[RELEASE] Best zoned Heating/Cooling Solutions for SmartThings

Hi,

Today, I added the same alternative cooling logic in ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule (see previous post) for all ecobee users out there.

You can download the new version at my store:
http://ecomatiqhomes.com/#!store/tc3yr

Today, in all my heating/cooling zoned smartapps, I implemented the following feature:
Added some configuration parameters in General Setup Page related to safeguards:

  • minOpenVentLevelInZone: let you configure the minimum level for any vents in zone(s) during a schedule run (default=10%)
  • minOpenVentLevelOutZone: let you configure the minimum level for any vents outside of the zone(s) during a schedule run (default=25%)

Any contributor to ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule (v5.8), ScheduleTstatZones(v5.8.2), and
ScheduleRoomTempControl (v2.0) will receive the code update.

All above smartapps can be downloaded at my store:

For more information about my zoned heating/cooling solutions, please refer to the ST community wiki:

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

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

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

Regards.

1 Like

Hi,

I released a new version of my Zoned Heating/Cooling Solutions today with the following changes:

  • Better handling of thermostat’s auto mode for vent settings:
  • When mode is ‘auto’, for the vent settings, the smartapp will calculate the target temperature to be the median between the heating and cooling setpoints.
  • If the current thermostat’s temperature is above the median, the smartapp will consider that the mode is ‘cooling’; otherwise, it will be considered in ‘heating’ mode and calculate the vent levels accordingly

All the current contributors should receive the new version soon.

The new versions for ScheduleTstatZones, ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule, and ScheduleRoomTempControl are available for download at my store:

Regards.

I am using a simulated button controller app to turn my aeon minimote into the master switch for this smartapp, which allows me to enable or disable the app processing at the push of a button depending on my family’s current needs. Very cool! Thanks again for a very great and extremely useful smartapp.

Hi,

Today, I made some changes to my Zoned Heating/Cooling solutions for SmartThings.

Sumary of Changes:

  • Added some icons in the dashboard for a better look & feel
  • Minor changes in the dashboard layout & the General Setup labels

See pictures below:


The Smartapps are available for download at my store:

www.ecomatiqhomes.com/#!store/tc3yr

Hi,

I just responded to an inquiry about my zoned heating/cooling solutions for SmartThings, and I think that my answer can be instructive for all ST users who are interested in more control over their smart vents and their thermostat.

Smart vents are expensive, so you may want to have the best apps for controlling the vents AND the thermostat.

In my book, the thermostat needs to be controlled in conjunction with the vents, otherwise, it’s not optimal…

So, which apps?

It really depends on your requirements.

If you just need to open (at 100%) or close the vents based on a room temp threshold, then ScheduleRoomTempControl is just what you need.

The smartapp is designed to run with any ST connected thermostat…

If you have an ecobee thermostat (any model, not only the ecobee3) and want more options (especially with many smart vents), and want to direct the airflow towards the right rooms, then I’d recommend ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule smartapp for the following reasons:

1) The smartapp is designed to run with My Ecobee device, which is the most comprehensive ecobee device for SmartThings. It basically exposes ALL ecobee features for HA.

And, there are many smartapp available at my github for other HA scenarios:

2) The smartapp relies on the ecobee scheduling for setting its programs/climates as the ecobee’s scheduling is usually more reliable than ST. So, even, if your ST hub is not active for a while, there will be some basic thermostat scheduling done by ecobee to control your thermostat.

3) The smartapp will not create successive temporary ‘holds’ at the thermostat. It is able to ‘resume’ your thermostat’s program when needed (ex. when you’re back home).

4) The smartapp is able to set your thermostat to ‘away’ or ‘home’ based on all your motion sensors at home.

5) Contrary to the ecobee3’s follow me feature, you can configure the ‘occupied threshold’ for every room to be different depending on your needs. The ecobee3’s follow me feature is really slow to set your thermostat to ‘away’: it can take up to 2 hours after your departure to set your thermostat to the away program. The smartapp can do it after 5 minutes if you want to set it up this way.

