The Problem

"Water has a unique quality. Water expands when it is heated or when it freezes but cannot be compressed. This rare water quality of expanding at freezing point in a confined space, such as a pipe, will apply enough pressure to burst a steel, copper or plastic pipe".

- FEMA, Emergency Disaster Preparedness Publication

Most residential heating systems in North America and Canada use forced hot water to distribute heat throughout a home. While precautions can be taken to run the plumbing pipes on the inside walls, the very nature of the water heating system requires that pipes must be near the exterior, as heating bodies and radiators are typically installed beneath windows for best heat efficiency.


In a closed-loop heating system, there is no valve that can be cracked partially open for dripping on a cold winter night. Open floor-plan houses which are popular today increase the need for routing plumbing pipes through outside walls, attics or similar locations.


 Another contributing factor is that while heating pipes are generally on exterior walls, thermostats are typically on interior walls.  If there is another heat source in the room where the thermostat is located(electrical heater, wood burning stove), water will not be circulated for many consecutive hours, creating freezing danger.


None of the residential thermostats on today's market offer automatic protection against this type of disaster.   So, we created one.

Common options tried but do not work...

Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55*F.

While this method may work,  it keeps the heat high even when there is no freezing danger, unnecessary increasing heating bills and environmental pollution.

Add antifreeze (glycol) to the heating system water.

While this method also works, it has several drawbacks:

a. The home must have proper, working and approved back flow equipment in order to prevent potable water contamination;

b. If not replaced on a regular basis, antifreeze can break down and cause damage to fittings, valve seals and plumbing components;

c. If not properly pumped and purged, introducing antifreeze in the heating system can cause air bubbles which in turn can obstruct flow.

Wrap electric heat cable around pipes susceptible to freezing.

This method works only when there is access to the vulnerable spots during new construction or house renovation. In finished construction the use of this method is very limited. 


Purchase Wi Fi thermostat with Low Temperature Alert Feature.

Some leading thermostat brands offer emergency alert to your phone if the temperature drops below certain preset threshold. 

This method works if the home owner gets the SMS message on time and reacts immediately. Drawbacks:

 a. Wi Fi system must be operational in the affected house at the time of weather disaster;

 b. Thermostat doesn't operate automatically. Homeowner's physical presence or distant intervention with thermostat setting knowledge is required.