There are many different technologies that allow you to control you Air Conditioning system remotely. In this article we will focus on the WiFi HVAC systems. We will analyze different concepts, comparing its advantages and “weak” points.
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WiFi HVAC Systems control concepts
Let’s look deeper into existing WiFi air conditioning control, and how it works. There are two main ideas:
- SmartAir Conditioners with WiFi connectivity that connects to a local network Wifi (LAN or WLAN).
- Air Conditioners with WiFi connectivity (WiFi control adapter) that connect to the Internet in a “cloud” operation.
Local networks WiFi
Local WiFi devices can be operated by smartphones within the local WiFi network, using native apps, developed by the manufacturer of the air conditioning system. Such HVAC systems won’t be controllable once the smartphone is out of the range of the local WiFi network.
Such a concept can fit some of the home appliances, such as TV, Audio Video devices, etc. that require control only when we are around. There is no need to access them while we are away. However, when considering air conditioning systems, it is essential to have remote access while we are not home. (e.g. left the house and forgot to turn it off).
Another disadvantage of local WiFi networks are interruptions in the network connectivity. Once the phone set for WiFi, it can automatically switch to another WiFI network (without any notification), and the air conditioner is not accessible anymore.
When remote access is required, cloud-based technology is used to fulfil this need. All the data can be hosted locally, at the client’s location, or by any of the modern internet cloud storage providers (e.g. Amazon Web Services (AWS)).
The main idea behind the cloud is that you can access all your information over the internet. In this concept, every “end” device - in our case Air Conditioning system, must have a proper Internet connection: wired or WiFi connection to the local network with internet access or 4G.
With cloud service, having internet connection means you have a reliable remote control that works from anywhere.
Cloud services offer much more benefits such as better security and easy software updates with zero infrastructure maintenance.
The only downside to cloud services is that it is dependent on the reliability of the internet connection. However, with the growth of the IoT market, internet technologies are becoming more reliable as it is now a must-have for any device in the IoT world.
However, once most of the HVAC units are equipped with wireless technologies, there surely would be solutions for wireless integration as well!
WiFi HVAC Systems — Summary
In summary, it seems that what we would like is to get remote access to our HVAC system, when we are out of the house, while not dealing with the underlying technologies such as WiFi, IR, ZigBee, Bluetooth, or others.
Using the “cloud” concept, it really doesn’t matter how the Air Conditioning system is connected to the internet, as long as we have the ability to turn the air conditioning on prior to getting home from work, or turn it off, if we forget to shut it down when we are out of the house.
At CoolAutomation, we firmly believe that at this point, wired internet connection of the HVAC unit can provide better results, being less sensitive to the stability of the local WiFi networks.
Based on our philosophy, our CoolMasterNet and CoolPlug platforms connect a wide range of HVAC brands and models to our Cloud service: Control App, enabling our customers the simplest experience of controlling their HVAC equipment remotely and reliably.