February 22, 2008 by Steven Castle
Sure, you have a programmable thermostat. That’s great, but do you have one that can learn your heating and cooling patterns and adjust it, or display when you need to change a filter on your HVAC system?
Control systems manufacturer HAI (Home Automation Inc.) has one. The company recently announced its newest generation of programmable communicating thermostats, the Energy Star-rated Omnistat2, which won a CES Innovations Award in the Home Appliance category at January’s Consumer Electronics Show. The Omnistat2 is a seven-day programmable communicating thermostat designed to precisely control the temperature and humidity within the home. HAI says it learns a home’s heating and cooling patterns and adjusts control to maximize both the HVAC system’s efficiency and the occupants’ comfort. It will be available in March through HAI’s network of dealers and distributors..
The thermostat can also display outdoor temperatures, system runtimes, time until filter cleanings. It is able to communicate with HAI and most home control systems for coordination of energy savings with daily activities, such as “Home,” “Away,” or “Vacation.” It can be controlled from within the house or remotely through the telephone or Internet through HAI’s control systems and accessories.
Some versions can communicate with your electric meter to show the current cost of energy, how much energy you have used, how much your utility bill will be this month, with participation from your local utility. “This allows for real time energy cost and usage to be displayed directly on the thermostat so homeowners can visualize and understand their consumption, and to be able to reduce it whenever possible,” says HAI President and CEO Jay McLellan.
HAI will also introduce three Load Control Modules (LCMs) to control the power consumption of high-wattage loads such as pool pumps and hot water heaters. There will be three versions, all of which will be available in the second quarter of 2008:
- HLC Load Control Module is part of HAI’s Lighting Control (HLC) product line utilizing Generation II UPB (Universal Powerline Bus) technology over existing power lines.
- Hardwired Load Control Module, a 20-amp relay module that connects directly to voltage outputs on HAI Home Controllers and expanders and includes a manual override switch.
- Wireless Utility Load Control Module designed for load control communication through a participating utility company.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates
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