ACCA Announces Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, to Speak at ACCA’s Annual Conference

The Secretary of Labor, Alex Acosta, has confirmed his attendance at the ACCA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 12-14

Keynote Secretary Acosta is expected to provide an update on the Trump Administration’s efforts to help HVAC contractors. The topics he will cover include:
• Apprenticeship programs
• Association Health Plans
• Career and Technical Education programs

Don Langston, ACCA Chairman of the Board and President & CEO of Air Rite Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, said, “We are honored that Secretary Acosta is speaking at the ACCA conference, where he will highlight the vast amount of work being done to turn the U.S. into a model of apprenticeship programs and technical education. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time a Cabinet Secretary has spoken in front of HVAC contractors at a conference like this,” concluded Langston.

For more information on the ACCA Annual Conference, visit

Women in HVACR Name Mary Jo Gentry as President

For the year 2018, Women in HVACR elected #MaryJoGentry to serve as the #WHVACR President to succeed #JulieDecker, a leader in the HVACR Industry, who will move to the Immediate Past President position on the executive board. Congratulations Mary Jo and thank you Julie for your service as past president.

Jackson Systems is a proud sponsor of WHVACR.

Save Over 10% on Honeywell FocusPro Thermostats*

We have plenty in stock. …but when they’re gone; THEY’RE GONE!
Call 888-652-9663 to order.
*Only valid on models TH4110D1007, TH6110D1005

“But, I Like My Dumb House!”

And, that’s ok! Because if you are smart about energy usage, your thermostat doesn’t have to be.

Today, smart (or Wi-Fi connected) thermostats continue to dominate market sales for our industry. In fact, it is reported that by the year 2022, the global HVAC distribution market will enjoy $3 billion dollars in sales of smart thermostats.

But, what if your customer doesn’t want a smart thermostat? Will contractors be forced to install one even if the homeowner doesn’t want it? The answer is NO. Smart thermostats are simply just another option.

The pros of a smart thermostat include better energy management through the learning features of the stat, cost savings due to less energy usage, away from home features, constant monitoring of your HVAC for performance…and finally, they’re pretty damn cool looking. Not only that, they can be voice activated when paired with the proper hub like Amazon Echo or Google Home.

But, they have their issues, too. Some of which include:

  • programming, set up and operation that can be complex if your customer is not that computer savvy,
  • smart stat operation is dependent upon Wi-Fi connection and those can get interrupted, and
  • they’re more expensive.

So, how can a homeowner save on energy usage with an “old fashioned” thermostat (or non-programmable model)? Easily…if they remember to adjust it when they come and go or fall asleep. This will work. But, it isn’t ideal. An easier solution may be a programmable thermostat, but they too, are a bit difficult to operate. In fact, according to a survey by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 89% of respondents stated they rarely, if ever, use the programmable features to set an energy schedule.

The convenience, savings and features of smart thermostats are far superior to unconnected models. But, to be fair, they do have their cons. The good news is there are many options with the thermostat. Be sure you are offering homeowners all of their options! Doing so will be providing the best service you can for your customers.

For the largest variety of connected and unconnected thermostats, visit or call your Jackson Systems representative at 888-652-9663.


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Joseph S. Groh Foundation Announces 2018 Charity Golf Tournament Dates

Want to support a great charity supporting our industry professionals…and have fun doing so? Here’s your chance:

Dallas – Monday, May 7 ~Coyote Ridge Golf Course, Carrollton

Minneapolis – Monday, September 10 ~Links at North Fork, Ramsey

Chicago – Monday, September 24 ~The Highlands of Elgin, Elgin

The Joseph S. Groh Foundation is a public charity whose purpose is to financially assist those in the HVAC/construction industries who have suffered spinal cord or other life altering injury, as well as serve as a clearinghouse of information for spinal cord injury patients.

To donate or for more information on Joseph Groh Foundation, visit

Honeywell Declares End of Life for Some Thermostats and Offers Replacements

As Honeywell moves through obscolence of some thermostats, they offer this replacement guide. For more information, visit

To purchase Honeywell thermostats, visit


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Google Home: Compatible with Many Smart Thermostats

Great blog from Google on:

“How Google Home and the Google Assistant helped you get more done in 2017”

Want to know more about which thermostats are compatible with Google Home, read on:

NestLet’s get the most obvious one out of the way (because Google owns Nest): Google Home will work with the all Nest products including the Nest Learning thermostat, which is a smart stat that allows for you to set timers for your home’s temperature and control that temperature straight from your smartphone from the Nest app. With Google Home, you’ll be able to do all that with only your voice – forget needing to use your phone to control Nest, or even needing to go to the Nest thermostat itself. Now, all you need is your voice.

