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Honeywell Evohome review

Gordon Kelly




  • Recommended by TR

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Honeywell Evohome
  • Honeywell Evohome
  • Honeywell Evohome
  • Honeywell Evohome
  • Honeywell Evohome
  • Honeywell Evohome
  • Honeywell Evohome
  • Honeywell Evohome
  • Honeywell Evohome
  • Honeywell Evohome


Our Score:



  • Most comprehensive smart heating solution
  • Zones allow incredibly granular control
  • Powerful mobile app


  • Costs rise rapidly with multiple zones
  • Manual scheduling process, no smart learning
  • No control via web browser

Key Features

  • Heat your home zone by zone
  • Remote control via Android & iOS apps
  • Quick Action controls
  • Expandable system
  • Manufacturer: Honeywell
  • Review Price: £250.00

What is the Honeywell Evohome?

It is another addition to the increasingly competitive smart heating sector that is headlined by the likes of Nest (now owned by Google), Tado and British Gas. Honeywell is an industry giant, having been founded way back in 1906 and after white labelling several smart thermostats for others it is stepping into the limelight more itself. The company claims Evohome is the most comprehensive solution to date and, given it is also the most expensive, our expectations are high.

SEE ALSO: Smart Thermostats in the UK

honeywell evohome 2

Honeywell Evohome – Design

The reason Evohome is the most expensive smart heating service is by design. Prices do start from just £250 but this is without installation (typically £100). Evohome also works using zones and each zone requires a sensor (‘TRV’) that will set you back £59 plus there’s an optional hot water controller (£70).

In the two bedroom flat where we tested, a combi boiler meant no hot water control was needed, but we still had five TRVs (kitchen, living room, hallway, both bedrooms). You can add zones over time, but a complete system still costs north of £650.

The good news is both the TRVs and its dedicated controller look the part. The TRVs replace the temperature control on your radiators (assuming you even have these) and clearly display the local temperature, their battery life (more later), sync status and a minimalist twist dial lets you manually adjust the temperature of the radiator to which they are connected. Build quality is rock solid.

The controller is similarly swish. In fact it is the first smart thermostat control unit we’ve seen to use both a touchscreen and colour panel. This combo gives the controller real gravitas and does away with the need for buttons altogether. A nice touch is the controller has swappable front covers and with white, black and silver available there should be something to suit most decors.

But there is a downside. The third part of the combo is the Remote Access Gateway which connects to your router and wirelessly communicates with the controller. Compared to the controller and TRV is it an ugly white brick and as large as some routers we have reviewed. Unlike the Tado system it cannot take its power from a USB port on the router either so it must be plugged into a wall socket. Honeywell said this is part of its system it is looking to refine so hopefully there will be changes before long.

SEE ALSO: Nest vs Hive

honeywell evohome 6

Honeywell Evohome – Features

What intrigues about the Evohome, however, is how the controller, Remote Access Gateway and TRVs all come together.

For starters Honeywell doesn’t rate the sensor system used by Tado and Nest. These systems detect when users are in the home and turn the heating up or down automatically. Honeywell points out that continually dropping and reheating a home is more expensive than keeping it at a constant temperature. There is also a problem if you don’t have a compatible device (currently Windows Phone and BlackBerry aren’t supported by either company) as you aren’t recognised as being in the home.

Instead Honeywell argues the best heat savings come from efficiently managing the temperatures of the areas of the home you use when you need them. For example: cutting just the bedroom temperatures in the day if you work from home, the whole house while you are away or the kitchen while you cook. Evohome is about adapting to your lifestyle rather than switching the heating for the whole house up or down.

Evohome UI

There is a downside to this. While Nest and Tado systems detect occupants and therefore react automatically, the Evohome has to be manually programmed. The upside of this is it can be incredibly granular (hour-by-hour, day-by-day) but that is also the downside and it takes some time to setup and you will find yourself fine tuning the settings for the first few weeks.

The good news is Evohome includes ‘Quick Actions’ such as ‘Economy’, ‘Away’, ‘Day Off’ and ‘Heating Off’ and these can be applied via the controller or the Android and iPhone apps remotely should you forget to change the system before, for example, going on holiday.

Honeywell Evohome – Setup

honeywell evohome 3While most smart thermostats are sold with the option of self or professional install, the greater complexity of the Evohome system means Honeywell strongly recommends you use a professional.

The belligerent can ignore this, but having seen the install (which takes about an hour) we can’t argue with Honeywell’s logic. The good news for those building their own systems is fitting a TRV simply involves unscrewing an existing radiator thermostat, screwing in the TRV and syncing is just a button press. This means expanding the system can be done easily and will allow users to spread the cost over time.

