Almost everyone is familiar with Honeywell when it comes to heating products. Honeywell is known worldwide for their thermostats. It’s an old company with a lot of history. The knowledge and experience of thermostats is enormous; this is undeniable. We’d like to tell you more about the Honeywell Evohome, the most advanced and, perhaps, best heating system currently available in the market.
What is the Evohome?
The Honeywell Evohome system is a decentralised home heating system. Decentralised means that you are able to control the temperature individually in each room (or zone) by using the system.
How Evohome works
- You can replace your thermostatic radiator valves with Evohome thermostatic valves (HR92WE). These valves open and close according to a set temperature. Each valve contains a thermometer to measure the temperature in the room. The Evohome can control up to 12 valves.
- The valves communicate with a central control panel, the EvoTouch, which allows you to set up a program for each room or zone.
- The panel then communicates the boiler via a relay. This way, the smart thermostat can activate or deactivate the boiler for each individual room. For example, if a room requires heat, the radiator valves will only open in that room. The other rooms are not heated, so you can save a lot of energy.
- The Evohome system is completely wireless. This means that all valves communicate wirelessly with the central control panel. The panel itself is also wireless and portable. If you prefer, the EvoTouch panel can also be wall mounted
- Evohome is a smart heating system - you have remote access with the Honeywell Total Connect Comfort app. This makes turning your heating on and off from anywhere with your smartphone possible.
The Evohome basic panel can also function as standard thermostat for a single zone. Of course, this system is mainly intended to be linked with thermostatic valves in order to utilise its full potential.
Tip: If you also use the panel as a thermostat, place it in a suitable location, and not near an open window for example.
What's in the box?
Let's take the standard Evohome package as our starting point. There are 2 versions:
Honeywell has carefully considered the situation in the UK market and made the system available for all boiler types and brands with these two versions. They also have domestic hot water control. If you want to know what the difference is between on/off or OpenTherm, please read the following explanation.
The box includes:
- The Evohome control panel. The rechargeable batteries are located in the panel. The 3100 series is the new version, which means that the Wi-Fi gateway is immediately integrated in the panel. This was not the case in the previous series (incidentally, the batteries are not fully charged at the factory, so if you install the system for the first time, we advise you to leave the system on the table stand, otherwise we've experience that the Wi-Fi signal is not always picked up (that has to do with the power supply).
- A table stand on which the panel can also be charged
- A boiler relay module: This module comes in 2 variants: one on/off and one OpenTherm. Depending on your type of boiler, you decide which one suits your home situation. If you have block or district heating, then you always choose the on/off.
If you're looking at the thermostat valve, then you'll find in the box:
- The thermostatic valve with batteries
What do you need for Evohome?
You do not necessarily have to equip the entire house with the system. What makes it great is that you can expand the system step by step. We recommend beginning with a starter kit (which includes the Evotouch control panel and boiler relay) and thermostatic valves for the living room. This turns the living room directly into a zone. If you don't, and make other zones elsewhere in the house, then you will always have to operate the thermostatic valves manually in the living room. If you, require heat in the bedroom or bathroom for example, and the radiators in the living are open, these too will warm up.
Then you can extend the system to the other rooms you want to heat individually. Finally, there is no point in placing Evohome thermostatic valves in the hall or other rooms that you rarely or never heat. This results in using more, rather than less, energy. You ultimately target the rooms you want to heat.
Evohome is not only connected but also smart. This means:
- The system learns how quickly your house warms up, ensuring that the desired temperature is always reached on time and exactly when you want it to. We find this an important feature as it ensures a lot of comfort.
- The thermostatic valves also all have their own screen, which is very easy to read. The valve itself ensures that it connects to the radiator. If it doesn't fit, adapters are always available.
- The batteries will normally work for at least one year, but we expect this to be at least 2 years.
- The thermostatic valves recognise when a window is open. If this is detected, they will automatically close and notify you about an open window (to prevent unnecessary heating).
- The thermostatic valve has a dial, which you can easily use to adjust the temperature. A nice feature so you don't always need the control panel or your smartphone to set the temperature.
- The Evohone system has an open protocol. You can connect it to IFTTT and thus to other smart equipment in your home. For example, the Philips Hue lighting or the Netatmo weather station for highly accurate weather-dependent central heating control
- The control panel has a variety of handy quick actions to make use as easy as possible
- Smart zoning makes saving energy easy - you only heat where it's needed.
The Honeywell Total Connect Comfort app
The Honeywell Total Connect Comfort app does exactly what you expect it to do: the app is reliable, easy in design and use, and accessible to multiple users. You can also use the app in demo mode before purchasing the system.
Unfortunately, the app does not show any consumption data. So no graphs, number of heating hours etc. We hope Honeywell will add this soon.
If your Evohone system needs to work with a standard central heating boiler and regular radiators, the installation won’t be difficult. The most complex step is probably connecting the boiler relay to the boiler. No cables are supplied for this, but you can simply use the existing cable, which runs to your current thermostat. In addition, you will need a 230 V plug to power the boiler relay.
The Evohome radiator controls can only be fitted on thermostatic valves. This is easy to check: if 1 - 5 is seen on the current valve, it's a thermostatic valve, if there is only a plus or minus on it, then it's a mechanical valve. In that case, you must replace the entire radiator valve with a thermostatic one - a job for the installer.
Do you have underfloor heating? Then it’s a bit more complicated. It’s possible to connect Evohome to the underfloor heating, but we recommend that this is done by a professional installer. You also need additional equipment in this case.
Otherwise, it's our experience that the system is easy to install. Of course it will take some time to link and set up everything. So don't do this late at night.
The system guides you step by step through the installation. Here you can really see the experience of Honeywell - this isn’t as well organised with any other brand or system! Finally, many videos are also available on Youtube.
Benefits of the Evohome:
- Best in the market in terms of quality and experience
- Easy to install, fits almost all thermostatic valves
- IFTTT possibilities (open protocol)
- Expandable with underfloor heating or other heating systems
- With app and controls
Points for improvement
- No thermostatic valves are included in the starter pack; they must always be ordered separately.
- The package does not include the cables for installing the boiler relay (230V).
- Consumption data is not transparent.
In a nutshell
Honeywell Evohome is an excellent system in terms of design, functionalities and user-friendliness. Honeywell speaks of 'total comfort'. We don't think Honeywell is exaggerating at all. This is the most advanced system on the market at the moment. It does have a hefty price, but it is worth it. And if you use the system properly, you can actually save on your energy bill.