SOURCE: VENSTAR INC.

Venstar Inc.

April 09, 2014 11:00 ET

Venstar ColorTouch Firmware 3.12 Update Delivers New Runtime Graphics, Enables Temperature and Humidity Email Alerts

CHATSWORTH, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 9, 2014) - Venstar®, a leading thermostat and energy management systems supplier, today announced the release of its new Firmware 3.12 update for its ColorTouch® residential and commercial color touch screen, programmable thermostats. This update delivers practical new enhancements to the industry's top-ranked residential and commercial thermostat, including new updated runtime graphics and bandwidth-saving features as well as temperature and humidity email alerts.

"At Venstar, we are dedicated to giving ColorTouch users an easy upgrade path to the latest, most innovative features with firmware updates. This allows our current ColorTouch users to enjoy all the new features of the latest ColorTouch thermostats simply by downloading a convenient firmware update," said Steve Dushane, CEO of Venstar. "Venstar is committed to continually creating new technology to ensure that ColorTouch users, installers and contractors always have the very best in indoor climate control."

Updated Runtime Graphics Enable Users to Easily View Energy Usage

Updated runtime graphics give users an instant view of runtime statistics on the ColorTouch screen. Runtime graphics enable users to easily view and evaluate energy usage so they can consider conservation options. Understanding energy patterns gives users the opportunity to decrease energy costs.

Users can view heating or cooling runtimes by stages. Being able to view runtime information allows users to determine if there are excessive runtimes, which can indicate that it may be time for equipment maintenance. Having easily accessible runtime information helps users determine that their HVAC equipment is working efficiently.

Temperature and Humidity Email Alerts Advise Users of Possible Issues

ColorTouch users can now get temperature and humidity email alerts, which allow users to be aware if temperatures go too high or too low, even when they are away from home. Having the ability to get temperature and humidity alerts gives homeowners the peace of mind that their home is comfortable and safe for their visitors, kids, pets, and plants.

For temperature alerts, an email will be sent to the designated email if the temperature exceeds pre-set parameters. For example, if the temperature rises or drops below a specified number, the user will receive an email alert. 

For humidity alerts, an email will be sent to the designated email if the humidity exceeds pre-set parameters. For example, if the humidity rises or drops below a specific percentage, the user will receive an email alert.

New Weather Feed On/Off Switch Allows Users to Lower Costs

Live weather information is a practical feature of ColorTouch thermostats. At a glance, users can instantly see the outside weather and the forecast. However, sometimes data can be a cost issue. For example, at a remote vacation home, the user may have to pay for data used. With this upgrade, users can now turn the weather feed information off so they are not charged for this data use when the home is unoccupied. 

Additional Comfort Features of the ColorTouch Thermostat

  • One-touch Home and Away Buttons for Convenience and Energy Savings: For residential ColorTouch thermostats, new "Home" and "Away" buttons make it easy for users to instantly set their ColorTouch thermostats to pre-set settings with just one touch. Users simply press the "Home" button when they arrive home, and the ColorTouch instantly goes to the pre-set occupied, comfort settings. When users press the "Away" button when they leave, the thermostat will instantly go to the pre-set unoccupied status, which helps users save on their utility bills.

  • New Shortcut to Run or Stop the Time Period Program: Residential ColorTouch users can now press the Mode button to instantly turn the Time Period Program on or off without having to go through the Menu. This gives users a quick shortcut to instantly start or stop the programmed schedule.

  • Built-in API, Enabling Third-party Interface and Development: Venstar's new firmware update has a built-in API (Application Protocol Interface), which gives third-party programmers the ability to monitor and control ColorTouch's Schedule, Mode, Temperature and other settings from their own products. For example, this enables ColorTouch thermostats to be integrated with home automation systems, allowing users to control lighting, temperature settings and more through a single interface. Control 4 (www.Control4.com) and Remote Technologies Incorporated (RTI) (http://www.rticorp.com/markets/residential/home-automation) currently have drivers to interface their home automation systems with ColorTouch thermostats. For more information, visit http://developer.venstar.com.

