The housEvolve Thermostat is easy to use, yet gives full temperature control with your fingers.
How It Works
The housEvolve modular system comprises a Main Controller and individual modules: a Thermostat (HVAC controller), a Water Presence Detector, and a Garage Door Controller. Multiple individual modules can be linked in a daisy chain configuration. This feature allows, for example, two or three temperature control modules, which may be required in larger homes with plural HVAC zones, to be readily connected to and controlled by the Main Controller.
The Main Controller is the central hub for control of the individual modules and provides system reporting and operations and communications to the outside world. In particular, the controller can be accessed via landline telephone to remotely monitor and control the vital statistics of the house. FREEVOLVE chose to make the remote interface via the telephone landlines for a variety of reasons including reliability, cost, and security. Also, landlines are pervasive and provide nearly complete geographical coverage, whereas wireless networks have blind spots, particularly in mountainous or remote areas.
The individual housEvolve modules provide direct control and status monitoring similar to the self standing controllers that are already in many homes for HVAC control and garage door control, but with the added benefit of remote control. Otherwise, these elements of the system should be familiar to most readers.
The housEvolve user gains access remotely by entering a user defined password from the remote handset. During remote operation, communications may flow in either direction: from the Main Controller to the user specified phone number for reporting purposes, or from the user to the Main controller for control activities. The Main Controller can store up to five “trusted” phone numbers as destinations for reporting purposes, and to increase security during access to the password protocol in the case of a forgotten password. Non-“trusted” numbers are also able to access the system by entering the proper password.
Programming the Main Controller uses a five button control keypad on the controller unit combined with a separate numeric keypad. The same programming capability is available from a remote location via the phone line; in which case, an automated voice prompt similar to voicemail systems performs queries for the input parameters. Programming input is relatively straightforward and similar to programming digital thermostats.