Bosch EasyControl room stat and smart rad controllers

This post describes my experience of using the Bosch EasyControl smart room thermostat with smart radiator controllers. Although it will probably be of no interest to anyone who visits my site for it’s photographic content, I hope it will prove useful to people thinking about specifically purchasing the Bosch EasyControl unit or another smart room stat.

Bosch EasyControl System

The Bosch EasyControl system is a modern replacement for the standard central heating timer and combines the job of room thermostat with a multi-timer controller. It has a nice touch screen display and modern look, although to carry out the majority of functions you use a smart phone app connected to the controller rather than the actual controller itself.

The unit is quite expensive at about £250, although we had it fitted as part of a complete boiler replacement so in a sense the cost got lost amongst the other costs in the system. The reason we went for the EasyControl rather than another smart controller was it’s ability to control smart radiator thermostats and set up individual room control.

Since I work at home and for a lot of the week I’m the only person in the house, we decided that when we had the boiler replaced recently we wanted to go for a system which allowed us to control the temperature of individual rooms. With our old boiler, most of the winter all the rooms were heated because it was quite involved to go into each room and turn the stat down, and then go back and turn each one up again when people arrived home.

With the Bosch EasyControl you connect bluetooth thermostatic radiator valves to the controller and give them each an individual name (typically the name of the room the radiator is situated in) and then you can set up individual timer programs to control each room.

The thermostatic radiator valves are powered by a couple of AA batteries and have a small LCD panel on the front which displays the temperature, and push buttons on the top to allow the temperature to be overridden locally.

To control the whole system, as I said above, you use an app on your smart phone which connects to the Controller and allows you to set individual temperatures for the named rooms.

Although it’s possible to put smart valves on all the radiators in the house, in our system, we didn’t do that. For a start it would be more expensive (the smart controllers are about £35 each) and anyway some rooms like the bathroom and the hallway would normally be kept warm all the time.

So we ended up with smart controllers in the bedrooms, office, lounge and dining room and used the main EasyControl to set the temperature of the radiators in the house which don’t have smart controllers.

Initial Problems and Solutions.

This section explains some of the problems we had with the system and how I fixed them – hopefully this will be useful to other users who experience similar issues. I should just point out that the issues we had were really only teething problems and it’s possible that the handbook for the EasyControl could cover them – obviously I didn’t read it!

When I first set up the Programs to control the individual radiators I grouped a lot of the rooms together in one program and then added individual programs for exceptions to the main program. Although this seemed to be fine, after a while we had rooms which weren’t heating when they should and other rooms which remained hot when the program suggested they should be cold.

I found the solution to that problem was to make sure that there is only ever one program which controls any individual radiator.

It’s possible to have multiple radiators controlled via one program – this is show in the image to the left where we have the Lounge and the Dining room radiators controlled and that works fine. What you mustn’t do is have another program which also controls one of the rooms in this program.

In the end I just set up a named program for each room i.e. ‘Office Program’ controls the ‘Office’ radiator and set up the individual start and stop times for that room.

The other problem we found was that the boiler was on all night. We were expecting our gas consumption to be much reduced because we replaced a 20 year old Potterton boiler with a new Bosch System boiler but we found it had actually gone up. After carefully going through all the different options in the smart app, I discovered that the frost protection was set to 15°C, so the boiler was running overnight when the temperature outside had dropped to freezing.

Once those issues had been sorted we’ve found the EasyControl system to be both reliable and economical.

Update 19 Jan 2020:

It might be useful to any potential users of this system to know the following information which we have worked out after using the system for a while.

For several months I’d been concerned that the boiler kept turning on at 3:15 in the morning. I’d checked on the App and it was always the Living Room which had initiated the boiler, with a set temperature of 23°C even though the time program for the Living room was set to the night time temperature of 15°C. After a lot of experimentation I discovered that the programs are not setting the boiler start up time – they are setting the time that you want the room to be at the temperature you have set. So in this case the program said, ‘Set the Living Room to be 23°C at 5:30’ (yes I know it’s early, I’ve been conditioned to get up early ever since I did an OU degree and used to study at that time). The boiler then turns itself on at a time it thinks is necessary in order to meet that condition. Once you understand that it makes sense, but when you think you are setting boiler on / off times it seems perplexing.

One other annoying issue I would point out is that the system has no option to boost the hot water for a set time like an hour. On several occasions I’ve had to switch the system to hot water by permanently selecting it and then forgotten to switch it back to timed.

I’d also point out that when we bought the system it was advertised as being ‘Alexa compatible’. It was only after we bought the system that we found the ‘Alexa compatibility’ is a future option which, a year later, we are still waiting for.

12 Replies to “Bosch EasyControl room stat and smart rad controllers”

  1. Hi Simon,
    Had a chuckle over your thermostat and heater post. I’m in South Australia, today is going to be 36c and over the next few days upto 43c.
    Stay warm!
    All the best
    Chris

  2. Hopeless, worthless system! We had the Bosch combi boiler and Easy Control installed and now have a system that will not work. The boiler clicks on for twenty seconds and goes off constantly. After two hours the radiators aren’t even tepid. Bosch have been out twice and admit it isn’t working properly but have no idea what the problem is. We are left with a cold house and system not working.

