[RELEASE] Would you like to control your Humidifier/Dehumidifier/HRV/ERV with your ecobee thermostat and ST?

humidifier
ecobee
thermostat
smartapp_hvac

(Yves Racine) #1

To whom it may concern,

For those of you who have an ecobee thermostat and would like to control your connected Humidifier/Dehumidifier/HRV/ERV.

There is an app for that!

It’s called MonitorAndSetEcobeeHumidity and it’s available now at my github:

https://github.com/yracine/device-type.myecobee/tree/master/smartapps

Prerequisites:

  • Ecobee thermostat controlled via ST by MyEcobee device
  • Your Humidifier/Dehumidifier/HRV/ERV connected to ecobee
  • Outdoor Temp/Humidity Sensor or ST WeatherStation such as this one (optional):
    https://github.com/yracine/device-type.weatherstation
  • Temperature/Humidity Sensor (optional) for better humidity adjustment

The smartapp has been there for a while, but I just did an UI revamp for easier navigation.

The smartapp can also do the following:

  • Ability to specify the target humidity and the humidity differential allowed
  • ‘Free Cooling’: indicate whether or not you want to use the ‘free cooling’ feature (i.e.,by using your HRV/ERV for fresh air when outdoor temperature is colder)
  • Ability to enter a minimum fan runtime per hour - fanMinOnTime (optional)
  • Ability to use your HRV/ERV as a dehumidifier and indicate the minimum runtime in minutes per hour (optional)
  • Ability to use a power meter to control when your HRV/ERV/Dehumidifier/Humidifer can run (optional)
  • Notifications can be sent to the ST user account (optional)
  • The smartapp can be temporarily deactivated (on hold) with a power (virtual or physical) switch (optional parameter)

N.B. My ecobee device is required for the smartapp as it leverages its comprehensive set of features. The ST stock device only exposes less than 10% of the ecobee APIs. My ecobee device exposes ALL ecobee features.

Refer to the ST community wiki for more details:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=My_Ecobee_Device
http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=MonitorAndSetEcobeeHumidity

And, the thread below:

Here are some screenshots of the smartapp:

<img src="/uploads/default/original/3X/1/9/1931f7d22c7816ceeeab1ff544f93d514bb93b55.jpg"width=“281” height=“500”>

My ecobee device is available for download at my store:

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

Regards.


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#2

Hello Yves,
I’m using the Humdifier app along with your Ecobee device.
I used to set a manual humidity level within the app but decided to try the Automatic mode where humidity is calculated based on the outdoor temp.

The weather is really cold out there now and I can see that while it’s 10F outside, the system try to push the humidity to 44% which is very very hard to maintain giving the outside temp.

I don’t know much about ideal indoor conditions, but reading different article online I believe that ideal humidity level for 10F should be between 30 and 35%.
So my question is, what are the predefined level / chart that you’re using to set the indoor humidity level?

01 PM


#3

I may have found the issue… sometimes writing down your issue triggers some ideas.

Seems like the SmartThing Weather Station app wasn’t reporting the right outside temp (31F), I reconfigured it and now the reported outdoor temp seems correct (10F) so I believe the Humidity app was using wrong information…
Let’s see how that works now.


#4

When your using the automatic mode, how can you see what humidity it is calling for? If you happen to look at the setting on the thermostat, sometimes I can catch what it’s trying to do. But it turns the whole humidity system off after it’s reached it’s target (it seems).

Also what is the difference between this mode and frost control mode on the thermostat? Seems like it is essentially doing the same thing, trying to keep you from getting condensation on your windows.


(Yves Racine) #5

Hi, frost control is an ecobee setting. For more details on how to use it, refer to

https://www.ecobee.com/2015/01/feature-friday-frost-control/

In my smartapp, the calculated ideal indoor humidity is based on a formula using the outdoorTemp.

P.S. There was a minor UI issue about the display of the calculated ideal indoor humidity. It’s been fixed in v3.4.2. You can resync at my github:

Regards.


