How to choose an air conditioner in a smart home?

03 May 2021

Although the weather outside leaves much to be desired, the summer season will soon come. I am very concerned about the atmosphere in a smart home, so in this article I’m going to tell you how to choose an air conditioner for a smart home.

Let’s start with the basic principles of selecting an air conditioner

Initially, you need to decide on its capacity or cooling capacity. Power is defined in watts, and cooling capacity is defined in BTU. Usually, manufacturers indicate in the instructions and the square footage of the building, which is able to cool the air conditioner.

The most important thing is to realize that if you do not take into account high-class channel air conditioners, in this case, the room in which the indoor unit is mounted is cooled first, so you need to start from the area of this room, and not the whole apartment. Do not pick up very powerful air conditioners — this is a useless expenditure of money.

Next, you need to decide on the type of air conditioner

To date, there are 2 types of air conditioners:

so called on/off;

The first ones are familiar to everyone, they are the most well-known, a little cheaper, but they function most sharply. They have only one system of operation during cooling — cooling at the highest power.

The inverter technique makes it possible to change the power of the compressor quite smoothly, which makes the temperature control the softest and most economical. I definitely recommend choosing an inverter air conditioner today.

For owners of apartments with central heating, an air conditioner with the function of heating the air with an air conditioner in another season is suitable. In the instructions, you need to look at the presence of such a function, as well as the temperature minimum at which this function can be used.

If we talk about the integration of air conditioners in a smart home, then we really need to carry out literally research work. These are the ways I discovered:

The most common and well-known method is the emulation of beeps from an IR remote control, which is suitable for all air conditioners that have a remote control with an IR transmitter in the kit. The IR device can be folded by yourself on the basis of ESP, as well as flashed using esphome, or purchase a ready-made solution and, if you want, flash it again. In addition, air conditioners can be sent to the MimiSmart smart home via Yandex.Remote control, as well as a Yandex smart home through integration from AlexxIT. And finally, you can buy a ready-made MimiSmart device.

The disadvantages of this solution are undeniable. In the case of a DIY project, it may be difficult to read the codes from the remote control, because it, unlike a TV partner, transmits all the characteristics to the split system at the same time, and not just the one that you changed by pressing a key. However, almost all the codes for many air conditioners can be found on the Internet.

But feedback is much more difficult. We can’t know if our team actually made it to the air conditioner, and what mode it is currently in. The view with a smart socket with energy monitoring, as well as a sensor for opening the door to the curtain looks very simple, but it makes it possible to have at least some feedback channel, in the absence of the largest one.

Connecting the split system to a wireless WiFi network. Currently, a large number of air conditioners have the function of connecting to WiFi, but only a few of them are able to cope with a smart home and locally. Here everything is much more difficult, since the modules and protocols are different, for each manufacturer you need to look for, as well as study the experience of other people.

Here, it is possible to pay attention to the diy WiFi stick for Haier split systems, and, in addition, to a similar project on esphome. There are WiFi modules for certain modifications of Mitsubishi, but such models are already difficult to find on sale. There are also many air conditioners on the market, mainly with AUX technology, with an optional WiFi module supported by Broadlink AC MQTT integration. A unique module is expensive, but aliexpress implements its current counterpart.

Zigbee connection. Development is progressing rapidly and the zigbee stick for haier split systems from the community is due to be released in the near future The project is original and highly promising, it definitely makes sense to pay attention to it.