HVAC automation

Is your HVAC automated?

  • Yes, my HA system manages my HVAC on a full time basis

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes, my HA system manages my HVAC once in a while

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes, but I only use my HA system to remote control my HVAC

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0

sharby

Member
Aprilaire 8870s work great for me. I'm working on some solid 2-way communication that allows higher reliability on controls (including Text messaging)l

-=*Sharby*=-
 

pete

Active Member
I've got five zones of HW radiant heating, ground levels (garage, first floor front and first floor rear are 3 different levels) are all concrete slab on grade. Two second floor levels are standard wood framing with tube running between joists. Each zone has its own pump.

A/C is one zone split system.

All of this is run with AppDig stuff . . Custom program in a Leopard, Secu16I reading Decora temp sensors, Secu16 controlling a typical zone controller (so it wouldn't freak out the inspector).

I monitor it all w/ mcsTemp plugin for HomeSeer. (the leopard runs independent)

I do the typical setback stuff . . would like to add forecasting and outdoor temp into the equation, as I do get a bit of over heating on sunny days in the front rooms (south side).
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
I have the same voice announcements from my tstat on my whole house audio system except for the "... too high". Also instead of using touch screens for tweaking I use the X10 palm pad remotes. I have 3 of these. One in the bathroom for morning adjustments for the heat, one in the entry/exit way, and one in the kitchen.

I like the LCD keypads (they are not touch screens) because I get the same temp and setpoint display as I get at the actual thermostat. My long range plan would be to transition the thermostats to Homeseer if 1: the HomeTouch is affordable enough to justify swapping out the existing LCD keypads and 2: I can get Homeseer to stop locking up every couple of weeks. (I think there is a serious memory leak somewhere... maybe related to the stargate plugin).

I also need to decide if it is better to connect the stats directly using the RCS 232/485 adapter hub OR if it would be better to connect them to the ELK panel and acces them from the M1 plugin.
 

Rupp

Senior Member
I have the same voice announcements from my tstat on my whole house audio system except for the "... too high". Also instead of using touch screens for tweaking I use the X10 palm pad remotes. I have 3 of these. One in the bathroom for morning adjustments for the heat, one in the entry/exit way, and one in the kitchen.

I like the LCD keypads (they are not touch screens) because I get the same temp and setpoint display as I get at the actual thermostat. My long range plan would be to transition the thermostats to Homeseer if 1: the HomeTouch is affordable enough to justify swapping out the existing LCD keypads and 2: I can get Homeseer to stop locking up every couple of weeks. (I think there is a serious memory leak somewhere... maybe related to the stargate plugin).

I also need to decide if it is better to connect the stats directly using the RCS 232/485 adapter hub OR if it would be better to connect them to the ELK panel and acces them from the M1 plugin.
It must be a plugin. My uptime is : Uptime: 58 Days 13 Hours 22 Minutes 0 Seconds running HS version 2.2.11.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
I have the same voice announcements from my tstat on my whole house audio system except for the "... too high". Also instead of using touch screens for tweaking I use the X10 palm pad remotes. I have 3 of these. One in the bathroom for morning adjustments for the heat, one in the entry/exit way, and one in the kitchen.

I like the LCD keypads (they are not touch screens) because I get the same temp and setpoint display as I get at the actual thermostat. My long range plan would be to transition the thermostats to Homeseer if 1: the HomeTouch is affordable enough to justify swapping out the existing LCD keypads and 2: I can get Homeseer to stop locking up every couple of weeks. (I think there is a serious memory leak somewhere... maybe related to the stargate plugin).

I also need to decide if it is better to connect the stats directly using the RCS 232/485 adapter hub OR if it would be better to connect them to the ELK panel and acces them from the M1 plugin.
It must be a plugin. My uptime is : Uptime: 58 Days 13 Hours 22 Minutes 0 Seconds running HS version 2.2.11.

2.2.03 running only the Insteon, Stargate and VWS plugins so far. I think the fact that Stargate updates several variables 3 or 4 times per second may be a factor. Need to figure it out before I put the furnaces on though... they will stay on Stargate for at least 1 more season.
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
I have the same voice announcements from my tstat on my whole house audio system except for the "... too high". Also instead of using touch screens for tweaking I use the X10 palm pad remotes. I have 3 of these. One in the bathroom for morning adjustments for the heat, one in the entry/exit way, and one in the kitchen.

