Replacing HVAC system: Smart features guide

09/20/2022 in Know How

If you want to step up your building’s energy efficiency game, it might be time to replace your HVAC system. It’s already a big investment, so make the most of it by starting with more efficient controls. No smart thermostat, just true intelligence. In the long run, you’ll save over 40% on your energy bills. Find out how heating and cooling your home improves not only with a new HVAC system, but with a new brain behind it.

Let’s start simple with thermostat control

Is a typical HVAC system installed, it will have one or two thermostats for control like the one on the picture below – upstairs and/or downstairs, or leaving the basement with no thermostat at all. You know how it goes, you set a temperature, switch between heating and cooling when you’re not comfortable or leaving your home. What’s missing? Temperature schedules, remote control, individual room temperatures. This actually makes a huge difference.

Conventional HVAC system controls

With a regular thermostat, there is no truly smart way to control the HVAC system.
When you integrate Loxone with your HVAC system, you get much more than app control – a selling point for most “smart” thermostats. Instead, you add a “brain” to your system that knows how to suit itself when you are at home or away, and keep you comfortable without needing to make manual adjustments.

Here we list a couple of drawbacks that might affect many homeowners:

Unbalanced heating and cooling throughout the house

Thermostats tend to use the temperature in the hallway as a reference to control heating and cooling in all bedrooms. In some cases, this means having a temperature difference of 5°F between the hottest and the coldest room in the house.

House icon

Manually switching between cooling and heating

Now that fall is coming, it’s very common to have both cold and hot days. This means having to switch the cooling and heating system back and forth in order to get the desired temperature.

Need to go to each thermostat to set up or change heating and cooling schedules

There is no possibility of setting flexible schedules or presence-based heating and cooling.

5 smarter features for HVAC control

By removing the thermostats and hooking up the Loxone Miniserver to the new HVAC system, it is possible to get a fully-fledged, self-learning and easy-to-use heating control that operates based on your chosen parameters. It can provide the house with your optimal temperature throughout the day, while keeping the energy costs low.

Loxone Miniserver

1. Eco heating schedules

It is possible to set up individual heating schedules for all days of the week. It can be easily done with the smartphone or computer wherever you’re comfortable, instead of walking up to all the thermostats.

Heating schedules after replacing HVAC System

2. Presence-based heating & cooling system

By setting up an automatic Away Mode, the system will conserve energy if there is no movement detected by sensors for more than 30 minutes. As soon as movement is detected again, the temperature will adjust back to the normal level. A ton of energy can be saved without losing any comfort.

3. App control

With Loxone, the HVAC system works automatically without a thermostat and the need for manual control. However, it is still possible to control the whole system manually with the free Loxone App. Temperatures, heating modes and heating schedules, among other things, can be set. Imagine you’re returning from winter vacation early: from your car, you can set the temperature of your home so that the home welcomes you comfortably.

4. Overheat & Frost protection

The Miniserver interacts with sensors that monitor the temperature in each room. Your HVAC system ensures the temperature in any room never drops below or rises above a set point. If a sensor detects extreme changes for any reason, a notification will be sent to alert you instantly.

App Loxone controlling your HVAC system

5. Precise temperature monitoring & control

The Miniserver responds to the temperature of all rooms in the house, calculates the average temperature for each zone, and settles it to the exact temperature. If the temperature difference between the hottest room and the coldest room is too high, the fan is turned on automatically to balance the temperature.

This interaction starts with the temperature and humidity sensors that are built into the  Loxone Touch and the Temperature & Humidity Sensor Air, placed in all rooms where the Loxone Touch is not installed.

The Miniserver even learns how long it will take the home to reach the desired temperature. For example, if we want our home to be at 70°F by the time we get home at 6:00 p.m., and the house takes an hour to heat up, the HVAC system knows to turn on at 5:00 p.m.

Touch switch with built-in temperature sensors

Hooking up the HVAC system: Tech details

Here you have the different steps to follow to connect the HVAC to the Miniserver:

  1. Turn off the power and remove the wall thermostat.
  2. Pull back the thermostat cable and run it to the Miniserver.
  3. Connect the thermostat cables to the outputs of the Miniserver. One relay should be used to switch the fan on and off, another one should be used for heating and a third one for cooling.

The temperature in each room can be monitored by the built-in temperature and humidity sensors in the Loxone Touch switches and the wireless Loxone Temperature and Humidity Sensor Air. Finally, with a few small changes, the same setup also works for heat pumps.

Next step: Individual room control with HVAC Dampers

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