From the horse’s mouth
Over the last few years, a Californian start-up had designed the NEST programmable central-heating thermostat which integrates with your home network via Wi-Fi for control via your computer or similar devices.
Now Honeywell, who is a well-known company in the central heating and air-conditioning field, have answered this device with a touchscreen-operated device, known as the WiFi Smart Thermostat, that also links with your home network. This uses an interface that most of us would find common with our smartphones or tablets; or with the recent HP multifunction printers like the OfficeJet 8600 series or the Photosmart 7510.
Like a lot of these network-based home automation devices, this thermostat uses Web-driven remote and local access for management. This can be facilitated through the mytotalconnectcomfort.com Web dashboard page or a client app for the iOS and Android mobile platforms. It facilitates the ability to have your heating or air-conditioning at home set to the preferred comfort temperature before you head home so you arrive at a comfortably warm or cool home.
It can work with most HVAC systems that use an outboard thermostat and also keeps tabs on humidity so you could use your refrigerated air-conditioning system to control overly-humid environments. The display uses a “multi-colour” background so you can have it integrated with your home décor as well as user control over its illumination so it doesn’t appear to be glowing too much.
Of course, it can work with most heating and air-conditioning systems but there are some setups which these thermostats need to cater for. One would be to work with hydronic (hot-water-based) systems that manage domestic hot water as well as room heat – a setup common in UK and Europe; as well as central heating and air-conditioning served by two separate systems – a setup common in Australia.
The NEST thermostat and the Honeywell WiFi Smart Thermostat will open up the market to increased real interest in network-enabled HVAC control.