Getting Smartthings to work with a portable ac (2022)

I’m looking to buy a new portable ac with a heat pump (floor model that can go from room to room) that works with smartthings. So far I’m looking at one from LG as that works with amazon alexa and I can control from my phone but as I’m in the smartthings ecosystem I was wondering if this is possible with any portable ac with heat pump.

What country are you in? The device selection does vary.

There are a few options, although I’m not sure exactly which models, if any, have heat pumps in the following lines.

  1. Samsung. This would be the first place to look for most people. I’m not sure of which specific models might fit your needs, @SamsungZell might know.

  2. models that have their own handheld remote that can be controlled by Cielo. This is essentially a substitute for the remote and works with many different models. It’s also available in multiple countries. And it has a manufacturer provided integration with smartthings, so it’s very easy to set up and use. It will look a lot like a thermostat inside the smartthings app. There are several models to choose from. The high-end model is typically about $125, and there’s also a budget model without a display screen for less. this is a Wi-Fi device that needs to be in the same room as the air conditioner.

If you open your smartthings app, tap on the + in the upper right, choose device, then you can find the air conditioner controllers there.

Manufacturer blog about the integration:

Cielo Breez Smart AC Controllers Work With Samsung SmartThings

Use the following page to see if a specific brand/model of air conditioner will work with Cielo. it’s best to use the search box, because for some reason they have two different lists of manufacturers and it can be confusing otherwise.

  1. Amazon as an intermediary. If the air conditioner works with Alexa, you can use Amazon routines to control it and trigger those routines with a virtual device in smartthings. But this can get tricky with a thermostat type device, because you might need one routine for each temperature setting, and that can get clunky to set up. If you just want to have a couple of standard settings, sort of like a scene, then it can work well.

So option two, Cielo, will be more intuitive to use, but there may be some devices that don’t work with that one, in which case Alexa may be an option.

See the community FAQ on activating an echo automation from smart things without having to talk to it.

FAQ: Can I trigger an Echo Action without Speaking to It?

  1. IFTTT. You may also be able to use Ifttt as an intermediary, but again, the integration will not be as intuitive as Cielo.

Historically, this has been a popular way to integrate GE smart air conditioners, for example.

  1. use a “robot finger“ to literally press the buttons on the devices handheld remote or on the device itself.

I know this sounds weird, but it can work well. It’s just that it can get expensive because you need one “robot finger“ for each button. And as of this writing it can’t turn a dial, it can just press buttons.

Switchbot is a device of this type which has a manufacturer-provided integration with smartthings. You need one SwitchBot minihub for the integration, and then one switchbot button pusher for each button.


The mini hub itself is also an IR blaster but it doesn’t have the same kind of user interface that Cielo does, you basically have to think of it like pushing buttons on the remote or triggering scenes.

I like the SwitchBot products and use them in my own house for older devices that I want to make smart. I have one on a mini blender, one on the eject button of my DVD player, etc.

I think these would more be for the situation where you already owned the air conditioner and wanted to make it smart and were willing to pay about $200 to do so. But if you’re buying a brand new air conditioner, I think one of the earlier options will work better. But I did want to mention this for completeness.

There may be some other brands of air conditioners that do have a smartthings integration, but again, it will vary by country. If you look in the smartthings app, you should be able to find them. Most of the ones you see will be remote replacements rather than air conditioners themselves so you’ll have to do some research.

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Thanks so much! This was definitely helpful, and I appreciate all the effort and details put into it!

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My portable A/c unit is infra red only, so i purchased a cheap Broadlink control and put it next to it, with a zigbee temp sensor and some jiggery pokery it is smart enough

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What are you using to integrate it? Cielo and Switchbot are both IR blasters that have manufacturer-provided integration with Smartthings, so the integration is pretty simple.

Switchbot mini hub is £29 at Amazon UK.

Broadlink is £23.

So a little less expensive, but I personally would go for the easier integration. But that’s just me. :sunglasses:. Choice is good.

Yeah about that, i did it last summer so im trying to remember what i did, i think it was a v switch an automation with a zigbee temp sensor which fired a v switch when temp reaches a level and that was tied into Alexa where broadlink has an integration… i think

Tbh it got soo hot the A/c struggled to cope so just used on…

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