  3. What’s the battery life like on the TRVs? I currently have a few Tado° TRVs and am having to replace the batteries quite regularly, especially over winter when they’re doing more work. Looking at changing the boiler over the next year, so am also contemplating moving from Tado° if there’s something comparable or better.

    1. We’ve had the bosch system fitted since November last year and we haven’t had to replace any batteries yet. They are all fitted with Duracell AA batteries.

  4. Thanks for that review which was very helpful. I’ve got Worcester wave coupled up to a fairly new Worcester42CDi and am thinking about changing it to an easy control with smart radiator thermostats. I don’t know if the easy control has optimisation but if you have, toggling that changes the boiler from the actual switch on time to desired temperature time set on the programme.

    1. Hi Paul thanks for the comment. There is an option called Optimum Start which is turned on so I guess that is the setting you are referring to – thanks for that, it’s useful to know.

  5. Hey Simon! Stumbled on this trying to find reviews of this setup – surprisingly difficult to find any good or bad which in itself worried me! But there’s a lot about it that appeals in particular as we have Bosch boiler. Hope you don’t mind a few questions? 1. How accurate have you found the TRVs to be ? In particular I have 2 radiators in master bedroom behind quite thick floor length curtains, and am wondering if they will really work at all, and Bosch don’t have the option for a separate room thermostat like some other systems have. 2. How does it work if you don’t have trv on every radiator – doesn’t that mean the boiler will just be on all the time because of the radiators without trv? 3. Can you manually override a schedule in a room? Or even better in some sort of group? For example could I have downstairs rads on separate schedules but then group some of them together and be able to manually control those ones in one go (keep ‘downstairs living space’ on manually because someone staying there later than normal for example)

    1. Hi Matt

      Sorry for the delay in answering. I’m not sure how much information I can supply because of our particularly odd boiler arrangement (the diverter valve which determines if the heat should go to the radiators or the hot water can’t flow the heat through both) but here goes.

      I’m not sure how accurate they would be in your situation of the radiators behind thick curtains. I would expect that to operate quite poorly because it would keep the environment around the radiators at the correct temperature but not necessarily the room.

      We don’t have TVRs on all our radiators, and we’ve found it to be OK. You basically set the main wall EasyControl to the temperature you want the rooms without TVRs to be and set the start and stop time for the whole system to set when they turn on and off. We’ve used that for areas like the bathroom and the hall which we want to be warm all day. For this to work properly, the EasyControl needs to be in one of those areas so it monitors the temperature however.

      You can override a room program with the phone app. You just select the room and spin the temperature dial to the desired temp and it overrides for the remainder of that program run (i.e. until the radiators are programmed to change temp). You can also do that on the TVRs themselves.

      Regarding your last options I suspect that won’t work. The one thing I found pretty early is that you should only have one program control any individual room otherwise it gets confused. You can have multiple radiators grouped into a ‘room’ and you could set a ‘room’ to be upstairs for example, but you couldn’t then have each separate room with its own program. Mind you, I tried that experimentation when I originally set up the system so it’s possible things have changed since then.

    2. Hi Matt
      I thought I’d give you my impressions as this may help.
      I installed the system to most of my rads towards the back end of last year and overall am very pleased with the results. It’s enabled me to control the temperature of each room for the times they’re being occupied. The valves have an offset on them for a couple of degrees so if the room isn’t coming up to temperature or it’s getting too hot you can adjust the offset. If that doesn’t work then just increase or decrease the temperature accordingly. These devices are designed in Germany but the way the radiators are connected there is different from the UK but the UK products have software written specifically. In all honesty, it’s still a bit of a compromise as the temperature sensor is located close to the rad and although this is taken into account, it can only works so well, but overall it does.
      The issue with not having a trv on every rad is that whatever the demand, even if it’s just for one rad (and in my case it sometimes is) those rads will still get hot whether or not you want them to. The temperature of them will depend on the rad calling for that demand, so for example, if your room only need 1 or 2 degrees raise in temperature then the boiler will modulate accordingly.
      My issue is with the instructions or rather the lack of. There is very little info on installing the system and because I’m very anal with these things I wasn’t happy with the what I could learn about it. This was in particular with having a trv in the same location as the easy control. The blurb said you should have one but when I had an issue and spoke to technical services they said you shouldn’t. The issue is that if you do have one then the temperature is measured from that an not the easy control and setting it up is awkward because on the individual room settings on the app it shows both the trv and the easy control. I ended up removing mine so it uses the easy control but in this case the radiator becomes one of those which you can’t control so the temperature set on the easy control becomes irrelevant UNLESS all the other radiator temperature have become satisfied. If they aren’t then the radiator with the easy control will continue to get hot irrespective of what it has been set at so in answer to your specific question, the boiler will switch off if all devices have been satisfied. The system doesn’t know if you have a radiator in a room with no controls so the boiler won’t switch on.
      One thing that I would like them to introduce is a wireless remote temperature sensor so that it measures the room temperature remotely from the trv.
      Hope this helps and apologies if I’ve repeated anything that Simon has already said.

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