About a year ago, as I was considering various ways to save energy, I thought about installing air duct dampers at various points of my A/C system to control temperature with more precision throughout the house (rather than just the 1- or 2-zone systems common today). My plan was to control these dampers with an Insteon I/O Linc so I could manage all the zones via Insteon, such as “shut off the A/C vent in the guest room when it’s not needed”. I’ve since implemented a whole-house energy saving plan by automatically powering down the A/C when I’m not home, but this idea was to go above and beyond that: I was going to have a thermostat in every room to allow for much more precise control of heat and A/C.
That’s when I found the Cao Gadgets wireless smart tags. They are these tiny, neat little devices that measure temperature and motion, and report that information up to the cloud for alerting purposes. So for example, you could put one in your refrigerator to alert you when the door is open or the temperature rises above a critical level.
Unfortunately, aside from the difficulty of installing those dampers and cost of executing such a plan, the show-stopper was that the temperature sensor just wasn’t accurate enough. I’ve tried repeatedly to calibrate these guys by placing them next to the thermostat for a while to get them all at the same temperature:
… but after calibrating them all to the same temperature and letting them sit for a while, they continue to skew by up to 2 degrees in either direction, which makes them pretty useless for thermostat duties, because in that context 69 and 73 degrees are quite different.
Still, they’re neat little tags that can be purchased here, but consider them more useful for their motion-sensing purpose (such as detecting whether a garage door, refrigerator, or gate is open) than temperature-sensing.