Remote for Ductless Mini Split that can set min and max temp range for guest

John5097
Level 10
Charleston, SC

Remote for Ductless Mini Split that can set min and max temp range for guest

This remote is good option that allows host to set a min and max range for ductless mini splits. 

Aircon Off Smart Remote Pro

https://www.airconoff.com.au/Aircon-Off-Smart-Remote-PRO

I first read about it in a 2019 post by @Robin4 and happened to bookmark the remote. (I wasn't able to post a reply to this topic but did find it again) Many thanks to Robin for sharing this device! 

 

https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Hosting/Products-that-might-help-hosts/m-p/1014170#M251874

It is sold from their main website and shipped from Australia. For international order you will need to use the email function, and a very polite rep will provide a quote and payment instructions.  I payed though PayPal. (Their main wiebside didn't allow it to be shipped to the US, but maybe it could to some other location) 

I thought it was very reasonable. I ordered two remotes (one for a backup) and the wall mount that has a tether for $124 USD total, or (174.75 AUD) the included everything shipping to US via Australia Post Express, taxes, etc.. 

The Pro unit also has a Placebo Effect that can be set up. So that lets say the min and max temp for AC is restricted to 69-74 degrees for guest using the remote, the AC won't go below 69 degrees, but with the Placebo Effect enabled the remote will show it can be turned down to say 64 degrees but the AC actually won't go below the 69 degrees (the min temp you set). Even the AC will display 64 but really be at 69. Very clever! 

As I've mentioned before I have tried two different thermostats that were sold as an accessory from the manufacturer that allowed user to set a min and max temp, but were not compatible with my partular unit and had a bug. This also requires a wire from to the AC/heat which would likely be very challenging to add after its installed, and not easy when installing. 

Another option would be this thermostat sold on Amazon.

https://cielowigle.com/cielo-breez-plus/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw6cKiBhD5ARIsAKXUdyac1tbbHg-77h61PsruLXoIxQSV3...

It also uses IR. Which is wireless but also needs to be in in direct line of site with the mini split unit. For me this was the deal breaker because it was mounted on the wall opposite the AC/heat unit the guest would be standing in the way, blocking the signal. And putting on a table top beneath the AC/Heat mini split would stick out like a sore thumb.  

I think the remote is more intuitive and easy to use. I provide quick instructions and pointing a remote at the unit is more intuitive than picking up a thermostat. 

Anyway thought I would share. I tried to just post an update to the original 2019 topic but wasn't allowing replies. 

My last guest turned the AC down to 61 degrees. Hopefully it's not damaged. Coastal South Carolina is like Florida with extreme humidity and AC is more prone to freezing up with all the extra moisture, especially if a door or window is left open. This already happened once when I just started, a door had blown open, the main heat pump froze up, damaging the evaporator coil. Thankfully it was still under warranty. Not sure if that's what caused it to break but stresses me out when AC is turned below 68. I also won't need to monitor the temp, worrying guest will break it. 

The Aircon Off remote also appears to be very easy to use with just a cool and a heat modes. This is already how I instructed gust and so much easier just having two easy to choose options. 

It's supposed to save energy, and I'm sure will pay for itself. I just ordered it so will give an update when it arrives. 

ETA.. the IR remote just replaces the original remote. I'm not sure if a Nest or any thermostat for conventional HVAC can be installed for mini spit, but doubt it. Even the one that was sold as an accessory changed how the unit is disigned to operate. It's different so simply replacing the remote doesn't change how the mini split is designed to operate, without getting to technical.   


9 Replies 9
Robin4
Level 10
Mount Barker, Australia

@John5097 

Hey John, glad you have gone down this path, it has saved me a lot of money in running costs over the past 4 years. And you know, no guest has ever complained that it is not as warm, or as cool as they expected. I think they just accepted what they got as being the limitations of the system installation.

 

Now John that stopped the unnecessary wastage of a/c power while the guest was on the premises but, there is no need to stop there!

There is always going to be that guest that goes out for the afternoon and evening and just leaves the a/c running. Well John I have got that one beaten as well. We live in a marvelous age, and this is a gem!!

https://www.jaycar.com.au/240v-wireless-controller-switch-to-suit-home-automotion/p/LA5575

 

The guest cottage key is equipped with a remote sender, it's in that yellow pouch.......

