[RELEASE] Best zoned Heating/Cooling Solutions for SmartThings

Hi,

Just to let my contributors know and all ST users who would like to do targeted heating/cooling in their home that I have new versions of my zoned Heating/Cooling smartapps available at my store :

  • I made further enhancements to ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule (v8.4.5) and ScheduleTstatZones (v8.4.5) for better synchronization between the master thermostat and all the slave thermostats (in rooms for eTRVs, portable heaters/coolers, window/mini splits, or other zone thermostats) when the slave thermostats support the ‘eco’ or ‘away’ commands.

  • In ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule (v8.4.5), I’ve also added some new fan settings in ScheduleSetup>fanSettings page in order to give finer control of the HVAC fan linked to ecobee thermostats by calling the newly setHeatDissipationTime() and setCoolDissipationTime() commands in My Ecobee device DTH.

With ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule, you now have all the following fan settings available and can customize them for each schedule in the smartapp:

  • You can override the fan mode (circulate, on, auto) set for the current ecobee climate settings (or program) ;
  • You can override the fan mode with conditions: ex. if the avg indoor temps collected from your own zone sensors vs. the ambient temp at the tstat is greater than a given offset value (ex. 5F), then turn on the fan; if lower, set it to auto The same logic can be done when the outdoor temp is greater than a temp threshold (ex. 80F);
  • You can set the minimum fan runtime for a given schedule (ex. 5 minutes at Night, but 15 minutes during the day);
  • You can now also set a different heating/cooling dissipation time at Nights vs. during the day. The heating/cooling dissipation time represents the desired fan runtime in seconds after a heating /cooling cycle to extract the hot/cool airflow from the ducts.

You can download the new versions at my store using the original sellfy link.

The new code is available at my store.

www.ecomatiqhomes.com/store .

For more details about the all use cases supported, refer to ST community wiki:

ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=EcobeeSetZoneWithSchedule#Look_.26_Feel

ScheduleTstatZones:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=ScheduleTstatZones#Look_.26_Feel

P.S. For all ST users who have contributed to my support packages, the update has been done for you under your ST account (provided that I have your credentials), you don’t need to do anything: everything has been taken care of.

Regards

Hi, a lot of HVAC guys are spreading bad rumors about smart vents… I guess they feel threatened. Smart vents are appropriate though when the temp differential between rooms or floors is not greater than 10-15F, above that threshold, it may be more efficient to call an HVAC technician to balance the airflow in your home. There is few documentation about smart vents as they are quite new and most of it is published by smart vent vendors such as the following: https://medium.com/@AleaLabs/8-reasons-why-smart-vents-2-0-are-safer-to-hvac-systems-than-manually-adjustable-dumb-vents-d5543ce9477 and https://keenhome.io/blogs/community/how-hvac-zoning-works.

Now, I’ve created many specialized zoned heating/cooling smartapps to take advantage of smart vents. And, in my smartapps, the following safeguards have been implemented to avoid the problems you mentioned: 1) the smartapps can check the static pressure by using 2 readings in the same room -could be from 2 smart vents or a smart vent and a Flair puck for example 2) The smartapps also check the vent temperature to be within a safe range (4-130F), but the range can be customized according to your HVAC specs 3) The smartapps check that there is no more than 50% of the smart vents that are closed.

Apart from the Keen Home smart vents, there is also the Flair vents which have some pros/cons as indicated in the ST community forum here: [RELEASE] FLAIR DEVICES with new capabilities for building physical zones in your home and controlling your mini/window splits, portable heaters/coolers

I’ve created some DTHs for both smart vents under SmartThings. The one for the Keen Home vents is less chatty and avoid wasting batteries. I’ve had the Keen Home vents at my home since the beta more than 4 years ago and I just changed the batteries in December. The Flair vent is also going strong after 2 years.

If you have more questions about smart vents, you can contact me at services@maisonsecomatiq.com.

http://www.ecomatiqhomes.com/store

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Hi Yves,

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Hi,

Just to let my contributors know and all ST users who would like to do targeted heating/cooling in their home that I have new versions of my zoned Heating/Cooling smartapps available at my store :

  • I made some enhancements to ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule (v8.5), ScheduleRoomTempControl (v4.4) and ScheduleTstatZones (v8.5) so all zones (including the zones not active in the running schedule) are refreshed with values coming from their room’s contact/motion/temp sensors, so that ST users can have an updated view of all their zones at a given time.

