Automating my HVAC—suggestions needed for Ecobee automations

Thanks all for the suggestions. @yvesracine, your code is brilliant and I truly appreciate the time and energy you have spent to develop such a flexible framework. I don’t regret at all paying you for your work.

That said, I’ve switched to using Ecobee Suite per @Ryan780’s recommendation after reviewing the functionality and, frankly, the ease of use. I now think I have my HVAC automating as I’d hoped! It was as simple as setting my preferred comfort setting in the Ecobee app, and then using Smart Mode Helper to switch the heat when the outside temp reaches a low temp threshold and switch to cool when it reaches a high temp threshold.

I will certainly hold on to @yvesracine’s code in case Ecobee Suite ends up falling short in the long run.

Cheers to all!

4 Likes

Don’t thank me…thank @storageanarchy. That thing rocks!

3 Likes

FWIW, you can use those same Pistons with Ecobee Suite, but you don’t need to. The Ecobee Suite includes several Helper SmartApps that do what your Pistons do, and more. For those that aren’t into writing code/logic/pistons, the Helpers make for a simpler deployment, since everything is configured and managed using Ecobee Suite Manager.

If that ever happens, shoot me a message or post a complaint/request in the Ecobee Suite main thread here: [RELEASE] Updated Ecobee Suite, v1.4.0 (Free) . I’m happy to entertain requests, complaints and even contributions on behalf of the growing community of Ecobee Suite Users.

Thanks!

2 Likes

Sure, you can try other ecobee implementation, but the way my ecobee ecosystem is built allows you to install only what you need, not more… This is the micro services approach instead of the monolithic approach…

My approach allows more evolutivity & easier maintenance of the smartapps with less impact on the end users…

Good luck, and if you want more advanced functionalities later (ex. alternative cooling, zoned heating/cooling solutions, etc), you can always rely/build upon My resilient ecobee, My Flair and MyNext (for the Nest products) DTHs & ecosystems.

Regards.

1 Like

@storageanarchy I just got an ecobee3 and have been using the stock "ST “marketplace” smart app (found in the “climate control” section called “Humidity alert” to activate my “free standing” dehumidifier via a smart plug when ecobee humidity levels reach a certain point and turn off at another point. It has worked just fine. does your DTH have the same capability to be able to control my free standing dehumidifier? Also, I am wondering… can I Install your FREE smart suite also (along side my current solution?). If I install yours, does it totally replace / take the place of the stock ecobee ST integration or can it run parallel? I am also confused about loading your app. is it just a single app that gives max ecobee control, or is it many? I ask because as I read I thought that you said something like “you need to load the main device and then many smaller apps also”. Do you have a list of the (practically applied and other) features that your solution provides? Additionally, I don’t usually update DTHs much after initial installation. I realize that yours is a constantly refined DTH but do you feel that it is “mature” enough now so I could install it and not have to worry much about updating it later? Do you have a step by step installation guide for it… or can you help me with one? I realize that I have asked for a lot but am still hoping you will be able to help me out. PS. Does your ecobee controller have a function where I can activate a smart plug when either the heating or cooling turns on and then switch it off when heating or cooling turns off (or maybe a timed switch off of the plug after Heat or Cool turns off). Do you have any screen shots of the DTH you can post?

All great questions; I suggest you start with the README found here:

Almost all of your questions are answered in the README document, including detailed feature lists, step-by-step installation instructions, screen shots and tips & tricks for using the SmartApps.

Then follow the activity here:

As to your specific questions?

  • Yes, it is stable, but under continuous improvement. You can stop anywhere, and choose to get updates as you wish.
  • Yes, you can use the Humidity Alert SmartApp to control your dehumidifier based on the thermostat’s humidistat. That app’s existence influenced me NOT to make another redundant Helper for that functionality.
  • Yes, the Suite contains a Helper SmartApp that will turn on/off switches/dimmers based on Operating State changes in the thermostat(s). And a whole lot more…
  • If you use the SmartThings IDE integration with Github, it’s really easy to keep up to date when updates are released.
  • You can also use the Community Installer to maintain the latest version:

Thanks for the fast reply. I did discover the read me (obviously) after posting those questions so sorry for redundancy. A few more questions. Do I need to unconnect the basic smartthings DTH from the SThings & ecobee first before installing the suite or can I just have them both running at the same time and / or uninstall SThings DTH after installing your suite? Also, do I need to unconnect the dehum notifier smart app before installing your suite? as far as the smart app installer. if I don’t like it (for whatever reason) is it easily to restore my SThings back to original config?

You should be able to install my Suite alongside your existing ST support, but you should reduce the polling frequency so that you don’t have more that one poll per minute total from the two different apps.

I asked in my prior post… If I don’t like your ecobee suite (for whatever reason) is it easily to (remove &) restore my SThings back to original config? Also, how do I reduce the polling?

