Turn on panel heater?

Hi all, I have a problem I’m trying to tackle…

I’m looking to buy a wall panel heater for our guest bedroom.

They have a full controller that lets you set programmes for on/off times etc which should fit my requirements quite well.

Where OpenHAB comes in is me trying to be smart. When we are all out the house I’d like to stop the heater from coming on at it’s programmed times as that would just be a waste of energy. My plan was to use a Belkin Wifi Socket or something like that which I can make OpenHAB turn off when there is no one home.

The problem though is that the supplier seems to think that if I cut the power like that, when the power comes back on, the unit will keep it’s settings and schedules but someone has to physically push a power button on the heater to turn it on fully.

This obviously ruins my plans so I’m keen to see if anyone has some other alternatives? I could tap into the “power” button on the heater itself and use a relay to turn it on once the Belkin Wifi socket has turned on. But that’d be a last resort as I don’t really want to butcher the heater.

Maybe there are some alternative heating panels?

I would just look to get a dumb heater, with no schedules or timers, and use openHAB (via a Belkin socket or what-not) to control it.

Yeah possibly… Although I wanted something where I wouldn’t have to hook up temperature sensors etc.

These are wifi controlled so could possibly be made to work with OpenHAB… I read the manuals, but guessing only way to know would be to buy one and “sniff” the traffic to try figure out how to integrate it into OH.


I am sure you can get a thermostat controlled heater with a simple
on/off switch (which you can control via a Belkin socket)?

So you only turn on when someone is home, but then the heater is in
charge of regulating temp based on its own thermostat.

Good Point!
I’ll pop down to Mitre10 and take a look at what they have!

This one seems to be a higher quality one but still at a good price. All controls seems to be “manual” so should be workable with an external switching device.


@TommySharp I did a quick scan of the user manual for that panel heater you referenced. The WiFi section would suggest that all of the traffic to the heater is actually coming from a server in the cloud rather than directly from your phone. If the device is smart enough to recognize that a request does not come from its cloud then you would not be able to use any commands you managed to sniff anyway.

I’ve been planning a similar project but I’m leaning towards a super simple on or off panel and a temperature sensor in the room. You can put one of those together very quickly using an ESP8266 board to monitor the sensor, a DHT22 for example, and send MQTT to OpenHab. By looking at my thermostat’s desired temperatures I can then synchronize it with those.

Hey Mark, the manual does state that it can only be controlled while on the same wifi network as the heater so that made me believe that there was no “cloud” in play?

The piece that made me think that was the whole registration part. It appeared to me that the heater was talking to the cloud in order to match it with your phone from the application. It texted you a code as I recall. I will admit I scanned it in a rather cursory manner. I may have missed something. I still think a local temperature sensor is the way to go. I have one in my garage. I posted the code on this forum somewhere but currently on a RPi in Python. I still have the Arduino code for the ESP8266 and the DHT22 though. I had issues with the motion sensor on all the ESP8266 dev. boards I tried and that was my primary objective. The garage temp was just a fun extension for me.