Ecobee Cool/Heat/Off control with Amazon Echo


#1

Thanks to the great work done by yvesracine with his “ecobeeChangeMode” SmartApp, I was able to modify it so that the Ecobee thermostat can be set to heat/cool/off via the Amazon Echo.

Before creating and deploying the SmartApp, a few things have to be done:

  1. The first step to this is to create 3 virtual switches, one for each mode. In my case, my 3 switches are “A C”, “Heat” and “Air”. (keep in mind that these are the switch names you will be telling the Echo to turn on, so name what comes naturally… for me it’s natural to say “Alexa, turn the A C on”)
  2. Next is to create 3 new SmartThings modes. In my case it is “Cool”, “Heat”, and “Air off”.
  3. Deploy the “Switch Changes Mode” app from the convenience section (it’s #32 currently). This has to be done for EACH mode. If using the same naming convention I used above, switches should look like this:

Switch: A C
Mode when on: Cool
Mode when off:

Switch: Heat
Mode when on: Heat
Mode when off:

Switch: Air
Mode when on:
Mode when off: Air off

You are now ready to install and deploy the SmartApp. During setup, you will need to select your themostat, and then the virtual switch and STmode for each of the echobee’s three modes (Heat/Cool/Off).

SmartApp code found here: https://github.com/tomagoes/STprojects/blob/master/ecobeeEcho.groovy

Now just go back into the AmazonEcho ST app, select the new switches and have Alexa discover new devices.

If setup using the same naming convention, you will now be able to tell Alexa:

“Alexa, turn the AC on”
“Alexa, turn the Heat on”
“Alexa, turn the air off”

The new ST modes are only temporary to get the ecobee to swtich modes, and will return to the previous mode. So for example, I am in home mode and i tell alexa to turn the AC on, the ST mode will be changed to Cool, the ecobee mode will change from off or heat to cool and then the ST mode is changed back to home.

Please let me know of any questions/bugs/etc…


Smart App to turn on/off AC?
(Craig) #2

Crazy idea… I might start working on this, this weekend.

What if we made one of these switches a virtual dimmer and use that to set the temperature? “Alexa, set Thermostat to 67%” which would in turn set the thermostat to 67 degrees?

Any takers - worth it or not?

Actually as I write this make the heat and AC dimmers so you can set the heatSetPoint and coolSetPoint at the same time.


(Darc Ranger) #3

I do not want to step on this topic, but @craig, I have done that. It is two apps to control the thermostat.

One to control setpoints via virtual dimmer switches or my virtual momentary dimmer.

I have another one that sets thermostat mode [HEAT/COOL/AUTO/OFF] and thermostat fan [AUTO/ON]
There is a virtual switch for each mode and one switch for the fan. They work with the Echo. Only the thermostat fan is unusual in Echo request since Auto = Off, but On still equals On.

Thermostat Setpoints using Virtual Dimmers-GitHub @tomagoes

Thermostat Mode-Fan:V-Switches-GitHub

Thermostat SmartApps that uses Virtual Switches to control Mode/Fan/SetPoints


#4

I am actually half way though this project now craig.


(Barry) #5

Although it is interesting to integrate Alexa this way, I’m not sure that it offers any more value than simply having ST adjust the climate based on occupancy/presence. In fact, in a house with kids, you probably DON’T want Alexa to help them change the set temperatures on your thermostat once you have decided on your homes’ comfort zones.

I’ve built a couple of extensions to Yves’ ecobee toolkit that translate ST location.mode changes into the associated ecobee climate (Home/Home, Away/Away, Night/Sleep). This way I can adjust the comfort zones seasonally without having to reprogram set points in multiple SmartApps or locations.

Do we really want/need to be changing setpoints all the time? Isn’t that why we spent so much money on a “smart” thermostat in the first place - so we didn’t have to mess with it?

And for me, with a wife who gets too warm/too cold randomly, the last thing I want is for her to be able to say “Alexa, turn up the heat” :slight_smile:

Seriously - what’s the practical use case of streamlining the physical linkage to adjusting thermostats in a world where we are trying to automate away our hands-on interactions?


#6

IDK about you, but in my house I have to turn the air off when I open the windows. Now, as I walk over to the window I can tell Alexa to turn the air off as I go to open the windows. I guess I could spend some $$ on open/closed sensors for the window(s) and have ST turn the air off that way… but other than that use-case I don’t have a reason to get open/closed sensors for my windows so I’ll save the $20-$100 and just talk to Alexa.


(Barry) #7

Oh, ok. $180 + lots of setup of virtual switches and custom translater code and such really is much simpler than 1 $50 open/close sensor for 1 window plus a simple IFTTT “if WINDOW_IS_OPEN then THERMOSTAT_IS_OFF” :slight_smile:

I’m just kidding, but if you don’t already have Alexa, this still seems a corner-case use case to me…an interesting novelty to show your friends maybe, but not really worth the price of admission. Especially since those open/close contact could help you to remember to close the windows before you leave the house (security) or when the outside temperature rises above the comfort level (with the free weather station Smart Device).

