Roadrunner Comfort Cooler Controller

$249.00

Roadrunner Comfort Controller with remote sensor and wall plate. Ships within 1-2 days. 

SKU: 001
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Description

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The most convenient, comfortable, healthy way to cool your home using your existing swamp cooler.

Thanks to Active Temperature Control™, your existing swamp cooler will breathe new life into your home, blowing in air at the temperature you select. Instead of switching cold air on and off, the Roadrunner Comfort uses a remote temperature sensor to monitor the incoming air temperature, and controls the amount of water that the swamp cooler puts on the pads, thereby controlling the blown air temperature. This means that instead of over-chilling anyone sitting near the air vent while under-cooling anyone much further away, those within your home will enjoy a much more consistent, and more accurately controlled, indoor air temperature.

The remote temperature sensor clips to your cooler’s air vent. If your home has ductwork and multiple vents, it can be clipped to any vent within about 30 feet of the controller. The sensor is powered by a battery whose lifetime exceeds five years, so replacing the battery will be  an infrequent need. The spring-loaded clip and sensor electronics are designed to last a lifetime, like the controller itself.

The Roadrunner Comfort comes with either a single or double-wide wall plate, making it compatible with virtually all existing swamp cooler controller installations.  (Some newer coolers use a low-voltage controller and put more electronics in the cooler itself; these systems use low-voltage wiring to the thermostat which may not be immediately compatible with the Roadrunner Comfort. If you have one of these systems, you may need the help of an electrician for installation.)

Features

The Roadrunner Comfort uses a sensor clipped to your air vent to measure the incoming air temperature. It uses that measurement to vary the pump operation and control the wetness of the cooling pads. By doing this it can achieve a near-constant temperature on the incoming air, mostly within +/- 1 degree Fahrenheit. The Roadrunner Comfort is the ONLY evaporative cooler controller with Active Temperature Control™.

More about Active Temperature Control™

For those times when you just need as much cooling as possible, MAXCOOL runs your swamp cooler on its coldest setting, pump and fan running continuously. It’s great for when you come home from vacation and are turning your cooling back down to its normal temperature. MAXCOOL will get your home cooled as quickly as is physically possible.

the MaxCool button is found on the OFF screen, along with AUTO, Manual and Option.

In MAXCOOL mode, the pump and fan run continuously. Once you’ve reached a comfortable temperature, you can turn OFF MAXCOOL and return to normal AUTOmatic operation, enjoying air at your Set Temperature.

Remember, in AUTO operation your cooler will blow air at your Set Temperature, while in MAXCOOL it will blow just as cold as it can, which can be much colder than your set temperature.

Thoughtful use of color and simple controls makes using the Roadrunner Comfort a no-brainer. The main operating screen has big buttons for WARMER and COOLER, and an easy-to-read display of the current temperature setting. The ON- and OFF- TIME setting screens have big, easy to use rollers for changing hours, minutes, and AM/PM. The SET CLOCK screen, which you will need to visit if you have no Wifi, uses the same design, but with inertia on the minutes roller so you can give it a swipe and watch it spin on its own.

Sensor battery life expectancy is 5+ years.

  An early low battery warning gives you plenty of time to acquire a replacement so you can enjoy uninterrupted cooling.

Touch control of fan on/off, fan hi/lo, and pump on/off.

Once you’ve connected it to your home Wifi network, the Roadrunner Comfort controller will check every morning between 1 & 5 AM to see if there is an updated version of its software. This means that it will always stay up to date with the latest features and the best possible performance and security.

Made in New Mexico where evaporative cooling is ubiquitous.  Enclosures are 3D printed of compostable PLA plastic, and the electronics are hand-assembled and tested. We do extended life testing and extensive quality testing to make sure that every unit performs as our customers expect and deserve. If there is a problem with your Roadrunner Comfort, we are here for you.

Install & Setup

  • For safety, it’s best to turn off power to your swamp cooler at your home’s breaker panel.
  • Remove the previous controller (if any) by removing mounting screws. Be sure to identify the 5 needed connections: ground (ACN), power (ACL), pump, low fan and high fan.
  • Mount the new single- or double-wide wall plate, making sure that the round holes in the tab are towards the bottom (see drawings). Be sure to feed all wires (NOT those from the new controller) through the central opening in the wall plate, as shown in the photo.
  • Use the wire nuts provided to attach controller wires to the wall wiring. The back side of the Controller has a label showing the wire color code. The orange wire nut is for the ground wire (ACN), which may have more than one wire connection.
  • Attach the power (ACL) wire last. When power is restored from your breaker box, the unit should power up immediately.

Remove the two screws that are partially fastened at the controller bottom.

The controller has tabs (1) at the top that hook onto the wall plate (2).

Engage these first, then swing the controller down into place.

Insert the two screws at the bottom.

When the controller first powers up, it displays this message:

If you do NOT have a home wifi network connected to the internet, select “NO”, and you will be taken to a “Set Clock” screen to set the time of day. This is necessary for proper operation. NOTE: if there is a power failure or you reset the controller, you will again need to set the clock.

If you DO have a wifi internet connection, select “YES”.

Enter your network name, then tap

Password entry works just the same, except only the most recent character entered shows on the screen, for your protection. 

ONLY NEEDED for (unusual) horizontal installations.

Select    or      then

On the Setup screen, select 

In the popup,  select YES to complete the rotation.

 

 

The sensor is designed to clip to a fin on most air vents. It should be located as close as possible to the controller, but should work over a distance of 30 feet or more.

If this clip does NOT attach securely to your air vent, please contact support@roadrunnercontrol.com for alternatives.

