Upgrading Radiant Heating with Home Assistant

Like most houses in the UK, I have “wet radiant heating”. If you have radiators on your walls or an underfloor heating system that uses pipes, chances are you do too. There are several commercial systems for upgrading these to smart heating including the Google Nest (you’ll also need the Heat Link), Hive, and Tado. Out of the three, only Tado can control each radiator individually, though all are rather expensive at ~£200 ($256) each.

As a second wave of winter approaches the country, I set out to build my own automated heating system for a fraction of the cost. This is obviously customised to my particular setup, though you can easily add more or less to suit yours.

Caution. This project involves mains electricity which can kill you. If you have any doubts as to what you’re doing, stop and contact a qualified electrician. I can guarantee that they will be happy to help you avoid getting injured.

Caution. Many heating systems involve gas boilers. Faulty gas systems can, and will, kill you and others. If you are not formally qualified do deal with these systems (i.e. CORGI registered), do not attempt any alterations to the gas side of your system. Stop and contact a qualified plumber or gas technician who will be happy to help.

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Installing Home Assistant, Mosquitto & AppDaemon on Debian

Update 2021-03-24: Since writing this article, the dependencies for Home Assistant haven’t changed much, however new VM images are now being released that have all the work done for you. I’d now reccomend using one of these instead of the steps detailed below.

As part of some hardware upgrades, I’m moving Home Assistant and it’s associated programs off it’s shared box onto a dedicated VM. This means a fresh install of everything. Whilst docker would usually be an ideal candidate for this, I decided against it because I use a few custom components and troubleshooting these is a lot easier without Docker.

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