Honeywell Evohome – Performance

So how does it all come together? As you might expect, at first the going is slow but the experience then improves rapidly.

The reason for this is down to the user. Quite simply it is hard work trying to break down your heating schedule. What do you need on a Saturday at 11am versus 3pm? Can you turn the heating down from 7pm until 9pm on Tuesdays while you’re on a course or is that only every second Tuesday? The combinations are endless.

Consequently, we found you will adjust your basic schedule regularly before settling on one that works for you and your household. Since you tend to then leave the system alone it is also easy to forget to set quick actions like ‘Heating Off’ when you go away or to turn it back on when you come back. These things the Tado and Nest systems do better.

honeywell evohome 7

That said the Evohome is a far more powerful system than any of its rivals because of its sheer level of control. There is great satisfaction sitting in the living room in the evening at the ideal temperature while seeing that rest of house is off but knowing each room will be the right temperature when you need it. Then when you go to bed the bedroom is perfect and the rest of the house will cool – and so on.

With time this makes other systems and their heating on/off approach feel crude by comparison. Zoning is quite simply more efficient and, while we would need to test during winter for the best comparison, it was clear the boiler was switching on less often and for less time when it did. The mobile apps are also smart, stable and well designed, though note the screenshots come from our early access to a major update that adds scheduling and zone customisation and will be released to all shortly.

honeywell evohome 8

Grumbles? We do have some. Aside from the ugly and bulky Remote Access Gateway, the controller’s colour touchscreen is a resistive rather than capacitive panel like modern smartphones so it is occasionally slow to react. It also doesn’t have great battery life, lasting about an hour unplugged before low battery beeps begin and the battery indicator doesn’t always reflect this.

By contrast the TRVs last 2.5 years on their batteries (which are then easily swapped) but they do need to adjust their valves once per day to keep them loose and this fairly quiet and short noise (a few seconds) can catch you off guard occasionally.

honeywell evohome 4

Should I buy the Honeywell Evohome?

The bigger question is more likely to be: are you prepared to pay the amount required for the Honeywell home? Logic would suggest the larger the home and the more TRVs required, the more likely that person is to be able to afford them but obviously that isn’t always the case. And for those with older central heating systems without temperature controlling valves already installed, the cost and hassle of upgrading is significant.

Personally, we’d like to see either a reduction in their price or a couple of TRVs bundled to get users up and running as supplying the controller and gateway without any makes the pricing deceptive.

Then again if you are prepared to invest in the Evohome it is without doubt the most comprehensive and accurate system we have seen and the system can be expanded slowly for those who can’t afford everything up front.

As for the savings, it will require a full calendar year to weigh up all the benefits, but there is no doubt that being able to control your temperature automatically room-by-room, day-by-day and hour-by-hour makes more sense than an everything on/off system. The bigger the home the more the upfront outlay, but also the faster you should see a return on your investment. Honeywell claims the Evohome will have paid for itself within 2.5 years and - your individual tariff aside - we see no reason to doubt that.


The Honeywell Evohome is the Rolls Royce of smart thermostats, but that metaphor applies to cost as well as performance. Small flats can expect to pay around £500 and bigger homes around £1,000, but if you can stomach that you are buying a far more advanced system than the on/off alternatives from the likes of Nest, Tado and Hive and it should recover its costs more quickly. The mass appeal of Nest in particular is unlikely to be dented by Honeywell, but Evohome owners will feel rightfully smug.

Next, read our Nest Protect Review

David Horn

May 29, 2014, 8:57 am

My inclination would be to avoid the evoHome entirely based on the fact that Honeywell don't really appear to know what they're doing with it. Try finding it on their website, or downloading manuals, and you'll know exactly what I mean.

There's no defined specification; you can't figure out which bits you need if you want the hot water set-up; the website includes multiple geographic options and some creations that never made it to the production line; and if you lose the manuals that come in the box you're well and truly stuffed.

At least Hive and Nest are committed to supporting their products for the near future. IMHO the Honeywell stuff looks great but suffers, unfortunately, from the "Honeywell effect" of a company that's so big the left hand doesn't even know the right hand exists, let alone what it's doing.

Good review, though.

Prem Desai

May 29, 2014, 9:05 am

You raise a valid point. However, Honeywell are not unique in doing this.

How many years ago did you hear about Nest before finally being able to buy their products in the UK?

