HVAC Residential Market / Residential Controls / Thermostats / Zoning

Technology Takeover: Thermostats and Controls

September 17, 2012
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The advent of technology is at its most apparent in the world of thermostats and controls. Manufacturers are developing equipment that can be accessed and operated from Internet-enabled devices on the other side of the world. Here is a sample of some of today’s latest thermostats and controls.

American Standard
www.americanstandardair.com

American Standard’s Gold ZM Control, also known as the 900 Family 7-day Digital Programmable Comfort Control, regulates proper moisture levels through the humidifier or air conditioner, depending on humidity preference. It has built-in frost control options to reduce humidification when condensation or frost could occur on windows. The device features a backlit interactive touch screen and is fully programmable, allowing a user to set when the system wakes, leaves, returns, and sleeps, seven days a week. A vacation setting also allows control for an extended period of time. An automatic reminder is programmed to remind users when to change filters and a programmable fan can increase air circulation, which contributes to cleaner air. The device can also monitor outdoor temperatures.

Arzel Zoning
www.arzelzoning.com

The GTPro by Arzel Zoning is a non-proprietary, residential and light commercial zoning system, designed specifically for geothermal systems. The GTPro gives contractors control over geothermal applications by allowing them to control staging based on their specific application’s parameters. The control panel features innovative loop temperature monitoring technology and offers three staging options: time, temperature, and the number of zones calling. The GTPro analyzes indoor and outdoor air temperature; and monitors loop temperature and multi-point thermostat data to maximize service efficiency, operational control, and comfort. The proactive-staging feature addresses actual demand of the system, operating only the necessary equipment needed to service occupied rooms. A humidity control allows contractors to make adjustments for muggy or dry season climates, which helps increase energy savings and enhance home comfort.

Carrier
www.myinfinity.carrier.com

Carrier’s Infinity® Touch Control provides Touch-n-Go™ programming and energy management features when utilized as part of a complete Carrier® Infinity HVAC system. With integrated wireless capability, the Infinity Touch control allows homeowners access to their heating and cooling systems from virtually anywhere with a Wi-Fi network. The control features a high-resolution, color, touch-screen display. The Touch-n-Go programming includes intuitive prompts and function icons so a homeowner can control the temperature, humidity, and fan speed of the system with one touch. The system allows consumers to monitor and change settings when they are away from home, stay current on maintenance schedules, and receive alerts when the system needs service. The system’s energy management function monitors a home’s estimated energy costs, allowing homeowners easy access to the kilowatt hours used, and helps a user make informed decisions on how to save on utility bills. A Smart Setback feature provides consumers with additional money-saving options.

EWC Controls
www.ewccontrols.com

EWC Controls’ UT-3000 allows a zoning system to “talk” to equipment and thermostats to reduce labor time and optimize performance. A 4-wire connection controls a 4-stage heat and 2-stage cooling system with no programming and no dip switches. All components on the EWC network communicate with each other and know what to do and when to do it. The UT-3000 is compatible with all communicating HVAC systems that are built on the ClimateTalk™ open protocol. Currently all ComfortControl II and ComfortNET heating and cooling communicating systems are built using ClimateTalk. The UT-3000 3-zone system also works with non-communicating 2-heat/1-cool or 1-heat/1-cool systems. The hybrid design allows for maximum flexibility with a one zone panel. The output signal for the fan is based on how many zones are calling and the temperature of the supply air.

Goodman Global Inc.
www.goodmanmfg.com

The ComfortNet™ Communicating Control allows homeowners and light commercial managers to set and monitor their HVAC systems anywhere there’s an Internet connection. Up to 40 unique alerts are built into the control, including notifications reminding homeowners when to call for service, and air-filter maintenance alerts. Automatic configuration, and a 4-wire system, allows for easy technician installation. On-screen directions and tips are available in English, Spanish, or French.

ICM Controls Corp.
www.icmcontrols.com

ICM Controls is advancing the hard-start market with its ICM860 RapidStart® motor starting solution, featuring patented circuitry with differential voltage-sensing technology to engage and disengage the start capacitor with greater precision. The unit is auto-sensing and doesn’t rely on preset defaults that require the installer to “dial-in” both the pick-up and drop-out voltage ranges on a potential relay. ICM860 measures the back EMF across the start winding and cuts the start capacitor out of the circuit with greater precision. The device is UL recognized and rated for 1/12 to 5 hp applications, making it an ideal inventory-savings solution for contractors and distributors. It offers 2-wire installation; is not affected by ambient temperature; recycles instantly; and is fuse protected for added safety.

