A range of remote apps exist for controlling your HVAC system from your cellphone or other digital device. Being able to control your heating and cooling system with a mobile app has a few key advantages. Here is an overview of the best apps for remote HVAC control as well as the reasons for getting one or more of them.
The first reason most homeowners install an app for remote control is convenience. Let’s say you’re leaving work on a cold day and remember you turned down the heat on your way out the door. No problem! You simply contact your HVAC system on your smartphone. The app gives you a thermostat interface and you bump up the heat so the house is comfortable when you walk in the door.
Secondly, using an app to control your HVAC system will reduce your heating and cooling costs significantly throughout the year. While a programmable thermostat is nice, you can be more precise with a mobile app. If you forget to turn down the HVAC system when you leave, use your app. And you don’t have to turn it back up until a half-hour or so before you plan to arrive home. If you use a programmable thermostat only, and set the system to come back on at 5:30 but don’t get home till 7:30, you’ve wasted a lot of energy and money.
Most of these are for IPhone and IPad use. When they also work with Android devices, that is noted.
INSTEON iPhone/iPad and Android App: Works with the INSTEON central controller for one or more thermostats as well as a range of home automation features from lighting to appliances. The INSTEON app is free.
MobiLinc: This is another multifunction app for use with iPhone/iPad and Android devices. It controls thermostats, home security, lighting and more. It works with 3G, Wi-Fi and Edge. The Lite version is free but doesn’t have as much functionality. Pro and HD versions range in price from $20-$50. A free trial for Android is available while the Pro edition costs $20.
Indigo Touch: For Mac uses, it’s designed for use with the Indigo 5.0 home automation software and an INSTEON PowerLinc controller. Controls HVAC, lighting, appliances, sprinklers and more.
CozyHome: Requires a programmed automation controller from AMX. It controls HVAC, audio/video, lighting, security, motor-driven devices and appliances.
Control4 My House: Works with the Control4 home automation system and controls HVAC, lighting and much more. The app is free.
H@me: The most recent version is H@me 3.0, but a new version is in development. It works with the HAI Omni or Lumina automation system and controls thermostats, webcams, security and much more.
iDoControl: Works with iPhone or iPad and offers control of HVAC, lighting, security – all the typical home automation features. The app is $12.
CF iViewer: Works with all hardware systems and provides the full range of home control.
Conductor: This is an app for Android phones and tablets. It’s ideal for control thermostats and numerous other home systems.
The key, of course, is to find an app compatible with your thermostat or with a home automation system that is controlling your thermostat. If you’re looking for the right system, see what’s available from the leading home automation companies. Choose the system that offers the control features you want for your HVAC system and other home systems such as lighting, audio/video, security and appliances.
If you’re looking for an HVAC system with independent remote monitoring and control, see Carrier Infinity, Trane ComfortLink and American Standard AccuLink HVAC systems with a TAM or Telephone Access Module.