Advanced Thermostat Scheduling Article

Posted on
Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:05 pm
jay (support) offline
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Advanced Thermostat Scheduling Article

All,

I wrote up an article on the wiki about the system I'm using to control my thermostats to help reduce energy usage. Let's use this thread for any questions/comments/improvements to that system. I'm also linking to this thread from the wiki post for easier access.

[NOTE] updated to reflect the use of a Python script rather than an AppleScript.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:57 pm
hamw offline
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Superb Idea and Write-Up!

Jay,

I have 5 thermostats in the house that I replaced with the Venstar 7 day with Insteon control. So I thought the 7 day would work well with programming and basically run things on their own. Long story short, "tending" the thermostats -- we get power outages here, and the thermostats lose their time -- as well as the wife wanting to change the time and temp settings, is a bit of a chore.

I spent a couple of hours setting up my system with your new script. It works like a charm! I have 5 settings throughout the day for M-F, and also Sat and Sun. These are for wake up (1 hr before wakeup warms the bedrooms and kitchen), mid morning (bedrooms drift), afternoon (computer room on for the kids), bedtime (1 hr prior to lights out warms bedrooms and begins to drift the family room) and night (at 12:30 AM everything drifts). The schedules let the zone temps drift pretty substantially, which hopefully will result in some energy savings. Your system is a huge improvement in programming a house vs trying to keep pressing the "program" button on these thermostats.

The variables appear on the iPhone too, so I can see what's up.

This is a great writeup and by itself is an excellent primer on how to do things with Indigo. With this level of control, a user can simply buy the one day thermostats--the savings over the seven day will help pay for the software itself. Thank you for your efforts!

Ham :)

Posted on
Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:53 pm
jay (support) offline
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Re: Superb Idea and Write-Up!

hamw wrote:
This is a great writeup and by itself is an excellent primer on how to do things with Indigo. With this level of control, a user can simply buy the one day thermostats--the savings over the seven day will help pay for the software itself. Thank you for your efforts!

Ham :)


Thanks. I'm glad someone else has tried it out. It's a bit complex, but I think it's solving a pretty complex problem so in that respect I think it's a win.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:45 am
loafbread offline
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Re: Advanced Thermostat Scheduling Article

So simple and yet so powerful. Thanks for posting this.

Posted on
Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:51 am
kendals offline
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Re: Advanced Thermostat Scheduling Article

I just bought my Venstar Insteon v2 adapter last week and got it installed. I have installed the Venstor Plugin to track how often my AC runs during the day. I found this article a few days ago and am going to try it out (hopefully this weekend). The article has an excellent how to for configuration.

The only thing that I have done so far with the setup is to have a register fan turn on/off when the AC comes on.

Posted on
Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:02 am
hamw offline
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Re: Advanced Thermostat Scheduling Article

I'm very happy with it. Not only can you make a general schedule, you can set up action groups to trigger settings and update variables,such as when you go on vacation, have guests over etc.

Posted on
Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:22 pm
casagold offline
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Re: Advanced Thermostat Scheduling Article

Does this script still work with Indigo 5 or is there a better way of accomplishing the same thing?

Posted on
Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:39 pm
hamw offline
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Re: Advanced Thermostat Scheduling Article

Works great with Indigo 5. I personally don't know of anything better. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

Posted on
Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:38 am
bluenoise offline
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Re: Advanced Thermostat Scheduling Article

I've been using this script with great success for quite a while, but I found an issue that I would like to resolve. We were away on a family vacation for a week and I used Indigo Touch to check on things at home each evening. I noticed the variables knew we were "away," but the lighting and thermostat modes were set as if we were home. I think they didn't come up as LightingAway instead of LightingHome is because there was no variable change to trigger those modes when the schedule changes from day to evening, etc. So, basically, I think my scheduled changes to the variable "home" are triggering the script to adjust my lighting and thermostat properly, but home shouldn't even be a factor, since housemode is set to "away."

I'm guessing I'm missing some conditionals somewhere in my plan. :)

Posted on
Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:35 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: Advanced Thermostat Scheduling Article

Recheck your config - there are a lot of moving parts so it's easy to get one slightly wrong. I've had this script running my house for about 3 years now. I just confirmed - if i change my houseMode to vacation then change the home variable, nothing happens.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:02 am
loafbread offline
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Re: Advanced Thermostat Scheduling Article

Jay, I have been running this script in three different forms for several years. Its great. Have you considered converting it to Python? I am trying to get rid of all my AppleScript and this is one of the last ones to convert. Before I tried to figure it out, I though you might have already converted it.

thanks

Posted on
Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:18 pm
midd offline
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Re: Advanced Thermostat Scheduling Article

I hope I can put this here. I don't want to hijack the thread.


But I was wondering if anyone used Jay's script in conjunction with either fingscan, FMID, or Smartphone radar? I guess I would want to keep my HVAC from running if my phone AND my wife's phone were both away up to a certain distance.


I'm thinking if they were both away, maybe turning house mode variable to vacation until I get to a certain proximity to my house.

AC really isn't a concern since I have solar panels. However my gas bill in the winter could probably benefit from something like this.

Thanks

Indigo 7, Monterey (12.1) on a 2009 Mac Pro..

Posted on
Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:57 pm
bluenoise offline
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Re: Advanced Thermostat Scheduling Article

Yes, I do this with Smartphone Radar. I created house modes for home, home_evening, and away and use them to affect the thermostat and the lighting as you've mentioned. For the lights, "away" turns off almost all the lights that are not visible from the street. It leaves a couple on at a dimmed setting at the back of the house so we can see when we get home and enter through the garage.

Since Smartphone Radar determines who's home based on wifi attachment, I've added an override button to my control pages that forces the house mode to home, even when no one is home. This is handy when we're returning from a cold weekend and want the house warmed up before we arrive home. It's also useful when someone is at the house, but doesn't have a smartphone registered with the system. This override is cleared at midnight each night, too.

Posted on
Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:02 am
Sleepy81 offline
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Re: Advanced Thermostat Scheduling Article

I have a problem with the script...

In the beginning it worked fine, but now it will not execute my action groups on houseMode change or home change.
I opened the applescript and attempted to run it and i get the following error: (Freely translated from norwegian... :) )
"IndigoServer has an error: The program is not open." number -600

I have googled this, and found out that reinstalling Indigo 6 was the only option that worked for me. However, after just about a day, it did not work again...

Having to reinstall Indigo 6 every day is of course no solution...

Anybody have any idea as to what is wrong?
Has anybody converted it to python? Maybe that would help?

Posted on
Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:32 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: Advanced Thermostat Scheduling Article

I haven't rewritten it in Python yet. That error normally means you have multiple copies of the Indigo Server installed, most likely a previous version . Check in the following directory for other indigo installs and delete any IndigoServer.app applications you find:

/Library/Application Support/Perceptive Automation/

Note that's the library folder at the top level of your hard drive, not the one in your user folder.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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