Control unit makes HVAC smarter

Control unit makes HVAC smarter

Many air conditioning systems today can be controlled through an infrared remote control unit. Munich-based startup tado GmbH has developed a technique that makes these systems smarter: It connects them to the internet, allowing remote access and other smart functions.
By eeNews Europe


Globally, one third of the primary energy is consumed to heat and cool buildings. In the US, more than 90% of all households have air conditioning. The Smart AC Control from tado makes all remote-control enabled air conditioning systems intelligent, using smartphone apps to sense the presence of persons in the respective premises. The system thus recognises when nobody is at home and automatically puts the HVAC into energy-saving mode. As soon as the first resident is on his way home, the system sets the temperature to the desired level. Through this approach, the system reduces the energy consumption of a flat or office by as much as 60%, the company claims.

Smart AC Control is a control system connected to the internet through the home router, and to the HVAC system through the infrared (IR) remote control access. Users install an app on their smartphone that enables them to remotely control the temperature at home. Authorised smartphones have to be registered at the control system.

The tado Smart AC Control needs to be positioned within “line of sight” with the HVAC to be able to control the latter. Beyond this, there are no further requirements, a company spokesperson said. As long as the home HVAC is equipped with an IR channel, the Smart AC Control can be used with any HVAC system, including Google Nest and systems from many other vendors. In some cases – if the target system is not a normal HVAC but instead a smart thermostat – some wiring is required.

Remains the question what happens to users who do not have a smartphone at their disposition? These people dont’ need to sweat or feel cold, the spokesperson assured – they still can set the temperature locally.