A virtual zone device can be composed of 1 to many rooms. The virtual zone devices can be integrated into ActionTiles for easier control.

MyVirtualZoneP0

You can download the new versions at my store using the original sellfy link.

The new code is available at my store.

www.ecomatiqhomes.com/store .

For more details about the all use cases supported, refer to ST community wiki:

ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=EcobeeSetZoneWithSchedule#Look_.26_Feel

ScheduleTstatZones:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=ScheduleTstatZones#Look_.26_Feel

ScheduleRoomTempControl:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=ScheduleRoomTempControl

P.S. For all ST users who have contributed to my support packages, the update has been done for you under your ST account (provided that I have your credentials), you don’t need to do anything: everything has been taken care of.

Regards

After an exhaustive analysis spread over almost an year I can safely conclude your solution does not replace in any way the Ecobee method of providing optimal temperature. There are many, many reasons for the same.

First off - after careful review of your code it is evident that you employ a standard averaging model against the sensors’ recorded temperature. I have participated with ecobee for sometime now and their algorithms are in no way, shape or form as simplistic as yours w.r.t. calculating the averages. I leave alone the features like Smart Home or Follow Me. Just the algorithm to calculate the average is significantly different than yours and considers multitude of various variables like location, time of motion, amount of motion (in time), temperature differentials, historical data points among others. My NDA prohibits me to divulge more. Your advertisement critical point is using the Samsung Motion sensor’s recorded temperature instead of investing in ecobee sensors is actually not recommended. The ecobee sensors have in-built features which vastly prevents false positives. They are an arm and a leg ahead in terms of technology employed to detect motion and react to it. The Samsung ones are very elementary.
The APIs published by Ecobee causes the temperature requested to be on automatic hold rather than normal. This is extremely excremental to the health of the HVAC and thermostat itself. What I mean here is it will cause the HVAC to attempt maintaining a set temp for a lengthy period of time and the thermostat is equally taxed. If a consumer is controlling auxillary devices like HUM / DEHUM /etc. the negative effects are doubled. In short, the both the life of the thermostat, HVAC and auxiliary devices are equally affected.
The approach towards constant updates right down to one decimal point is an overkill which realizes itself into constant tracking and constant change of temperature. Here again - Ecobee algorithms in use ensure very efficient rounding in order to keep ambient temperatures with gradual increase/rise. Ecobee provides advanced features like heat threshold/sensor calibration starting 10F for extreme use cases.
It is, in my humble opinion your solution replacing Ecobee algorithms with sensors not really meant for temperature controls should be avoided else a consumer might face significant costs in stat/HVAC maintenance in near future. FInally, I believe by adopting your solution a consumer will actually end up spending more money on fuel effectively negating the benefits of save from not buying dedicated sensors. This is based off the algorithms in place in Ecobee geared towards economy of fuel consumption no more being “at play”.
This is my honest opinion and based off my own self analysis of code and usage of your solution.

Well, I beg to differ, and many of my contributors…See all the past testimonials about my solutions

How convenient!

I’ve been using my code at my home for more than 5 years now (and many contributors have been using it as well)… My HVAC system is almost 20 years old, and there has been no additional wears and tears…

That’s the most concrete evidence… And, it’s much more concrete than a long diatribe without concrete data…

It’s a good thing that you are saying that this is your humble opinion… I have many contributors who have a different opinion as well and one opinion doesn’t worth all the feedback I got in this thread. Again, refer to all previous testimonials in this thread for more details.

I’m sorry but without concrete data analysis & metrics, your humble opinion is as good as anybody’s out there…

I was the first back in 2014 to implement the concept of remote sensors to adjust the thermostat’s setpoints, there are now many smartapps in the ST community forum which use remote sensors to adjust the thermsotat’s setpoints (not only for the ecobee, but now for any ST connected thermostat including the Honeywell, Nest, zigbee or zwave ones)

Are you saying that most of the ST users here in this forum should have problems with their HVAC system??

Just look at the virtual thermostat,

Nst manager

5-2 Thermostat scheduler

And, so on.

