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This article describes the use of sensors, smartphone apps, and control devices to give both on-site and remote control over air conditioning & heating systems.
Page top illustration: the Samsung door position sensor available at Amazon and from other vendors. Combined with A/C or heat remote controlled thermostats these door or window sensors can be shut off air conditioners if building occupants leave windows or doors open.
Sensor-based control to turn off Air Conditioning or Heat if Windows / Doors Left Open
Question: my renters are notorious run the air conditioning with doors wide open
I have a summer vacation condo that I rent regularly throughout the year.
Renters are notorious for running the air conditioning at low temps with one or more doors wide open with both the utility bills and repair costs high.
I see a possible solution by:
Installing sensors at each door and window similar to that of home security alarm systems.
Connecting the appropriate relay into the appropriate part of the normal Heat Pump Controls that would:
Secure the unit if any door or window were allowed to remain open for say more than a minute,
But restart the unit after say a two to three minute delay once the unit would shut down if doors/windows were open for more than one minute.
If there is such a system currently available I am unable to uncover it.
And while I see this type of control system to be relatively simple, I do not have the expertise to select the appropriate relay, or skills to design a circuit board that would “clock” the stopping and re-starting.
Do you have any leads or suggestions? - Anonymous by private email 2018/01/17
Illustration above: the Founten wireless door switch that can be used in a remote control system to manage A/C or heat when doors are left open. Cited in detail in this article below.
Reply: controls & systems for A/C or heat when windows or doors are left open
What sort of person runs the AC with windows and doors open? Part of the answer lies in observations I've made for decades of wide-open windows in tall apartment buildings in large cities during the heating season in the depths of winter: individual tenants are unable to regulate their own heat so they just open windows and pour their own money (through rent and utilities) out the window.
There a solution lies in installing thermostatically-controlled valves on each radiator. For details see AUTOMATIC RADIATOR VALVES.
There are some in-between solutions you might find useful. The first are systems that let you simply monitor what's going on in your building and perhaps take control of thermostats.
I use the Nest thermostat application to monitor and control thermostats from any location world wide.
Although a local electrical engineer familiar with HVAC controls could certainly put together from existing OEM controls and parts a system that can turn off air conditioning if windows are left open, there are also already a few solutions that I'll provide below:
Ecobee smart WiFi thermostats also can work with remote sensors. Ecobee, 207 Queens Quay West, Suite 600
Toronto, ON M5J 1A7 Canada, Email: email@example.com, Tel: 1-877-932-6233 (Toll Free)
1-647-428-2220 (International) Website: https://www.ecobee.com/
The Ecobee thermostat product line includes a smart wi-fi thermostat that works with sensors including remote room temperature sensors to help handle room hot or cold spots.
Illustration: a general layout of how a Kadtronix HSRS is installed. [Click to enlarge any image]
Kadtronix, Delahoussaye Consulting
3682 N. Wickham Rd.
Melbourne, FL 32935 USA, Email:
The Kadronix remote AC control that can shut down AC when windows remain open.
See this KADTRNIX HSRS Smart HVAC RELAY CONTROL [PDF] product brochure. This package includes just two window or door sensors but it can be expanded. The HSRS Smart Relay Control works with many but not all HVACR systems. Website excerpt:
The HVAC Smart Relay Switch (HSRS) lowers energy bills by eliminating wasted power consumption. The HSRS eliminates waste by monitoring open doors and windows. Accepting wired and/or wireless sensor inputs, the HSRS automatically interrupts the HVAC system in the event of a violation such as a door or window that has remained open for a period of time or a room that has been vacant.
The HSRS is a fully configurable device that provides energy efficient control for heating and cooling systems. In addition, the HSRS can be used as a general purpose controller for devices including dampers, fans, etc.
The HSRS accepts one or more contact switch closures as control inputs. Compatible with door/window reed switches, motion sensors, toggles, pushbuttons, etc., the HSRS can accept any switch or sensor device having normally open or normally closed contacts.
The HSRS is fully configurable using onboard DIP switches, allowing you to establish specific operational parameters. For instance, configure the device to temporarily disable the air conditioning or heating system when any door or window has remained open for 10 minutes and then re-enable when the door has closed. Onboard DIP switches allow you to configure operational mode and delay parameters.
Samsung SmartThings hub, [available at Amazon and from other vendors] compatible with Honeywell, Philips Hue, Kwikset brand products. Described at this web article: https://homealarmreport.com/door-open-then-hvac-off-a-smart-home-solution-for-rental-properties/
Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor, [available at Amazon and from other vendors] Description: the versatile Multipurpose Sensor is an all-in-one sensor that can detect vibration, orientation and angle (tilt), temperature and when things open or close
Stringify, smartphone app used to connect various home-devices that are in turn connected to the internet. Website: https://www.stringify.com/
Tado Smart AC remote control (smartphone app) Tado, United Kingdom (UK): 020 3893 2059
International (UK): +44 (20) 3893 2059
United States (US): 415 301-3525
International (US): +1 (415) 301-3525
Website: https://www.tado.com/us/ Tado is a German design (headquartered in Munich) produced in the E.U.
Excerpt from website: The Smart AC Control works with all air conditioners with a remote control that displays the air conditioner’s current settings (for example mode, target temperature and fan speed)
provide the sticker shown above.
Wireless Door Switch (FS-DOORSWITCH)
at http://www.founten.com/portfolio-view/founten-wireless-door-switch/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 1-888-307-9152.
The company provides wireless repeaters, gateways, temperature probes, temperature and alarm sensors, wireless door switches, and wireless communicating thermostats including a remote thermostat and sensor package.
Excerpts: The Founten Door Switch is a battery operated remote wireless device designed to detect the opening and closing of doors or windows. By simply pairing the wireless door switch to a Founten thermostat, it will turn “OFF” that thermostat’s HVAC unit when it has detected that the door or window has been opened. A 2-wire terminal is built in, allowing for a customer supplied reed switch and magnet to be attached.
An optional internal magnetic sensor is integrated in its housing. This can be used to detect a magnet attached to the movable section of the window or door. For proper operation the magnet must stop within ½” of the internal sensor.
The door switch is powered by 2 AA batteries and lasts for at least 12 months. Your Founten Site Manager will notify you when the battery has less than 20% of it’s capacity. You will also be able to see when a door or window is open on your Founten Site Manager. The door switch can be disabled via the Site Manager.
The Remote Thermostat (Part No. FS-TRW-32AC or FS-TRW-32DC) extends the temperature sensing range of your master Founten Thermostat. Thermostats are typically limited to sensing temperature at a single location; however air conditioning systems typically service multiple rooms or large spaces. The Remote Thermostat is easily installed in one of these locations to enhance the operation of your HVAC system. Once installed, the Remote Thermostat is linked wirelessly to the master thermostat providing the current temperature in the remote location. This temperature is combined with the temperature being measured at the master thermostat to maintain proper temperature throughout the space being conditioned.
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