Climate control

Smart climate control for Green Automation

There are a lot of different ways to control the temperature of your house, so we’ve put together a brief overview on how we recommend using a home automation system to properly control temperature to get the more comfortable environment that doesn’t waste heating and cooling energy on unused rooms.

1. The Basics

There are essentially 3 different categories of heating methods currently available in North America.

Monomi Automation Learning about Climate Control
Water Baseboard Heater

Hot Water Heating

Hot Water Radiators, or more commonly known as baseboard heating, provides heating only function for homes. They have a central heating system, a boiler, that heats water (through propane, natural gas or heating fuel) and then circulates the water through the baseboards in your house. The baseboards are grouped together in zones that are controlled by individual thermostats which record the temperature where they are installed and trigger an actuator motor to open or close when heat is required. The actuator allows a flow of hot water to your baseboards thereby radiating heat for the fins to the air in your home. Because of it’s versatility hot water heating can also be use in in-floor heating systems, which allow for greater precision temperature control, and more effective heating from the floor.

Hot Water BaseBoard Smart Climate Control

Electric Heating

Electric Baseboards typically have the same placement as the hot ware radiators, but get their heat from running electricity through a filament to generate heat (think lightbulb). These baseboard can also be zoned in group, or more efficiently controlled by each room, or an automatic temperature module embedded in each baseboard. They typically are not used to provide whole home heating except for in place with cheap electricity, like British Columbia, Canada. The thermostats for Electric baseboards essentially change the amount of electricity running through the baseboard to change the amount of heat the baseboard generates.

Forced Air Furnace smart Climate Control

Air Heating

You typically see forced Air Furnaces as a heating system in colder climate; but in temperate climates or bigger buildings where cooling is needed you will see a HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system. In these systems each room or area will have a vent to push hot air into that area. The vents are grouped in zones that are controlled by individual thermostats, however it is common to see only one zone setup for the entire house. The central heater heats up air in it’s chamber, using natural gas, electricity, propane, biomass, pellets or heating fuel. This air is then circulated through the vents by a powerful blower fan. Each thermostat can tell the furnace to heat the air, and turn on the blower fan. In addition each thermostat may also control dampers that control the flow of the air to their respective zones.

2. The Smart Controls

Our preferred method of control is using the Loxone Smart Home Technology system to help automate the climate. We choose this after 2 years of research,  because the system will work fully without the internet, works great for new or old homes, allows precision control, is flexible to the home owner,  hardware works for the longevity of your house and it just works!

Hot Water Heating

Using the Loxone Valve Actuators, the smart home automation system can easily control each actuator for the zones, turning them on/off faster and more efficiently than other systems. This can be done through a wired or wireless configuration and provides greater control for temperature control, without having to rely on thermostats, as the Loxone will automatically learn the time it takes to heat and room, and appropriately have it ready for you for that time. Best of all, all of the Loxone lights switches have temperature and humidity sensors built in so you will never have to rely on thermostats again.

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Analogue Heating Control

Electrical heater typically require voltage outputs to control the amount of power they get. Through the central Loxone miniserver we can output 0-10V voltage setting to each baseboard to control the amount of heat it outputs, or we can trigger on/off setting easily from the digital outputs. Add this to the awareness of temperature and heating/cooling times that Loxone learns about your house, and you have more effective timing of heating and automatic shut off when spaces are not occupied.

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Damper Control for Air Heating

Damper control allows existing or new home to have precision air flow control to room or areas. Unlike zone, using Loxone, we can add dampers to open/close air flow to a specific area. So, in 1 of our recent installs, we were able to turn a 2 zone house into a 9 room temperature zone. The smart home automation systems opens and closes dampers and is able to trigger the furnace and the blower fan to allow hot air to go to only the areas that need it and are occupied.  This unprecedented level of heating, prevent heating/cooling or common areas at night, during the day, and allow precision heating of areas that are important to your comfort, like bedrooms, study or washrooms.

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3. The App

As homeowners you want to know what you are getting into so we’ve shared some information about the app, and what you can expect below.

Precision room temperature control with Loxone

Precision Room Control

As mentioned above, precision room control can be easily programmed into the system, so you can control the temperature of your room as you need it. Whether you want your daughter’s room colder, and your son’s room warmer, or vice versa, it’s a snap. Best of all, with a home automation system, it can read the temperature, and with smart blinds, detect additional heating from the blinds, and learn how long it takes to adjust the temperature, based on the time of day, the outdoor climate, the capability of the system, the total house heat demand and the square-footage of the house. It’s a good thing we’ve don’t have to think about all that!

Loxone Climate scheduler from app

Scheduler

With Loxone’s schedule you can easily change your heating/cooling schedule from your computer, tablet or smartphone. Put the house on holiday mode while you are away and have frost protection enable, or feeling extra cold one day, quickly trigger a heat boost for the room you are in. All this control is easy with Loxone, and with a free Android and IOS app, it couldn’t be easier.

Loxone Touch Air with temperature and humidity
Loxone Touch Pure with temperature and humidity sensor

Measuring the Temperature

There are 5 ways to measure the temperature, 4 with Loxone’s Advanced Switches and Sensors, Option 1; is to run a wired sensor into each room, Option 2, we can put a wireless temperature sensor in each room, Option 3 we can wire 1 of Loxone’s switches and control the lights and the read the temperature and humidity, Option 4 we can use one of Loxone’s Air switches in each room to provide wireless switch and temperature control. Each switch from Loxone has an amazing amount of technology packed into 1 switch. They have 5 buttons that can be independently programmed, they have a humidity sensor, and they have a temperature sensor. Using this information we can easily then determine the temperature, and adjust the valves, voltage output, or dampers to control the heat in that specific room. It’s that Easy.

The final option is to control existing thermostat, this is usually the last option because the thermostat will keep using existing zone, and not control room/room information. Regardless we can increase efficiency through automation of the existing thermostat. We recommend Venstar Thermostats for their affordability, reliability and versatility. We can easily control these thermostat without sending your information over the internet, so you house will have full functionality with or without internet, and you can trust Loxone Smart Home Automation system to control the climate for you.

Venstar Color Touch Venstar Thermostat can be controlled by Loxone
Venstar Explorer thermostat can be controlled by Loxone

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