Honeywell: Not sold on the Nest ecosystem of connected product quite yet? Nest isn’t the only smart thermostat on the block – Honeywell is another option that works with Google Home through SmartThings. While Honeywell’s thermostats may not have as much tech as Nest’s, they do come a little cheaper and probably offer everything most people will need, apart from Nest’s learning features.

ecobeeThe third major smart thermostat company is Ecobee, and it’s a serious competitor. The device is a little smarter than most other thermostats and on par with Nest, however it’s slightly more energy efficient and boasts an innovative color touch screen.

Regardless of your favored smart thermostat, Google Home is more than just a speaker, it’s a dependable hub that can control your thermostat and many other home systems. Check it out here:


Nest, Nest training, Honeywell Lyric Round, ecobee, ecobee trainingGoogle Home, SmartThings, Home Automation

Sensors Can Help Save Energy Costs by as Much as 30%

The U.S. Department of Energy says that about 13% of all energy produced in the United States today is used to heat, cool, and ventilate buildings, and that “HVAC accounts for about 45% of the average household’s utility costs.” It also says, “…much of this energy is wasted by heating, cooling and over-ventilating unoccupied or partially occupied spaces.” These facts make it increasingly important to reduce energy usage and the costs related to it.

As part of the solution, occupancy and temperature sensors have been suggested by the DOE in that they can play a key role to better controlling energy usage and minimizing waste. In fact, they claim that when used with high efficiency HVAC equipment, they can reduce energy usage by as much as 30% without sacrificing comfort.

Occupancy sensors are highly accurate “presence and occupant counters”. Most occupancy sensors use Wi-Fi radio signals to probe the environment (they do not require internet access to function). And, because these sensors can be powered wirelessly, they can be installed without costly and invasive wiring.

Temperature sensors integrate with a wide range of controllers adding fully programmable building automation control. Temperature sensors can detect when overheating/overcooling occurs and direct the HVAC system to take preventative action. Many also have the ability to measure and report data for a better understanding of a building’s energy usage. Finally, newer Wi-Fi temp sensors permit the remote control of a building’s energy control.

There are also sensors used to better control safety and comfort including CO2, economizer, humidity and others. Some sensors have even been proven to improve indoor air quality. All of which optimize the operations of the HVAC system.

The potential impact of using sensors to control HVAC is far reaching, including using significantly less energy to help reduce emissions attributed to power generation and preservation of the electric grid. Economically, buildings will require less energy to operate, reducing costs for homeowners and businesses. In addition, improved indoor air quality could help prevent negative effects on human health. A sensor’s ability to understand occupancy and temperature and better control a system’s operation is something a traditional HVAC system alone cannot do. And, the fact that they are so easy to install and deploy and really low in cost, makes them worth a hard look to nearly every system installation.

Jackson Systems offers a wide variety of sensors for many applications. To view our offering, visit

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Toronto-based ecobee Wants to be the Apple of Smart Thermostats!

Excerpted from:

Founded back in 2007 by Stuart Lombard because of his own frustrations with the smart thermostat market at the time, ecobee has since gone on to release a variety of thermostats over the years, with the ecobee3 and more recently, the ecobee4, being the company’s most well-known devices.

Of course, like most smart home devices, ecobee doesn’t exist in a non-competitive vacuum, with Google’s Nest being the company’s main opponent in the smart home thermostat arena.

“When we think about who we compete with, we compete with Apple,” said Stuart Lombard, founder and CEO of Toronto-based ecobee.”It’s not because Apple makes thermostats — but when a customer puts a product in their home, they’re … comparing it to the iPhone.”

