation

Has anyone gone the Alexa/Mi Home/Nest route to home automation? Looking for recommendations, gratefully received.

Comments

  • There’s a couple threads on here about Alexa with lots of good info in about controlling lights, tv, heating etc.
  • I know this is a useless recommendation, now, but if one is going to buy something like an Amazon Echo the time to buy it is Black Friday when Amazon reduce their prices by up to 30%.
  • They'll do the same in January.
  • Just switched from a Tado smart thermostat to Nest, will get Nest Protects in the new year, along with Sonos One with Alexa, and then really try the automation life.
  • We've gone with Genius for our home heating; offers room by room control via the app rather than the simple on/off option from Nest/Hive etc. It's taken a couple of weeks to get right/bed in, but now the house is lovely and warm in the right rooms when you use them, and we don't waste heating up spare rooms for no reason when not used.
  • Depends if your housebuilder puts the thermostat in the wrong place.

    The stat they put in my room means it thinks the top two floors are nice and snug but the truth is my kids bedrooms always feel cold. If I can control them separately then that would be lovely
  • @eaststandmike

    That technology has been around for years......they are called TRV's (Thermostatic Radiator Valves). Turn down the rooms you don't use and turn up the rooms you do.

    We really don't need apps to run our lives.

    It has, and we don't. Though it's nice to turn the temperature up in the bedroom to get it nice and snug without having to stand up and walk upstairs!

    We don't need an Echo, or a microwave for that matter, but we have one. And this topic is about home automation!
  • @Pedro45 How good/accurate are the Radiator Thermostats. I can see this being the way forward. I assume you can have different schedules on all the radiators? Or do you have to change them manually via the app?
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  • My house if fully automated. It costs a fortune but she the system does everything.
  • Always reminds me of this

  • Thanks guys I was thinking of these specific technologies together - Alexa/Mi Home/Nest
  • Swisdom said:

    Depends if your housebuilder puts the thermostat in the wrong place.

    The stat they put in my room means it thinks the top two floors are nice and snug but the truth is my kids bedrooms always feel cold. If I can control them separately then that would be lovely

    We have a portable one, mind you its set so low (14) it hardly comes on.
  • @Pedro45 How good/accurate are the Radiator Thermostats. I can see this being the way forward. I assume you can have different schedules on all the radiators? Or do you have to change them manually via the app?

    They seem to work fine. Yes, you set the temperature for each room/zone individually, and can vary the temperatures between rooms, and such at different times. Once set up, it all just happens!

    For instance, I work at home. So in the morning, our bedroom radiator turns on about 20 minutes before we get up (set to 21 degrees). The bathroom comes on about 15 minutes later, which is about 10 minutes before we get in there, so it's cozy in the shower (also 21 degrees). My office turns on about 7.45, and is set at 25 degrees cos I like it warm, until lunchtime. The bedroom and bathroom then turn off until the evening and run at the default 12 degrees (also adjustable). I set the lounge to come on at 21 degrees at 12.30, just before I go downstairs for my lunch, and that stays warm for an hour then turns off. My office turns the rad on once more for the afternoon, and goes off around 5pm, when I finish work. The lounge then comes on for the evening (set at 23 degrees) until bedtime. The bedroom heats for an hour around 10pm and then all goes off for the night.

    Weekends we have different timetables for each room, as there is no point heating my office most of the day when I am not in there much on Saturdays and Sundays.

    It took about a week or ten days to get things right in each room (and we still fiddle with the settings (timing and temp) minimally even now), and we can over-ride any room or the house if we wanted to at any time.

    It's a major step up from Hive or Nest, but then it does cost a lot more...
  • You do realise all the on and off’s/heating up and cooling down is probably costing you more than leaving it on at 21 degrees?

    Unless each and every room is so well insulated that heat doesn’t escape of course.

  • Put a new boiler in Sept, along with Nest.
    My gas usage for the last quarter (Oct - Dec) of last year was £412, so far in the same quarter it's £120. How much is down to the boiler and how much is down to the Nest, I don't know, but I'm happy with the result.
  • Pedro45 said:

    We've gone with Genius for our home heating; offers room by room control via the app rather than the simple on/off option from Nest/Hive etc. It's taken a couple of weeks to get right/bed in, but now the house is lovely and warm in the right rooms when you use them, and we don't waste heating up spare rooms for no reason when not used.

    Question for you.

    I am assuming you can control which rooms are heated and which have their radiators turned off. So, sometimes, you will have the heating on in the house, except for - say - a couple of spare bedrooms. And sometimes you will have heating on in all the rooms. In the latter case, the whole house gets heated up at the same rate and stays at that temperature all the time you have the heating on. In the former case, most of the house is heated up until it reaches the temperature you've set the thermostat to; and then heat leaks from those rooms to the colder rooms, reducing the temperature, and setting the heating to go on via the thermostat again.

