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Freevolve housEvolve

Freevolve housEvolve Remote House Manage/Control System
The Main Controller module gives full remote access to any modules connected to the system.

Review of the Freevolve housEvolve
Remote House Management and Control System

by Paul Townsend

A New System to Monitor and Control Your House

Whether you own one property, your home, or multiple properties such as a vacation or rental home, you want to protect your property when you are not there. Did the heat fail? Are the pipes freezing? Did the water get above flood stage? Is the drip irrigation system jammed open and running out of control? Is the renter running the AC at 62ºF?

In each of these instances, and many more that you can imagine, a remote monitoring and control system will alert you to such potential emergencies, so that you can take action to prevent loss.

Third Eye Not Blind

Enter FREEVOLVE’S housEvolve. FREEVOLVE defines this product as:
“housEvolve: (n., hous-e-volv) a system that allows you to manage and control your remote property's environment, such as a business or second home, from anywhere in the world. housEvolve provides comprehensive environmental alerts, such as temperature too low or water presence detected, and provides you with the ability to interact with and control the remote environment;” (FREEVOLVE, 2009; http://www.freevolve.com/overview_new.html).

The housEvolve system provides control and status reporting for HVAC, water levels, and garage door access with a set of modular interconnected controllers.

Freevolve housEvolve Thermostat Controller
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.

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Where to Buy
The links* below go directly to the product pages for the FREEVOLVE housEvolve system, saving you time. HomeGear.com makes it easy for you to compare prices.
FREEVOLVE HousEvolve Main Controller at Smarthome.com
FREEVOLVE HousEvolve Garage Door Controller Main at Smarthome.com
FREEVOLVE HousEvolve Water Detector Valve Support at Smarthome.com

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