Controlling a non smart things AC in Smart Things

Hello, I have a Midea U Air conditioner, it’s great and has wifi control, but their app is a bit slow, they won’t allow it to work on tablets, and it doesn’t integrate directly with smart things. I see there’s smart IR sensors that allow you to control devices like air conditioners, can someone tell me what would be the best one to get? I have been also looking at Aqara sensors since genuine samsung ones are extremely overpriced now, and I see their M2 hub has built in IR, but I don’t think thats compatible with smart things? So that doesnt seem to be very useful to me. And yes, Switch bots exist at a good price, but that will only let me turn it on and off. I won’t be able to control the temp, or know what the temp is set to. Though I guess even with a sensor designed to send IR to control the ac there’s no way of knowing the temp it’s currently set to without their app?

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The Switchbot hub is a an IR blaster, so you can actually do more than just on/off by setting up scenes in Switchbot (not ST scenes), but it’s clunky and limited.

A lot of people use Broadlink which works pretty well and is also inexpensive but there’s no official integration and setting it up can be a little technical.

Alternatively, open the SmartThings app and look at the options under air conditioners. A few of those may be full air conditioners but most will be IR blasters that look like a thermostat to ST. These will likely cost more than Broadlink but will probably be easier to set up with full thermostat controls. Cielo Breeze is a popular model.

The following is a good recent discussion:

Seeking advice on automating mini-splits (2021)

That said, IR only sends one way commands to the air conditioner, it doesn’t get status updates from it. So if someone sets the controls manually or uses the ac’s own remote, ST and the IR blaster won’t know about it. That’s true regardless of what IR device you choose.

Is there an option to tell the air conditioner to go to a specific temperature rather then just up and down from whatever it was set to at that time? Obviously at that point you can then just go up and down and you would know what temp it was set to. The first one I saw was the sensibo sky, and they have a picture of their app showing the ac set temperature. But that doesn’t seem to work with smart things. I see switch bot has their ir blaster hub on a great deal today, and they also have a temperature sensor I need, would you say switch bot would be an easy setup and shod do what I need?

Switchbot set up is pretty easy, but you don’t get a very good interface, basically you have to set scenes in the SwitchBot app to specific temperatures and then you can turn on those scenes from smartthings. Not what most people are looking for.

If you’re willing to spend a little more, the Cielo breeze also has an easy set up and has a much better interface. It basically looks like a thermostat to smartthings. And it has temperature and humidity sensors built-in. It’s a nice sale for prime day, too, down to $87.

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I’ve never heard of Cielo Breeze. That’s a pretty neat little gadget. :+1:

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I’m not worried about the price if I can get this working the way I need. So by purchasing this I’ll no longer need a temp/humidity sensor seperate since this has it, and it will control the ac? And i should basically always control my ac through smart things to keep the temp in sync? My ac is sitting in the window next to a mattress. So where would this go on the wall?

Does your AC currently have a handheld remote that works? And are you sure that’s an IR remote? (Typically it will have a little red light on the end of it, although that’s not always true.

FWIW the Cielo Breeze has been a great little device controlling my split HVAC system. And the few times I’ve had issues, their tech support was extremely responsive and helpful. IIRC they had a list of compatible systems on their website. That said, I have no direct experience with its ST integration, since between its standalone app and Alexa support it does everything I need.

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