Back in 2009, when living in a house with a ducted reverse cycle air-conditioning, Heatermate’s founder, Dr Michael Bazylenko (PhD, Elec Eng), discovered with frustration that, while the ducted reverse cycle air-conditioning may be useful to heat up the common areas of the house, energy-wise it didn’t make sense to run it overnight just to heat up the bedrooms. Furthermore, the central air-conditioning, with its thermostat being located in the common area, offered no way of individual bedroom temperature control.
A portable electric heater was a good, cost effective way to keep the bedrooms warm during the night, but the problem was that the heater thermostat was incapable of maintaining a stable room temperature. Located on the heater, the heater thermostat was responding to the temperature of the heater and not the temperature of the room and, therefore, required a constant manual adjustment day to day and hour by hour to avoid overheating/underheating as the external conditions changed.
As a possible solution to this “constant heater supervision” dilemma, Michael decided to try to connect the heater to the power-point via a separate electronic thermostat, which could then read the true room temperature and be programmed to maintain the desired set point.
Quite sure that such device must already be commercially available, Michael went to the local Dick Smith Electronics store with the intention to buy one. To his surprise he later discovered that such device did not exist anywhere in Australia. Determined to implement his idea, Michael bought a standard electronic thermostat, a double adapter and built the first prototype himself (shown below).
He used this prototype in this house for almost a year, which solved all the problems with the bedroom temperature uncertainty and overheating, before deciding to develop the idea commercially.
Following completion of the new product qualification and electrical safety testing, the Plug-in Temperature Controller, HeaterMate, became commercially available in July 2012 and have since helped thousands in Australia and New Zealand to cut their power bills.