6) The smartapp has many other options for controlling your fan settings, and making adjustments to your setpoints based on all indoor temp sensors (just like the follow me feature on the ecobee3), but with all ST connected temp/motion sensors (not only the proprietary ecobee remote sensors). It can even adjust your thermostat based on an outdoor temp sensor if needed.

7) For controlling the vents, the smartapp is able to adjust them not only when the thermostat is heating/cooling, but also every 5 minutes (if needed) to adjust the vents to the right level (in %) automatically based on the temp differential in each room compared to the average temp differential. So, based on your thermostat’s setpoints, the colder/hotter rooms will always get more airflow…

Finally, I just want to warn you about the ecobee3’s remote motion sensors: do not use them for controlling the vents as they are not meant to be used for real time HA scenarios.

See this known issue at the ST community wiki:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Ecobee3RemoteSensorInit#Known_issues

However, you can use the ecobee3’s remote temp sensors as they are reliable and can be refreshed every 5 minutes.

BTW, all my smartapp are described at the ST community wiki if you need more details:

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

To recap, for the best control of your ecobee3 and your smart vents, you’d need the following:

  • My Ecobee device with remote sensor app (for the temp sensors)
  • EcobeeSetZoneWithSchedule

If you do not own an ecobee thermostat, and you own a Nest or Honeywell thermostat (or even a zwave or zigbee one), you can use ScheduleTstatZones if you want more control over your thermostat and your vents. See this thread for more details:

One of my contributor, for example, is a doctor in LA whose wife works from home on certain days of the week, he wanted to control his vents in the office a different way on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays than the other days. On top of it, he wanted to control his guest room’s vent based on a guest presence sensor.

My heating/cooling solutions can do all this, provided that you configure them properly…

My solutions are available now at my store:

http://www.maisonsecomatiq.com/#!store/tc3yr

Regards.

Thanks for your help @yvesracine, I’ve been using ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule with his ecobee device and I’ve finally got my keen vents working. I’m using it to control my vents upstairs in my bedrooms, the master bedroom is always hot and the other bedrooms tend to be cooler, so it’s been a challenge to get things evened out with the ecobee alone. I’ve got it setup so that it will open/close them dynamically as needed to keep them within the setpoint range, and it can even close the vents upstairs entirely, if it’s only the downstairs that needs cooling/heating.

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Hi,

Following some testing that Keen Home executed with my smartapps in their own lab, they’ve decided to promote my work on their SmartThings landing page:

My zoned heating/cooling solutions are getting recognized! More to come soon!


Regards,

2 Likes

Wow…that’s really great! Nice Job!

Hi again,

At this time of the year, you may want to know the following;

  • My Zoned Heating/Cooling solutions (i.e. ScheduleTstatZones & ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule smartapps) are now able to better handle the thermostat’s AUTO mode, which requires some special logic for controlling the vents properly.

Also, with the Advent Of Summer:

  • ScheduleTstatZones & ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule can also enable ‘free cooling’ using a Big Fan or an ‘evoporative cooler’ when the ideal outdoor temp & humidity are met. They use an internal temp/humidity table to do so.

For more details:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=EcobeeSetZoneWithSchedule
http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=ScheduleTstatZones

The smartapps are available for download at my store:

http://www.ecomatiqhomes.com/#!store/tc3yr.

Regards.

Today, in preparation for the hot summer days, I made the following changes to ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule and ScheduleTstatZones (my zoned Heating/Cooling Solutions for ST):

  • Added a new configuration parameter in Schedule setup: useAlternativeWhenCooling.

The new logic allows use of alternative cooling in conjunction with cooling for a given schedule.

This may be required for certain schedules (ex. bedtime) when more cooling is required. By default, its value is false.

The smartapps are available now for download at my store:

http://www.ecomatiqhomes.com/#!store/tc3yr

Regards.

Hi,

My smartapps are now officially approved by Keen Home:

Regards,

1 Like

Hi,

Yesterday, I released a new version of ScheduleTstatZones & ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule that can enable ‘free cooling’ using a Big Fan, an evoporative cooler, or Damper Switch(es) when the ideal outdoor temp & humidity are met.

