This article is an unpaid commercial partnership.

SONOFF thermostatic heads have been eyeing me for a while. I have a gas boiler with good old cast iron radiators. To save money, I started with a Netatmo connected thermostat which suits me well on my new Leblanc condensing boiler, but that is another story. To go further, I was aware of the Netatmo connected heads, but in WiFi protocol, which I did not want.

Thanks to our partner SONOFF, I am able to try the TRVZB heads in Zigbee, I thank them and I am delighted. I will give you my experience after a month of use, if necessary, I will update the article over time.

Context

In winter, it’s cold! …… Not serious !?

And you have to heat it, and today for those using gas, well… it’s a bit expensive in terms of bills.

As I have already mentioned, my NETATMO thermostat is already a good solution. I connect it to my boiler, place the sensor where I want it and it controls the entire house.

I already have classic thermostatic heads which allow me to regulate approximately room by room with always the probe in MASTER.

Concrete example: If in my living room (where the probe is located), I ask for a deposit of 20 then, I set the other rooms to 18, so a deposit of 18 in the living room will give 16 in the other rooms, you understand the logic.

Problematic

At the moment, I have to fiddle around to find the right distance between the living room and the other rooms and I can’t manage per room.

I have so many thermometers at home that it’s like a watchmaker!

Proposed Solution

This is the whole point of connected heads, they allow heating to be managed by room!

PRACTICAL REMINDERS:

  1. Ademe (the Environment and Energy Management Agency) recommends a heating temperature of 19° C in living rooms during the day.
  2. Lowering your heating in the event of absence depends on your insulation and also on the duration of the absence (> 24 hours = between 12 and 14). On the other hand, from an absence of 3-4 hours, you can reduce your regulated temperature by 2 degrees, for 5-10 hours by 3 to 4 degrees and for 24 hours by 6 to 10 degrees. Different for a heated floor.
  3. Humidity affects heating, remember to ventilate. (15 mins/day)
  4. Going from 20°C to 19°C already allows you to save 7% on energy. By installing a simple thermostat, that is to say, one that controls the heating according to a chosen temperature, you reduce your consumption by another 10%. The reduction can even reach 20% with a programmable thermostat which reduces the temperature at night or when you are absent.
  5. On your head circuit, one of your radiators must have a (traditional) valve constantly open so as not to block.
  6. If you need to change heads or boilers, remember to request assistance before paying any invoices.

https://www.economie.gouv.fr/particuliers/prime-renovation-energetique

Summary: SONOFF thermostatic heads

Remove your old thermostat head and place the correct adapter.

Unpack your thermostat head.

Choose the right tip that you have with your valve head (don’t do like me!)

ewelink smart home

SONOFF Zigbee thermostatic radiator valve

Description

Take control of your home’s heating with the SONOFF Zigbee thermostatic radiator valve. This smart valve allows you to precisely regulate the temperature, ensuring a comfortable and energy-efficient environment.

Main characteristics:

  • Smart control: manage your heating settings via app, voice control or set schedules for different times of the day.
  • Open window detection: the valve automatically turns off when a window is open, avoiding unnecessary energy waste.
  • Zigbee 3.0 Compatibility: Works seamlessly with Zigbee 3.0 hubs including SONOFF NSPanel Pro, ZB Bridge Pro and ZBDongle-E.
  • Universal Compatibility: Fits existing “M30 x 1.5mm” models. radiator valves and is compatible with most heating systems.
  • Safety Features: Equipped with a child lock to prevent mishandling and freeze protection to ensure your pipes don’t freeze and burst.

Further information:

  • Model: TRVZB
  • Color and material: White PC
  • Wireless connection: Zigbee 3.0
  • Input: 4.5 V⎓ (3 x 1.5 V AA batteries)
  • Battery model: 1.5V AA LR6 alkaline battery
  • Threaded connection: M30x1.5mm
  • Temperature setting range: 4°C to 35°C
  • Product dimensions: 59.4 × 59.4 x 95 mm / 154 g

How SONOFF thermostatic heads work

Open the battery compartment and add some, I put rechargeable ones.

the following symbol will appear:

It’s time to place the head on its adapter. Hand tightening is enough.

Now, turn the temperature to OFF by hand, press the central button for 5 seconds to obtain the network sign, the head is pairing.

Enter the bridge to add a child device, click ‘add’

Potential messages

What is interesting in the application is the planning mode, unfortunately not recoverable by the Jeedom plugins but easily re-doable.

Hardware and Plugins Used

In my case, I already had traditional thermostat heads. So, we need the SONOFF heads.

HEAD ADVERTISEMENT

The heads can operate in manual mode.