All these corporations are victims of their different departments not on the same schedule as each other and different countries have different legal/safety requirements adding to the confusion.

My best advice - wait. They will eventually get it sorted.

Also, wait for a newer version of software/firmware - will all things tech - never buy v1.0

Prem Desai

May 29, 2014, 9:09 am

Looks nice.

I am inclined to agree with Honeywell about the presence detection - for me it's because I would hate to walk into a cold room and wait for it to have to warm up.

Also, with open doors (especially during the daytime), an average temperature throughout the house works much better than the on/off switching provided by other systems.

If you switch off one room, it's going to 'steal' heat from the next room giving you higher heating bills in that room but an uneven temperature between the two rooms (I hope I explained that well).

It would be nice to see a picture of the power 'brick' for completeness.


May 29, 2014, 12:34 pm

I like the look of this system, but I have major reservations about using
heating controls on the 868MHz frequency. I have a Worcester Bosch boiler
with a wireless thermostat but I've had to site the thermostat within 2m of the
boiler to keep a connection. The thermostat is now in my kitchen which is not
really the right place for a whole house stat. If I move it to a more
suitable room, the connection is lost, I get no heat and wake up to a cold
house :(

I'd like to see a bit more detail on testing the range of these controls, for
this and other systems, similar to what TR do with wireless routers. TRVs are
likely the most difficult because they are fitted to a large RF blocking lump
of metal and powered by batteries. TRVs that loose connection could be a major
headache . I'd hope at the price this extremely important detail would be
bullet proof, but then I'd expect that from a top-of-the-range boiler


May 29, 2014, 1:18 pm

It certainly looks the best system out there, but I wonder how realistic the predicted cost savings really are and how long it would truly take to see a ROI.
I imagine Honeywell's claims that it will have paid for itself within 2.5 years take a worst case scenario. But what if you are already judicious with your energy usage? What if you already use things like TRVs as I do?
I have 14 radiators - that is over £800 in TRVs alone. If the true savings were only 10% in my case - that could take me 10 years to see a ROI.

Prem Desai

May 29, 2014, 6:31 pm

I think the marketing men are focussing people (wrongly) towards cost savings.

These systems are more for convenience. Their total costs negates any real cost saving.

If cost saving is your priority, then you also need to look at insulation around your house, glazing, doors, boiler, etc.


May 29, 2014, 8:45 pm

But that is my point. If you have done all that - insulation, double glazing, efficient boiler, TRV, etc, etc - are they suggesting you will still get a ROI in 2.5 years?

Prem Desai

May 30, 2014, 7:01 am

I am agreeing with you.

I'm saying that ROI may not even happen and that one shouldn't buy these type of controls with ROI as the focus.


May 30, 2014, 7:12 am

It would be good to see these types of systems increasingly used in new builds, where the incremental cost would be negligible.


May 30, 2014, 12:46 pm

The evohome system builder on their site makes it fairly straightforward to workout what components you need. I used that, and read the manuals from Plumb Arena's product pages (they're who I bought through) to work out the fine details.

As a DIYer, I found it easy to fit and it's made a noticeable difference to the house. Most of the rooms are unheated most of the time now and the system is able to get rooms up to a comfortable temperature much more quickly now it's not having to heat everywhere. I haven't had it long enough, in cold enough weather, to come to conclusions on percentage savings.

In my opinion, there's no comparison with Nest and Hive - they're just a slight improvement on what's out there - zoning the entire house makes a huge amount of sense and is obviously more efficient that heating unused rooms all the time.


May 30, 2014, 12:49 pm

I've not had anything less than really good signals on the RF tests on my installation. As we have an old house in some cases this includes going through some fairly solid walls (although only 1 is more than 3 feet thick!).

I have the controller fairly central in the house, but chose that as my preferred location rather than to optimise RF performance. Haven't had a single problem with the TRVs getting a good signal.

I believe (although I haven't tested) that if the TRVs do lose signal, they fail open so you should at least not have a cold house.


May 30, 2014, 1:25 pm

Thanks Andrew, it's good to know that you've found thesystem reliable. I would expect 868MHz to have pretty good building penetration.

I think the problem with my thermostat is related to interference.....the
communication from the stat is one way (it only transmits) and there's no channel selection so when my neighbour had a new boiler fitted the usable range of my thermostat dropped significantly. I believe wireless burglar alarms also use the same band so there's further potential for problems there.

