Are 'Mill' brand electric heaters with HA the best / only option for open-source home automation of electric radiators?

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Hi all, new to home automation here!

I’m about to invest in new electric radiators for my flat, and I want to be able to control them with home automation without selling my soul to Jeff Bezos (ie. open source, Home Assistant). Electric radiators with APIs in open source platforms proved very tricky to find, but the Mill heaters seem to answer that need. I can then hopefully eg. send a command to say I’m working from home, or ask Mycroft or similiar voice command API to turn up the heat.

My question is, are there any other options that I’ve missed? I can write code, but can’t do any custom electronics with installing wifi relays to conventional heaters - plus I want to set a thermostat, not an on button.

I found this too:

But this requires setting up hardware and software for extracting info from API calls from the app, and seems much less used.

The only thing that puts me off about Mill is that if they go down or decide to ‘force obsolesce’ my radiators, the app still relies on their servers so my heating goes - this is the whole reason I wanted to go open source in the first place. But that is hopefully unlikely, and if it happens, we then have this great guide from john-arvid to hack the control that will hopefully serve as a backup:

I’m keen for anyone’s experiences of setting this, or any other electric heating system, up!

It all very well picking the item that fits your control concept, and it may work out well for you but what about any other considerations?
Aesthetics, colours, manual control (what happens when you move out?) and have you considered just using a ‘normal’ radiator with a smart plug?
These would be easy to move and the manual controls would be available via the standard heater.
Do cost/benefits comparison before you buy
Good luck

Good point, I shouldn’t be so keen to get automation of my heating that I forget about the heating :wink:. It is a happy coincidence though that the Mill heaters are great looking, within my budget, available in my area and otherwise well-reviewed.

I should have been more clear that I’m looking at fixed, wall-mounted radiators.

When I move, I hope to get back what I invest in the increased value of my flat in replacing my current tired, partly broken 15-year old electric radiators with fancy ones with the mass-market appeal of ‘app-controlled heating’. Edit: that said, I’m mostly buying because my current ones don’t work. I’m freezing :cold_face:

Yeah, but if the person moving in is a 70 year old lady who is a technophobe and wouldn’t know the difference between HA and “one of those foreign food things” (you know the type) then you are reducing the value. (you may actually save enough money between now and then not to care but…)
There is nothing stopping you from having fixed radiators fed by a plug.
They will need periodic inspection and testing (smart plugs you can take out) how will the radiator cope with a 1000v insulation test ?
Just things to consider

I’m in a building in the absolute centre of one of the UK’s largest cities, it’ll be 100% young professionals and young families here fortunately! But when I move, they are under no obligation to use the HA setup over Mill’s app.

What do you mean re. the 1000v test?

Generally although fixed equipment wall heaters come under PAT testing regulations as they are connected via a flying lead (the wire comes out of a wall connection box to get to the appliance) the cable is exposed and subject to damage, so it is inspected. It is a domestic installation so not subject to frequent inspections so ‘should’ (under the regulations, though most people ignore them) be tested every 3 years. The ‘propery’ should be subject to fixed wiring inspections every 5 years. Again most people ignore but should either cause a fire or death, your insurance will not cover you and you will be personally liable for any losses and/or criminal prosecution. You did check that the property was covered by a ‘recent’ installation check by an niceic approved contractor didn’t you? Part of this check is a general insulation check which is normally carried out at 1000v, though you can get a reduced voltage test done if you show that possible damage would ensue.
Talk to an electrician to get specifics about your installation, you sound like you’d need to get one in anyway for your install so he may advise you for free.

Edit: Depending on the property lease agreements, you may need to apply for approval of changes to infrastructure, wiring may be considered part of this as your changes may affect other properties (unlikely) but is also depends on the borders of any ‘fire entities’ within the building. ie how does a fire affect neighbouring properties?