SmartThings Community

Yet another house renovation topic - Small questions

(Tsori) #1

So ive posted a little regarding the renovation of a property im doing currently.

Firstly a bit of context:

Its a bungalow, fair size (no idea footprint size really but…larger than anything we have owned before)

3 bedrooms, 16m2 kitchen and 14m2 lounge occupying the back of the building, bedrooms to the front All connected by a centralized hallway splitting down the middle.

In the attic, this will be a 4th bedroom (although is going to be an office for myself for streaming and gaming)

Two bathrooms, one main, one en-suite, Neither have any windows.

The plan is to utilise echo’s and echo dot’s in most rooms, we have a samsung smart tv already which il be using in the kitchen and will be purchasing another tv (probably a sony at this point of thinking). Chromecasts currently exist for two of three tv’s and would be looking at either a built in one for the new tv, or an additional one for this setup.

Right now, its two walls and a roof, work is underway on reconstructing the new larger walls front and back, as well as considerable amount of damp proofing (it was a very wet building) and flooring. No cables have been ran yet but that stage is very quickly approaching.

Central heating is provided by a centrally located combi-boiler and inroom rad’s in each room quite a bit over the BTU requirement,in addition to this, we are having new windows throughout as well as external insulation and rendering done to the building.

So, why does any of that matter?

Primarily because i want to get the automation setup sorted before having to drill and cut holes in everything to run cables and link everything together. So far ive got the following in mind:

  • Camera on the back of the house, the front of the house, camera in the doorbell (ring) and an interior camera shooting the full length of the hallway to the front door.
  • Yale security alarm system (im not too interested in linking this to the rest of the smart house stuff, this is simply a seperate ecosystem that functions as a standard alarm system)
  • motionsensor 6’s in both bathrooms, to control lights and possibly fans
  • Fibaro dimmers in all light switches
  • Hue Bulbs as decoration lights in the kitchen, hue strips as under cabinet lighting
    -Hue bulbs in all lamps
  • Some form of smart thermostat (thinking tado)

So my questions:

  1. Is there any benefit that i may have missed to utilizing motion sensors in other rooms, use case scenarios dont seem too apparent for motion activated lighting in the lounge or kitchen due to me planning to have these on scheduled timetables. We rarely use full ceiling mounted lights as these tend to be too bright and oppressive for comfortable use, preferring to use lamps and dimmer light sources.

  2. is there, aside from motion sensors, any better way of monitoring presence within a room. So far the over-riding issue ive got with all the plans so far is that it all falls a bit short the second someone deviates from the scheduled time table. As an example, the kitchen will turn itself to night mode at a specified time, say 11pm, where all the lights go off aside from say, the island lights, to give a bit of illumination. Now this is great, but if someone is in the kitchen at 11pm, id want it to postpone night mode, Is there a way of doing this without the person involved actively preventing night mode intentionally (be it through the app, or pressing a button ect)

  3. Smart heating - Still not made my mind up on this one, but i think my main aim is to be able to have adjustable zones in the house. Our previous property was underfloor heated throughout, which meant each room had a thermostat and requested water directly from the boiler only for that room. It worked incredibly well but is prohibitively expensive to retrofit into a building with concrete floors. Im tilted towards the tado purely as the rad valves would help achieve this aim. However i have one sticking point which i think ive gotten correct in my mind:

Rad valve A is in bathroom 1
Rad valve B is in bathroom 2

Every other room has normal thermostatic rad valves (non-smart ones)

If Valve A requests water… but valve B is reporting the room at temperature, then valve B will remain shut and therefore bathroom 2 wont get any more heat while bathroom 1 will.
However in this scenario, due to how central heating works, the rest of the house would also be heated, regardless of if the main thermostat in the hallway is showing up to temperature. Possibly leaving the rest of the house too warm, just because we are trying to heat the towels in the bathroom.

By that logic, every room needs a smart TRV from tado, at which point the main thermostat has no function, as each room is capable of independently calling heat.

If that line of thinking is right then unless you zone each room to a smart valve, effectively “zoning it” then you have 1 zone of “radiators without smart valves” and then each radiator with a smart TRV is another zone ontop of this. However that first zone will always be on, even if the thermostat is showing its up to temperature.

Thats it for now but i can guarantee there will be more!

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#2

Are they well supported ? I am also looking for ST supported TRV too:

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(John Lockwood) #3

Tado have by far the most flexible smart thermostat and TRV solution.

They support combi and standard boilers, zoned and non-zoned, and under-floor heating. They also support old style ‘call for heat’ as well as new style OpenTherm or eBus modulating control.

There are Smartthings community smartapps and device handlers for Tado.

I am sure there are alternative system with better i.e. more official Smartthings support but Tado seems to be the most flexible on the heating side.

See - https://www.tado.com/t/en/underfloor-heating-increasing-efficiency/ as a starting point.

It should be noted that many other smart thermostats like Nest v3 only work with OpenTherm and not eBus. For example Worcester/Bosch and Valiant both use varieties of eBus. You can get converters between eBus and OpenTherm but Valiant will invalidate your warranty even though they make and sell this item themselves in the Netherlands.

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(Tsori) #4

Just noticed this, thought I’d give a little update.

It’s been 4 months actively living with tado, so far im happy enough with them.

The main gripe is the new app doesn’t make it clear which radiator is calling for heat, which makes the system a little fuzzy to test if it’s working correctly with automation. However I’ve not come home to a cold house and the app is confirming the temperatures are down when I’m not there, so all is looking well.

Alexa control of them works well, able to report the temperature and change it per room quite seamlessly.

I haven’t really automated much of it with smart things , I know there’s a DTH for it out, but off the bat I’m a little disappointed the integration of its geofencing can’t be used within smart things to trigger other devices, such as say the drive lights when it detects me coming home. The tado control within smart things focuses around the heating itself but the usefulness of the geo fencing on the side is overlooked.

All in all, my other option here in the UK being the Honeywell option, it worked out the cheapest offering as well

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(John Lockwood) #5

@Tsori

As I understand it the following would apply with Tado.

If you have say a single zone with a smart wall thermostat and two smart TRVs (Your A and B) then if any of them require heat your boiler will run. However if A is ‘satisfied’ it will stop the heat reaching its radiator and similarly if B is satisfied it will stop heat reaching its radiator. However the TRVs only control heat going to their respective radiators, if A is satisfied but B is not then B will still get heat.

If the smart wall thermostat is satisfied but either A or B is not then the boiler will still run and heat will reach the respective TRV - A or B and the area covered by the wall thermostat unless you also have a TRV adjacent to the wall thermostat.

To summarise if anything calls for heat the boiler will run.

You should think of a TRV as being a zone for one radiator.

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