Recommendations for Heating Control

Hi, I’m new to the Smartthings world and just playing around with the Starter kit and a few additions devices.

One of my aims is to be able to control my heating remotely, only a small house so don’t need zones etc, just want to be able to save a bit of energy, by having it turn off when I’m not at home, and being able to turn it on remotely (geofenced) when it’s wet and miserable and I don’t want to return to a cold house.
Just a standard Combi boiler, no hot water tank or A/C. Hive or Nest may be overkill with too much overlap with ST, can anybody recommend some alternatives?

I originally had a Nest thermostat but switched to the 2Gig CT100 Z-Wave thermostat (http://2gig.com/products/z-wave-automation-accessories/smart-thermostats/) a couple of years ago. It isn’t fancy but does exactly what I want, which is to accept commands from my ST hub. I can remotely change the mode, fan and temperature settings. It can use both power from a common wire or from batteries.

I’m not affiliated with them at all but cannot recommend Tado enough! From customer support through to 5-10 minute install (specific to your heating system) it’s pretty darn simple and effective and has paid for itself in 5-months of being installed.

They’re huge in Germany and gradually branching out here. If you contact them before buying and tell them what you’d like, they seem to be happy enough to throw in a 10% discount here and there…or at least they have 3 times with me. So worth a shot!

Integrates with ST, DH’s are available, it’s Alexa and HomeKit compatible. Can’t ask for more really.

Is Ecobee available where you are? I have 2 and have been very happy with them. New version has Amazon’s Alexa built it, but more importantly, it has made their V3 (non Alexa) drop in price substantially. I have a V3 regular and a Lite. Doing it over I would have gotten the regular version for both as the extra sensors are nice in my home setup. The Lite actually now supports sensors, although I haven’t tried it.

I also have the Tado.
Works as a stand alone device so there is no need to integrate with ST but you can if you wish.
Goes into away made when your connected devices are away. (In my case my wife’s and my phone).
In my case it just replaced my existing honeywell controller and thermostat.
As said above, took 10 minutes

Hi @wrc,

Welcome to the community.

Here is a recommendation from someone who actually was here since the SmartThings started up on KickStarter.

You will need the following to control your hous HVAC system:

  1. A smart connected thermostate. There are many now. i.e., Nest, Honeywell wifi thermostat.
  2. Setup presence sensors to let your house know if you are home or not. i.e., either setup your cell phone as a presence sensor or buy a SmartThings presence sensor.
  3. Setup routines in SmartThings to turn on your thermostate and set it to a tempreture when you are home and to turn it off when you are not. i.e., “Goodbuy!” - When you are away.
    “I’m Back!” - when you arrive.

You can read about more on this from the official/unofficial SmartThings wiki site here:http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=ThingsThatAreSmart_Wiki

If you need more help, don’t be afraid to ask for help from great people here.

Thanks for the suggestions

Hive, Nest, Tado, Ecobee, etc all have their own hub, which use there own power and just over complicates things. I just want to use the ST hub and add devices that control things. Having to have a propriety hub to use a particular device just defeats the point of an open system.

I found a Horstmann HRT4-ZW Z-Wave Thermostat and Receiver on ebay for less than £40 so will give them a try (Still some left if people are interested. ( http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/162522601674 ) . I’ve found the device handlers, so hopefully these will do the trick.
It’s only basic thermostat, but I’m sure I can find or write an app which I can use to schedule the heating. I would have preferred a programmable thermostat/controller which I could connect to ST hub and would act independently if the ST Hub went down, but there doesn’t seem to be anything out there.

Hive, Nest, Tado, Ecobee etc. don’t have Hubs.
The on-wall thermostats can be battery powered and the boiler controller is wired into the boiler like any other heating system. It’s the thermostat unit that does the controlling, so could possibly be viewed as a ‘Hub’ but aren’t actually ‘hubs’ in the ST/Smart Home sense.

So the Horstmann HRT4-ZW Z-Wave Thermostat and Receiver is identical to the setup of any of the above. i.e ST hub, Thermostat and Receiver.

As for indepandent control, all 4 of the above can be directly controlled by the ST hub as basic or scheduled thermostats and can be controlled at any time, regardless of if the ST hub is functioning or not. Best of both worlds with all the suggested solutions here.

So all the suggestions plus your own are really very, very similar (you could argue identical to a point). Pretty much differing only by ZigBee or Z-Wave format and aesthetics. And I hate to say it, but there will be a reason the previous solutions are all £100+ and that Hortsmann package is only £40. You get what you pay for and all that.

Hive does have a hub. Its the small box with only a wired connection for your Internet. Its how Hive links to the cloud.

I have Hive and also have it linked to ST. Works pretty well for what I need and the standard Hive app works has the WAF and good for the others in the house. Hive is also Zigbee, but I have not had any issues with it co-existing alongside ST. I also like that it continues to work even if ST is down for some reason.

Sorry, I completely forgot about the Hive connector. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a hub but I had forgotten about it either way! :blush:

But in Hive you have to talk Hive Hub not the actual devices

Same as Tado, you have to have the Internet Bridge. ST talks to the Bridge not the actual devices.

For Nest and Ecobee the main thermostat is the hub.

The Horstmann devices are just ‘Things’ that you connect directly to.

It’s horses for courses, If you happy to have separate propriety solutions, and there are both benefits and disadvantage with these, linked together with central controller that’s one approach,

Purely out of interest, what’s the problem with them having an extra bridge? I know it’s an extra device in the chain but I am yet to experience any lag or delay in commands reaching the Tado or my previous Hive nor any communication issues between devices.
Is it a case of not having enough ports on the router, power sockets nearby etc.? which I agree, can be a hassle! Especially if you then have the Sky router with only 2 ethernet ports! :disappointed:

The Hortsmann appears to be a rebranded OEM device (I’d assume, happy to know otherwise) as there is an identical looking model with a very similar description branded as “Secure” for nearly £85 on Vesternet. Or it could be “Secure” is a rebranded Hortsmann, I’ve no idea! SO maybe you do have yourself a bargain there, especially if you really don’t want to extra hub/bridge in the middle. :slight_smile:

You are getting confused. The thermostates that use Wi-Fi are cloud to cloud integration with ST (No Hub Needed). Thermostats that use Z-Wave or Zigbee protocols are directly connected to ST hub and don’t need any othe hub in between.

Please in the Smart Things app -> Marketplace -> Thermostats and you will see the ST integrated models of thermostates.

I also use Tado for 8 months now. The mean reason to buy it was to be independent from Samsung and use a separate system for the heating. The big problem for smart home is, you don’t know how long are spare parts and support available.

I was also thinking about integrate it with Samsung ST. The problem is, you can’t get as enough features as with Tado.

Tado offers the following advantages:

  1. Easy Setup (self mounting, package includes adapters for the valves)
  2. Intelligent heating control (geo-location based, weather based, outside temperate based, and it’s a learning system)

ie. if you just work 1 hour longer, the heating just get on, but starts if you get in the geo fence before you get home

  1. Good time schedules handling (you can set up time blocks with different temperatures per minute)

The only bad thing was the support. The quality is good, but the response times at the beginning were a night mare.
But now, I think the response time is 24h. I just contacted them two days ago to get a now adapter.
The immediately just send one to me for free.

If you just need a simple on/off function or temperature based, you can go for a z-wave (Nest, Honeywell wifi thermostat).

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