For the rest of the story:…/toronto-ecobee-apple-of-smart-th…/

For the ecobee4 with voice activation built-in with Alexa, visit


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New Refrigerant Rules from the EPA

Section 608 of the Clean Air Act: Stationary Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
The EPA has released new rules concerning refrigerants. An update to Section 608 Refrigerant Certification Program and the second was a new rule on the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program has been implemented. Here’s what contractors and your technicians need to do to remain in compliance.
Or, read it all here:
Importance of Protecting the Ozone Layer
The stratospheric ozone layer shields the Earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation. Emissions of certain synthetic chemicals – including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) – that are commonly used as refrigerants, solvents, and insulating foams destroy the ozone layer and have created an “ozone hole” over the South Pole.
In addition, many of these ozone-depleting substances (ODS), as well as their substitutes, are greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The purpose of this fact sheet is to help you understand requirements under the National Recycling and Emission Reduction Program.
National Recycling and Emission Reduction Program
The Clean Air Act (CAA) defines EPA’s responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation’s air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer. Section 608 establishes the National Recycling and Emission Reduction Program.

The purpose of this program is to:

  • Prohibit the release of CFCs, HCFCs, their blends, and substitute refrigerants during service, maintenance and repairs, and at end of life.
  • Reduce the use and emission of CFCs and HCFCs.
  • Maximize the recapture and recycling of CFCs and HCFCs.
  • Ensure the safe disposal of CFCs, HCFCs, and their blends.

Prohibition on Venting
Section 608 prohibits individuals  from intentionally venting ODS refrigerants (including CFCs and HCFCs) and their substitutes (such as HFCs), while maintaining, servicing, repairing, or disposing of airconditioning or refrigeration equipment.

Phaseout of HCFCs
Through the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the U.S. has committed to a collaborative international effort to end use of ozone-depleting
substances. The U.S. phased out CFCs and halons in the mid 1990s. EPA is currently in the process of reducing HCFC production and import.

The schedule to phase out HCFCs follows:
January 1, 2010
Banned production, import, and use of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b, except for continuing servicing needs of existing equipment, achieving 75% of reduction goal.

January 1, 2015
Ban on production, import, and use of all HCFCs, except for continuing servicing needs of refrigeration equipment, achieving 90% of reduction goal.

January 1, 2020
No production or imports of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b, achieving 99.5% of reduction goal.
January 1, 2030 Ban on remaining production and import of HCFCs, resulting in complete HCFC phase out.

EPA performs random inspections, responds to tips, and pursues potential cases against
violators of the Section 608 regulations. EPA is authorized to assess fines of up to $37,500
per day for any violation of these regulations.

WHVACR Conference Coverage by ACHR TheNEWS

WHVACR Celebrates Past, Future Legacies at First Stand-alone Conference

Jackson Systems is a proud sponsor of WHVACR.

As the old saying goes, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” This was certainly the case during Women in HVACR’s (WHVACR’s) 14th annual — and first stand-alone — conference, which was held in Fort Worth, Texas, at Tarrant County College Center of Excellence in Energy Technology (TCC).

“This is a milestone event for us,” said Mary Jo Gentry, vice president of WHVACR and marketing communications manager, Yellow Jacket Products, Ritchie Engineering Co. Inc. “This is our 14th annual conference, and, typically, we average 40 to 50 women in attendance. At this first stand-alone conference, we have 120 attendees. Now, 60 of them are from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, so we attribute some of it to the locality. But, we are very proud of the fact we have more than doubled the size of our attendance.”

Not only is WHVACR growing in event attendance, membership is also growing with more than 500 members, Gentry noted. Even the organization’s scholarship program, which started with one annual scholarship, expanded to award three $2,000 scholarships this past year. The winners were Monica Urquides, Antioch, California; Samantha Hacker, Middle River, Maryland; and Karin Dahlin, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Read the rest of the story here:

Learn more about WHVACR at


Service Technicians: The Superheroes of HVAC

As we start the first work week of the New Year, much of the country finds itself in a deep freeze. Today, our immediate concern is for the service techs who are making repairs, in-out-under-around the house in the freezing temperatures. It will be important for technicians to pay closer attention to changes they experience with their bodies while working outside in the extremely cold temperatures.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following essential safety tips when working in extremely cold conditions:

  • Wear layers of loose clothing and avoid tight clothing, as it can restrict blood circulation.
  • Ensure the ears, face, hands and feet are properly covered.
  • Wear waterproof and insulated boots.
  • Take frequent break and move into warm locations during them. If working in remote areas with no access to heat, use air-activated heat packs to provide warmth for your hands and feet.
  • Include a thermometer and chemical hot packs in your first aid kit.
  • Most importantly, workers should watch out for one another. Monitor your physical condition as well as that of your co-workers.

