Thoughts on a smarter home

While our new woodstove insert is really great, and is definitely reducing our oil usage, it causes a bit of an issue when it comes to distributing the heat through the house.  When running on wood heat we get warmth right up the center of the house.  The office at the end of the upstairs hallway ends up being the warmest room in the house.  It is far too easy to make the upstairs unlivably warm, while the rest of the house is quite cool still.

Fortunately, we have a central air HVAC system, so the solution is to just turn on the furnace fan to redistribute the heat through the house.  This works pretty well, and at least mellows out the hot spots.  Ideally we wouldn’t run the fan all the time, but would duty cycle it on for some portion of an hour.  Honeywell makes a thermostat that has a cyrc fan mode, which runs the fan 35% of each hour, which was an option, but something else caught my eye.

The Proliphix Internet Thermostat NT20e is quite a nifty device.  It has a bit more programing than our current thermostat and has the advantage of having a web interface.  You plug the device into your ethernet network and get a web interface for all the controls and programming for the device.  What’s even better is that Proliphix designed this with further customization in mind by publishing an HTTP API to the device as well.  This makes is very easy to have a computer create further logic for the device, like forcing the fan on for certain hours of the day, while leaving the defaults for programming in the device itself.

I’ve now ordered mine, and it is on it’s way.  I can’t wait to get this thing hooked up.

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