• Automating Our Heating

    A little while ago, I wrote some musings on Home Automation and made reference to our heating setup.

    As it's had a bit of time (and some poor weather) to run and be improved upon, I thought it might be helpful/interesting to lay out a bit more detail on the setup I'm now using.

    We got a NEST thermostat during an unexpected boiler replacement, unfortunately it's smart features didn't live up to expectations, trying to overcome that led me down the path that I'll describe in this post.


    My intention was that the eventual system should meet a few basic requirements

    • Certain rooms should be able to call for heat when needed (not supported by the NEST product line as they don't currently have radiator heads)
    • Boiler/Heating usage should be minimised where comfortably possible
    • Decisions should be auditable - ok, the heating came on, but why?


  • Musings on Home Automation

    I've dabbled with elements of Home Automation in the past.

    In a previous rental, we only had storage heaters, so I equipped each room with an Oil Radiator and an energenie RF plug socket (like these https://www.amazon.co.uk/Energenie-Remote-Control-Sockets-Pack/dp/B004A7XGH8) using a Raspberry Pi and the Energenie remote control header boardto set up an effective heating schedule.

    However, aside from that, and mild "wouldn't it be nice too..." ideas, I've not really been overly interested into it until relatively recently.

    Having spent a bit of time dabbling, I thought I'd write a post on my experience - not least in case it helps people with some of the things I struggled with.


  • Triggering HomeAssistant Automations with Kapacitor

    In an earlier post, I described how I've set up monitoring our home electricity usage using InfluxDB.

    However, I thought it'd be good to be able to have this interact with our existing Home Automation stuff - we use HomeAssistant (previously Hass.io) for that.

    In my earlier post, I described using Kapacitor to generate alert emails when the tumble dryer was finished, so in many ways it made sense to make this an extension of that. TICK scripts support calling arbitrary HTTP endpoints via the HTTPPost node, and HomeAssistant allows you to control sensors via HTTP API, so it's reasonably straightforward to implement.