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My Smart Home is Stupid

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20 minutes ago, Middcore said:

I feel like all of the "Linus's new house" videos have just become a never-ending series on why not to have a "smart home."

 

 

Or at least why not to have a set-up like Linus. I'm honestly confused what exactly happened with American Standard that meant he needs to have two thermostats everywhere. The idea that he had to have it set up like that way just seems suprising and unlikely.

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Theres an cool integration for HomeAssistant called "BetterThermostat". It allows you to select a different thermostat besides the one that comes with your climate system. On top of that you can handle an open window or shut off the heating or turn on the ac once the weather outside reaches a certain temperature.

 

Its here on github: https://github.com/KartoffelToby/better_thermostat

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I find this series very interesting, but over the last few videos I really wonder, why use a thermostat at all? Why not a simple temperature sensor on z-wave, zigbee or tasmota? The only reason to use an actual thermostat, to me, would be for the protective circuitry so that a coding error or something doesn't result in f'ing up your appliances, but in this setup, the echobee is only "suggesting" what to do to HA and the tasmota board.

 

I think they should give node-red a try. Home Assistant is great as a software hub to connect all of your devices but actual automation via Home Assistant is agonizing. I resisted trying node-red for a long time because the visual flow thing seemed like that Scratch programming language or something. But it is way more flexible and re-usable with functions and sub-flows.

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I have a question I have run into, do you separate your IoT devices onto their own WLAN or is your home all on the same LAN?

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3 minutes ago, nineclicks said:

I find this series very interesting, but over the last few videos I really wonder, why use a thermostat at all? Why not a simple temperature sensor on z-wave, zigbee or tasmota? The only reason to use an actual thermostat, to me, would be for the protective circuitry so that a coding error or something doesn't result in f'ing up your appliances, but in this setup, the echobee is only "suggesting" what to do to HA and the tasmota board.

 

I think they should give node-red a try. Home Assistant is great as a software hub to connect all of your devices but actual automation via Home Assistant is agonizing. I resisted trying node-red for a long time because the visual flow thing seemed like that Scratch programming language or something. But it is way more flexible and re-usable with functions and sub-flows.

Thermostat was explained previously as there needs to be a human interface device that is simple to use for Yvonne and the kids so being able to control via a thermostat.

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1 minute ago, lexcomman said:

I have a question I have run into, do you separate your IoT devices onto their own WLAN or is your home all on the same LAN?

Generally, you'll probably want most IoT devices on their own VLAN. A lot of local-only stuff isn't Wifi at all so that wouldn't apply and things that run on open source software like Home Assistant or Tasmota can be more trusted on your regular LAN. But it's a pretty good idea to have the separate IoT VLAN anyway and especially if you have any proprietary or cloud based stuff.

 

Just now, Ultraforce said:

Thermostat was explained previously as there needs to be a human interface device that is simple to use for Yvonne and the kids so being able to control via a thermostat.

Oh yeah, I forgot about that part, this is a good point.

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As for the heat, can't it be redirected temporarily? but yes its nice to see the ups and downs of "smart homes".

Really hope for good standards as with the material thingy, that apple and google was going to put forward?

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How many years from the release of a video titled, "I'm sick of my old dumb home, and I am designing and building the best YouTube Smart Home from scratch" series of videos?

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Love how this vid ended up being Linus switching to HomeKit with extra steps. 

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I do want to thank Linus for making it abundantly clear why having a smart house, or nearly any IOT things at all, is something I will never ever do. Computer, phone, roku, game consoles: these are the only things allowed to connect to the internet in my house.

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I posted this to the twitter topic, but figured I’d put it here as well just in case they don’t see it.  
 

