Rio Arc - HomeKit heater - A review

Updated: Jan 25

Hey, how’s it going. Mark here.

I took delivery of my HomeKit compatible Rio Arc heater after a frustrating delay of over a month.

Long story short, they had issues getting the hardware into the country which although was out of their hands, was a bit of a pain.

What was most frustrating was the lack of communication. I had to do the chasing, and luckily for me I have the email of the CEO David Tryer who gave me updates, but only after I chased them - despite that I appreciate David taking the time to help.

The heater finally arrived though which is all that counts.

I’ve gone for the 2000w White version. It’s fronted in glass with a small display screen on the top right which displays the temperature, wifi strength and ambient room temperature among other things.

Unpacking was easy enough thankfully. The only fly in the ointment is that it was protected by two massive slabs of polystyrene - which in this day and age really shouldn’t be a thing. I got a 55 inch Sky Glass TV in December, and that didn’t have a shred of plastic in it’s packaging - so try harder Rio on that front.

It came with two aluminium feet which take four supplied screws to attach, or the option I chose, wall-mounted. It came with screws and plugs for the wall.

It would have been great if they'd supplied a paper template to attached to the wall to drill the hole, but alas I had to resort to my tape measure and level.

Setup is child’s play. Download and install the Rio app, and upon power-on of the heater, the screen displays a QR code, snap with your phone, connect to your wifi and voila it’s added to the Rio App.

If you want to control your heater via the Home app on iOS you then need to do the same process in there - why it couldn't do this from the Rio app I don’t know but it is what it is. You only need to do this once and you’re good to go.

The Rio app is pretty basic, then again it’s a heater and there really isn’t much you need to do beyond have manual control, the ability to setup a heating program and update the firmware.

I initially setup a program in the Rio app, but was disappointed to see that this wasn’t translated into a HomeKit automation - perhaps I’m expecting too much and hopefully this will be able to be done in the future…

The heater is effective at heating my studio pretty quickly - I was kind of expecting a blast of hot air as soon as it came on but it’s quite slow, but when it gets going it keeps things nice and toasty.

Since I’m using this in my office/studio I really only wanted it to come on between 8 and 4:30 - and I setup a program in the app to do that. Really easy to do.

However this is where the first problem occurred.

I came in the next morning at just after 7am to find the heater was on and heating an empty room annoyingly BUT in the app it said it was still off until 8am - so something wasn’t right.

I raised this with David Tryer who has passed it over to the dev guys to have a look at and will get back to me.

However, it’s no biggie as I really don’t intend to use the Rio app beyond doing firmware updates, so have actually removed the heater from it, and am doing everything in HomeKit.

I’ve setup an automation to heat the room to 19c during the hours of 8-4:30 and it’s working really well. The restrictions in the Apple Home App meant I had to use Home+ to create this automation, but that wasn’t a problem and it works brilliantly now.

So, final thoughts.

It’s a lovely looking bit of kit that has been thoughtfully designed. I’ve gone for the white option as I mentioned, but there is Black, Red, White and Grey in the range which should enable it to fit in in most rooms.

So despite the very minor hiccups with the delivery and program timings seemingly out of sync this is a recommended bit of hardware that fits in really well with my office. I'd also like to see .5 degrees being shown on the LCD, but that's a minor thing.

I reckon an easy 8.5/10

Cheers all, have a good day and I’ll see you again soon.

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