IMG20190703165048.jpg

 and when the guest walks out through the front gate it automatically triggers a receiver which actives the Jaycar wireless controller and, after a 5 minute time-out period, deactivates the power supply to the a/c.

IMG20190703172212.jpg

As soon as the guest walks back in through the gate the a/c is automatically re-energised and springs back into action.

The guest might think it's a pretty inefficient heating/cooling system when they enter but within 5 minutes it's up to speed and they forget all about it! 

 

All my lighting is sensor touch lighting, the shower screen is automated up/down and I try to make the whole place as user friendly as possible John.......it all works seamlessly and it keeps me free from large power bills! 

 

Cheers.........Rob

@Robin4 

Thats very encouraging that the Aircon Off remote has lowered your power bill. That is a very good reason to use one. 

For my set up it's so well insulated and also a guest apartment connected to the main house and ac/heat central unit, so the mini split just supplements the main heat/ac, allows them to adjust the temp, so there is no increase in electric bills, as whatever the mini split is adding, it lessens the demand from the central ac/heat, and also no loss through the ductwork. Although I'm sure it will help save some, but not as much as a stand alone rental.

The Jaycar also seems brilliant and ideal if you want to turn off AC and heat when guest aren't there. But once again in my climate its best to just leave on the ac/heat to one set temp. As mentioned the humidity is so high that it takes a long time for the ac to extract it. It feels hot and causes mold issues. It can take a minimum of hours even when its hot enough to be running, and at times the humidity is only extracted when its running in the daytime and at night the ac doesn't turn on enough to lower it. 

 

I suppose it's important for host to try and configure their system and house rules to their climate. The mini split I got, for example, has a valve that regulates the coolant and also a variable speed outdoor compressor that slows it down and runs longer but more efficiently than turning it on and off.

The Airbnb I stayed in the AC was off when I arrived and hot and humid, with no instructions. I hadn't operated a mini split before, was tired from long drive, and couldn't make sense of the remote. I regretted renting the place and wished I was at a campground! I messaged the host who rushed over, claiming it was freezing cold when she was cleaning, but when she got there agreed it was hot, and showed me where the operating instructions were tucked away in a drawer. I was happy as I really wanted to be her best guest ever, as I know how challenging it can be. It also took over 12 hours to cool down the bed room, that was fine and after that was very nice, but  I thought it would be best to just leave it on, as it uses more energy to turn it off and on again and was noticeably stagnant humid air. It also wasn't very well insulated, single pane windows, no vapor barriers, etc.  

If I was renting a place I think I would want to know prior to booking if the host expected guest to turn on and off the ac or heat every time they left.  Kind of like having to take off your shoes. I wouldn't want al that sprung on me after checking in. I would just kinda roll with it, and I"m not that fussy, but if it's hot that's not good, but as a host I wouldn't leave a negative review or lower stars. I simply just wouldn't review, as I feel guest should rate them.  

I do turn mine off or down if its going to be over 24 hours between guest, but want it to be a perfect room temp when guest check in and hope they just leave it at one setting.

But if yours cools it down quickly and is primarily one room that would be a good option if you guest are fine with it. Mine has a barn door to the bedroom that is wide enough to allow air to transfer and ceiling fans, but takes extra time to cool or heat the adjoining bedroom, and get the entire unit the same temp.  

Thanks again for sharing that remote! I'm excited to get it. I bookmarked it a year ago as an option. Most guest have respected the suggested operating temp range but some don't and turn it all the way down. To them it's a rental, like rental car. The last ones even damaged their rental car. I'm very excited to get this remote! I simply didn't have any place to mount or locate the other Cielo one.  



Robin4
Level 10
Mount Barker, Australia

@John5097 

That's all good info John,

I appreciate your situation where you are just trying to give your guests a bit of additional comfort to that which your central system provides....and good on you John, you are a thoughtful host, the backbone of Airbnb!

My comments are directed more at 'stand alone' systems rather than 'whole house' supplementation. 

 

Our situation in Australia is considerably different to yours. I understand in Charleston you are paying 14c pr Kw/hr, here in Australia we are paying double that amount with average cost of 30c pr Kw/hr which has pushed the bulk of us into installing our own rooftop solar. Now having rooftop solar is fine but, it doesn't solve our problem as a nation. Much of the year Australia gets by totally on  solar and wind power alone which means governments have let grid power generation system deteriorate! But John, the infrastructure has to be maintained....the poles, the wires, the transformer network so, as more users convert to solar generation, supply revenue falls and the supply charge has to increase to maintain the network. We pay virtually nothing for any electricity we have to import between 10 am- 2 pm but, we pay an arm and a leg between 6.00 pm and 6 am.