I like the LCD keypads (they are not touch screens) because I get the same temp and setpoint display as I get at the actual thermostat. My long range plan would be to transition the thermostats to Homeseer if 1: the HomeTouch is affordable enough to justify swapping out the existing LCD keypads and 2: I can get Homeseer to stop locking up every couple of weeks. (I think there is a serious memory leak somewhere... maybe related to the stargate plugin).

I also need to decide if it is better to connect the stats directly using the RCS 232/485 adapter hub OR if it would be better to connect them to the ELK panel and acces them from the M1 plugin.
It must be a plugin. My uptime is : Uptime: 58 Days 13 Hours 22 Minutes 0 Seconds running HS version 2.2.11.

2.2.03 running only the Insteon, Stargate and VWS plugins so far. I think the fact that Stargate updates several variables 3 or 4 times per second may be a factor. Need to figure it out before I put the furnaces on though... they will stay on Stargate for at least 1 more season.
\
Curious as the the hardware of the PC you are running HomeSeer on. FYI there has a recent instance where it was found that an SIIS chipset was causing problems with HomeSeer...

Probably best to start a new thread on this topic so we don't derail this one! :(
 

DavidL

Senior Member
I suspect the folks that are saying that the PC "manages" their HVAC system full time, really mean that their PC is "integrated" with their HVAC system?

1) For example, there is also the means for ALL of the logic of when to turn on the furnace blower, the compressor, move the zone valve to be run on a PC...that to me would be "managing full time".

2) There is another model where the PC is the complete user interface (no "thermostats" on the wall) and an embedded controller is doing all of the logic. We are doing a commercial installation like that right now.

3) Then there is what I suspect is really meant by this user group, where the PC is connected to the thermostat and polling / sending values and commands, but the smart thermostat is actually "managing" the system.

4) then, there is the thermostat plugged into the automation hardware which is then connected to the PC automation software....

My system is using "3". So I chose "occasionally manages" the system ie: I tell the thermostat to lower the temp once in a while. And my wife tells it to raise the temp :(
 

Timoh

Active Member
It's on my todo list along the lines of what some folks have already mentioned.

I have a two story as well, but it is really well insulated, so I have an issue with stratification... Cold downstairs, colder in the basement and warm upstairs, except for the master bedroom which sticks out of the front of the house and is above an unheated garage.

There is such a temp difference, that when I start a heat cycle in the winter with heatpump, my thermostat temp might drop a degree or two! Sometimes this is enough to bring the electric coils online which are way less efficient that the heatpump.

All this to say, that my original plan was to have a timer on my fan to stir up the air every 15 minutes to keep the house nice and even. That planned morphed into temp sensors in every room using LM35 chips on my cat5 drops in every room. That way I could build some more intelligence into the system about when to run the fan instead of just a timer.

The plan to put temp sensors in every room morphed into zoning every room since I still have access to the ductwork in the basement and could install dampers really easily. Of course researching forced air zoning, I came across all the issues of close too many dampers, creating a high static pressure in your duct and damaging/burning out your fan motor.

So now we're up to several temp sensors, static pressure sensors and dampers.

While I'm at it... Why don't I install either hot water or electric under joist radiant heating for comfort in my bedroom and kitchen. I spend lots of time standing the kitchen cooking, not to mention the incredible WAF of toasty toes first thing in the morning!

Of course, we'd need two zones for that and in sake of over-engineering we'd need temp sensors at either end of the water circuit to determine how often to run the circulator pump.

And don't forget grabbing every other HVAC function too and either controlling or monitoring that... Heat Pump, Heat Coils, Reversing Valve (AC), Humdifier and Air Exchanger.

All of this would probably be another Secu16 on my ocelot.

So 9 temp sensors, 16 dampers, 1 static pressure sensor, 100ft of pex tubing, 2 circulator pumps, a handful of relays later and lots of code on the ocelot... I'm not so sure anymore about merely wanting automate my "fan"!

Tim
 

68sting

Active Member
QUOTE(68sting @ Oct 14 2007, 11:26 PM)
I have a two story with forced air. It tends to be colder in the basement and warmer on the top floor so I have an event set up to run the fan for 10 min every hour. This keeps the house a more consistant temperature. It makes the most difference in the winter when the solar gain keeps the first floor 70 and doesn't kick the furnace on all day. I


How much of a difference does this make? I have a similar scenario, bedrooms upstairs living space downstairs. If I could get a couple of degrees of warmth downstairs during the day for the cost of running the fan I'd do that in a second... This automation stuff is so cool!

