Making a dumb A/C unit smart and keeping it in sync with Smartthings?

Ive seen several options in different posts for making a dumb a/c smart (via IR blasters from different vendors). What I havent seen (or not able to find) is how to keep the dumb a/c in sync with Smartthings.

If you are operating the a/c only using Smartthings then you’re fine. But how to keep Smartthings updated with the state of the a/c if the a/c remote is used? What are the options here?

For me I use a vibration sensor that is sitting on top of the a/c unit. If its turned on using the remote the vibration sensor sets the switch in Smartthings to “on” and vice versa if turned off using the remote.

Just want to know what others in the community have done.


That’s a slick idea.

Yeah, vibration sensor is a good idea, or you could plug the a/c into a smart switch. Not for controlling on/off, but just for the power metering.

I have the following setup and looking to add more “smarts” into it. These are really dumb no IR/remote anything.

z-wave power plug on each A/C unit (ZEN15)

rules setup that take readings from the room thermostat to set the temp control. Currently this is a hard rule in place if temp is greater than 73 turn on if temp is lower than 70 turn off. This is setup differently for different rooms. Some rooms are cooler than others and some hotter.

With the temp controls the AC units are all set on High (their built in thermostats don’t work anyways, never have when set to high). The AC units turn on/off based upon the temperature in the room.

If you have IR/remotes for your A/C units then you could probably set rules to keep them at a temp so if they are adjusted and turn on when they shouldn’t be then ST could adjust their temps back to be “correct”. I thought someone was working on a Sensibo smart app… and there’s another smart AC controller out there that could be interfaced with… can’t remember the name of it.

I have plans when I get around to it to make the thermostat work for the AC units to adjust the temp. So if the temp on the thermostat is set below current temperature then the AC units will turn on and vice versa. I can also add in other temp sensors as needed for areas where the temps vary a lot and average between them or pick the hottest one.

Note these thermostats are Heat only for the baseboard heaters. So going down in temp is ok as the heaters aren’t going to come on :slight_smile:

So im thinking of another more efficient way to do this. I have a split unit with vents that open and swivel when the unit is on, and the vents close when off.

Im thinking of putting a small door sensor on the vents. Once the a/c unit is on, vents open, sensor state changes to “OPEN” and thats how Smartthings knows the unit is on. When the a/c turns off, vents close, sensor state changes to “CLOSED” and Smartthings knows its off.

Not sure if anyone here would know, but is there any harm with placing the contact sensor on the vents that move up and down?