Preparation and prevention is the key to avoiding cold-related injuries. Thank you service techs and be safe!

For more information on the symptoms of cold weather stress including hypothermia and frostbite and what to do if you experience it, visit

Jackson Systems Best Products of 2017

2017 brought the contractor many innovations and upgrades in controls especially in zoning, Wi-Fi thermostats, home automation and specialty controls. Here’s some of our top picks for 2017 based on our own experiences, sales, and feedback from our customers:




iO’s zone control systems, with built in ESP static pressure control, eliminate the need for a bypass damper. iO’s zoning is the most contractor-friendly zoning available today! Zone ESP systems are available in many panel configurations and operate all sizes of motorized dampers for residential and commercial applications.


6-Zone Universal Zone Control Panel:

The iO-ZP6 with ESP is a 6 zone, two-position forced air zone control panel that can be expanded to as many as 12 zones. The panel can be used with single-stage, multi-stage, heat pump or dual fuel equipment with up to 4 stages of heating and 2 stages of cooling.  This panel also comes with built-in Zone ESP, eliminating the need for a bypass damper.


Carrier, Bryant, Trane, and American Standard Replacement Dampers:

While not new, they still remain a contractor favorite. Why? Because we offer the widest selection of motorized dampers that are compatible with the Carrier Infinity®, Bryant Evolution®, Trane® ComfortLink II™ and American Standard AccuLink® zone control systems and they’re in stock…always! Order today; ships today…that’s our goal.

Carrier, Bryant, Trane and American Standard Compatible Zone Dampers in stock.



Wi-Fi Thermostats


This newest model of ecobee Wi-Fi thermostat provides built-in Amazon Alexa voice service so you can ask your smart thermostat to set a timer, read the news, even set the temperature using your voice. It also comes with one wireless room sensor. Users can control the room temperature and settings from the thermostat or anywhere the wireless sensor may be placed with an Android, or iOS device, including Apple Watch. (You can actually add a total of 32 for averaging for individual sensor control.)

Free ecobee training


White-Rodgers Sensi Touch:

JD Power gave the Sensi Touch a ‘Highest in Customer Satisfaction’ award with smart thermostats and so do we! The high-definition color touchscreen display features easy-to-read temperatures and intuitive menus. Smart alerts notify homeowners of extreme temperature or humidity levels. Compatible with smart home platforms Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Wink. Free logo/phone number imprinting is available on the Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak Detector exclusively from Jackson Systems.

This White-Rodgers favorite is available from Jackson Systems



The Nest E offers ​a​ ​friendlier,​ ​streamlined design​ ​that​ ​fits​ ​into​ ​any​ ​home. Instead​ ​of​ ​a​ ​bold​ ​design​ ​piece​ ​for​ ​your​ ​wall,​ ​the​ ​Nest​ ​Thermostat​ ​E​ ​and​ ​its​ ​frosted​ ​display quietly​ ​blend​ ​in.​ ​This​ ​new​ ​display​ ​diffuses​ ​the​ ​light​ ​from​ ​the​ ​screen,​ ​so​ ​you​ ​see softly​ ​glowing​ ​text​ ​and​ ​graphics​ ​–​ ​along​ ​with​ ​a​ ​simplified​ ​interface​ ​–​ ​that​ ​are​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​read.​ ​And when​ ​it’s​ ​off,​ ​the​ ​frosted​ ​display​ ​takes​ ​on​ ​a​ ​glacier-gray​ ​color​ ​and​ ​fades​ ​into​ ​the​ ​background. Like the original Nest Learning Thermostat, it turns itself down when you’re away, so homeowners don’t waste energy heating or cooling an empty home, and knows when to turn itself back up when your come home. Control it from anywhere with the Nest app.

New Nest Thermostat E


PC Mag gives the Lux KONO a 4 out 5 rating and so do we! The Lux KONO is smart, sophisticated and full of design details with the contractor in mind: like push terminals, an easy knob interface and a Pro-installed five year standard warranty. With the customer in mind, the Lux Kono offers the best at-a-distance display. Works alone or sync with Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit.



