A series of tubes: What's next for home automation

Peter Sayer for PCWorld:  "A series of tubes" is one of the most famous explanations of what makes the internet work, but it's also what many Europeans use to heat their homes. That's made room-by-room heating automation difficult -- until now.

Heating systems in Europe typically circulate hot water from a boiler to radiators around the home, with the pump and boiler controlled by a central thermostat. Programmable timers can boost the temperature on winter evenings or lower it at night.

Generally, though, such control is an all-or-nothing, whole-home affair, making it impossible to heat the living room only in the evening but warm the bathroom for a morning shower. Smart controllers like Nest and its European competitors Tado and Netatmo can't change that, as the series of tubes in most homes doesn't allow for independent control of different heating zones.  Cont'd...

3 Smart Thermostat Startups That Could Save on Your Energy Bills

Challenging Nest and Honeywell are three startups with different approaches to use your thermostat to save you money.

EcoNet's IOT Wireless HVAC Vent Receives SmartThings Approval

The EV100 joins a growing list of IOT devices that are compatible with SmartThings.

Smart Thermostats from Honeywell

The Lyric thermostat is intended as a DIY product, that can work with 97% of HVAC systems in the U.S

Google Bought Nest to Catch Up in the Contextual O/S Race

The fledgling home automation market is only a qualifying event for Google vs. Apple.

Blowing Hot and Cold with Z-wave and Wi-Fi Thermostats

Last winter I installed a Z-wave thermostat. Integration was good, but usability was dreadful. The Wife Acceptance Factor plummeted; my own with it. Waking up to a chilly house about a month ago reminded me that it was time to turn on the heating, and replace the thermostat. I was torn between a better Z-wave model and a Wi-Fi unit. Whatever I chose had to integrate with my Home Automation system, and that was the challenge.

Wireless Home Energy Control

Wireless automation provides the next of level of sophistication to HVAC zoning by increasing the number of controllable zones, automating energy efficient programming from a single location and providing connections through a secured wireless mesh to allow home owners to control the temperature in every room.

Controlling HVAC Systems with Home Automation

If it were my home and money was not a concern, I would put in geothermal units with zoning, media air cleaners, UV lights, steam humidifiers, whole-house dehumidifiers and energy recovery ventilators. I would then be able to control each zone from the home automation systems through touchscreens and remotes.

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