 

Going green is a bit like a dog chasing its tail......you never actually make any positive headway!

With my two rooftop systems I can produce about 56 Kw/hr of electricity on a reasonably sunny day.........

IMG20200129192528.jpg

IMG20200129192615 2.jpg

 

and granted with my feed-in tariff that gives me a power credit through the summer months. Here was our balance with our supplier a month ago......

Sumo bill Jan.Feb 2023.png

 

 

Winter months are a different story though! Now we will get monthly bills of around $140-$160. So it doesn't take long to eat that credit up.

 

The reason I bring this up John, before I put in my last 5 Kws of solar I was getting winter quarterly power bills of $1,800 + ....... and guests were responsible for 70% of that. At my age it is not worth me putting in battery storage. I see little point in paying off $8,000 worth of batteries that someone else will get the benefit of once age compels us to sell!

 

So that is why I have gone to considerable effort to stop power wastage. We don't go without or scrimp on power here.....we just don't waste it!

 

Where the Jaycar wireless controller could be useful in situations such as yours, it could be incorporated into the system ductwork via a control damper to your listing space. That way, when guests are not present the available output could be channeled into the main house!

 

But if I was only paying 14c pr Kw/hr I maybe would not have bothered going to such lengths although in this era of climate change every bit we can do to help makes us better global citizens!

All the best John.

 

Cheers.........Rob  

@Robin4 

The solar panels are very nice! I plan to add them to my place but it would be an out of pocket cost and wouldn't be covered by insurance as we get hit by hurricanes frequently. I've been researching how to install them, though, but like the other equipment, especially the AC/Heat the place is rented out, so have to factor how long it takes, so usually would need to have someone else do it in a day. 

Where I live the state, South Carolina, is also changing the terms of what they will buy back from customers with solar panels. I believe the federal tax credit was extended. 

That will be a good option, especially when EV vehicles are more cost effective. 

There is already a lot of homes with solar panels. It really depends on the exact location and if the house is in a flood or wind zone if insurance would be available. That's why I'm renting out the back apartment to pay for these upgrades. 

I mentioned above that I added a significant amount of insulation to the entire house. The back apartment used to have 7 1/2 foot ceilings with no insulation in the ceiling. It was impossible to heat and cool. I cut my power bill in half from about $280 a month to $140 and usually less than that, by added all new insulation in the ceiling, R40, new double glazed windows and doors,  and encapsulating and insulating the basement crawl space. 

In my experience that really is the key to energy savings and a very comfortable healthy environment. 

A lot of people have a cottage or guest apartment that isn't very well insulated and end up just turning it off as it's so expensive to heat or cool.  That's how it was for mine. I had a few space heaters I would use as an office area and even those were more expensive to run just when used during parts of the day, than keeping the mini split heat pump running at room temp for my guest. 

I do have a damper to control the amount of air flow to the back apartment on the main central heat and air. I keep it adjusted so the guest have some range with their mini split. 

When its time to replace the main central heat and air I may reconfigure. It likely wouldn't change the power consumption. It's all already very efficient. No one has complained either. 

As I'm sure you know it can be very challenging to get these things configured. My main central unit does a better job of removing humidity. That's usually what would make guest feel hot. I also think it would likely increase my power consumption to add another mini split to the bedroom and disconnect the apartment from the main central heating and air, and would also risk the bathroom becoming moldy, as there is a vent for it from the main unit. 

But we all have to make compromises.  

I was sharing how to order the remote you mentioned in another post. It seems like a great solution. And I try to share these products like this so that they remain available and support products and companies that benefit us and create solutions.

They responded to my emails, processed the order, and provided tracking info very fast. I did mention you and that I would share this again to the community forums, which they replied. 

 

...

 

Hi John,

 

That’s great news that you heard from us from referral.

 

The more we can get the word out there the better, so we really appreciate you sharing on the Air BNB page.

 

Your order was dispatched yesterday.