Home Automation

Lyric C2 Wi-Fi Security Camera:

Honeywell has released the Lyric C2 Wi-Fi Security Camera to further expand the ability to monitor and automate a home from afar. Pair with the Lyric app to access live streaming for recorded events that will alert when something is seen or analyzed like a smoke/CO detector going off or even a baby crying, giving peace of mind to homeowners. The Lyric C2 integrates with GoogleHome and are HomeKit. Also pretty great is the easy to install, lower cost Lyric C1 Indoor Camera.


Nest Secure, Nest Tag & Nest Detect:

For TIME magazine’s annual ranked list of the ‘best inventions of the year’, they evaluate thousands of newly released products from all around the world. This year, the new Nest Secure made the list…and we agree that it’s something special! With the Nest Secure, doors can be unlocked by waving a key fob at it instead of using a key or typing a pass code. Smart features have been programmed into the fob so that they will work within certain time frames on some days and not on others. For example, if a babysitter or dog walker needs access to the home for the time they work there, say Monday through Friday 3:00 to 6:00 pm, Nest Secure can be programmed to allow their access for those limited hours. Nest Tag key fob and Nest Detect window and door sensor makes your access to coming and going easier, but makes it difficult for intruders to gain entry.


Lyric Wi-Fi Water and Freeze Leak Detector:

The Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak Detector keeps your customers connected to the water heater or other vulnerable home systems to help protect against leaks and water damage. The easily installed, connected device alerts homeowners to water leaks before they become costly problems. Use with Lyric app for immediate notifications on smart devices. Free logo/phone number imprinting is available on the Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak Detector exclusively from Jackson Systems.

Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor:

Improvement to indoor air quality (IAQ) is increasingly in demand by home and building owners, challenging HVAC professionals to provide solutions. Meet Footbot, the Indoor Air Quality Monitor. Footbot is been designed to work with the heating and cooling system to improve indoor air. It monitors the air in a home and communicates to the HVAC system’s air cleaner or dehumidifier to clean it when it detects combustible gases, CO, VOCs or allergen-triggering particles. When Foobot senses a danger, the app responds by sending you a message with the data in red. Quality air readings are in blue. This way, you can immediately distinguish whether or not there is a problem that needs attention. Foobot works with Alexa, Nest, Ecobee, Lux and IFTTT to provide automatic reactions to bad air readings.


Specialty Controls

iO Wireless Relay Kit:

Missing or broken wires? The iO Wireless Relay Kit is a contractor-friendly, quick, and easy solution for those HVAC projects where you need to wirelessly control some home systems. The Wireless Relay Kit can control or monitor heating and/or cooling equipment, condensing units, fan and pumps, lighting or other industrial equipment. The iO Wireless Relay Kit can energize a relay up to 100′  (depending on the construction of the building). And, a limitless number of Wireless Relay Kits can be installed in the same building. The base module has 3 transmitting channels and 1 receiving channel. The satellite module has 3 receiving channels and 1 transmitting channel. Each transceiver module uses a redundant transmission protocol for fail-safe protection.

Web Comfort Energy Management System:

Energy costs are second only to payroll as the leading costs to most businesses. As a result, they’ve been challenged to find ways to improve their energy efficiency and achieve costs savings while maintaining comfort and uninterrupted, smooth operations. Web Comfort is that solution! Web Comfort manages schedules, alerts and demand response across multiple premises. Its software communicates via the Web Comfort Energy Manager to lighting controllers, motion sensors, thermostats, fans, meters and plugs using a secure wireless communications network. Web Comfort’s Portfolio Manager is a hosted software solution for managing the temperature, lighting and energy consumption of multi-site facilities…controlled by the internet. The Web Comfort Energy Manager constantly receives input to make adjustments to lighting, HVAC, fans, networked PCs and plug devices in real time…minimizing energy waste.



iO Titan Universal Thermostat:

The iO Titan is a programmable, universal, low-cost touchscreen thermostat. High operating temperature makes it ideal for hot yoga rooms. The Titan can be battery powered or hardwired which makes it ideally suited for use in residential and light commercial application. FREE IMPRINTING of logo and phone number is included.

