How to Automate Your Thermostat When People Leave

STQ

A prospective customer writes in with a great question about how to automate a thermostat with SmartThings:

I am thinking of acquiring your Hub and have a quick question regarding geofencing and the Ecobee thermostat. Can you please tell me if you support multiple iPhone geofences so that the thermostat will not react until all phones have left the premises? 

Thank you,
Scott


Good question, and yes: You can definitely do this.
The best way to set this up is through the Hello, Home section of the SmartThings app. Here’s a short video showing you how:

1) Start by going to the Hello, Home section of the SmartThings app and selecting “Goodbye!”
2) Tap “Set the thermostat,” and select the thermostat you’d like to control
3) Enter your preferred temperature under heating and/or cooling, and tap “Done”
4) Tap “Additional settings,” and then tap “Automatically perform Goodbye!”
5) Select “Everyone leaves,” select the people who you’d like, tap “Done,” and that’s it!


These smart thermostats currently work with SmartThings:

ecobee Smart Thermostat
ecobee Smart Si Thermostat
Honeywell Thermostat YTH8320ZW1007/U
RCS TZ45 Thermostat
• Nest thermostat

Category:
How To
  • Gavin

    Just kicking in some more details here: yes, the system does work exactly like this and for multiple iPhones the geofence works quite well to trigger set-temp changes to a thermostat (we have the honeywell) when either all iPhones leave or any of them return home. However, and this is a big “however” for anybody wanting to use ST for legitimate, remote, home climate control, there’s no means as of yet to control what type of “hold” the system gets set to. When all iPhones leave, a change in ST status can only trigger a temporary temp hold, so the regular programming will again take over upon next automatic program change; not workable if you’re leaving for vacation. On the other side of that, it also can’t cancel the hold when you return home, with a workaround being to simply trigger a temperature change to whatever set-point you want, but the desired set-point might be different depending on what time of day you arrive home. Their customer service has been great, though, and I’m told that ST is working on a “Comfort” module that will hopefully include those features, but they’re not available yet. As is typical with pretty much all of ST functionality: what it does, it does well. It just doesn’t do everything yet that you might want when it comes to home climate control.

    • alttext

      Great feedback Gavin. Have you been over tot he Community Site? There are tons of folks there with whom to discuss SmartThings. http://community.smartthings.com

      • Gavin

        I have, but I’ve honestly just trolled it for info and hadn’t been much involved in discussions. There are some good suggestions there; like simply using a triggers-based system instead of a programmed schedule. I do need to look more into that. Not sure it’s workable with multiple conditions without coding a bit, though, and that’s just not in my skills set at the moment! I’ll post back if I come up with anything. Thanks