    So the question is - do you find keeping some of the rooms cold reduces the cost of heating (because you don't turn the heating on in those rooms) or increases it (because cold rooms absorb heat from the rest of the house)?
  • video on Mihome internet of things etc
  • Put a new boiler in Sept, along with Nest.
    My gas usage for the last quarter (Oct - Dec) of last year was £412, so far in the same quarter it's £120. How much is down to the boiler and how much is down to the Nest, I don't know, but I'm happy with the result.

    Some of that must be down to a more efficient boiler.

    I live in a 4 bed detached house in the middle of nowhere so I am not protected by other houses when its cold and the wind blows.

    It was a new house in 2016 so a new boiler. I have radiators upstairs with TRV's fitted to balance the rooms and downstairs I have underfloor heating divided into 5 x zones each controlled with its own timer/thermostat.

    I pay £40 per month for my gas DD and I am always in credit so inside £120.00 per quarter.
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  • Well the proof is in the pudding. We've only had it working for about three weeks, and haven't seen any gas bills yet, so if they jump up enormously, then I guess we can say that it would be cheaper to run the whole house at the same temp rather than heat up only at certain times. And if it's cheaper, then it won't have mattered if heat escaped into other rooms..

    For your assumption, yes, we control which rooms heat, when, and at what temperature and which do not. But as we (just me and my wife live here) are rarely using the whole house, we basically never heat the whole house at any one time. We do tend to close doors and curtains, so all the rooms are fairly well insulated and don't really "leak" heat to other rooms noticeably (and never have).
  • Pedro45 said:

    @Pedro45 How good/accurate are the Radiator Thermostats. I can see this being the way forward. I assume you can have different schedules on all the radiators? Or do you have to change them manually via the app?

    They seem to work fine. Yes, you set the temperature for each room/zone individually, and can vary the temperatures between rooms, and such at different times. Once set up, it all just happens!

    For instance, I work at home. So in the morning, our bedroom radiator turns on about 20 minutes before we get up (set to 21 degrees). The bathroom comes on about 15 minutes later, which is about 10 minutes before we get in there, so it's cozy in the shower (also 21 degrees). My office turns on about 7.45, and is set at 25 degrees cos I like it warm, until lunchtime. The bedroom and bathroom then turn off until the evening and run at the default 12 degrees (also adjustable). I set the lounge to come on at 21 degrees at 12.30, just before I go downstairs for my lunch, and that stays warm for an hour then turns off. My office turns the rad on once more for the afternoon, and goes off around 5pm, when I finish work. The lounge then comes on for the evening (set at 23 degrees) until bedtime. The bedroom heats for an hour around 10pm and then all goes off for the night.

    Weekends we have different timetables for each room, as there is no point heating my office most of the day when I am not in there much on Saturdays and Sundays.

    It took about a week or ten days to get things right in each room (and we still fiddle with the settings (timing and temp) minimally even now), and we can over-ride any room or the house if we wanted to at any time.

    It's a major step up from Hive or Nest, but then it does cost a lot more...
    Pity help you get up in the middle of the night for a piss.
    That could throw a spanner in the works.
  • Pedro45 said:

    @Pedro45 How good/accurate are the Radiator Thermostats. I can see this being the way forward. I assume you can have different schedules on all the radiators? Or do you have to change them manually via the app?

    They seem to work fine. Yes, you set the temperature for each room/zone individually, and can vary the temperatures between rooms, and such at different times. Once set up, it all just happens!

    For instance, I work at home. So in the morning, our bedroom radiator turns on about 20 minutes before we get up (set to 21 degrees). The bathroom comes on about 15 minutes later, which is about 10 minutes before we get in there, so it's cozy in the shower (also 21 degrees). My office turns on about 7.45, and is set at 25 degrees cos I like it warm, until lunchtime. The bedroom and bathroom then turn off until the evening and run at the default 12 degrees (also adjustable). I set the lounge to come on at 21 degrees at 12.30, just before I go downstairs for my lunch, and that stays warm for an hour then turns off. My office turns the rad on once more for the afternoon, and goes off around 5pm, when I finish work. The lounge then comes on for the evening (set at 23 degrees) until bedtime. The bedroom heats for an hour around 10pm and then all goes off for the night.

    Weekends we have different timetables for each room, as there is no point heating my office most of the day when I am not in there much on Saturdays and Sundays.

    It took about a week or ten days to get things right in each room (and we still fiddle with the settings (timing and temp) minimally even now), and we can over-ride any room or the house if we wanted to at any time.

    It's a major step up from Hive or Nest, but then it does cost a lot more...
    Pity help you get up in the middle of the night for a piss.
    That could throw a spanner in the works.
    Why? It was cold in the middle of the night before and will be again. Do you heat your toilet just in case you need a piss at 4am?
  • Best be safe than sorry
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