Universal, programmable, touchscreen thermostat with free logo imprinting


Honeywell T4 Pro Thermostats:

Honeywell’s T4 series Pro Thermostats are setting the new standard for simple! The T4 Pro non-connected thermostat features on-screen menus that are familiar to the installer.  The T4 Pro replaces 8 legacy FocusPRO® & PRO Series thermostats. When your customer is ready to upgrade, the non Wi-Fi connected T4 Pro can easily be replaced with a Lyric Wi-Fi thermostat because the mounting system is the same for both versions. Includes flexible programming options and filter change reminders. Free logo/phone number imprinting is available on T4s…only from Jackson Systems!

Non-connected new T-series thermostat from Honeywell

APC In-duct Smoke Detector and Duct Mounted CO Detector:

The APC Duct Mounted Smoke and CO Monitor detects harmful levels of smoke and/or CO and shuts down air handling systems, preventing further spread of danger and alerting building maintenance of the problem. APC’s patented CO sensor is pre-set to trigger shut down at concentrations deemed hazardous by OSHA and NFPA. The kit includes the detector, our brand new FAST Tube Sectional Sampling Tubes and a MSR-50CO Remote Accessory programmed with temporal 4 sound and LED strobe, as well as all mounting hardware.


FilterFetch, Furnace Filter Delivery Program for Contractors

Our Final “Best Of 2017” has to be FilterFetch!
While not introduced in 2017, the program grew tremendously with 800+ contractors signing up to become dealers. “If our contractor and OEM clients need something special or unique, we have the team in place that can provide it,” says Tom Jackson. “FilterFetch enables contractors to sell filters without having to physically inventory them.” Filter Fetch is a web-based app that enables contractors to sell filters. The filters are then delivered directly to the homeowner. This year, we added an app to help technicians easily sign customers up for the service and manage filter product selections, deliveries, orders and renewals.


Jackson Systems strives to provide the most innovative, contractor-friendly products at all times…but, 2017 really brought it!  With the growing trend of IoT (Internet of Things) in our industry, we are really looking forward to supplying even more great products in the coming year.

Happy New Year and thank you for your continued interest in our products and services.


*Ranked by Jackson Systems twirls. Best possible:   

Sources: Zoning, ZoneESP, Zoning ESP video,  6-Zone Universal Zone Control Panel, Zoning basics video, iO-ZP6, Carrier Infinity® Replacement Dampers, Bryant Evolution® Replacement Dampers, Trane ComfortLink II™  Replacement Dampers, and American Standard AccuLink Replacement Dampers. Wi-Fi Thermostats, eobee4, ecobee training video, White-Rodgers Sensi Touch, NestE, Nest training video, Lux KONO, Lux training video, Home Automation, Lyric C2 Wi-Fi Security Camera, Lyric C1 Indoor Camera, Nest Secure, Nest Tag, Nest Detect, Lyric Wi-Fi Water and Freeze Leak Detector, Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor, Specialty Controls, iO Wireless Relay Kit, Web Comfort Energy Management System, iO Titan Universal Thermostat, Honeywell T4 Pro Thermostats, Imprinting Services, Imprinting Video, APC In-duct Smoke Detector and Duct Mounted CO Detector, Web Comfort, Web Comfort videoFilterFetch, FilterFetch training video, FilterFetch contractor video

PC Mag Reviews the Lux KONO Smart Thermostat

December 27, 2017

One of PC Magazine’s Editors, John R. Delaney, recently reviewed the Lux KONO WiFi Thermostat, giving it a rating of 4 out of 5. Here’s why he rated it “EXCELLENT”:

When we reviewed the Lux Geo smart thermostat last year, we gave it high marks for style, ease of installation, and intelligent scheduling features, but wished it worked with other smart home devices. The Kono ($149.99) represents the company’s next generation of smart thermostats, and like its predecessor it’s stylish, easy to install, and offers the same handy scheduling options. It also offers support for Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri voice commands, and uses geofencing to adjust your home’s temperature based on your location. That said, it doesn’t work with other smart home devices and doesn’t offer remote room sensing like our Editors’ Choice for smart thermostats, the pricier Ecobee4.

Design and Features

The Kono thermostat works with most conventional two-stage heat/one-stage cooling systems, as well as most heat pump systems with two-stage heat/one-stage cooling and auxiliary heat. It supports gas and oil furnaces as well as electric furnaces.

