Control and have electrical radiators, underfloor heating and HVAC cooperate

Hi Guys,
Most heating/cooling systems are build around a central heating solution, or around one other solution. In my home I have three means of heat and cooling, I have electrical radiators in the bedrooms, underfloor heating in the bathrooms and a HVAC unit in an open plan dining and livingroom area. I would like to
a) have all three systems in sync collaborating and
b) ability to control individual rooms.
c) Optionaly, in the future, it would be neat to control the system using a weather forecast.

Have any one of you (1) built a similar system, or (2) any part of that system or have ideas on (3) what hardware to get (radiator thermostats) and (4) where to start?

I realise this is a tall order, but any ideas on where to start are apreciated.

Regards,
Magnus

Luckily you have a very flexible home automation hub... :wink:

While I can't claim to have done what you are asking, I can certainly see a, b and c being achievable using something like Rule Machine or possibly one of the simpler rule apps, but with this claim being dependent on the devices you are working with. What are each of your heating / cooling systems and what do you have or were considering for your weather forecasting?

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I'm currently in your same boat and looking into the same solutions.

My HVAC systems are composed using a hidden duct heat pump Mini Split (heat secondary to primary floor heating), hydronic 4 zone underfloor heating, and natural gas fireplace. My project is in the design phase and will take many months to complete, so I will be watching this thread very closely.

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First off, take a look a Sinope thermostats, they have them in Zigbee flavor for central, electric baseboards and in floor heating. They are very well supported by Hubitat natively but also have advanced drivers available.

Then when Hubitat can control everything, check the different in built apps for controlling thermostats, these apps will most likely be enough for most situations but if they don't adding a few rules in RM should cover whatever is left.

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I can second the Sinope recommendation... I use the TH1300ZB for the electrically heated floor in my bathroom and it works flawlessly.

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I am using your (@nclark ) thermostat app for controlling my electric radiators and it works very well, so my vote is for that app. It works well with up to 3 radiators in one room. I have 4 temp sensors to get average temp in one room.

The only thing that would be a useful addition is an hysterisis app that can change the thermostat settings.

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Curious what those thermostats do if anything happens to the rest of the HA/HE infrastructure?

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The Sinope thermostats are connected (Zigbee or WiFi) non programmable thermostats, when the hub is not present, they will keep doing there stuff at the set points they are when that happens. So basically they become dumb thermostats and are just waiting for commands to change set points, they will try to report to the hub temps, mode changes or what ever else, but of course no one is there to answer.

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I do to. I use @erilaj 's driver which allows me to take an outside temp reading to display on the thermostat whenever motion is detected in the bathroom so I can see floor vs outside temps. It such a small thing but very useful.

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Hi,

Thank you for posting your thoughts on my questions!

Yes, i does feel like it would be posible, doesn't it. Just a matter of how :slight_smile:

I am early in the creation of this solution so I have not installed much as of yet.

  • The HVAC is a Toshiba unit that I control using a Broadlink RM Pro+ and rule machine rules.
  • I have not yet purchased anything to control the electrical radiators, nor thermometers and or a thermostat to use with the radiators. I haven't yet found a solution that has convinced me it'll work.
  • The underfloor heating also still has its' original thermostats/control units. These will be replaced. But as with the readiators, I have not yet found replacements that have been convincing.
  • As for the weather forecast, that is more of a vision at this time. My house is unfortunately quite poorly insulated why the inside temperature is quite affected by the outside temperature. I thought it would be nifty to even out the effects of the outside temperature as well as things like havnig a pretty stable temperature in the bedroom when it is time to go to bed regardless of the weather outside. If it is hot outside this could mean cooling several hours in advance and so on. Technically my thoughts so far has been to find an internet source and somehow read the forcast from there. Or, use data from my local Netatmo weatherstation.

Let's keep in touch if either of us comes up with something clever :slight_smile:

Hi,

Thank you all for you thoughts.

I will have a look at the Sinope thermostats to se if I can use them for the radiators as well as the under floor heating.

@Kulfsson , how are your radiators connected to the thermostat? For water heated radiators the thermostats are attached to the radiators, but I guess your Sinope is not? Or how have you set it up? Are you controlling the temp sensors from a Sinope app or in Hubitat?

Glad to see you are actively working through the thermostat complexities and have the support of the broader Community...

I am more interested / helpful with weather forecasting, able to offer the EcoWitt option of a local solution if you invest in a local EcoWitt weather station and gateway.

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Hi,

Thanks for your thoughts and for the recommendation of the EcoWitt weather station.

I currently have a full Netatmo weatherstation, but if there are good motivations for changing to a EcoWitt weather station, I would be willing to do that.

What is your eperience of the EcoWitt weather station and can you tell us a bit more about the local solution?

Cheers,

I may have overlooked your reference to owning the Netatmo system. I can't make a compelling case to switch when you already have a working system, which I expect can integrate with Hubitat....?

If you are still interested, I actually maintain / develop the Community drivers for the EcoWitt system, having been developed by a previous Community member. I also own an EcoWitt weather station that reports outdoor temperature, humidity, air pressure, rain, wind speed / direction and UV. There are gateway devices that can simply be used to receive readings from the various sensors and send these up to EcoWitt's web site or Weather Underground for analysis, but can also send the same data to a nominated HTTP endpoint, which in our case is the HE hub, sent over the local network. The HE drivers interpret the data feed and record the readings in virtual devices, making them available for use in automations and display on HE dashboards. The EcoWitt gateway devices can also take the form of an LCD display for displaying the current weather conditions. On my gateway there is also a temperature and Humidity sensor to capture indoor conditions. I also have Soil Moisture sensors in some outdoor plant pots, and have ordered an air quality sensor for CO2 and PM2.5 readings. Other Community members have also used a Leaf Moisture sensor for automation of their smart lawn mower.

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I have virtual thermostats and use @nclark's " [RELEASE] Advanced vThermostat - Virtual Thermostat HVAC control - Developers / Code Share - Hubitat" app.

Let's talk the living room as an example:

  1. I have 3 temp sensors located here and there which feed into Advanced vThermostat
  2. Then I have 2 heaters that are controlled by the app by way of Fibaro z-Wave outlets.
Screenshot

This means that the heaters are controlled on and off by the outlets, which does give one pause that they may not like that action (turned off / on), but reality is that I have had this kind of setup running for 8+ years (previously on Vera), so I am pretty confident in how this works.

Main thing is to set the Outlets to go to on if power is restored, this way they will still work if Hubitat will not come up as well.

Then I simply have the Thermostat Scheduler app installed which has different set points based on mode. This setup has worked so far, but as @nclark pointed out, and several others, if the Hubitat is down, then the vThermostat will not work, so therefore my heaters are set at a max temp on the internal thermostat, so in case Hubitat goes down, they will still work.

I hope this helps. As mentioned, the only thing that I would like to have in addition is some kind of Hysterisis so that an outside weather station could control the thermostat schedulers, else it is working fine.

A slight issue is that at some point the vThermostat set points could be changed via Google Home, but that is no longer possible if they are in Heat only (which is my main mode).

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