As far as energy efficient home heating goes, the UK has a long way to go. The current number of new build projects and refurbishments of older, Victorian terraced properties is of course allowing the upgrade of some of these systems, from basic plumbing to electrics to underfloor heating and better heating zonation. The more buildings are being upgraded to the current standards, the more environmentally friendly and economical from an energy saving perspective our homes will become. Many properties are also being upgraded to home automation systems, whereby your home heating, lighting and even music can be wirelessly controlled through an app on your smartphone.

It's a big leap from old valved radiators and draughty windows but it's a change that has been warmly welcomed and accepted with open arms into the British market - especially as these products are being manufactured by trusted suppliers like Honeywell.

Instead of turning off radiators and keeping the heating switched off even in the middle of coldest winter (this is an English tradition that, as a comfort loving Scandinavian, I have not been able to accustom to), automation systems like Evohome give us the freedom to be energy efficient and comfortable by easily setting up heating zones based on preferences.

Heating zones could be configured in different ways:
- Grouping nearby rooms around the house together
- Grouping rooms according to different activities within the house
- Creating a customised zoning plan based on the frequency of use of each room

Whichever solution you opt for, you will need to speak to a qualified plumbing and heating installer to help you purchase the right components for your Evohome system.

The Technical Details

Like many other smart energy systems, Evohome includes an advanced thermostat, controlled by a remote touchscreen device, which connects wirelessly to individual devices in the home and to your broadband router.

The Evohome system is capable of controlling temperature in up to 12 zones plus hot water control, as well as being able to control each room individually from your smartphone or mobile device. This allows you the freedom to save energy based on your personal needs - controlling single radiators in individual rooms or the overall temperature of your entire home.

The Evohome can also be set up on quick actions, for example, turning off your heating with a single press when you leave your home. You can also set up timed values, so that your heating could be turned off for 7 days when you are on holiday, again with a single button press. Another quick action is the 'Eco mode', which sets back the whole house by 3 degrees.

Honeywell quoted figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), stating that up to 82% of a typical energy bill is attributed to home heating and hot water. They claim that upgrading from a basic timer and thermostat to Evohome's 'Smart Zoning' could save up to 40% on heating bills.

The Evohome is also going to be able to integrate with other home automation systems and is well suited to retrofitting to an existing heating system. Its wireless nature means little or no disruption to the home. There is plenty of scope for even a DIY installer to get their hands dirty with the installation process.

The Costs

Like many other home automation systems, the initial cost will be a bit more but once you are set up, you will be saving on your heating bills, making it a worthwhile investment. The Evohome Connected Pack, which includes the control panel, internet gateway and a single radiator zone kit costs around £250 and additional individual radiator kits come in as a little less than £80. Therefore, to control the heating of three rooms, you are looking at a cost of roughly £400.

In terms of rising energy costs and the added comfort and convenience gained, it might be an investment worth making. How much money you'd actually save with the Evohome depends on the size of your home, your lifestyle and how you use the service.

The Look

From a design perspective, both the physical aspects of the product itself and especially the digital interface are well designed and easy to use. We love the modern look of the smartphone app, which removes all the technical nitty gritty from the use of the system, making customising and controlling the temperature of your whole house easier than turning a dial on a radiator!

From what we have seen and experienced with home automation so far, we can confidently claim that this is the future of home heating. The future couldn't be more welcome!

Click here to go to the Honeywell Evohome Website
Click here to watch a youtube tutorial on the Evohome System
Click here to go to the Evohome Planning Tool (to help you choose the kit you need)

Honeywell evohome iPhone App

Honeywell evohome Zones