Digital Touch Controller Explained
What is it?
For 2017, we introduced our new wall mounted Digitial Touch Controller for AirScape whole house fans. It allows for up to 10 speeds on our EMC motor whole house fans as well as a 12 hour timer. The switch is wall mounted and wired to the whole house fan via the provided CAT5 cable. It is compatible with our wireless remote controls which are available as an option. Multiple remotes are still allowed in case you would like to have 2 or more through out the house. Both the Touch Controller and the wireless remotes have the convenient timer function (1-12 hours). Note that the wireless remotes are an add-on and do not replace the wired Touch Controller.
So, beyond its cool technology dashing good looks, what are the benefits of the Digital Touch Controller?
- While three additional speeds might not seem like much, they are a real benefit. In our laboratory, our fans grow progressively louder at each higher speed. But every human being hears sound slightly differently, so, for many homeowners, the quietest real world speed will not actually be the quietest tested speed. Having a wide range of available speeds increases the likelihood our customers will be able to find the setting most pleasant to their own ear.
- Having a wider range of speeds also improves the fans’ useful efficiency. Because of Physics, our fans’ efficiency decreases as their speed (and cooling) increases. By adding more intermediate speed settings, we’ve reduced the size of the "jump" between them, which increases the fans’ efficiency in practice by increasing the opportunities to find enough cooling at a lower speed.
- The new controls will also improve our fans’ reliability. While our fans are already extremely reliable, we must admit extremely reliable is not the same as perfectly reliable. When our fans do fail, one of the more common causes is failure of the control board. A fair bit of electronics is required to control our fans, and attics, generally speaking, are no place for electronics: hot and dusty in the summer, cold and damp in the winter. With the Digital Touch Controls, we’ve move our fans’ most sensitive electronics out of the attic and into the wall, where they are more protected. This will cut down on failures. It will also make them easier to address when they do occur, since a wall switch is, by design, much easier to access than a control box in the attic.
Some things will change.
Most notably, these new controls are NOT compatible with our 2nd Generation Control package and its various accessories, which include our network interface, mobile application, API, Temperature Sensor Package, and SafeSpeed™ pressure interlock. If you’d like to use any of these features, the 2nd Generation Controls and accessories will be made available separately.
How does it work?
Instead of traditional "buttons", the touch controller use capacitive sensors to turn its face plate into a touch pad much like your tablet or smartphone. Simply touch your finger to the correct part of the face plate and, voilà, the fan responds accordingly. We’ve even added two banks of LEDs to display the fan’s current speed setting and the amount of time remaining on the timer.
Here is a quick video showing the touch operation.
Looking for the GEN 2 Controls?
The 2nd Generation Controls we introduced a couple of years ago (smartphone and App controllable) as still available as an option on most of our whole house fans. They are typically listed under the part number "GEN 2 CONTROLS UPGRADE" on each applicable fan purchase pages. They have to be purchased with the fan as to be factory mounted and replace the standard Touch Controller.
Check out more info on the GEN 2 Controls here.