Go Green with CoolOff for iOS and Save Money

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CoolOff Monitors Temperatures

So I got a request to review this app called CoolOff.  At first I thought somebody had figured out a way to turn my iPhone into a fan or an air conditioner but alas no such luck.  What the CoolOff app does is totally different.  It monitors air temperature and tells you when it’s a good time to turn off your air conditioning. Yep that’s pretty much it.  But in all honesty it could be helpful.  But before we get to what it does let’s talk about what it looks like.  It should be noted that for purposes of this review I’ll be using the premium paid version of this app. The developer says the main differences between paid and unpaid is that there are no ads and it allows users to schedule automatic daily monitoring. You can choose which days to have the app run automatically and send you notifications. It eliminates most of the user interaction with the app if you go premium.

User Interface

After loading the app for the first time you tell it the location you are going to monitor. The CoolOff app then connects with whatever weather service it uses to monitor the outside air temperature for that area. You also tell it what times you want to monitor it for and what days as well.  You also create have to create an account. The main screen shows your name, the date, the current time, the area being monitored, the desired temperature, times and dates being monitored and if the system is currently monitoring or not. At the bottom of the screen are two green buttons. One to toggle monitoring on and off and one to view detailed status screen. There is a menu icon on the top left that opens up a menu where users can configure the app, check their subscription, and other items related to the apps operation.  Users can also logout here as well and change passwords.

Functionality and Usefulness

Okay so here’s where the opinions may vary. I say functionality-wise this app is great. It works, it does what it says it does, and it doesn’t crash. At leasts it never did when I was using it. However as far as usefulness I guess that would be relative to your situation, your personality, and your personal views on being green. For starters an app that tells you when it’s cool enough to turn off your air conditioner seems like something similar to bottle air. Sure you could buy some but do you really need it? It there really need for this app or is it “bottled air”?  If you’re at home and you’re monitoring the air temps outside of your home then probably not. You could simply open a window or walk outside and know what the temperature is.  Hell if you really wanted you could use any number of weather apps to tell you the temperature as well. On the other hand lets say you are at work, you own an internet connected thermostat and you want to know if it’s a good time to turn off your a/c? If you aren’t thinking about it you probably wouldn’t and you would come home to a cold house that was cooling off all day, spending your money.   However if the CoolOff app sends you a notification that it’s time to turn off your a/c then you can take that info, log into your thermostats app, and turn if off. You’ll be greener and save yourself a few bucks. So in that case it might be helpful.  However after some thought I also thought about the fact the most thermostats have some way to temperature regulation and are usually setup to turn the air on or off based on how hot or cold it is inside the home. Also most internet connected thermostats have ways of saving money and carbon emissions all on their own.  That is why they are called “smart thermostats” usually.  So I ask again is this app really needed?

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Overall Opinion

I like the apps functionality and I love the idea of being greener and saving money.  So on that note I say go get this app and try it out. If you have a desire to save money and go green I highly recommend it. However if you don’t give a damn about those things then this app might not be for you. If you think it’s silly to have an app that monitors the outside temperature then look elsewhere. If you have a thermostat that already does its best to save money then it might not be necessary.

As for the $1.99 permium service. Far be it from me to prevent companies from making money but I don’t see many people paying $1.99 a month for that. But that’s just my opinion. You should go check out the app and form your own. You can get it at the link down below!

 

UPDATE: After posting this review the developer read it and sent me an email clarifying a few things I may have had wrong about his app. Seeing as how he was kind enough to send the information to me I felt it was my duty to post it here for you guys to check out. So here are the finer points of the information he sent me:  Thank you for the comprehensive review. We believe some of your conclusions were based off of inaccurate information that we should have provided, prior to your review. We would like to take the opportunity to clarify some key points and provide additional information, in hopes you will consider revising your review.

  1. You mentioned when users have to turn off their A/C, they might be a little uncomfortable because of warmer temperatures in the summer. Cool Off only gives the notification to turn off their A/C when the outdoor temperature reaches the user’s desired temperature and will get cooler for the remainder of the day. This allows users not to sacrifice on comfort. Cool Off is most effective for users that have a whole house fan because it pulls in massive amounts of outdoor air into the home and vents the existing air through the attic. Although Cool Off can still be used by users that don’t have a whole house fan, it works best with homes that have one. If you would like to learn more about whole house fans, please check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8BAfAMrft4.
  2. You mentioned that users can save a little bit of money by using Cool Off but as QuietCool states, users can save 50-90% off their A/C usage, which can add up to be a considerable amount of savings.
  3. You mentioned there are smart thermostats that can monitor the outdoor weather that makes Cool Off unnecessary. There is no thermostat that monitors the outdoor weather the way Cool Off does. The smart thermostats can check the current outdoor temperature but they don’t factor in forecasted weather. This is an important point because the weather fluctuates throughout the day and at certain times it might be cool but it can get warmer. Users/thermostats would need to keep turning on/off their A/C and opening/closing windows, which would be ineffective and counter-productive. Cool Off uses a patent pending weather monitoring algorithm that uses forecasted weather to ensure when the notification is given to turn off A/C, it will only get cooler for the remainder of the day.
  4. The reason we are unable to offer users a one time purchase instead of a monthly subscription is because Cool Off uses weather data from Weather Underground and they charge a monthly fee based on how many times we check the weather data; Cool Off checks the users’ weather data frequently. Also, Cool Off uses dedicated servers that houses the monitoring logic and account information.

So there you have it folks.  Now you have even more information about the CoolOff App! It’s up to you whether you feel it’s worth it to go out and get it for your iOS device! Until next time! See ya!

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