  • The smartapps now use an internal temp/humidity table to do so or they can just use an outdoor temp threshold (configurable in General Setup page).
  • You can actually schedule when you want to use the alternative cooling (ex. at Nights only between 11hpm and 5am).

My Zoned Heating/Cooling solutions are available at my store for download:

Regards.

Hi,

I have been using the smartapp for a couples off days and wonder if it is possible to set up or modify it to partially open the vents depending on the temperature. I have 5 rooms 2 that are usually cooler than the target that are close (that is ok) but 3 that are higher than the target so the 3 vents are fully open and wonder if it is possible to set up levels where the hottest room has the vent open 100% the second warmer 75% and so on or may be at a level based on the delta from the target temperature

Hi @mperroud ,

If you want to set up a different temp threshold per room, ScheduleRoomTempControl is more appropriate for this requirement…

ScheduleTstatZones and ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule calculate the right vent level based on the temp differential (delta) of each room to the target setpoint(s) at the thermostat

Some of your requested features above would require some custom development and
some consulting fees are involved.

If you’re still interested, contact me at services@maisonsecomatiq.com

Regards.

I’ve got setzonewithschedule running and I’m curious, will my ecobee3 still control itself?, The 2 rooms where I have smart vents, I am using Aeon Multisensors to control those with the smartapp but I dont have smart vents in every room. I do have ecobee remote sensors in those other rooms. Will those ecobee sensors still report AND tell the thermostat to heat/cool?

BTW, this setup does seem to be pretty sweet! Nice job. @yvesracine

@corvetteii,

  1. Will my ecobee3 still control itself?

The ecobee3 will still run its scheduled climates just like usual. EcobeeSetZoneWithSchedule relies on the ecobee scheduling…

  1. Will those ecobee sensors still report AND tell the thermostat to heat/cool?

Well, if you have enabled the ‘follow me’ sensors at ecobee, they still can, but I’d recommend to deactivate the follow me and only use the ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule smartapp as it can do the same, but with different occupied thresholds per room.

You would need to create all the rooms where your ecobee3 remote sensors are (on top of your rooms where your keen home vents are), and add the remote sensors as temp and motion sensors in those rooms.

The smartapp can then use all your rooms sensors (aeon multisensors and ecobee3 remote sensors) to average out the temp for adjusting the thermstat’s setpoints (just like the follow me feature).
Regards.

EDIT: You have to set the following flag to true in General Setup:

section(“Enable temp adjustment at main thermostat based on indoor temp/motion sensor(s) [optional, default=false]”)

Ok I will work on that. Hopefully that will keep my thermostat from changing to cooler set points just to cool one room.

Today, I made some changes to ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule to be able to change fanMinOnTime (minimum fan time in minutes per hour) in any schedules defined in the smartapp:

  • You can then change the Minimum Fan Time as many times as you need during the day per your ecobee’s climates.
  • You need to enable fan ajustment in General Setup to do so.

The smartapp is available now for download at my store:

http://ecomatiqhomes.com/#!store/tc3yr

Regards.

Hi,

Today, I made some changes to ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule and ScheduleTstatZones so that switching to alternative cooling and back to cool or auto mode (when needed) would be done automatically when the right outdoor/indoor conditions are met:

  • Both smartapps can either use an outdoor temp/humidity table to determine if the ideal conditions are met to use an evaporative cooler or damper switch(es).
  • The alternative cooling can also be triggered based only on an outdoor temp threshold when it’s more appropriate.
  • If the outdoor/indoor conditions are not met, then the smartapps can restore the original thermostat mode (cool or auto) to ‘cool’ the house in a more standard way.

The above features are added on top of all the features available. For the list of features and screen shots, refer to the top of this thread:

ecobeeSetZoneWithSchedule and ScheduleTstatZones are available now for download at my store.

http://www.maisonsecomatiq.com/#!store/tc3yr

Regards.