Controlling AC Usage

6 Replies

I have several homes with swimming pools with gas and electric bills over $1000/month during the summer. On a couple of the properties the bills are in the $1500-$1900 range.. The homes are  2200-3500 sq. Ft. I know guests run the AC 24/7. We generate enough revenue that we can handle this expense but it would sure be nice to reduce these expenses. Does anyone know of devices that would shut off the AC when doors or windows are open or when nobody is in the house?

Yes. Trane has a thermostat that will turn off if the doors are open. It is made by Honeywell and I would expect it to be on the market sooner than later. 

Rather than replacing all of my thermostats I have door hangar signs that say: 

"If the door is open the Air Conditioner will turn off!" They are replaced every turn. They're the same as the "let me sleep" door signs in a hotel. 


BUT at the end of the day I just understand the electric and gas on this house costs a ton and I figure that into the budget and it still cranks out CASH! 

CLICK HERE for the property I'm referring to

Sorry for my confusion. You say, “I would expect it to be on the market soon”, but it sounds like you already have it???

Sorry for my confusion. You say, “I would expect it to be on the market soon”, but it sounds like you already have it???

You can either automate from a smart thermostat or go bigger picture with a smart hub. At least one PM on the Outer Banks had this set up but IDK the brand they use.  I use Zwave devices on a Samsung Smart Things hub for home automation. Just needs sensors on the doors and windows you want as the trigger and a simple automation to turn AC off if sensors remain open more than X minutes. Any Zwave compatible thermostat would work and there are a bunch. Once you automate you can include smart lock operation, hot water on/off, etc. 

I put in internet accessible thermostats 11 years ago before the current crop of consumer thermostats were out. The company was BayWeb and they were geared for more industrial applications. Although they have been a lifesaver for me they probably are not what I would use today, however because they are not consumer oriented you have a LOT of control all the way up to locking out the thermostat completely to only follow your programming. You can set extremely elaborate schedules (not just m-f/sa/su), they keep historical logs of usage, and most importantly for me I can set a maximum low temperature.

So I set mine to go no lower than 70 for the A/C. No matter what they do guests can't set a cooling temp below 70 but all other controls are unlocked. When someone checks out and there won't be someone in for a while I can shut it down remotely. I can also turn it back on before new guests check in. Just with those features it has paid for itself many times over.

We have Ecobee thermostats installed.  We have set limits for both heat and cooling so the renters can control it but only within the limits that we set.  It also senses the humidity and alarms you so we can usually tell if windows or doors are left open and the outside air is being picked up by the sensors.  It also tells you the forecast and temperature outside, allows you to set vacations so it only runs when you want it to or shuts off completely at certain temperatures. It paid for itself when it picked up that our power was in and out over a winter storm.  We were able to winterize the property so our pipes did not freeze. It us very user friendly for our guests and we can lock out the menu so that no one can override our settings.