Wireless Thermostats

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Regular readers of my blog know that I own a commercial building.  So (and not just because I’m a sustainability guy, because I gotta pay the bills), I worry about  the thermostat setting and whether the tenants are messing with it (an inevitability on the order of death and taxes :).  

So that I could eliminate this worry and watch and set the building interior temperature remotely, I recently ran a comparison of wireless thermostats to pick the best one for my application.

I have used, residentially, a 3M/Filtrete/Homewerks thermostat for some time.  Since I’ve had a good experience with it, I ordered one for my commercial building.  I also ordered a Cyberstat from Motison.  The units would need to control a Flo-Aire air handler style natural gas fired furnace (which operates with conventional thermostat wiring).

The Homewerks unit has a flashier app-style interface but is more complex to set up, requiring a broadcast connection to the home server for configuration.  It also seemed to experience more problems with the extended range from the wireless router.  By contrast, the Cyberstat uses a unique device ID for setup (meaning it is actually labeled inside the box with an individual device ID).  For me, this made it much easier to configure and I was able to hook it up and begin watching it online basically right away.

Here’s a screenshot of the Cyberstat temperature programming interface: 

In my case, I am happier with the Cyberstat and feel like it began saving me money immediately – by making sure a manually changed setpoint did not persist over the weekend, when I keep the building at a lower temperature.  However, either device can work well in either home or business applications.

And don’t forget, old thermostats should never be thrown away.  In fact, I got five bucks each for the old mercury thermostats I recycled! 

Find a place to recycle your old thermostats here.

And has anyone found a better way to optimize building temperature?


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  1. lauren

    Nice post. I was looking for a air handler rental when I came across your post. My boyfriend and I just bought our first house and the air conditioner is broken. We can't fully move in until we get some kind of air, it is way to hot. We need a temporary fix until we figure out what is wrong with the air conditioning unit. I will have to send this to my boyfriend, thanks so much for sharing.

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