Good luck with your pseudo analysis…

And, I won’t be answering any more posts from you as I have a full time job and a family, and my support time is limited.

EDIT: And, this is your post almost 2 years ago, and since then, no news from you (after bombarding me with more than 20 emails in short time frame -in a little bit more than 1 week asking about feature requests, possible bugs and so on):

:popcorn:

Let the mudslingimg begin.

I will ignore OP response as its in defense of his product, which is very common for any developer in IT world. In addition, I have always found his responses to be quite condescending and sooner or later he brings up the topic of this being part-time, active job, family, etc. Quite frankly, that will work if his work is for free. It’s not. There’s a charge associated to it. With that comes responsibility, support and many other things.

To readers: Please feel free to continue using this product. I’ll start perhaps a separate dedicated thread where I’d like to educate readers on dangers of doing so. My logic is simple: you are avoiding a combined effort of many, many talented engineers and teams who have developed something - Nest/Ecobee taking into consideration many factors just for the benefit of using the motion sensor/open-close sensor provided temperature readings? Please look at this logically.

Those sensors either open-close or motion were geared/tested/constructed for that respective purpose. Let’s just say providing temperature readings is supplementary. The sensor providing it is and will be of the most rudimentary type.

In a house the biggest and cosliest and perhaps the ONLY mechanical item is your HVAC. They run into 5 figure mark for installation/configuration and very well touch 4 figure mark or high 3 figure if repairs are required. Instead of relying on collective wisdom with years of testing/engineering acumen/knowledge of Ecobee/Nest engineers if you’d prefer to keep that highly expensive unit (HVAC) under the control of 1 person who in his own admission is doing this like a hobby or part-time is up to you.
A set of 2 remote ecobee sensors cost no more than $79 USD. They are regularly updated, they have eons ahead in terms of sensor technology for detecting motion and accuracy of temperature in comparison to Samsung motion or open-close. There are numerous articles where they have opened and dissected to see quality and type of sensors in use - just check thru Google.

In terms of features - by carefully controlling the comfort settings per sensor coupled with Follow Me feature Ecobee stands heads and shoulder over any of these mom and pop side programs. Are you aware, its not just for record keeping that Ecobee requests user to provide data related to the home - like age of home, location, etc. Those data points are actually used to provide a comfort setting along with continuous energy savings. In fact, the proprietary algorithm of energy savings used by Ecobee is so exclusive they have it air gapped for security purposes? Now, you want to avoid all of that and depend on 1 person’s effort - well: best of luck.

Your HVAC is yours and thus what you do with it, i.e. how many times it just starts up/shuts down/etc. is dependent on 1 and only 1 thing: the thermostat. You are forcing that thermostat to now behave almost real-time with temperature on HOLD and in decimals: don’t you think logically you are taxing your HVAC unnecessarily? For what, to save $79? Again - please look at this logically.

Where I was involved in? My core focus area is micro-services and cloud. The programs we worked on was how to send tailored / custom programs into a thermostat which belongs to a cluster where certain standardized energy saving algorithms will not work. For example - a condo association in a city - XXX. They happen to have false stucco walls (we think) and low insulation. Then perhaps a more aggresive energy savings is required. Those fine tuned firmwire are hosted in specialized cloud clusters and using Chef we attempted to perform targeted release.
All of this and much, much more: you’d like to avoid and trust and believe on someone who in his own admission is doing this part-time?

You are just trying to bad mouth the OP. I looked at the history of your posts on this thread and your opinion is just that an opinion. In working with this smart app it has worked great for the last 3 years I have used it. Everything in smartthings is user configuration and user use cases dependent. The OP has provided many updates through out the years to add more features and to fix any issues I have had. Just because there are options to use sensors other than ecobee sensors, it does not mean it is a bad thing. Every users has the option to buy ecobee sensors or the new nest sensors. BTW the OP made the option to use smartthings temp sensors before nest even though of offering remote sensors. And as far as using non ecobee sensors why do you think the ecobee promotes using keen home smart vents and that one can use keen temp sensors to control the smart vents, as ecobee wants to help balance home HVAC. We just went thru an all time record cold of -30 F and this smart app helped greatly in balancing out my hours during the week of record cold. About once a year there is a poster that attacks this smart app. If you have an issue that you are wanting help on then please post about it to get help. Otherwise if you are posting to slam the smart app, please move on. I have marked your post as inappropriate for the community to review.