At 4.5 by 4.5 by 1.0 inches (HWD), the Kono is roughly the same size and shape as the Ecobee4. It uses a removable faceplate and can be ordered in one of five shades including Midnight Black, Deep Blue, Hibiscus Red, Sea Green, and True White, or you can order a paint-it-yourself faceplate. If you decide to repaint the room, don’t worry: You can order additional faceplates for $10 each (the paintable faceplates go for $15).

The front of the thermostat contains a brushed aluminum knob for raising and lowering the temperature, navigating menus, and selecting settings, and a 1.7-by-1.7-inch white backlit LED that shows the current temperature, the set temperature, the heating/cooling mode, and the fan mode. Press the knob to activate the menu system with buttons for System mode (turn the system on and off and set it to Heat, Cool, or Auto) and Fan mode (On, Off, Auto, IAQ). IAQ mode allows the fan to periodically run to circulate fresh air even if the system is not operating in heating or cooling mode. The Calendar button lets you adhere to a heating/cooling schedule (created in the app) or hold at a constant temperature for a set period of time. The Gear button opens the installation screen, and the Wi-Fi button lets you configure network settings.

The Kono uses the same Android and iOS mobile app as the Lux Geo and can also be controlled via a web console. The main screen displays the name of your home and all installed thermostats. It also has a Set Away button that puts the thermostat into Away mode to help conserve energy, and a Radius button that lets you configure a geofence perimeter that will automatically put the Kono in Away mode when you leave and Home mode when you return. Tapping the thermostat name takes you to the main screen, which displays the current room temperature and the target temperature. It also displays the outdoor temperature, but lacks the detailed extended weather forecast you get with the Ecobee 4 and Honeywell Lyric thermostats.

Near the bottom of the screen are buttons for Mode, Fan, and Hold (which bypasses the schedule to maintain your current temperature). Below those are four more buttons. Schedule allows you to set up a heating and cooling schedule based on your typical weekly activities. For example, you can create a fixed schedule for all days of the week, or create one with different temperatures and times for each day or just the weekends. The app offers a handy heating preference efficiency guide that shows you how much more it will cost you percentage-wise if you set your temperature to, say, 74 degrees versus 68 degrees. Once you choose a preference, you can use the sliders to set times for the heat to come on and go off depending on who will be home.

The Offers button lets you know of any rebate programs in your area and helps you enroll. The Runtime button opens a screen that displays a chart with heating and cooling temperatures by the hour, but it doesn’t provide the granularity that you get with the Ecobee 4, which shows you the outside temperature and the average humidity during heating/cooling periods. The Settings button lets you set an Away mode temperature, recreate a schedule, and rename the thermostat.

The Kono supports Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri voice commands, but actions are limited to raising and lowering the set temperature. You can’t turn the thermostat on and off or ask it for the current room temperature. Missing is support for IFTTT applets that let you configure mini programs to have the thermostat react to other IFTTT-enabled devices such as fans, lights, smart switches, and motion sensors. However, you can use Apple’s HomeKit platform to change temperature settings using Scenes to raise or lower the temperature and change the system mode.

Installation and Performance

The Kono is relatively easy to install, but if you’re not familiar or comfortable with low-voltage electrical wiring, you may want to have it done professionally. It uses a C (common) wire, but as with the Ecobee 4, it comes with an adapter for systems that do not have a C wire.

Before installing the Kono, I downloaded the mobile app and took a picture of my existing wiring prior to removing my old thermostat. Since I have a basic two-zone heating system, I connected my wires to the Common, W1, and R terminals on the mounting plate and snapped the thermostat into place. It immediately powered up and prompted me to select my system type (F for furnace or boiler, HP for Heat Pump) and fan type (gas, electric, boiler). Next, the screen prompted me to select an OS (Android or iOS) and open the mobile app to search for the device. My Kono was discovered immediately and required a few seconds to be added to my Wi-Fi network. I removed the cover and scanned the HomeKit code when prompted, and waited another couple of seconds for the thermostat to come online. I gave it a name and setup was complete.

The Kono performed wonderfully in my tests. It reacted quickly to temperature changes made using the app, the web console, and the manual dial, and it followed my schedule to a tee. It also followed my Alexa voice commands to raise and lower the set temperature, and always switched to Away and Home modes whenever I left my set perimeter and returned home.


PROS: Stylish, customizable design. Easy to install. Supports multiple voice platforms. Works with Apple HomeKit. Usage reporting. Geofencing.