#6

Thanks for the quick reply. Updating worked, I now see the IdealIndoorHumidity. What I am trying to do is jack the humidity up in the house during the day, then reduce it at night. I think I could use setHumdifierLevel (I am using webcore) to change the desired humidity… is that right? But that wouldn’t compensate for any outside temps. Any recommendations? For a while there during the day I would run frost control with window efficiency 7 during the day which would add just a tiny bit of condensation on the bottom of the windows. Then I would go to 4 overnight to lower things. But I haven’t been able to figure out how to automate this. Any tips?

Thanks


(Yves Racine) #7

Yes, you can use setHumidiferLevel to change the target humidity level. Now, if you’re not planning to use the smartapp, I’m not able to help you as I don’t really know your requirements, and I don’t use webcore at my home.

Regards.


#8

Thanks again for the reply. How do you “turn off” the humidity app? I don’t see an easy way to stop it without removing the app completely.

Your app seems to work well. One suggestion I would have is maybe having a parameter where we can increase or decrease the humidity that your calculation is coming up with as ideal. Since every house is different, it would be helpful to have an offset in there. This is basically what the frost control/window efficiency in ecobee is doing.

Also if I remove the humidity app, have a lost the ability to access/set any of the humidity parameters?

Finally there is no way to change the window efficiency of ecobee, right? I looked through the API and didn’t see an option for it, but I am not sure if everything is listed there.

Thanks


(Yves Racine) #9

Your app seems to work well. One suggestion I would have is maybe having a parameter where we can increase or decrease the humidity that your calculation is coming up with as ideal. Since every house is different, it would be helpful to have an offset in there. This is basically what the frost control/window efficiency in ecobee is doing.

  • You can already input a humidity differential to give more ‘leeway’ to the target humidity (and customize it), see here:

     section("Humidity differential for adjustments") {
     	input "givenHumidityDiff", "number", title: "Humidity Differential [default=5%]", required: false
     }
    

Also if I remove the humidity app, have a lost the ability to access/set any of the humidity parameters?

  • There is no way to access/set any of the humidity parameters in the smartapp if you remove it.
    You can still use the DTH for setting the humidityLevel as indicated in my previous post.

Finally there is no way to change the window efficiency of ecobee, right? I looked through the API and didn’t see an option for it, but I am not sure if everything is listed there.

  • No, there is no way to change the window efficiency settings thru the ecobee APIs.

BTW, you can make the smartapp run for certain ST location mode (Night, Away, Home, any custom ones) or use the virtual switch (powerSwitch) to pause/restart the smartapp’s processing. That would be the way to control its execution (last page in otherSettings).

	section("What do I use for the Master on/off switch to enable/disable processing? (optional)") {
		input "powerSwitch", "capability.switch", required: false
	}

If you have more questions, please consider my support packages at my store.

Regards.


(Gabriel Arce) #10

I have an ecobee4 connected to Furnace, AC and HRV.
I was thinking to install: zigbee wall switches to control the exhaust fans in the bathrooms and temp/humidity sensors on the bathroom
The idea was that if somebody turns on the bathroom fan, then turn on the HRV at the same time. Separately also cool down the house using the HRV when it is cold in the evening.
Before I start buying sensors and switches and paying for the DHT… does it make sense? Is this cost effective?
Wondering whether this is a project people pursue because it is cool or somebody has found actual savings?


(Yves Racine) #11

Hi, a lot of people use their HRV for cooling the house, it’s called alternative cooling and you can enable it in the MonitorAndSetEcobeeHumidity smartapp…

Now, I’ve never heard myself of such a specific project with the bathrooms’ wall switches. You could use a rule engine like webCore for those custom rules.

It’s also difficult for people to assess if it’s cost effective for your house. We don’t know anything about your house (layout, insulation, etc.) and the number of switches/sensors involved.

Usually, I’d recommend that all HA projects should be based not only on energy savings, but also (and probably more) on the comfort aspects…

Regards.


(Yves Racine) #12

Hi, I just released a new version (v3.5) which allows you to control some humidify/dehumidify/ventilation switches in conjunction with the Humidifier/Dehumidifier/HRV/ERV settings when connected to ecobee.

You can use the github integration or copy and paste from my github to get the latest version:

P.S. You’d need MyEcobee device as my smartapp can only work with its extended and comprehensive features.

Regards.