I am leery of the smart app installer (mostly because it is BETA and some seem to have issues with it). If I just install your suite via github, I can always retroactively add the app installer and it should not make any difference if I install it before or after I install your suite… correct???

Yes, you can decide later to use the installer. Or not.

If I don’t like your ecobee suite (for whatever reason) is it easily to remove & restore my SThings back to original config? Also, how do I reduce the polling?

The documentation includes instructions on how to uninstall.

As explained in the documentation, you can choose the polling frequncy, from once a minute to every 30 minutes.

Bottom line - try it. If you don’t like it, delete it. You won’t break anything in the process. Hundreds, if not thousands, of ST+Ecobee users use it daily.

Thanks for all of your advice and I greatly appreciate your patience in answering my questions. The way I understood your recommendation to adjust polling (in a response you sent me a few days ago)… I thought you meant that I needed to adjust the polling on the stock ST DTH also. I did not see how to do that explained in your read me. Do I need to adjust the SThings DTH polling as well? If so, how?

Ecobee may rate limit you if you poll too frequently. My experience you can set my Suite to poll every minute without any issues. The SmartThings DTH limits you to every 3 minutes (I think) - if you run BOTH of them at the same time, you may need to reduce the polling frequency (increase the time between polls) for one or both of the DTH’s.

Once you install my DTH, I’m pretty sure you will abandon the ST one. But you have the ability to make the choice, at any time.

I’d advise you to “just do it,” taking care to follow my instructions meticulously. If something doesn’t work exactly right during the install, don’t panic. Simply back out the steps you have done, one by one, in the exact reverse order, then try again. I’ll be around most of today, so PM me if you have any issues…

If you got my last help message please ignore. I solved it via others on your threads. simply removed the “Test at start up” T Stat and Sensor (you might want to put a note in your read me about the solution).

@storageanarchy I am using an android (for what it is worth).

I have some questions, but the most urgent one is how can I get the humidity alert app that I referenced in prior email to you as follows… "have been using the stock “ST “marketplace” smart app (found in the “climate control” section) called “Humidity alert” to activate my “free standing” dehumidifier via a smart plug when ecobee humidity levels reach a certain point and turn off at another point. It has worked just fine.” NOW I can not get it to work with your suite to activate a smart outlet and turn my dehum on when ecobee senses humidity to high or off when it drops. Help!! As I said, it was working perfectly with the stock ST “ecobee connect”. I have completely removed (I think) the stock ecobee controller and (to try to troubleshoot) I (KNOW) that I removed the dehum. smart app and reloaded it (twice) but have gotten no where. You said in a prior message that (after installation) it would stillmeasily work with your suite & not be an issue, but (for whatever reason) I can not get it to. I have also sifted through your suite looking for an alternate “way to skin the cat” as they say, but found none. Help! Your fast reply would be greatly appreciated as it is getting humid in here!

Other various unrelated questions that came up during installation follow…
Under preferences - HOLD… what does “until next program” mean? is it the same as “until next scheduled activity” in the ecobee (proprietary) app?

My TStat is also showing up under “sensors”. I have already chosen it as my TStat. Do I need to choose it as my sensor also? If so, what would be the practical use of having a separate listing of the Thermostat and just the Thermostat (located) sensor?

In >automation > smartapps… what does the arrow button looking icon (on right side of ecobee suite manager app headline) used for? It looks like a youtube "play button " of some kind.

@storageanarchy I Have been trying to figure out my dehumidifier switch issue and am wondering if these Humidity / dehumid set point lines in your “device” have anything to do with the issue. I never set these points so I am wondering where they came from and if they are potentially causing my problem.

The 58% shows up in the app (but I can not change it at all and would like to be able to if it means anything). Also, is there a manual “poll” or refresh button on the interface screen anywhere like on a lot of other device interfaces? I can’t find one. If so, where?

Also, I can get your suite to shut the outlet / switch off BUT NOT ON (when the humidity is to high). Is it possible that you somehow set it up to be able to turn a humidifier on (assuming it would auto off) but left the dehumidify ON function out of your ecobee suite??? ! Help!

@storageanarchy Also, I tried to select a weather source and it would not let me without selecting some rules for an automation. Is there any way to simply select a weather source without having to do an automation? if so, where? I read the read me looking for a way but no luck.

@storageanarchy I just realized… please forgive my ignorance, but I am unsure if I have been PM ing you or not. I am not sure I know how to send a PM on here. I am actually unsure what the @ thing does at the beginning of this message… (is that how you PM… with the @?). If you are so inclined to let me know how to PM you, I would appreciate that. That being said, I have sent you a bunch of messages today and am hopeful of hearing back from you about them. I am sorry if I breached any kind of etiquette by not PMing you, just please know it was unintentional. Your replies would be greatly appreciated.