2 Likes

And your quote from 2 years ago
"
baivab

Apr '17

Hello and thank you - yes you have been exceptionally proactive and in fact your responses are always to the point. Much appreciated. For the benefit of this community I am copy pasting an email I had sent to you below:
Racine,

The more I play with the app the more I realize what a great programmer you are. It’s not that you took +2 yrs to complete this and the code involved may be complex, etc. but what many won’t realize it: the thought process that went into it.

As I see it, when starting this project you must have have multiple options but selecting the current approach whereby from general -> room -> zone -> schedule is the best workflow possible. Hats off you to on your design skills. Very well executed. I played out the picture as if I have to do it but really couldn’t have come up with a better workflow.

A job - well done!!
"

Eh, you sent me this email 2 years ago, so where does your sudden expertise in HVAC systems come from?

n Monday, April 10, 2017 11:35 AM, B M <bm_ninada@yahoo.com> wrote:

Racine,

Thank you! I am myself an avid programmer along with the fact that I more or less concentrate on such things like routers, devices, etc. You have done a great job.

** BTW, Your HVAC system 's performance is dependent on many external factors which cannot be reproduced easily elsewhere: house layout, house insulation, exposure to wind or sun, and most importantly:is your HVAC system the right size for your home?**

I have created a smartapp to help avoid short cycling or other issues if it’s the case at your location: it’s called ecobeeGetTips and it’s available at my github.

The smartapp uses heuristic rules based on your indoor/outdoor conditions and will give you recommendations and tips for your ecobee tstat. If it’s short cycling, it will give you the exact settings to be changed…

I will refrain from further commenting as in a way you are correct that I should not have used OP post to revert back with my opinions. It does construe as an attempt to bad mouth OP.
Yes - I did send out the communique two years ago and have used OP’s solution. Subsequent to which had opportunities to work closely in HVAC industry and from which with Google and a short consulting stint with Ecobee. My understanding of how HVAC operates and the thermostat engineering has vastly improved. I stand by what I mentioned, i.e. using alternative automated solutions bypassing what OEM provides is dangerous and not cost effective at all. This will be my last comment on this topic in this thread. Love and peace.

Thnx Mike for your support.

For the last 5 years, I’ve working hard to deliver a high quality code for not only ecobee users, but for Nest and other thermostats (zwave or zigbee) as well…

Contributors like you have received regular updates and have been able to grow their HA solutions at their home as their requirements were growing…

I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished throughout the years: my zoning smartapps (ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule, ScheduleTstatZones, and ScheduleRoomTempControl) are the pinnacle of this accomplishment as they allow a ST user to leverage all ST connected temp/motion/contact/presence sensors, smart vents (and slave thermostats) in a really smart way…

Best Regards.

2 Likes

Do the Ecobee sensors require an Ecobee thermostat or can they report to something else?

I’m in a newly constructed house. Our HVAC contractor said he’d void the system warranty if we installed Ecobee or Nest thermostats. Only thing they’d allow were Honeywell VisionPro Wi-Fi thermostats.

I’ve got a couple of spots where I’d like to capture accurate temperatures as a check on the Honeywells.

The ecobee remote sensors are proprietary… They will not work with other thermostats… Just like the Nest sensors will only work with Nest…

Thanks. I figured that would be the case but thought it was worth a post

Thats bull. Look for a different contractor. Check AOP hvac-talk.com and find installer. For HVAC the most important aspect is installer.

Thanks and regards,

Baivab

Unfortunately that ship has sailed.

Now I’m dealing with Honeywell and their 6-week long maintenance on their web infrastructure. :grimacing::grimacing::grimacing:

where can I download the “ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule” SmartApp?

Hi, please refer to the 1st post of this thread for features and prerequisites.

FYI, the EcobeeSetZoneWithSchedule smartapps requires My ecobee Device, the most comprehensive ecobee implementation under SmartThings…

I’d recommend My ecobee bundle at my store which includes both the DTH and the zoning smartapp…


Regards.