Yes – I’m aware that it isn’t April fools day, and yes – this is indeed a review of a thermostat on Gadling, the largest travel blog in the world. The main reason I’m reviewing this product for Gadling is because controlling your home climate does not end when you leave on a trip. We’ve all been there, you arrive at the airport, and remember that you left the AC or heat on and will spend the next week (or more) on a vacation while you waste money heating or cooling your home. See, there really is some logic to this review.
The BAYweb thermostat is an Internet connected thermostat – the basics are exactly what almost every other programmable thermostat on the market can do already – heat and cool, work on a schedule and display the current temperature.
What makes the BAYweb special, is that its brains are connected to the Internet, and allow you to communicate with it anywhere you can get online. Access to your home climate control site can be done through a desktop browser or on a mobile device.
Installing the BAYweb is simple – in the box is the control pad, the master control unit and a user guide. In most current setups, your home furnace is connected directly to your thermostat. With the BAYweb unit, you remove your old thermostat and hook those wires up to the master unit, then connect the new control pad to the master unit.
Anyone with even the most basic skills will have the system up and running in under an hour. In fact, most of your time is probably spent pulling a network cable to your furnace room to connect to the master unit. Once everything is wired up, you sign up at the BAYweb site, and the installation is complete.
Once you are in your BAYweb online control panel, you can set up schedules, add and edit applets and more. The online site currently offers five different applets – energy usage, energy cost, thermostat control, weather and energy profiles.
Schedule creation is simple – you have four different profiles to pick from (home, away 1, away 2 and sleeping) – set the heat and cool temperatures, then change the times/days in the weekly schedule. This part is so much easier than dealing with programming on a regular thermostat. Unlike normal thermostats that have a manual heat/cool switch, the BAYweb unit can automatically pick this setting for you.
Schedules can be made smarter if you add the $24 BAYweb motion detector – simply place this somewhere in your home where you regularly walk through, and when the thermostat notices nobody is home, it’ll place the climate control into an away mode. This means you’ll never again forget to turn down the heat, and will automatically start saving money.
The advantages of an Internet connected thermostat for travelers are obvious – you stay in control of your home climate, no matter where you are. The BAYweb unit also takes this one step further by providing a basic alarm system. One of the contacts on the unit can trigger an (email) alert. Wire this to a water sensor or to an existing alarm system, and you suddenly have an Internet connected alarm unit. The BAYweb store sells a large assortment of add-on sensors, from smoke detectors to panic buttons
Now, there is no denying that the whole system is a bit geeky, but the savings in energy usage and the ability to control things anywhere you are make it worthwhile to invest in finding someone to install it if you really feel uncomfortable dealing with wires.
The best part of the whole setup is the price – $220. Better yet, there are no monthly fees, and once installed, I’ve already found that it’ll start earning its investment back in energy savings.
The only “cons” I can think of after using the system for about a month are very minor – the wall control pad is a bit too basic, and attaching it to your wall is tricky. Also, there is always the risk that the company goes under, and since they host all the online services, the thermostat will become a paperweight.
Still, I’m very impressed with the ease of use and reliability – if I change the temperature using my phone, my AC kicks in seconds later. The site has never been down for me, and support from BAYweb is outstanding.
So, even though this product really does not appear to belong here on Gadling, I hope you’ll understand how being in control of your home climate control is not only good for your wallet, but also for the environment.
You’ll find the BAYweb product assortment, along with more information and installation guides at BAYweb.com.