 

Click here to track your order @ Australia Post International Express:



  



The most energy efficient heat pumps are two speed, and variable speed air handler. 

If it's a 4 ton unit, it spins in one direction 4 tons, but for the energy savings it uses the 2 ton option. 

The AC/Heat runs longer duration, much longer, with the high efficiency 2 ton option. While the 4 ton is reserved just for when the 2 ton can't maintain room temp. For a 44% savings. 

https://www.trane.com/residential/en/products/heat-pumps/xr16-hp/#

This is the same techlogy and concept with the mini splits. They are designed to stay on for maximum efficiently. Even the lower end ones have the same technology. The outside compressor slows down to hardly drawing power and inside air handler and evaporator coils have a thermal expantion valve to keep the room at exact temp which is how it runs most efficiently. 


Bhumika
Community Manager
Community Manager
Toronto, Canada

Hi @John5097 ,

 

Thank you so much for detailing these suggestions for other Hosts to refer! This is definitely going to be a useful bit of information for those seeking similar solutions.

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Please follow the Community Guidelines

@Bhumika

There is a ton of useful information on setting up Airbnb in this forum. 

5 years ago I used to google just about everything I did with my renovation and a lot of them were from this forum, from other host, who started a topic. This was two years before I joined. I just googled and researched. 

The climate and air is very comfortable in my rental. It was totally worth the extra effort. It's so efficient also that I can pass on the savings, which is kind of what motives me. 

The remote will be a nice little addition. 

John5097
Level 10
Charleston, SC

A little bit of context to my unit. Before I renovated the back apartment it had 71/2 ceilings and didn't have any insulation. It really wasn't even usable space despite being connected to the central heat and air it was like having all the widows open year around. 

I was gong to just add a kitchen area and live back there myself as I was working out of state and not here much. 

20108470_1719056538122581_2238587733530390414_n.jpg 

So in the middle of the revocation I decided to insulate the ceiling, which meant having to demo the old ceiling and build another. The advatge was being able to raise the ceiling to 10 feet. 

Thats when everything changed. 

23467261_1837894742905426_2044290555542643753_o.jpg

I realized how nice it was and could rent it out. I was amazed how much rent cost. Then started googling Airbnb and was really surprised so many were in my area! 

I added all new insulation, you can see some in the picture, all new windows on the entire house, and insulated the attic and crawl space. 

 

The result was my elective and gas bill was cut in half. Even with the Airbnb my bill averages $140 a month, added an apartment that used to be like being outside.

So with it really well insulated there is a point of diminishing returns with how effeciant the ac/heat unit needs to be. I have it dialed in to the ideal size. So likely won't notice any real improvements over this. 

Later I plan to add solar panels. I recall @Robin4  has them on his place. 

The major cost is having the AC/Heat units replaced. There is another regulaton being passes that will add another 1K on the the cost of a new unit and also increase the cost of maintenance and repairs. Never mind that it doesn't matter how well insulated the house is. 

My friends 600 square foot apartment cost over $500 per month for AC. it's the landlord, slum lord,  that keeps crappy AC unit. 

I didn't want anyone to think I didn't care about energy. I've already cut my power bills in half just by renovating and packing it with insulation. 

If it was the old space with no insulation it would cost 3X as much to cool and heat. 

For now I just don't want guest to break the mini split. It would cost 3k to replace. 

Also not a one has turned it off when they go out. Sometimes they will turn it off if it's too hot or cold but no one turns it off coming and going. 

But do what makes you happy! If it really cost a lot to heat and cool then my all means structure your house rules to conserve more! We all have to make some compromise and communicate. 

For mine it's best to just leave it at one temp. It would cost more if guest turned it on and off. So I'm using the remote so guest can't break the equipment. 

This remote I think will extend the life of the unit and will pay for itself probably in the first year. 

Above all it makes me happy! I don't need to monitor the temps, or stress when guest turn AC down to 61, as they no longer can turn it below 69. 

Madiyar0
Level 1
Kaunas, Lithuania

I suggest pairing these mini split A/Cs with a Klima smart thermostat. It's like a Nest thermostat but for mini split A/Cs. Requires no wiring and works with all brands of A/Cs. It can help you see usage/bills in realtime but also allow you to control climate in your property/properties remotely, schedule the climate and make sure things aren't running after guests check out etc.

 

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Will help you reduce energy usage and bills by 30%!
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