Finally, a Solution for Smart-Heating an Older Home
The Nest Thermostat just doesn't work for most older homes with steam heat. Honeywell has a clever solution for that.
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If you've got an older home with steam radiators, chances are you've looked longingly at smart thermostats like the Nest. But Nest just won't work on your radiators, which require you to twist a knob to set the temperature. Honeywell has been working on a novel solution.
Like all the other smart thermostats, the Honeywell evohome learns over time and makes temperature adjustments based on your habits. And like all the others, it has an app to talk to your iOS and Android devices so you can monitor and control remotely.
But here's where it gets interesting: The evohome includes a series of smart controllers that literally screw onto the radiator supply valve to open and close the pipes depending on your temperature needs. Each of these radiator valve controllers wirelessly communicates with the thermostat.
Each controller is powered by two AA batteries that Honeywell claims will see you through two years of use without replacement. There's also a component that can connect to your furnace, preventing it from unnecessarily heating up several gallons of water you don't need.
Once Honeywell evohome is installed, your once unzone-able home is neatly divided into a series of zones–one for each radiator. Love a toasty bedroom in the morning but hate wasting money heating up the den at the same time? This is the solution that many Americans have been waiting for.
There's the rub. Currently, the Honeywell evohome is only available in Europe, though representatives confirmed that the company is contemplating the US market. For those living in older homes, we can only hope.