Remote Thermostat for AirBnB

I’m looking for a remote control (display current temp, turn fan on/off, colder/hotter) that I can place in an area we AirBnb occasionally. We have a single whole home forced air HVAC with no zones and single master thermostat. I would like to provide guests with their own control (2nd thermostat?) to turn the temp up or down a few degrees, which would have the HVAC kick in for 20 mins or so, then reset back to what the master thermostat is set at. I want to give control to guests to meet short term demand, but then revert back to a preset temp.

Ideas? I’ve searched for a thermostat with a remote control, but didn’t find any good options to give limited control.

Can I get a generic zwave thermostat and not connect it to anything but power? When the temp is set it would relay to the hub which would then set the master zwave thermostat? How can I revert back to the pre-set 20 mins later?

So your use case sounds unique. It sounds like you’re not wanting zones (be it traditional via ducts or modern with automated vents) but rather a guest controllable Cool/Heat “Boost” that tells your whole system to run for x minutes and then resume regularly scheduled programming? Personally, I think the key is to land on the logic first then figure out the technology to implement it.

The first thing that stands out to me is you want to give the user the perception of degrees, but then sounds like you don’t want to let the system to run to reach that level. Rather you’re saying you want it to simply heat and or cool for x minutes before resuming your master setpoint (which they lack access to) and doing whatever it deems is appropriate at that time. If that’s true then it sounds like what you want is a cool button that sets the system to cool and on and then x minutes later something tells it to resume programming. Then you’d have a heat button that does the same for heat. You’d probably want some safeguards like how many times they could press said buttons, what to do if they press it again after 19 minutes, A min cool/max heat at which point the cool/heat buttons do nothing and perhaps a way of displaying that to the guest.

Lots of ways to approach all that but I think the first thing you gotta do is land on the decision of are you going to let the user provide a temp and let the system try to get to that temp. Or are you just giving the user an ability to turn the system “on” for a few minutes each time they press a button and whether or not that results in actual local temp change depends on settings outside their control (how well your whole home ducts distribute comfort to this room, how long you let your system run in attempt to deliver requested comfort level).

I’m assuming you’ve already evaluated and dismissed the possibility of providing window, mini-split, or even portable units that can augment your whole home AC to get them to their own locally desired comfort level without affecting your whole home unit’s overall objective?

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Yes, there no economical method to get a window or mini-split unit, hence my request to provide a little control. Control over degrees isn’t required. A simple cool button or heat button that runs for xx minutes would be great. If I could tie that to a screen as well, even better.

I’m wondering if I could buy a cheap battery zwave thermostat and program off the button presses.

well to me it boils down to how you want to protect your system from the user (if at all). If all you want is a cool boost. Should be fairly easy to create a virtual momentary heat/cool that changes the mode/thresholds of your thermostat and then X minutes later tells it to “resume” standard programming. Obviously more complicated rules might provide protection against pressing cool when its 15 degrees outside, or pressing cool over and over never allowing your actual programming to work.

As far as the user interaction, personally I’d be confused if you gave me a thermostat and rather than acting like a thermostat (system cooling/heating to desired temp) my interactions simply gave the real thermostat a X minute “boost”. I’d think you’d be better off with a minimote or SmartTiles that doesn’t give them the impression they’re interacting with a thermostat when they’re really not. Just my $.02.