When your controller starts up, it will display this message:

Choose YES if you have a Wifi network, and enter your wifi name and password on the subsequent screens. [TIP: use the included stylus to enter text and numbers, it’s easier] When you’re finished, you will be taken to the OFF screen.

This shows what the OFF screen looks like
OFF screen

If you have NO wifi, select NO. The Set Clock screen will appear, and you must set the clock to the correct time of day in order for the Roadrunner Comfort to operate properly. With no wifi, you will have to set the clock again after every power failure.

 

From the OFF screen, select Auto to start cooling, then use Warmer and Cooler to adjust your set temperature. Select Option to set scheduled turn-on and turn-off times.

AUTO Screen

 

Operation

You can program the controller to automatically turn on in the morning and off in the evening, or at any other times. Here’s how:

Select 

select   or   

The TimeON and TimeOFF setting screens use familiar roller-type controls.

To set the time, just swipe up or down on hours, minutes, and AM/PM, then select  .

To disable the TimeON or TimeOFF, just select    or  , and you will be returned to the OPTION screen.

Select    or    to toggle the fan speed between high and low.

Button text indicates the current fan setting, high or low.

For those times when you just need as much cooling as possible, MaxCool runs your swamp cooler on its coldest setting, pump and fan running continuously. It’s great for when you come home from vacation and are turning your cooling back down to its normal temperature. MaxCool will get your home cooled as quickly as is physically possible.

the MaxCool button is found on the OFF screen, along with AUTO, Manual and Option.

In MaxCool mode, the pump and fan run continuously. Once you’ve reached a comfortable temperature, you can turn OFF MaxCool and return to normal AUTOmatic operation, enjoying air at your Set Temperature.

Remember, in AUTO operation your cooler will blow air at your Set Temperature, while in MaxCool it will blow just as cold as it can, which can be much colder than your set temperature.

To control your cooler’s pump and fan separately:

From the OFF screen, select

 

 

Your Roadrunner Comfort controller should have arrived already paired with your sensor, but in case you ever need to re-pair them, here’s how:

          1. Make sure the Sensor is working:
            • Press and hold (for several seconds) the small tab/button on the sensor until an internal blue light flashes. It may take a couple of tries.
            • If the blue light will not flash after several tries, your sensor battery may need replacement. If you replace the battery, be careful about battery polarity, inserting the battery upside down WILL damage the sensor.
          2. If needed, unpair the controller:
  1. Return the controller to AUTO operation. It will scan for the sensor, and a popup will ask for your approval when it has found it. Just select “YES” and you’re done.

Resetting the controller is the first thing to try if there’s a problem. It will NOT erase any of your settings.

The reset button is located on the side of the controller, and appears as shown here.

Just give it a press until you see the screen blank and the controller restart.

2024 Version

General Questions

Active Temperature Control™ maintains the temperature of the air coming out of your cooler by controlling the wetness of the cooling pads. To do this, it samples the temperature of the incoming air, then compares the temperature to your set temperature. It also determines whether the temperature is rising or falling. Based on this information, it may choose to not run the pump at all, or to run it for 1-55 seconds before fetching the next sample 60 seconds later.

Learn more

Normally it reads the temperature once a minute.

While reading the temperature, it displays the message “Reading Temperature Please wait“. When this is showing, it can’t respond to your touch.

When the Set Temperature is changed, it will recheck the temperature within about 5 seconds.

When the controller is OFF, it does not check the temperature.

The display goes black after no touch for several minutes to save power and avoid unwanted illumination.

Any touch will turn the display back ON.

The sensor battery should last at least 5 years.

The controller will display a flashing alert when the battery gets low, and an audible beep once a minute when it is about to die.

The Roadrunner Comfort controller is unconditionally guaranteed for two years from the date of purchase. The 2 year warranty covers any malfunction of the controller or sensor, except damage caused by accident or act of nature.

Absolutely. Components are sourced worldwide, but enclosures are 3D printed and electronics are assembled in Los Ranchos/Albuquerque.

Issues

This is normal operation. Some amount of fan on-off cycling is unavoidable, and the amount will vary.

To avoid nighttime fan cycling, set the “OFF time” to turn the unit off at night, and the “ON time” to turn it on again in the morning.

Why it happens: When the temperature outdoors drops a few degrees below your Set Temperature with the fan ON, the controller will see the air coming in as too cold, and turn off the fan. Then the indoor air warms from residual heat plus any new heat being generated. When the temperature rises above the Set Temperature again the fan restarts. The incoming air is too cold again, and the fan soon turns off again. And so on. The Roadrunner Comfort limits how often it can turn the fan on and off, but the slower this happens, the more the temperature indoors will stray from the Set Temperature.

The Roadrunner Comfort uses your home Wifi network to go online once a day to fetch the time of day, correcting any drift in its internal clock. If you do not have Wifi and internet service, you may lose your clock setting if there is a power failure or when you reset the controller. When this happens, you MUST set the clock in order for AUTO operation to function properly.

Select     or 

Then 

Then 

The Set Clock screen looks like this:

The Roadrunner Comfort contains a powerful computer, and sometimes it just needs a reboot. The Reset (reboot) button is located on the lower right side.

 

Additional information

Warranty

2 year warranty covers any malfunction of the controller or sensor, except damage caused by accident or act of nature.

Shipping

Shipping is free within the US southwest. Please contact us for shipping outside of the continental US.

Requirements

The Roadrunner Comfort works with any swamp cooler that uses 120VAC switching for the pump, low & high fan speeds. Some people refer to this as a "high voltage" controller. Only the newer low voltage controls, which replace the high voltage wiring with low voltage wiring, are not drop-in compatible. However, you can usually have an electrician restore the high voltage wiring if you wish to enjoy the Roadrunner Comfort's exclusive Active Temperature Control (TM).