TechStage | Saving energy: testing the Homematic IP Evo smart radiator thermostat

With intelligent radiator thermostats, rooms can not only be heated more efficiently (guide). The use of such devices also increases living comfort, since thanks to individual heating plans, you can save yourself having to manually set the temperature on the thermostat. And if you want to control the room climate (guide) in combination with door/window as well as temperature and humidity sensors, you need a radiator thermostat that can be easily integrated into a smart home system (guide). The Homematic IP Evo (HmIP-eTRV-E) radiator thermostat from the German eQ-3 AG offers exactly that: A so-called gateway from Homematic (test) is required for operation, with which you can combine other smart home products from the manufacturer .

While previous radiator thermostats from eQ-3 were often large and bulky (test report), the Homematic IP Evo with the dimensions 97 × 71 × 58 mm knows how to please with its slim and modern design. eQ-3 has also improved manual operation: Instead of using a rotary control, you rock the thermostat briefly in one direction or the other to set the temperature in 0.5-degree increments. A long rocker speeds up the temperature setting to the desired level. The new stepper motor for adjusting the valve reacts very quickly, so that the thermostat reacts quickly to settings. It is also very useful that you can rotate the LED display for the temperature so that, depending on how the thermostat is mounted on the radiator, you can always see the temperature display without having to crane your neck.

Either a Homematic IP Access Point or the more powerful Homematic CCU3 control center is required for commissioning. The former can only link the company’s cloud-based smart home components, while the latter can also do without a cloud and also work if the Internet fails.

We tested the Evo radiator thermostat with the Homematic IP Access Point. Commissioning is very easy and can be completed in just a few minutes. Ultimately, you have to connect the gateway to your home WiFi router using the Ethernet cable supplied and then pair it with the Homematic IP app. An installation wizard helps to scan the QR code on the bottom of the gateway so that the app integrates it and can now be controlled by it. Programming the thermostat to the access point is similar. However, we also had to manually enter the last digits of the serial number. Before doing this, however, you have to loosen the left cover on the thermostat in order to release the contact protection of the battery compartment, which contains two Energizer AA batteries, so that the thermostat is supplied with energy. Now screw the thermostat to the radiator. The letters now light up on the display AdA, which signal that the thermostat is ready for an adaptation run to calibrate the internal actuator for the valve. By pressing the single button on the thermostat, the calibration begins, which is shown on the display Adu is shown. The calibration is completed after a few seconds. Now the display shows the temperature setting and the system is ready for use. The temperature can now be adjusted by gently rocking the thermostat in one direction or the other. With a long press of the thermostat button, users can switch the mode from automatic to manual. A short press activates Boost mode for five minutes. The radiator is turned up to full power to heat it up faster. The LED display signals both status changes accordingly MANU respectively BOOST. Users can adjust the duration of the boost mode in the app.

The thermostat with the set target temperature appears on the app start page. After a tap on it, you can change it. The boost mode can also be activated here. At the bottom of the screen we reach via the button EQUIPMENT and selection of Radiator thermostat Evo other device settings. Under assignment you can define the space. The activation of control lock prevents manual control on the thermostat. Anyone who has children in the household will be happy about this feature. Besides, still can display orientation and -Brightness as well as a temperature offset be adjusted. There are also different heating profiles to choose from: the options are there by default standard profile, Manually and party mode ready. Of the party mode is a kind of timer with a specific temperature and time setting. When the time has expired, the previously selected profile is loaded again.

Adjusting the heating profiles is a bit cumbersome via the main menu and the selection More in section indoor climate possible. The temperature can be defined there according to the day of the week and the time. Up to 13 temperature changes are possible per day. In addition, users can create two more alternative profiles.

Further adjustment options are available under room climate configuration. Here, users can specify an energy-saving Eco mode, for example. Also interesting is the optimum start/stop function, which automatically calculates the lead time for a desired temperature at the set time. The heating failure warning function sends a push message if the desired temperature is not reached within 24 hours. Under room configuration, users can define the basic heating parameters such as minimum and maximum temperature as well as the window-open temperature and set the boost duration. With the window-open temperature, you determine how much the temperature on the thermostat is throttled when the window is opened, for example for airing. The thermostat receives the information via a corresponding Homematic IP sensor, for example.

Users can also control the Homematic IP Evo radiator thermostat by voice via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The Home Connect Plus and Mediola platforms are also supported. Unfortunately, you have to do without Apple Homekit with Siri.

At just under 80 euros, the price for the Homematic IP Thermostat Evo is comparatively high. You also have to factor in additional expenses of around 50 or 145 euros for one of the two gateways. In return, however, you have the option of integrating other smart home components from e-integrate. In addition, the device is eligible (PDF) and supports dynamic hydraulic balancing, so you don’t have to change valves when optimizing the heating.

There is hardly anything to criticize about the design, functionality and operation of the Homematic IP Thermostat Evo. On the contrary: It convinces with a slim and modern design and reacts quickly to user inputs. The main advantage, however, lies in the Homematic IP smart home platform. Anyone who uses them or plans to use them to set up their smart home will not make a mistake with the Homematic IP Thermostat Evo. However, if you are already using another solution such as Homey Pro (test report), Smartthings (test report) or Homekit (guide), you will choose a cheaper model.

TechStage offers more information on smart thermostats and energy saving potentials using smart technology in the Smart Home theme world and in the following articles:

More information on radiator thermostats can also be found in our individual and comparative tests:

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