Hey guys I have 2 electric space heaters with a dial, is there a way to make these smart?
just on and off with a smartplug… could do temperature based control in smartthings.
I wrote my own smartapp to make a basic electric space heater smart. As mentioned you just need a smartplug to turn it on off and a some kind of sensor to monitor temp. You can make it turn on and off based on temp pretty easy, Check out the template “It’s too cold”.
Check the max current rating of your smart outlet before doing this, I know a lot of electric heaters pull 1500 W.
First check the specs on the space heaters. Some have automatic shut offs, but many will say “only operate attended“ which means when someone is actually in the room.
Space heaters are a leading cause of death from fires in the US.
Between 2011 and 2015, portable and stationary space heaters accounted for more than two of every five (43 percent) U.S. home heating fires and five out of six (85 percent) home heating fire deaths.
Automating them introduces even more danger if you don’t make safety planning part of the process.
Smartthings does occasionally glitch and randomly turn devices on or run automation at the wrong time. It’s one thing if that means lights going on and off randomly – – it’s another if it’s a device that could kill you. .
Speaking just for myself, I don’t put anything on smartthings that couldn’t safely run for 24 hours unattended. And there are a lot of space heaters that don’t match that description.
Just a thought…
I had thought about automating a space heater, a small ceramic unit.
Ultimately I decided its onboard thermostat is sufficient. There is nothing to be gained by adding a smart plug.
I can think of one scenario… If a user keeps the space heater always plugged in, and already depends on the unit’s built-in thermostat full time… then adding a properly rated smart outlet can at least allow the heater to be disabled based on on time of day, mode, or presence. In other words, it can be used to save some electricity at times when additional heat is not required. I would personally never use a smart outlet, a temperature sensor, and the ST cloud to replace a proper UL/CE rated thermostat.
Mine are those baseboard heaters I have 2 in the basement, if it’s the same issue where it could cause a fire by messing with it then definitely not worth it…
I actually faced a scenario where we might have needed our space heater to operate in our absence. We acquired two kittens in December, and our home was scheduled for major reconstruction of the downstairs necessitating plenty of cold air. So we might have needed the heater to operate often.
Turns out those kittens are bundles of energy, and quickly found out how to snuggle themselves under covers when they wanted. So the heater is a non-issue,
Many valid points. The smart app I wrote for my space heater used a smart outlet and I used a small ceramic heater that had three settings, and I kept ours on medium, which pulled about 1100 Watts.
I set schedules for each day in the mornings. It was in our master bathroom, and it would heat it up instead of increasing the thermostat temp to heat the whole house. I had it set to automatically shut off when we left. it would also not run if the bathroom door was open. Outside of the scheduled times it if was turned on it would only run until it hit the temperature set point and would not come back on unless manually tuned on or until the next scheduled event.
Still as others have mentioned it is a risk running a space heater. In the couple of winters I used it, it did come on by it self one time. It came on at around 2:00 in the morning for no reason. My smartapp shut it off in about 15 minutes when it hit the target temp. I reported it to ST and they basically said yeah that happens sometimes.
I realize this is super old, but I have smart plugs on a couple of space heaters because it gives me a way to ensure they are OFF when we leave the house. No more running back home or worrying all day.