Lennox Industries
www.lennox.com

Lennox’s icomfort Wi-Fi™ is a wireless-enabled touch-screen thermostat that makes it easy to adjust a home’s temperature and control energy costs from anywhere in the world using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. The icomfort Wi-Fi’s touch-screen interface acts similar to products homeowners use every day. Simply press a button and have instant access to features like five-day weather forecasts, or one-touch away mode, which turns down heating or cooling to save energy when users are away. Out of the box, homeowners may enjoy a heating and cooling schedule based on the season. Unique options allow users to personalize the device with family-photo screen savers, matching customizable skins, and more.

Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating
www.mitsubishipro.com

Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating has expanded its offering of RedLINK™ wireless controllers, which are now available with Mitsubishi Electric’s M-Series line of residential split-ductless and ducted cooling and heating systems. Previously available only with light commercial P-Series product line of split-ductless and ducted systems, the RedLINK wireless controllers now provide increased zoning and temperature control capabilities to the residential M-Series line. The RedLINK wireless controller communicates through radio frequency, instead of infrared waves or wires. This eliminates the need for electrical wires and enables the wireless controller to be placed in a different room than the indoor unit. The controller is compatible with a wide variety of Mitsubishi Electric systems including the H2i® Hyper-Heating Inverter system.

Spartan Peripheral Devices
www.spartan-pd.com

Spartan Peripheral Devices’ (SPD) wireless, battery-less, WT313F temperature sensor with set point proportionally controls an ME8300 wireless, bi-directional, communicating control-valve actuator. Based on the EnOcean protocol it can be used as point-to-point, or as part of the BAS network, and can be installed on SPD’s complete line of two- and three-way terminal unit control valve bodies. The WT313F is energy efficient as the room sensor harvests its own energy requirement from light. The valve actuator uses only 45mA while moving to a position, and no energy while in standby. It proportionally controls water flow with built in P+I for precise control, eliminating overshooting, saving heating energy. It also allows the retrofitting of old buildings, where installation of controls was impossible.

Tempstar
www.gotempstar.com

International Comfort Products LLC unveils the new Observer™ touch-screen communicating wall control, compatible with all Tempstar® communicating equipment. The control is designed to optimize system performance and is installed with compatible, communicating equipment. The device will automatically configure an HVAC system for optimized airflows based on factory-engineered calculations. There are no dip switches to set, no need to look up wiring diagrams, and less opportunity for error-resulting in faster installation and fewer callbacks.

Trane
www.trane.com

Trane’s ComfortLink™ II Control is a programmable control granting remote access from any Internet-enabled computer, smartphone, or tablet. The control provides live weather, temperature management, and more on a 7-inch, color touch-screen display. ComfortLink II provides room-to-room control and monitors indoor and outdoor temperatures, allowing users to adjust system settings for the highest efficiency. The system also informs owners when it is time for a filter change and when routine maintenance needs to be performed. The unit is fully upgradable with future Trane offerings. When not in use, the ComfortLink II can display a single photo or an entire slideshow of images. The unit also offers customizable home screens and a variety of optional bezels to match a home’s style.

Venstar Inc.
www.venstar.com

Venstar’s ColorTouch (T5800) is a highly rated programmable, color, touch-screen thermostat. With the Skyport™ Wi-Fi Key for the ColorTouch residential thermostat, users may remotely monitor and control their home thermostats from their iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, Mac, and PC devices. The unit also allows users to use their own photos as a background, screen saver, and slide show.

White-Rodgers
www.emersonclimate.com

White Rodgers’ newest thermostat is the Emerson Inspire™ Universal 4-Wire Thermostat system. The Inspire system features a thin profile and sharp color display, supporting 4-heat/2-cool, dual fuel, and humidification/dehumidification. The Inspire system offers contractors a plug-in configuration tool for easy wiring, and a USB setup and marketing tool, allowing contractors the ability to upload custom user programs and contact messages for consumers regarding routine maintenance. The system is Energy Aware compliant and supported by a mobile landing page that contractors can access by QR code.

York
www.yorkhvacdealer.com

York’s new zoning Affinity™ Communicating Control is capable of achieving both temperature and humidity set points. The touch-screen zoning control can be used as a master and zoning sensor, providing up to six zones of control with a single-zone panel. The product offers a choice of three communicating sensors: a touch-screen sensor with the ability to control temperature and humidity levels in all zones; a zone display that allows for temperature and fan adjustability; and a zone sensor. Fan airflow adjustments can be made by zone to compensate for ductwork variability. The display can be configured to give homeowners the level of information they desire, including basic or detailed fault alerts with the contractor’s contact information prominently displayed. The tool also provides maintenance reminders that encourage homeowners to continue working with the contractor to maintain comfort and efficiency.

Publication date: 9/17/2012

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