Image source: IO HVAC Controls
In any electrical circuit, a relay acts as a switch to open or close the circuit using an electric current. In the HVAC world, the same principle is applied to operate connected devices such as blower motors, condenser fans, and compressors. HVAC relays simply turn these devices on or off, and most relays need to be wired into the system. Once connected, these switches provide an efficient way to control the required hardware, usually working on 24V. An HVAC relay is often connected to a thermostat. For example, a relay that controls a blower motor will be connected to a thermostat to operate the blower fan. These functions can be simplified and upgraded using an HVAC wireless relay system, which eliminates the need for complex wiring.
A wireless relay can work with multi-stage units and digital thermostats – and comes in handy when a wire is broken. During our online hunt, we came across one brand that is popular for its HVAC wireless relays. iO HVAC Controls is apparently the only provider of these specific devices. Other stores that sell wireless HVAC solutions also include the iO HVAC Controls relays in their catalogs. You can find local and virtual buying options from the company’s distributor locator. There are only 2 wireless relays offered by this company so far – and one of them is already on backorder! All in all, the relays help you wirelessly control various applications based on your building’s construction.
An iO HVAC relay can have two 2-channel or 4-channel transceivers, with each transceiver equipped for fail-safe functionality. You can install these relays to control cooling/heating appliances, fans, pumps, and even industrial equipment, as mentioned below.
HVAC wireless relays
iO-WR-XR WIRELESS RELAY – EXTENDED RANGE
The iO-WR-XR wireless relay operates on 12/24 VAC, VDC and has a frequency of 902-928 MHz using 2 transmitting and 2 receiving channels. Each channel has a contact rating of 10A. The extended working range is ½ mile line of sight – that is how far this relay communicates wirelessly! It is quite useful when wiring is restricted or if your existing wires are damaged. There are (2) two-channel transceivers, each equipped with indicator LEDs. You can also use their push buttons to pair up 2 units for forced data transactions. These transceivers focus on their built-in inactivity circuit to monitor communication losses.
You can install iO-WR-XR relays in your HVAC system to wirelessly manage your heating/cooling equipment, condensing units, industrial equipment, fans, pumps, lighting, etc. The same building can support an unlimited number of relays. The modules are weatherproofed and come with a warranty of one year.
iO-WR WIRELESS RELAY
The iO-WR wireless relay is actually backordered until the brand is ready to restock its inventory. Due to this reason, the relay is temporarily out of stock in various stores. Anticipating an early comeback, you can trust the relay to be a perfect solution for replacing damaged wires. It has a basic communication range of up to 100 feet using a 915 MHz radio frequency. This iO-WR relay kit comes with (2) four-channel transceivers. The base module uses 3 transmitting channels and 1 receiving channel; the satellite module uses 3 receiving channels and 1 transmitting channel. The weatherproofed satellite transceiver has a gasket already in place – ready to use for outdoor purposes. Both the base and satellite modules work on 24VAC and have a contact rating of 1A per channel.
You can use the relay to monitor and control heating/cooling appliances, condensing units, fans, pumps, industrial equipment, as well as lighting. Up to 6 iO-WR relay kits can be added to a building depending on its configuration requirements. The transceivers employ a redundant transmission protocol to ensure fail-safe protection features. This means that in case a valid on/off transmission signal is not received within 60 seconds, the output devices will be switched off. There is also a built-in signal strength indicator on the relay. You will receive a 1-year warranty on the product.
A convenient tool to bridge HVAC gaps
Both the iO-WR-XR and iO-WR help you work around wiring problems and installation differences. For example, if you cannot run a wire over a long distance or are unable to locate the damaged wiring, you can save a lot of time and effort by simply using a wireless relay. Quite often, homeowners encounter drilling issues due to infrastructural challenges.
A wireless relay from iO HVAC Controls eliminates the need for all of this because these devices come ready to go out of the box. You can find all the relevant brochures and tutorials on the brand’s website to guide your installations. As mentioned above, the iO-WR-XR relay has a considerably larger wireless range compared to the iO-WR relay. It easily extends the communication range to reach longer distances and extends the capabilities of the original iO-WR relay.
That said, there are several technical differences in both these relays, which is why you cannot use them interchangeably. They do not replace each other; they just have specific applications and wireless capabilities. Instead of running new thermostat wiring or planning for the relevant upgrades, you can simply install a compatible wireless relay that does the job quickly and easily.
The wireless feature means that you will no longer struggle with insufficient wires or complex installations. Also, since the relays come ready to use out of the box, they make super convenient tools for technicians and professional teams to carry around. This allows them to help clients diagnose potential problems and successfully install their HVAC systems. Another added bonus is that both of these devices have been tested for residential compliance; they adhere to the rules for a Class B digital device to prevent harmful interference within residential installations. Depending on the wireless communication range you want, you can choose a suitable relay from the brand to facilitate both indoor and outdoor applications. An HVAC relay just needs to switch a connected appliance on or off, so a little extra simplicity to go the extra mile is totally worth it!