CONS: Does not integrate with other smart home devices. Lacks IFTTT support. No external room sensors.

BOTTOM LINE: The Lux Kono Smart is a sharp-looking, HomeKit-enabled thermostat that you can control with a number of voice assistants or with a thoughtfully designed mobile app.

The Lux Kono is a reasonably priced smart thermostat you can customize to fit your home decor. It’s relatively easy to install and offers lots of smart features including Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siti voice control, geofencing, and smart scheduling based on your family’s lifestyle. But although it provides runtime usage reports, they lack certain details that can affect your heating and cooling behavior such as outdoor weather conditions and humidity levels. And while you can control the Kono using HomeKit scenes, you can’t trigger it with other smart devices using IFTTT applets. That said, the Kono performed flawlessly in our tests, and the mobile app and web console make it easy to create schedules, set up geofencing perimeters, and manually adjust the target temperature.

If you have an extra $100 to spend, our Editor’s Choice, the Ecobee 4, is one of the most feature-rich smart thermostats around; it has Alexa voice technology built in and can do everything that an Amazon Echo can, uses remote sensors to maintain a steady temperature throughout your house, and works with plenty of third-party devices via IFTTT. If that’s out of your price range, the Nest Thermostat E is another solid option with extensive third-party support.

For more information or to purchase the Lux KONO, call your Jackson Systems representative at 888-652-9663 or visit us at


Realcomm Interviews Industry Pro, Ken Sinclair from

Great interview by Realcomm with Ken Sinclair from on “The Uberization* of Comfort, Satisfaction and Well being.”

Most notable is the part of the conversation on how the IoT (Internet of Things) crossover is quickly taking over our industry. Says Sinclair about new HVAC internet technologies  , “If we don’t come to understand the new ways of doing stuff, we’ll be useless. We have to retrain ourselves…”

Hear also what Sinclair thinks of our aging workforce and how to bridge the skills gap.

*By “Uberization”, Sinclair means to copy the successful formula of Uber and apply it to our industry.

Web Comfort

Web Comfort Helps Manage, Monitor and Control Energy Usage in Schools

Energy costs are second only to payroll as the leading costs to a school. As a result, schools have been challenged to find ways to improve their energy efficiency and achieve costs savings while maintaining comfort and uninterrupted, smooth operations.


Web Comfort helps control and manage energy usage in schools.

Forward thinking boards members and school facility managers are turning to Web Comfort for better energy management. Web Comfort help schools manage and distribute energy by using the technology to better “monitor and control” energy usage. Web Comfort helps significantly reduce systems that are over used.

Web Comfort is a district wide solution because its portfolio manager directs schedules, alerts and demand response across multiple premises. Its software communicates via the Web Comfort Energy Manager to lighting controllers, motion sensors, thermostats, fans, meters and plugs using a secure wireless communications network. Web Comfort’s Portfolio Manager is a hosted software solution for managing the temperature, lighting and energy consumption of multi-site facilities…controlled by the internet.

The Web Comfort Energy Manager constantly receives input to make adjustments to lighting, HVAC, fans, networked PCs and plug devices in real time…minimizing energy waste.

Other features include:

  • Data storage retains all system events for over one year. Event data can be analyzed to optimize energy usage and savings.
  • Easy to install and configure; Web Comfort Wirelessly Communicating Thermostat control the communications.
  • The Web Comfort Energy Management System wirelessly controls up to 400 devices.
  • Optional connectivity to Modbus® and BACnet®
  • Secure wireless 2.4GHz ZigBee® communications with other networked devices
  • Graphical views of real-time and historical energy usage provide comprehensive and actionable information to users.
  • Scalable to manage a single building or an entire campus
  • Web Comfort products operate independently or as an integrated solution.
  • Made in the USA (ARRA Compliant)

It’s expensive to power a school especially when HVAC, lighting, appliances, computers and many more plugged in devices are on for more than 12 hours per day, if not all of the time. In fact, the EPA reports that schools “spend approximately $205 per student per month on gas and electricity used to run it.” But for a learning environment to be successful, these energy demands are necessary. The solution may simply be to have better control using a wireless, comprehensive, cost effective system to improve, control, manage and report on the energy usage in schools. Web Comfort is that solution!

To learn more about Web Comfort, view the videos at