No need to move all your ecobees, you can just get their little remote sensors instead!  I use them in my house so it keeps my bedroom at the temperature I want at night and disregards the temp from the main wall unit.

https://www.ecobee.com/en-us/accessories/smart-temperature-occupancy-sensor/

 

Probably not the solution he will end up going with, but it would be an instant fix for the issue.  (Assuming he has ecobee 3 series or newer)

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Gotta love showing just how awful having a smart home is. This is why a Simple stupid system will always be better. Until the "Smart devices" are actually better in every single way, there is no way id ever put them anywhere near a house. Ive tried smart door locks, they are just awful, a washing machine had to be replaced because of its smart feature broke because it was poorly designed, the rest of the machine worked fine but wouldn't function because of it.

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28 minutes ago, DrMacintosh said:

Love how this vid ended up being Linus switching to HomeKit with extra steps. 

From what I've seen before HomeKit with extra steps is actually a pretty good choice if you don't want to be using WiFi even if you don't have apple devices and want local stuff. It just means that you need to use Home Assistant stuff to work the HomeKit. I do wonder if Matter will change any of this.

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2 minutes ago, Shimejii said:

Gotta love showing just how awful having a smart home is. This is why a Simple stupid system will always be better. Until the "Smart devices" are actually better in every single way, there is no way id ever put them anywhere near a house. Ive tried smart door locks, they are just awful, 

Lotta smart home hate in this thread.  I think if you have a normal home with a single thermostat and none of the super expensive stuff Linus has, smart home stuff is awesome!  When I leave home all my Philips hue bulbs (almost every light in my house) go into an away scene, my TV turns off, my thermostat switches into away mode, and when I’m on my way home the thermostat comes back on and all my lights turn on as I pull into the garage.  My alarm system is the only thing I don’t have hooked into HomeKit because it is not compatible but I may switch to the ecobee one if it works well.  Linus is just the definition of edge case here.

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Linus said at the end of the video that he may need to get separate temperature sensors.

There's no need, there is a workaround using the existing hardware.

 

My Aqara motion sensors also detect temperature, but they vary wildly in accuracy. Some are ok. Some way off.

Easy fix is to note each thermostat reading and use a laser temperature reader (like one used for for cooking) and measure either near the thermostat, or areas where people are most likely to inhabit. Take the thermostat reading and subtract the laser value and you have the offset you need to correct the thermostat.

 

Then you can either use the compensation integration to create sensors with a calculated correction.

or... create a simple template sensors for each thermostat instead.

 

Example: If the thermostat is reporting 25.0C, but next to it is a read of 20.0C, then the following template sensor will work:

    - name: thermostat_7_temperature_corrected
      unique_id: thisisauniqueid-4de0-b2b5-f2e2f8c4ccd3
      unit_of_measurement: °C
      icon: mdi:thermometer
      state: "{{ (states.sensor.ecobee_thermostat_7.state | float -5) | round(1) }}"

p.s. Shout out to fellow Scot Louis from ESH and his amazing mm wave motion sensor 😄

----------------------------
        Weem
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So as a building automation programmer and system engineer I can tell you there is a way better way to do this. But it would require re-designing the system. 
 

The American standard Thermostats are probably required because of the factory controls inside the AC themselves only speak their proprietary protocol. It’s probably some Lon or BACNet variant but would still be proprietary and not compatible with anything else. The only way to remove these would be to rip out the factory controls likely voiding warranty on the units, or to purchase AC equipment that does not have factory controls included. 

That said, the way I would design this system would be to put IP controls on the AC units. Those controllers would be located at the unit and then put a ModBus wall sensor in each room. That sensor could include a display and buttons for setpoint adjust. Then you could use Node-Red on the IP controller to communicate with the relay board and call for in-floor heating whenever the room temp drops below the floor heating. 
 

Less devices, more control, home assistant not required but easily integrated.

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Just install tekmar thermostats, boiler control and a 482 gateway with the home assistant plugin and be done with it. As mentioned in the video, the in-floor heating reacts slowly so you will rarely be adjusting it anyway.

