Smart thermostats are great. Well, they weren’t always great. The original programmable thermostats were so poorly designed, the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency actually removed the well-known ENERGY STAR label from the category at one point, citing many people actually used MORE energy due to confusion. The road to energy bill hell is paved with good intentions, after all!
But around 2010, innovation started happening in the industry. For starters, user experience design received a major refresh. Not only were these programmable thermostats better looking than their gaudy predecessors, they were intuitive to use. But perhaps an even bigger change was the introduction of Wi-Fi radios and a motion sensor. Now, homeowners with a Wi-Fi thermostat could set schedules or adjust temperatures from the convenience of a smartphone app, even if they weren’t home. Additionally, the occupancy sensor could change the temperature if nobody was in the space for a certain period of time. The savings were substantive and automatic.
This little innovation completely changed the category, with startups and HVAC giants alike racing to get their devices into more homes. However, the most logical next step never really happened; the innovation stayed in the home, and businesses were stuck with the same bland, white box with limited technology and functionality. Oh, and a lockable thermostat box and key, just in case the industrial design wasn’t off-putting enough!
So why weren’t the residential thermostats simply repurposed for residential use? There were a number of reasons, which is why we created ENASTAT!
Built to last
Residential Wi-Fi thermostats were designed to look good. This meant lots of glass and/or thin, sleek plastic outer shells. Fine for a bedroom or hallway, but not great if you’re in a garage, workshop or factory where bumps and nicks aren’t uncommon. The lockable thermostat case we all know too well isn’t there just to keep away wandering fingers, it’s to prevent direct damage to our fragile thermostats. For ENASTAT, we created an overmold thermoplastic shell that can withstand direct contact...without the lockout case.
With no lockout box, anybody and everybody could adjust the temperature of a residential smart thermostat. This could be guests, employees, a particularly curious animal. Regardless, playing musical temperatures in a building can wreak havoc on equipment and energy bills. We designed ENASTAT without adjustable buttons, so you have complete control over the settings. And you can share that control with trusted employees!
Many industrial and commercial facilities feature high voltage wiring. Some even contain a hybrid of high and low voltage wires, and compatibility can be an issue. (Residential smart thermostats are only available in low voltage.) We designed ENASTAT for compatibility with both voltage types, so you never have to worry about compatibility in your facility!
Residential thermostats have a user experience designed for homeowners. No big surprise there. On the other hand, businesses need more advanced reporting on their systems, preventative maintenance insights and better service connection. Downtime in a home can mean discomfort, but downtime in a factory can mean product damage or production shutdowns - a tremendous cost to businesses.
We founded ENA Solution because of the shortage of environmental control options for small and medium-sized businesses, and the ENASTAT smart thermostat is the first step in bringing innovation and technology to the commercial and industrial built environment!