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HVAC Control - FAQ

How much does it cost?

  1. Regular price for a one thermostat system: ~$380, 2 thermostats: ~$460
  2. No wiring costs
  3. No ongoing fees
  4. The full integration with MyVRZone is included in the paid Platinum Plan - see plan prices here.

Can you get a discount on the boxes?

  1. I offer Free shipping on the Vera box
  2. I don’t have a discounted source for the thermostats (~$80)

Is it guaranteed to reduce my Electricity bills?

  1. No - you may already have a very efficient system and would see no noticeable difference. It would, however, be unusual for you to have such an efficient system already without any automation.
  2. You’ll already know whether your bill seems too high - especially when unoccupied.

Who will see the most benefit from this type of system?

  1. People that have unoccupied periods in homes that do not have reliable setting/checking of thermostat settings between occupied/unoccupied changes
  2. People with thermostats that don’t have different period settings when occupied
  3. People with thermostats that don’t have enough control for the guest and frustrate them/cause them to complain
  4. People that want/need to see what’s happening in their homes and have some influence on it. In particular, you may notice that guests are always setting the cooling higher or heating lower than your default settings - if only you’d known you would have changed the defaults to save energy AND reduce guest frustration!

Why do I need to have a paid MyVRZone plan to use the full automation?

  1. The automation is my intellectual property, took months of effort to develop and test and requires storage and bandwidth on my server.
  2. It provides value to you - saving you way more than the cost of the service each month.

How can you provide this money-saving service for such a low cost?

  1. My goal is automation of everything that can be automated and this has measurable cost savings associated with it. I like to share what I’ve discovered with other owners so that we call can benefit and just ask for a token compensation in return for the effort that I put into making this available to others.

I’m not that good at internet stuff - how much do I need to know?

  1. Please see the installation section for the steps that need to be done.
  2. You will need to be able to (find someone that can) set up port forwarding on your router to allow port 80 to reach the Vera box.

What happens if I buy the system and decide not to use the MyVRZone automation?

  1. The Vera box has a built-in web interface that allows you to set timers and events to control your automated home.  You can user the timers to set a simple schedule and change the thermostat setpoints manually for Occupied/Unoccupied periods.

What happens if I start using the MyVRZone full automation but then decide to stop?

  1. You can just go back to using the built-in interface as indicated above - the system will still work - it just won’t be as automated.

Can I use the system for other home automation activities - like door sensors, motion sensors, cameras etc?

  1. Yes - the Vera system is designed for that. They have many of these items available directly from them -  See their shop here for many of the items available
  2. These other devices work alongside the MyVRZone system but are not currently integrated with it in any way - if there is demand then that could added.

Where is this setup in the MyVRZone system?

  1. I have not documented this in the tools yet and it has been implemented as part of the new version of the site that I am developing. If there is enough interest in this then I will make it available for use immediately. I have been using it for many months already so it’s fully operational.

How do I buy this system and install it myself?

  1. Buy the Vera box from MiCasaVerde.com or a used one at your favourite online store.
  2. Order the thermostat online (I use ”Wayne Dalton DTC-20″ or “Intermatic InTouch CA8900″)  - I have used both of the following sources:
    1. ASI Home Automation
    2. Smart Home Products
  3. Follow the installation instructions in the installation section
  4. When ready, I will download the MyVRZone control code and test that it is working at no additional charge

Can you buy and set up the system and deliver it to me so I just need to plug it in?

  1. With the exception of changes to your router this can be done
  2. I can order all of the parts, set it up and then ship it to you
  3. When you receive it you would plug in the Vera box to your router and we’ll test that it connects
  4. Then you’d replace your old thermostat with the new one and you’ll be ready to go
  5. I would charge any shipping fees incurred at cost plus a fixed fee of $149 for the additional installation/setup time required