But seriously, enjoy the toy…it really is pretty cool, even if “Alexa, make me dinner” doesn’t work just yet.


(Jesse) #8

First off… thank you for this!! The ecobee is that last device I have not working 100% through the echo. I’ve got this up and running and works great except ONE thing. I can’t get the ecobee3 to switch to HEAT mode no matter what I try. Cool and Off work on the ecobee no matter what mode I’m coming from and heat adjustments works only IF I’m already in the heat mode of the ecobee. All modes in ST are changing properly though. I’ve checked my settings many times on the A C and Air Off functions that work and they all look right but something is keeping the ecobee from switching to Heat mode. Any suggestions or anything I can provide for troubleshooting? Thank you in advance.


(Anthony Gurrieri) #9

Amazon Echo just released its new integration with Ecobee thermostats yesterday I have a smartthings v2 hub, 1 Amazon Echo and two ecobee3 thermostats for our two story home. Works great.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #10

What would be the benefit for me to upgrade to the ecobee? I’m currently using two Honeywell Zwave thermostats that I can control with Alexa via ST.

I’m really thinking I should, but I really need to justify the expense.


(Anthony Gurrieri) #11

Take a look at this link:
https://www.ecobee.com/feature-comparison-competition/

Also, I can’t compare your Honeywell to my Ecobee3 but I can say that the Ecobee3 does look like it’s saving me a little more money than my Nest 2 did thIs time of year last year. I just like the fact that it’s still saving me money as opposed to the builders thermostat that they put in when we build our house two years ago. I also like the fact that the ecobee3 does keep 15 months worth of data for you to track as opposed to nest which is just been giving me monthly updates.

The other thing I do like is the remote sensors and how you can purchase multiples and place them in all of your rooms so that your Thermostats are aware of who is home and who is not based on the room and you can set a different room temperatures as well. I also have a SmartThings hub but have been having tons of issues with the version 2 hub as well as routines and smart apps not efficiently working together. I’ve noticed that if I have a window open whether I had the nest or ecobee3 some of my smart apps would not communicate and set my Thermostats to off due to windows being open So, having remote sensors in all of the rooms will definitely communicate back to my Thermostats whether these rooms are occupied or not and thus save me money.

The ecobee3 Will also set specific room temperatures based off remote sensors if you have a multi air conditioning unit which I do not but I have heard cool things about.

Like I said I can’t give you specific reasons why I like my ecobee3 as opposed to my oldness t like I said I can give you specific reasons why I like my ecobee3 as opposed to my old nest 2 but I can’t give you any specific reasons why you should drop your Honeywell thermostat and pick up that ecobee3 because I’ve never owned a Honeywell thermostat. Anyway I hope my post helped and if you do decide to purchase the ecobee3 Thermostats please post back how well you like/dislike it as well as letting us know the differences between your turn thermostats and the ecobee3.

Another cool thing to mention is Apple’s HomeKit. The ecobee3 is HomeKit approved and will work with both smart things and HomeKit so if you’re an Apple guy like me you’ll get the best of both worlds


(Scott) #12

Thanks so much for posting this info, this is great!

I’m running into one issue that I can’t get past. I’ve created the virtual switches, the modes, and installed the ‘Switch Changes Mode’ app. I’ve also deployed the ecobeeEcho SmartApp by copying and pasting the code from GitHub from the link in the original post. But when I go into the ecobeeEcho SmartApp, it asks me which thermostat(s) to control, but says “There are no devices of this type” and doesn’t let me select my ecobee thermostat.

I do have my ecobee3 set up as a Thing, and I can control it with the SmartThings iOS app - so it is there… any idea what I’m doing wrong? Any idea why the ecobeeEcho doesn’t recognize it?

I’ve been banging my head on this for a couple of hours, and would appreciate any help!

Thanks!


(Ben W) #13

Why don’t you use the native Echo to Ecobee integration? No reason to have ST in the mix.

https://www.ecobee.com/amazon-echo/

Full disclosure: I don’t own an Ecobee but thats what I did with my Nest.


(Scott) #14

Very good question… the reason why is that the setup in this post allows you to turn the air conditioning on when the system is off (and same for the furnace).

In reviewing the link that you included, it doesn’t appear that the native integration has that capability. I could be wrong, but I didn’t see that as an option in the list of Amazon Echo/ecobee commands: https://www.ecobee.com/faq/which-alexa-voice-commands-can-i-use-with-my-ecobee/


#15

eTron- Sorry for the extremely late reply on this. I’m assuming that by now the official integration has you covered. If not, and you’re still using this, please PM me and I’ll try to help out.


(gsxrjay750@gmail.com) #16

Hello Question I did everything here and when I created the smart app and I open it to set it up, in the section under change the following ecobee thermostat which thermostat …it says there are no devices of this type.
Is this program written for an old ecobee, because I have the 3 and it is loaded and functioning in smartthings. Is there something I am missing