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?