Convert single zone to multi-zone for VeraLite Temp Control- Thoughts??

Hi all,

Brand new to the forum and a new owner of a VeraLite. This is my first foray into the world of Z-Wave, but not home automation as I started using X10 in 80’s. Unfortunately the X10 stuff is very limited and somewhat unreliable. As I just bought a new house I am planning setting it up for home automation in a much broader way than I ever used my X10.

The reason for my post is that I need some recommendations for automating my HVAC with Z-Wave and multiple zones. I currently live in a two story house located in Hawaii, (so no heating concerns), with a single zone central A/C system.

I have one bedroom that is being used as a project/server room and it is of course located in an area that gets blasted by the afternoon sun and when you add servers, switches and networked laser printers into the mix it quickly turns into a sauna. Bad for me when I am in there working and bad for the equipment as well. ;D

As we don’t like to run the A/C all the time, especially when we get some really nice breezes coming through I was originally planning to install a split A/C dedicated to that room to keep the equipment cool. After I started researching and buying Z-Wave gear and reading the various forums devoted to Z-Wave I got to thinking that a better solution might be to convert my HVAC to multiple zones so that I only have to direct the A/C where it’s needed. With that in mind I wanted to ping some of the more experienced members of the forum to see what you guys and gals think and what your recommendations are.

The house is 1546 SQ feet and the thermostat for the HVAC is wall mounted in the upstairs hallway at the top of the stairs.

I would like to do the following:

  1. Split the A/C system into 3 zones. Zone 1 the downstairs area, Zone 2 upstairs, (excluding the server room) and Zone 3 the server room using automatic dampers installed on the ducting.

Is anyone aware of Z-Wave enabled dampers? I couldn’t locate any. As I have outlets in the attic I was thinking about just using 115V electric dampers with Z-wave appliance modules attached.

  1. Install a Z-Wave enabled thermostat that support multiple remote temperature monitors. I would like a total of 4 temperature monitors. 1 in the in the project/server room, 1 in the master bedroom, 1 in the kitchen and 1 in the living room.

Can anyone recommend a Z-Wave enabled thermostat that supports wireless sensors?

Based on the cost of a typical split A/C unit and the fact that it has to be professionally installed and what I was able to find in regards to the price on electric dampers, Z-Wave thermostats and the like I figure this will cost me a little less, save money on my electric bill and be fun to boot so I thought I would float the idea to the forum members to get some feedback and recommendations.

Cheers,

Gordon

Don’t limit yourself to Z-Wave-enabled thermostats if you don’t have to. There is a Vera plugin for the 3M-50 wi-fi thermostat, for example, that supports a remote temperature sensor. Just FYI.

So would this be a good option for me as well? I currently have a new home where they placed the thermostat only a few feet from the fireplace. The problem that I’ve discovered is that it seriously throws off the thermostat keeping the upstairs extremely cold. I’m sure it does the same thing downstairs, but it’s not much of a problem because we don’t spend a lot of time down there. Next year we’re expecting a new baby and I’m sure that the temperature issues will be a concern. Not to mention right now because when we spend the evening downstairs, we have an upstairs that’s freezing. Any recommendations and feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Can you explain a bit more about this? I’d love to have multiple remote temperature sensors.
I scoured the radiothermostat forum, but there are no claims that it supports a remote temperature sensor.

Also, if I have a 3M-50 with both the WiFi and Z-Wave modules inserted at once, does it work on both correctly?

check this out http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,9505.0.html my understanding is that it supports only a single remote temp sensor for operation

Can you explain a bit more about this? I’d love to have multiple remote temperature sensors.
I scoured the radiothermostat forum, but there are no claims that it supports a remote temperature sensor.

Also, if I have a 3M-50 with both the WiFi and Z-Wave modules inserted at once, does it work on both correctly?[/quote]

I think the 3M-50 wi-fi tstat with the Vera plugin would work for you, you can have a remote Z-Wave temp sensor, and use it as the temperature point for AC operations. See http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,9505.0.html

I think the OP problem is more complicated (multiple zones) and the 3M-50 only supports a single remote tstat.

First off let me preface this by the standard warning: IANAHVACP (I am not an HVAC professional) :wink:

With that out of the way, This is what I have and it works for me. You might look into the honeywell hz311k kit with hz311 zone controller, plus a transformer and a temp sensor. Then you could buy 3 normal (i.e., non z-wave) dampers / actuators. Honeywell sells the M847D damper actuator, that’s what I have, they seem okay, but I have nothing else to compare it to. For dampers you’d want ones sized to your ductwork, then wire three zwave (or 3m50) thermostats into the zone controller, then tie those to the vera. You’re still looking at a bit of money - though probably still considerably cheaper than a separate a/c unit. Also, getting the ductwork “right” would be non-trivial, but the wiring is straightforward.