The eWeLink application will be used, also the SONOFF bridge (optional)

BRIDGE ADVERTISEMENT

A Zigbee plugin (Zigbeelinker here), or the Ewejee plugin (for testing, requires the SONOFF bridge)

the thermostat plugin (optional)

Via eWeLink (recommended approach)

We could skip this step if we go directly through a Zigbee plugin, but I find this method simpler to calibrate a temperature on a head at the moment until the new update that made this option disappear?). However, you can still grasp the different options of the head and perform the latest firmware updates.

Download the eWeLink application:
ewelink smart home

Create an account

Follow the procedure from the manual or the application

Via Jeedom

Integration

Please note that the head cannot be on both the application and a plugin, you will have to re-pair each time you change it, if necessary.

Zigbeelinker plugin

It is with this plugin that I will make my main use, to pair your head simply put the plugin on after having put the head to Off and press for 5s in the middle.

Inclusion is done quickly and orders go back well.

Commands:

  • The Setpoint value is the information on the requested setpoint. Hot setpoint is the action of this setpoint.
  • The temperature is measured by the head itself. In my use, the temperature recorded was not in line with the temperature of the room. In this case, you have the OFFSET command (action) which allows you to calibrate this difference, I invite you to monitor it for a while. Also effective for a remote thermostat. To get the most accurate result, use the Zigbee2mqtt interface to be able to play to within 0.2 degrees rather than 1 on the plugin.

ZIGBEE INTERFACE PHOTO

  • Operating state: Heat or idle
  • The battery, either in binary for low battery (1 or 0) or in %
  • Open window mode (on or off) allows the head to recognize a temperature difference and to stop in this case. Temperature drop of more than 1.5°C is detected in less than 4.5 minutes
  • Child safety
  • Open windows
  • System Mode
  • To date, I have not needed to explore the other commands.

Thermostat plugin

Ewejee plugin

It has much fewer commands than Zigbeelinker, here they are:

One virtual to rule them all

So what would be nice firstly is to build myself a nice widget for my Energy design

Did we say pretty?! lol

Well, it’s not very fun at the moment, but I wanted to have this data in front of me.

The first is the temperature of the room measured by a thermometer that I have had for a long time.

Then, it is the temperature of the valve, the 2 will allow me to calibrate.

Thermostat plugin modes in action and information,

the status of the valve, and the battery.

Here is the virtual, ignore the first command.

In the command parameters, in display, I put the information in TILE, I add the units and the min/maxi.

scenario proposal

I’m not going to go into too much detail about my scenarios and my way of managing all my heating otherwise we’ll spend 3 days there. I advise you to make a plan in advance to follow your needs and particularities.

As a reminder, I have a Netatmo thermostat with its probe placed in my living room and which therefore obeys this instruction. She is the only one who can start or stop the boiler. It’s up to you to think about the location of the main probe and your radiator with the traditional valve open.

So in the morning I check the COLD/HOT mode then the outside temperature and my presence, I therefore choose my Netatmo heating schedule (hot/cold/Present/Absent).

Then come the particularities, in the event of an alarm or absence the heating turns off.

Basically for the alarm, if the alarm is set [ALARM][Home alarm][Active]# = 1: I check every 10 minutes if the alarm is still active

The most serious among you will have noticed that I could have done a virtual one to group all my thermostats together so as not to have the 4 controls each time.

Thermo piece 1 absent + thermo piece 2 Absent + Thermo piece 3 absent + Thermo piece 4 absent = Thermo general Absent.

Then depending on the windows open, we have several options. Either via the head itself, or activate the open window option. Either via the thermostat plugin or by creating your own scenario:

https://youdom.net/chauffage-fenetres-economie-ecologie/

I also made a scenario for myself in the bathroom head according to shower times.

Then a scenario depending on the presence at home. If no one is upstairs…

I advise you to put notifications at the beginning in each scenario to recognize who is controlling what.

Conclusion

Advantages

Remote control: Manage your heating remotely

Advanced planning: Integrate it into scenarios, plugins, thermostats or by planning via the application.

Individual room control: Save money by heating rooms by rooms according to actual need.

Energy information: Via the application

Quality for the price

Automatic Calcium Removal

works locally

Improvements to be made

The Zigbee plugin could retrieve the schedules made in the application.

The Alexa skill seems to no longer work and has been replaced by Google.

Otherwise, I don’t see any downsides.

To conclude, I am thinking of equipping all my radiators (except 1 😉 with these little heads which do their job well.

Hoping to have given you as much information as possible, I say see you soon, stay warm.

XIA NICO