For my money I'd like to see all these home automation systems use a properwireless standard rather than having every manufacturer roll their own. The more proprietary radio stuff we have in this band the more likely it will be that we have problems. Something like Zigbee would do the trick, it’s designed to run on very low power and it's been around for years to so it should be easy to source chips or hard macros for new chips. A proper standard would almost
certainly have far superior security built in too.


May 30, 2014, 3:12 pm

I see your point on the wireless standards, but when I was looking at evohome I had a look at some of the more home-automation based systems that could theoretically do the same thing (albeit you had to do all the setup and programming). There seemed to loads of posts there with people having trouble with interference - at least the 868MHz avoids wifi / microwave / tv senders etc which are quite common. It also seemed that zigbee (or could have been z-wave) nodes had a common failure mechanism where it just kept transmitting basically breaking the entire system - not terribly helpful.

There is a project out on the web somewhere where someone connected a CC1010 or similar module to an arduino to allow them to capture some of the transmissions from evohome


May 30, 2014, 4:56 pm

868MHz band is definitely preferable to running in 2.4GHz band....it should have better building penetration and doen't have to contend with all the neighbours WiFi setups or all the other random unlicensed stuff that you mentioned. Zigbee can run in the 868MHz band, I believe it's part of the standard.

The arduino project sounds really interesting, I guess if they an get it working it would be possible to get a system running with just an arduino and some Evahome TRVs?!

I do like the look of the evahome system, it's a nice package and they've obviously put some work into integrating all the parts together well. The TRVs are the bit that appeals to me most as it gives quite an elegant flexible solution to controlling the heating.

I've never quite seen the point of the NEST and HIVE systems. At the moment they don't really offer me anything compelling over a bog-standard thermostat and a timer switch. It'll be interesting to see how Google integrate their services into future NEST software and hardware though.


October 6, 2014, 12:43 pm

We recently had evohome installed by our electrician who was also installing the product in his own home. We were left to 'expand' the system by adding the trvs and binding them. We have done this, and set up the zones and schedule, but all our radiators come on despite room temperatures and settings. The main controller knows the temperature of each zone and the temperature specified in the schedule but the radiators are hot regardless. At the weekend one room reach 24 degrees with the schedule set to 16 before I switched the heating off!!! We have tried rebinding and changing the stroke value to 1 but we still have no control over the different zones. Honeywell are not being very helpful. I am very disappointed after spending hundreds of pounds on this product :(
Can anyone help - please???

Rachel Wallis

October 12, 2014, 3:07 pm

Hi Lisa,

We recently had this installed by our plumber, and would recommend getting a professional installer in. He had issues with getting it to bind correctly and spent a couple of hours just doing so, so definitely worth looking into!

Rachel Wallis

October 12, 2014, 3:10 pm

I recently had this installed as part of a bigger system upgrade (new boiler + replumbing). I paid a day's labour to get these installed and configured for us. We can already see the benefits in not just convenience, but the ability to control both time and temperature together. TRVs give you only temperature control. I expect the cost of Evohome to be offset over more like 10 years than 2.5 years. But with rising energy prices, the savings are likely to be seen faster, so therefore expect ROI a bit faster.

Peter Thornton

December 3, 2014, 11:24 pm

Hi Lisa
You've probably not seated your TRV adapters properly (assuming you are using the collar adaptors) they need to be pushed right to the bottom of the valve body and the collar needs to be sprung open with a screwdriver. Leave the securing nut and bolt of when you fit them and add it later. I recommend purchasing from the Evohome Shop who are always ready to advise their customers.


May 13, 2015, 8:12 am

We did not want to go to the expense of all the zones but wanted to future proof ourselves during a new heating/hot water installation. So we bought the Evohome controller, router and wireless controls for the hot water valve and heating vale immediately down from the boiler. We have been able to control the hot water but just cannot stop the heating from coming on in the morning - neither with the controller (which doubles as a room thermostat) or with the app. Is there no control that actually turns off the boiler or does it keep running while the thermostats turn on and off in the zones? Help!

Mike Michael Arthur Johnson

October 14, 2015, 7:28 pm

I agree and it has been my experience that locating DETAILED information has been quite difficult.

Be careful, not all android devices for Android 5.1 are not supported.

I also finding many "glitches" that are frustrating to overcome.

I have main console plus quantity 8 of the HR92 radiator actuators and the Internet interface module. BIG COST OUTLAY

I do not expect a blg ROI, but perhaps improved convenience.

NO, I would NOT but it again !!!!!


November 2, 2015, 12:20 am

Does Honeywell Evohome require constant power connection? It uses batteries but Is is said that it only lasts two hours, so I understand that constant power connection is required. Is it correct? Thanks

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