I saw a post recently that asks the question, “Do you really need one this fancy?” Well, I had a good long think about this, having written a few posts here, and came to the conclusion I don’t!
My heating system consists of a Worcester Bosch Greenstar 28CDi Compact with a FW100 weather compensator controller. The controller isn’t particularly ‘smart’ but it does adjust the boiler output in an intelligent way, depending on an external temperature sensor, room temperature, return water temperature and parameters you can set yourself. This means the water temperature is the coolest necessary to provide the heating requirement, which in turn means the boiler is running at more efficient condensating performance than if it were at maximum circulating temperature all the time.
Nearly all the ‘smart’ thermostats, with the exception of the Wave, which works similarly to the FW100, are simple on/off switches as far as the boiler is concerned. I thought carefully about upgrading to the Wave (anything else would be a backward step I felt) but realised what I really needed was a way to programme individual room temperatures. I was constantly turning the TVRs in the living room, for example, up in the early evening and down before I went to bed.
One option would be wireless TRVs and I considered this in the multi-zone article. But when I worked out exactly what I needed I decided this was too complex. So I purchased a couple of cheap eQ-3 programmable TRVs to do this for me. These devices have a programme memory that can have up to 7 temperature changes per day and each day different. For now I have them set to do the same thing every day. I also fitted them in the bedrooms to make them warm in the mornings and cool the rest of the day.
So far this arrangement is working well. The only thing I’m missing is the ability to adjust the main controller from my mobile phone, but as I hardly ever need to interact with it this is no great loss. All I need to do is remember to turn it off when I go out and, as it’s right by the front door, that’s no great hardship.
Saved myself a few hundred quid too!