  • Supply Air Alert Feature, Which Sends Email Alerts When Air From HVAC Exceeds Thresholds: The Supply Air Alert will send an email alert to the designated user or contractor when the supply air temperature (the air coming out of the HVAC equipment) is not within the pre-set thresholds for both heating and cooling. Thresholds for supply air temperatures can be set by the user or installer. A Supply Air Alert may be an early indication that the equipment may need to be serviced, which helps avoid increasing utility bills.

  • Updated Screen Graphics, Allowing Randomization of Slideshows: Users can easily import up to 100 graphic files, such as photos, logos or ads, which can be randomized or played in order. Built-in themes for residential ColorTouch thermostats now include a Yosemite theme. This theme has beautiful photos for both daytime and nighttime.

  • Display of Outdoor Temps via Internet, if No Local Outside Sensor: The outdoor temperature is shown on the top bar of the Home Screen of the ColorTouch thermostat. The daily high and low temperatures can be found on the drop down weather screen. In addition, for installations where there is not a local, outdoor temperature sensor, Venstar has enabled the outdoor temperature information to be captured from the Internet using the Wi-Fi card.

New Firmware 3.12 Update Now Available

The 3.12 firmware update is now factory-standard in new ColorTouch residential and commercial thermostats. Previous ColorTouch residential and commercial models can be updated via Wi-Fi at the thermostat or through Venstar's mobile app with Venstar's Skyport™ cloud services. To update the firmware for a ColorTouch thermostat, navigate to the Upgrade Firmware option. Each time a new ColorTouch update is available, a notification will appear on the thermostat screen along with simple prompts to help users make the update.

About ColorTouch Residential Thermostat (Models T5800 and T5900)

The ColorTouch thermostat has won top awards for ease of programmability, its color touch screen and the ability to post up to 100 photos or graphics on the screen. Consumer Reports rated ColorTouch Number 1 in thermostats for the second year in a row in its November 2013 issue. Also available are free mobile apps for Android™, BlackBerry® and Apple® iOS mobile devices, so contractors or homeowners can remotely access and control their ColorTouch thermostats via their Venstar Skyport Cloud online accounts. Compatible with virtually every type of heating and air conditioning system, ColorTouch can be configured to display one of three languages: English, French or Spanish. ColorTouch is the thermostat that thinks it's a digital picture frame!

About ColorTouch Commercial Thermostat (Models T6800 and T6900)

The award-winning ColorTouch programmable commercial thermostat is multi-functional, simple-to-use and richly featured. Its programmable scheduler and holiday feature keeps occupied periods comfortable while reducing energy use for unoccupied periods. Its color touch screen can be programmed to show company logos, ads and promotions as well as a picture gallery of up to 100 files to be used as a slideshow. It can be configured to display one of three languages: English, French or Spanish.

Compatible with virtually every type of commercial heating and air conditioning system, ColorTouch is compatible with Venstar's Skyport Cloud services, which allows commercial users to use Venstar's free mobile app on their Android, BlackBerry and Apple iOS mobile devices or directly from the Web to instantly access and control up to 100 commercial locations and much more.

For more information on updating ColorTouch firmware, visit Update the ColorTouch Firmware.

For more information on ColorTouch, visit http://www.venstar.com/Thermostats/.

For product videos, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8reHhhLdMQ.

About Venstar Inc.

Founded in 1992, Venstar Inc. is a leading thermostat and energy management system (EMS) supplier, known for providing value to its customers via ease of use and installation, proven cost savings, improved energy efficiency, quality and reliability. Venstar is one of the largest thermostat suppliers in the world and designs and produces Venstar-branded products, as well as OEM thermostat products for the biggest names in HVAC. Venstar's Surveyor is a leading energy management system, typically saving small-box retailers 25-35 percent of their energy costs, which translates to tens of millions of dollars in savings each year and dramatic reductions in C02 emissions. Surveyor currently controls the energy usage of more than 20,000+ retail locations across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Visit Venstar: www.venstar.com
Email: sales@venstar.com
Telephone: 818-341-8760

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