 

Home assistant or the ecobee’s can’t handle proper radiant zone control without a lot of custom coding. If you use the tekmar 400 (or similar controller) it will handle the pumps, boiler modulation, outdoor reset, staging and zone grouping to prevent short cycling. This will be more energy efficient and will likely make your system last longer. Controlling the boiler via the Honeywell valves will mean that the boiler is constantly getting on/off commands from different zones. If your boiler has anti-short cycling it will cause some zones not to get any heat when there is a call. If your boiler doesn’t have anti-cycling it will cause it to fail prematurely.

 

You could then use a Mitsubishi heat pump system and have the tekmar stat control it for rapid changes and cooling (set the heatpump as stage 2 heating and the a/c as fan cooling).

 

You would use the tekmar system to control most of the hvac and the home assistant integration for quick changes from your phone.

 

I’ve yet to see good custom made multi-zone ducted systems. You can’t just close off a zone and change the volume of air moving across the coil without changing the compressor speed and fan speed at the same time (which some proprietary systems from Daikin or Mitsubishi can probably do).

 

People often forget that boilers and compressors have specific operational requirements. If you don’t understand these requirements and try to make some sort of custom control in automation, you can cause the unit to fail prematurely or consume much more energy than needed.

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8 hours ago, timderspieler said:

Theres an cool integration for HomeAssistant called "BetterThermostat". It allows you to select a different thermostat besides the one that comes with your climate system. On top of that you can handle an open window or shut off the heating or turn on the ac once the weather outside reaches a certain temperature.

 

Its here on github: https://github.com/KartoffelToby/better_thermostat

git hub... a  lot of code there is poor doc... even basic game fixes over there...

 

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I was really excited to see either Loxone, KNX or a system similar deployed for your home. deep plans of automating the pool, heat capture/recovery, lighting controls, muti-zoned hydronic heating, HVAC climate control, solar panels and who knows what else! it's literally a perfect use case. Is there a reason why you steered away from it? Its DIY friendly, super reliable, maintenance free, no storage or processing in the Cloud, easy to program (and free),Not to mention an entire community of professionals and DIY'ers alike contributing to a free library of user made templates to control basically any other 3rd party device. If necessary to have;  Alexa, Google, Homekit, etc are all easily integrated as well.

 

That said, you could realistically add another relay in the mechanical room and close the dry contacts on the furnace motherboard directly. Heat, cool, Ventilation fan, then interlock the HRV (if you have one) - a less pretty suggestion, but you could abandon the thermostats since all they're there for is reading ambient temperature and replace them with flush mount 2-wire temperature sensors and paint over them or something to blend with the drywall. orrrr I suppose you could also add another half dozen Ecobee's and stack them 😆

 

Once a schedule is created and desired temperatures are programed; there's really no reason to ever have to change the value on the thermostat again. 

 

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TIL that I need a personal Jake to maintain something like this 😅

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Trying to controll a slow system (in floor heating, Linus actually touches upon this in the video) with a fast system measuring rom temp is the wrong way to go about this. 
 

Preferably you set the inlet temperature to the loops to a fix value and the flow rate to a fixed value. Then you measure the return temperature and control by the temp difference between inlet and outlet. Before you are set you will need an adjustment period to determine what delta T corresponds to what room temperature. 
 

The larger the delta T is the colder the room is since you disipate more heating power. It will also acomodate some of the weight of the slab by using this indirect way of controling the room temp. 
 

If you want to be able to individually control the room temp you do this by allowing controll of an offset on the ”standard” delta T manually. 
 

Controlling in floor heating with a room air sensor will lead to a wavey indoor temp which is worse for comfort than a stable temperature. 

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@LinusTech, Do you have a variable speed inverter heat pump? Those can pump meaningful heat down to a much colder temp than old single speed units. May consider upgrading! Seems like your house doesn't keep up below like 35F? That pretty sad. Old units should keep up down to 30F at least maybe your unit is undersized too...


Hope your house is your escape keep things simple!! 

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