Sunday, June 10, 2012

Web Based Temperature Monitoring System For Under $90

Remote temperature monitors are a long time product offered by Comfort House. They are used by our customers to alert when the temperature at their home, remote cabin, or business drops to a set temperature, such as 45°F.  The temperature monitoring system, usually a small box-like device, dials out to the phone numbers you have programmed, and notifies you so that you can take action to prevent your pipes from freezing.

Monitoring temperature in computer rooms and data centers is another big application.  When the temperature rises, personnel is alerted so that the cooling system can be checked for proper operation. There are all sorts of other uses, too, such as making sure the temperature at home isn’t too cool or warm for pets, plants, wine cellars, swimming pools, greenhouses, horse stables, and home brewing.

Temperature monitors have traditionally operated by hooking up to your telephone line and dialing out to you in the event of a triggered condition.  Now we’re excited to offer our first web based system.

The La Crosse Alerts Temperature and Humidity Alert System is a web based temperature monitoring system that sends emails or text alerts when temperature or humidity exceeds your desired range.

The small gateway unit plugs into your router and has a wireless remote sensor with 200’ range in open space.  The included remote sensor measures ambient air temperature and humidity and has your choice of a 6’ detachable dry probe or wet probe depending on your application.  You can purchase up to 5 extra sensors for use with each system.

Your data is uploaded to a monitoring site, called La Crosse Alerts, that you can log into from anywhere via iphone or other smartphone, tablet, or computer to view current readings, see a 7-day graph, download history, and control your alert settings.

The system with gateway, sensor, probe, and one year of full monitoring service, is in my opinion very reasonably priced at $85.  Sensors beyond the included one are $66 with dry probe and $73 with wet probe.

After the first year there is a monitoring fee for the full or “enhanced” La Crosse Alerts service.  Basic service which you receive for 5 years entitles you to log-in to view your data from a single sensor only and does not include email or text alerts.  We'll update our blog or website once we receive the cost for enhanced monitoring after year one.

There are some disadvantages to the La Crosse unit vs. one of our traditional telephone based units such as the Control Products Deluxe Freeze Alarm.   For instance, with Deluxe Freeze Alarm you can add optional sensors for security or water level, and remotely switch a relay to turn on your heat or AC.  There are also never any monitoring fees.

Equipment available at the location being monitored is important to the type of system you choose.  Your secluded vacation home may only have a landline phone and not a high speed internet connection required for a web based system.  And in the event of power outage, unless you are fully equipped with a backup power source, you will have more luck receiving your alerts with a traditional phone based system on an old fashioned copper line.  However, the web-based system will notify you of connection loss, which could indicate a possible power problem.

Enjoy your remote temperature monitoring!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Instantly Convert Two Twin Beds To A King Bed

Some do it in their bedrooms.  Some do it in hotels.  Have you ever pushed two twin beds together to make a king?  If yes, you know it’s not as easy or fun as it looks.  The beds are unsecured and you may even end up falling through the crack.  That’s where a twin bed connector comes in useful.  A twin bed connector joins or straps two twin beds together to make a king size bed. 

One style of twin bed joiner slips over and along the sides of two twin mattresses.  A sheepskin strip pads the space where the beds connect while a belt wraps around the sides securing the mattresses together.

Another style is a mattress cover that goes over the entire mattress.  It has an integrated foam wedge insert in the center that fills the space between the two twin mattresses, along with a pillowtop for extra comfort.

Occasionally users say they don’t like the “hump” they feel in the middle of their newly made king bed with a connection system.  Most often this is the result of not using mattresses of the same thickness which is a requirement for bed joiners.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Welcome to the Comfort House blog

Welcome to the Comfort House blog.  It's been a busy few days at Comfort House with articles mentioning us in both The Wall Street Journal and Defense News.

The Wall Street Journal article "Google to Require Retailers to Pay" is about Google's announcement yesterday that a free service provided to merchants for the past decade is becoming a paid service.  We expect it will hurt small merchants and favor big brands.

The Defense News article "Vendors Angry Over Surprise Ban on Mailing Lithium Batteries" is about a change in USPS policy that prevents products with lithium batteries from being mailed overseas.  This affects our APO/FPO military customers in particular and the article describes some ways in which we are handling this challenge.

Find links to online versions of both articles on Twitter.