This works great. I leave the basement door cracked a little and put in a large basment cold air return as well. It still warmer up stairs than in the basement but makes a very noticable difference. I think getting the ceiling fan involved (I have a two story great room) would be the icing on the cake.

I suspect the folks that are saying that the PC "manages" their HVAC system full time, really mean that their PC is "integrated" with their HVAC system?

1) For example, there is also the means for ALL of the logic of when to turn on the furnace blower, the compressor, move the zone valve to be run on a PC...that to me would be "managing full time".

2) There is another model where the PC is the complete user interface (no "thermostats" on the wall) and an embedded controller is doing all of the logic. We are doing a commercial installation like that right now.

3) Then there is what I suspect is really meant by this user group, where the PC is connected to the thermostat and polling / sending values and commands, but the smart thermostat is actually "managing" the system.

4) then, there is the thermostat plugged into the automation hardware which is then connected to the PC automation software....

My system is using "3". So I chose "occasionally manages" the system ie: I tell the thermostat to lower the temp once in a while. And my wife tells it to raise the temp

I have a Camstat that is managed by Homeseer. I'm not sure I would want my pc running my furnace directly. I get a little worried now. If Homeseer crashes whle my fan event is running it won't get switched back to furnace or A/C.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
I suspect the folks that are saying that the PC "manages" their HVAC system full time, really mean that their PC is "integrated" with their HVAC system?

1) For example, there is also the means for ALL of the logic of when to turn on the furnace blower, the compressor, move the zone valve to be run on a PC...that to me would be "managing full time".

2) There is another model where the PC is the complete user interface (no "thermostats" on the wall) and an embedded controller is doing all of the logic. We are doing a commercial installation like that right now.

3) Then there is what I suspect is really meant by this user group, where the PC is connected to the thermostat and polling / sending values and commands, but the smart thermostat is actually "managing" the system.

4) then, there is the thermostat plugged into the automation hardware which is then connected to the PC automation software....

My system is using "3". So I chose "occasionally manages" the system ie: I tell the thermostat to lower the temp once in a while. And my wife tells it to raise the temp :(

Not sure if I picked the right choice by your definition. I picked "manages on a full time basis" because all changes are handled by Stargate and nobody has to touch the thermostats... of course they still do and that is managed as well. The thermostats will also run as dumb themostats if Stargate goes off line but they do not have any internal setback functions.
 

Digger

Senior Member
It's on my to-do list, but I'm not anxious to run any more wire in my home.

I'm looking forward to the Insteon RF thermostat. Hope it shows up soon.
RCS make both Z-Wave and X10 wireless thermostats. I have 2 X10 wireless and they work flawlessly.

They also make a UPB thermostat.

I will be looking for Aprilaire T-Stats in the next month or so. I already have an extra serial module for the ELK. Obviosly I have to find a way to run the wiring :(
 

AutomatedOutlet

Senior Member
It must be a plugin. My uptime is : Uptime: 58 Days 13 Hours 22 Minutes 0 Seconds running HS version 2.2.11.
Rupp, I think the point he is making is that PC based programs measure uptime in days. Hardware controllers measure them in years.
 

deranged

Active Member
Currently My has the temp sensors connected and controls all functions of heating and humidity. The thermostats are on the wall only for backup support they are set to 60 degrees for heating.

The pc used to fully control the a/c with 2 zones also, this year we had a new A/C installed and I am not sure I will integrated the new A/C system with the pc.
The dang thermostats are so smart, the only thing missing is a link to the pc so the A/C settings can change when no ones home.

StevenE
 

Spot

Member
Remote control of my HVAC has added a level of flexibility and peace-of-mind that well exceeds the cost for the RCS thermostats. Temperature control and automated messaging based on interior temp are huge benefits.

We maintain our main house near Chicago while we live/work in various cities (Macon/Boston/DC so far). We use it to pre-cool and pre-warm our house before we go back...and to notify us when we are in danger of pipes freezing.

Yes, we have a house-sitter that stops by once a week, but the added peace-of-mind gives me free reign on future ideas from my wife.

I watch this topic closely for ideas that will benefit when we move back there full-time.
 
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