Which heating thermostats work well?

Dear all,

I am considering to renew my heating thermostats (Danfoss valves). Clearly, the new system should work well with OH.

I tried Danfoss/Devolo Z-Wave, but they have response times of 30 mins at acceptable battery lifetime. As I change temperature spontaneously, this is no option.

Then I tried Eurotronic Z-Wave with FLIRS. Nice, but their firmware hangs form time to time, opening the valves. Multiple Amazon reviews report the same issue. Customer service does not respond.

Zigbee valves are hard to get. Some proprietary systems seem to use that standard, but I am not sure I could connect them to a Zigbee stick.

My current preference is Homematic IP. True, it’s proprietary as well, but I could not find something else at a reasonable price. Noteworthy, some such as @mstormi are sceptical, and I would be interested in their reasons.

Please comment - thanks :blush:

Hej Tobias

I bought these https://www.moeshouse.com/collections/smart-thermostat/products/tuya-zigbee3-0-new-mini-wifi-radiator-actuator-smart-programmable-thermostat-temperature-trv-controller

Impressed by the hardware lack of noise, but so far not tested a lot or for a long time yet

Any open system? Z-Wave or Zigbee?

They should work with Zigbee2mqtt, so should be pretty easy to integrate with openhab.

They write it only works with their hub, but that is just to keep the n00bs at bay i think

More likely to keep you locked in to buying more of their products.

Yes but they are just zigbee devices so a n00b may think that they are locked in, but really if one spend just a little time on the Google machine it is pretty easy to tell that in fact you are not

Could you try with the ZigBee binding? That would be a more natural choice, wouldn’t it.

Hi Markus, I don’t know exactly what the status is, i did not look into it a lot, but what i have been following of the threads on this forum there has been quite a lot of writing about xiaomi sensors and their support in the zigbee binding. Something about these particular sensors not implementing the standard zigbee implementation and therefore not always working well with that binding.
So i opted to go for Zigbee2mqtt, which i read supports these devices, of which i have a lot, very well.

I am not advocating one or the other, not even saying I am up to date with the development. I just went for Zigbee2mqtt but quite possibly the binding would work just as well or even better. Auto discover would be supported for one…

I do know out Zigbee developer has written an actual tested & certified Zigbee system for a customer

I do not know if (all) those pieces have made it into the OH binding.

So just for some information since there are a few things mentioned here in one way or another…

The framework that we used for the certified device (which was a Smart Meter system for a Energy Utility in the US) is the same that the binding uses. This was certified ZigBee compliant in January - but it’s a relatively small subset of requirements that are tested (all the networking layer, and then basic clusters, and smart energy clusters). This does test a lot of the ZigBee 3 functionality around the security (since ZB3 security uses some of the same functions as the SEP security, but without the certificate management that’s required for managing smart meters).

On top of this, and maybe more relevant for this thread, we supported Hiltons Connected Room system which also uses the same framework. For this we were controlling a few different types of thermostat (and some other devices, but the thermostats are the important point for this discussion I guess).

Xiaomi sensors should work ok with the binding, but I know some people have problems with them as they tend to sleep very quickly after joining the network, and the binding is then unable to discover their services. If the device is kept awake, then it should work fine (I’ve personally tested a number of Xiaomi devices and I know a number of people use them - but I also know others find them problematic).

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I certainly was not trying to knock your work, i have no qualifications for judging.

I don’t know how many people who have worked on zigbee certified implementations worked on the Zigbee2mqtt project either. Could be them all, could be none. Could even be our own developer in his off hours, under an alias. Don’t know how relevant it is either.

I think we are getting a little off topic to be honest, this thread is about hardware, radiator valve actuators to be precise. I gave the information that i had on the topic.

Hi,

I personally had no luck with battery driven thermostatic valves. But one day I found this thread:

I have installed this kind of valve on almost every radiator with a sonoff now and I am very happy!
The downside is, of course, that you need to get some kind of power to the radiator.
The upside though: Completely silent, quick state changes, reliable, cheap.

Every room of my house has an aqara temperature sensor and a setpoint item for the target temperature. With the iCalendar binding, I can control what room should be at what temperature and when.

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The downside is it has no handle to set the target temperature.
I, too, use these but on underfloor heating only.
People expect what they know i.e. handles on radiators.

That’s true, Markus.
But from my point of view, any radiator valve that is based on a measurement next to the radiator, be it the old kind or smart and electric, is building on a very strange concept…
They all need a human in the feedback loop to adjust the valve until the target temperature is reached. They might measure a lot, but surely not the current room temperature.
But yes, if a manual handle is the requirement, this solution is not for you!

True, but that’s the compromise you have in retrofitting you have to take when you cannot change/re-do the heating part. I myself did but it requires you to have additional thermometers (not next to the radiator of course) and essentially it means to program control yourself, and integrate with your furnace and pumps.

It’s even worse because there’s not even a common understanding of what a “thermostat” is.
I’m ever-amazed when U.S. users talk about a “thermostat” but all they mean is the pure handle
(be it mechanical or fancy designed electronics).
Europeans (you British ? :wink: ) by that term understand a combination of thermometer, handle and valve to put on a radiator.
Yeah the classic way to build a heating system is a broken concept in the light of the possibilities you have with smart control when you decompose thermostats into separate components and do the control in software rather than hydropneumatics.
But good luck explaining that to your plumber HVAC “expert”.

That’s exactly what I’m talking about. I’m german, so still EU ;). But I fear we have hijacked the thread now, sorry!
I’m curious with what solution you end up though, @Tobi77!

All of this talk is foreign to us in North America that usually have central forced air heat. Some older buildings have radiators with hot water or steam heat but they are usually controlled from a central boiler.

Known as a TRV in the UK, a thermostatic radiator valve. Though most don’t even call it that. Usually “knob” suffices, or the more wordy “turn the radiator up I’m freezing…”

The “thermostat” in the UK is usually the knob attached to the wall with vague temperature indications, for central ‘control’ of the heating.

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Indeed, as I am in Germany, I am looking for the device at the radiator which combines valve, thermometer and setting knob in one.

In fact, the Tuya devices such as here https://m.de.aliexpress.com/item/1005001689598370.html could be on option in terms of open standards as they use Zigbee 3.0.

But I am a bit afraid of Tuya products, remembering their power outlets have been demonstrated to be easily hackable (which in fact allows to install Tasmota firmware), but this gives me no good feeling… Any opinions or experiences on them?