Tony, I agree. I own my name (dongares.com) and several other domains
and if you point your browser to http://www.dongares.com/weather.htm you
can see the temperature in my home and also the weather outside. I do
have that URL redirected at this time but it will still get you there.
Nope, La Crosse Technology. Actually, I have two identical ones just in
case something goes bad but so far the second one is still in the box. I
also have live cameras pointed at the house from a detached building and
several motion activated cameras in the house that upload via ftp and
also email me if motion is detected. Of course they are only on when we
We bought a Nest for our other house while it was vacant. It works
really well and is fairly simple to install on pretty much any system.
it doesn't meet the OP's requirement of "not a thermostat", though.
Take a look at this one
"Use a smartphone, tablet or computer to receive alerts and remotely
monitor temperature and humidity levels"
I installed a Nest thermostat a few months ago. Its app allows me to
monitor and adjust the furnace and set scheduling from anywhere.
Installation was fairly painless but you MAY need atleast a
three-conductor thermostat cable depending on the brand you buy. The
Nest thermostat is a computer so it needs two power wires, and then
the extra heat wire going back to the furnace. My old thermostat was a
typical old school two-wire mercury switch type so I had to run a new
3 conductor cable through a couple walls.
Something you may not have even thought about are the extra
possibilities that a modern thermostat might give you such as
monitoring energy and /or gas consumption. I had heard that Nest
supposedly provided some daily data but I quickly found they DO NOT
currently give you detailed start and runtime data. The bloody
thermostat sends this data to Nest and all they give out is a monthly
email telling me how many stupid green leafs I've earned. There is a
daily bargraph showing approximate start times (but no runtime), and a
daily total to the nearest quarter-hour.Inaccurate data is useless
data to me.
To interface my furnace to my existing smarthome system I ended up
installing a relay on the gas valve to signal to the smarthome stuff
that the furnace is on or off. I get an email now from my furnace on
each event! I'm able to enter this into a spreadsheet which gives me
total daily runtime and other nerdy stuff that most people probably
aren't interested in.
Sooooo, shop around and see which ones come with a phone app and then
do some further reading to find out what other features it may offer
you. The Nest thermostat has many advanced features, most of which
I've turned off, and it's very pricey. You will have to balance the
options against what you're willing to shell out.
Keep us informed.
Does Nest have emergency fall back setting? Like when RTA temp. on your
furnace is falling below dangerous freezing point for some malfunction,
can it fall back to safe temp setting automatically?
In another word, does it have RTA temp sensor signal into the 'stat?
My Honeywell WiFi 'stat has that as an option and it was a matter of
drilling little hole on the RTA plenum and install sensor and run a wire
to the interface control module.
I'm sure you can come up with situations where it might be important
to monitor remotely in real time.
But for most of us, it's just a potentially expensive hobby.
IMHO, the only reason to have data is if you're gonna use it to make
tomorrow better by changing something.
Most of us live uneventful/predictable lives. What happens today
is gonna be very much like what happened yesterday. On average, our
existence is average.
You probably have dials on your gas meter and your electric meter
that you can watch go around.
If you've done the math and have installed the cost-effective
what more can you do?
You don't need real-time monitoring to know that taking shorter
and colder showers costs less money.
You don't need real-time monitoring to know that turning down
the thermostat saves heating $$$.
So, use less to the greatest extent you can stand. Not much more to be
I programmed a PALM Pilot to watch the flashing light on the smart
electric utility meter. I can see a graph of usage history.
It was fun for about a week to watch the water heater go on and off.
And see every time I ran the microwave to heat up coffee. But it
hasn't changed my coffee habits one bit.
Twice, when I bothered to look at the readout, I went searching for
unintended power use and found the attic lights on. Saved me nowhere
near the cost of the monitoring system.
I programmed another PALM to monitor the furnace fan. I can graph
gas usage (the translation from fan to gas is straightforward math)
in real time. Once, I could tell that the furnace was malfunctioning,
but only after I felt cold and went to check.
One interesting thing I found was that the thermal time constant
of the house was very long. Temperature setback for a few hours
at a time saved almost nothing. Took damn near as many BTU's
to reheat the house as were saved by the setback.
YMMV if everybody in the house stays away for long periods of time.
Bottom line is that people should reduce ALL their energy usage
to the minimum they can tolerate.
If checking the consumption of the fridge causes you to buy a new
fridge...it did for me...then do it. Further monitoring is not helpful.
Most of us already have all the monitoring tools we need sitting
right outside the house on the utility meters.
Don't monitor anything if the result won't change the future.
But it can be a fun hobby...till you get bored and move on.
I can raise mine <under ideal conditions> from 35F to 80F in under 10
minutes ... BUT I have a woodburning stove sized for the final size of our
new house , and only about 30% of the final structure is currently built .
I don't expect that quick of temp rise when we're finished , but that's
partly because of the thermal storage mass that will be incorporated into
the final structure .
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