Home Automation – WiFi Thermostats

I’d buy one of these. We have had an RF thermostat in our house for 5 or 6 years now, it’s a pretty neat and reliable device that has a portable receiver that you can take from room to room, and a base unit that then responds and controls the forced air heater. It’s programmable to 4 different daily settings. What I really like is that the portable remote allows you to heat your home to the baseline room that you place the remote in, in other words, rather than the thermostat responding to a fixed location you can move it from room to room.

What is really cool about the Ecobee is that it can respond to utility alerts regarding power conditions. For a forced air installation alone this would be a non-issue, but for a HVAC installation this is quite significant.

The Ecobee connects to a thermostat through a standard HVAC interface, and hooks in to the Internet via a home WiFi network. The thermostat regularly synchronizes its data with a secure Web portal. Once networked, the thermostat can receive alerts, too, from whoever installed the device. Dolmer noted that utilities “are becoming a huge part of what we’re doing,” far ahead of Ecobee’s plans, and that utilities might purchase and install new thermostats in order to both improve conservation and send messages to customers, potentially at little or no cost to the customer.

[From WiFi thermostat puts power (and cooling) at your fingertips]