Thermostat customizations

Hi everyone. I’m pretty new to the whole home automation thing (if you don’t count my many years with X10 and my Filtrete 3M-50 thermostats.) I’m wondering which is the best way to go to accomplish what I want to do with my thermostats. I’ve already paid for the SmartApps from @Rboy and also played around with CoRE but I don’t think I’ve quite found what I’m looking for.

I’ve had programmable thermostats for years now but the problem is when we vary from the schedule, which actually happens almost every day. Specifically, if I have the thermostat programmed to set back to 65° during the day, then bump up to 70° at 5 PM. But if we’re home during the day instead and I manually set the heat up to 72° then I don’t want the thermostat to automatically “increase” the heat to 70° at 5 PM. This happens all the time if I don’t remember that the setpoint may change at 5 PM as programmed. A while later I realize that we’re cold and I realize my mistake yet again.

This is the key concept: what I’m envisioning is that if the programmed intent is to raise the heat at 5 PM but it’s already higher than what it should be raising it to, do nothing. I think that part is pretty easy to do in CoRE but I’m not sure I want to tackle my entire weekly schedule all done in CoRE.

A similar thing happens in the morning if I’m up early and bump the heat up, intending to stay home all day. Then 8 AM rolls around and the heat automatically sets back to the day temp. I need a way to automatically deal with that. That’s harder, though, because the intent at that point is to actually lower the heat.

I wanted to do only modes for my thermostat control rather than timed schedules but ST and Echo don’t make it easy to change the modes. I came up with about a dozen different modes for my 2 thermostats and our various situations. If there were an easy dropdown box like in SmartTiles to change the mode, or if Alexa could do it easily without creating a whole bunch of virtual switches and/or routines then that might work but I’m not sure.

So… any suggestions from people with a lot more experience than I have so far?


Give this a try, is pretty flexible and I can help you customize it to better fit your lifestyle

that’s why I hardly ever change the thermostat. Not worth chasing elusive comfort depending on my exertion level and humidity - a sweater is easier to manage.

Once you control by occupancy, the comfort gains are extremely fleeting, because you cannot satisfy everyone all the time.

Time schedules are a fine backup. I let them operate in addition to occupancy control - then it doesn’t matter much if ST is down - it could happen.

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This seems like a good fit for a combination of home/away/sleep thermostat triggers from ST and a simple CoRE rule for the 5PM issue. If you pull all the scheduling out of the thermostat, and have ST trigger temperature changes based on the state of the house (home/away/sleep), that seems like it would cover most of your issues, as the state of the house should flux with your variable schedule. The only remaining issue of the 72 vs 70 at 5PM might be as simple as a CoRE trigger that only fires when the house is set to away, so that it won’t collide with your 72 & Home state. Is that basically what you’re trying to achieve?


Thanks everyone. Been a busy week so I haven’t had time to get back to it. I’ll try out the zThermostat Manager and maybe play with some Core stuff.

It’s hard to use occupancy to manage my thermostats since with baseboard hydronic heat it takes so long to adjust the house. I’m probably overthinking all of this, although it really annoys me to get caught with the thermostat wrong. It happened again this morning at 8 when the temp went down without me realizing it! I think there’s actually an issue with the Filtrete schedule though - I don’t currently have any ST controlling my thermostat. I think. Yet at 8 AM and 5 PM the temp seems to change on it’s own - some kind of remnant of the previous schedule.

One more crack at it… perhaps you could use the house state to turn the heat on and off based on occupancy, and have a second CoRE trigger that would heat up the house X minutes before you normally get home (unless house is already in Home state)?

Well, some things have changed and my schedule is now pretty much just turn up the heat in the morning and turn it down at night. I have a CoRE piston that has 4 trigger times (morning up and down, evening up and down) that changes the heat as long as Mode is Home. If not Home then it doesn’t do anything.

Other CoRE routines change the mode based on our iPhones presence. And I have a virtual switch to set the heat way back if we’re going away for the weekend and another to bring the heat back up to normal temps which I can run before we head home.

At some point I may add some day modes to the piston. I also need to add an earlier turn up time if it’s cold outside since it can take a lot longer to warm up.