Another “Saved My Bacon” Story

SmartThings alerts a father that his home’s thermostat had just died–conveniently during one of the coldest winters in recent memory.

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“Had to tell you a quick story about what happened early this morning and how SmartThings alerted me.

As you can see from the attached photo, I had an extra SmartSense Multi sensor, so I just plopped it on top of our thermostat a month or so ago. Every once in awhile, the Honeywell thermostat simply shuts off when the batteries run low. It’s happened a few times in the 20+ years we’ve been in this house, so I haven’t been all that worried about it.

Early this morning, I got three notifications (at 2:50, 3:30, and 3:49 a.m.) from the SmartSense Multi sensor reporting that the temperature had dropped below 60 degrees in my home. I ignored the first two notifications, but when I got the third, I finally woke up and saw that the Multi was reporting that it was 59 degrees.

It felt very cold. Especially since the temperature outside was about -14 degrees that night.

Heading downstairs, I saw that, sure as hell, the Honeywell thermostat was off and it’s batteries were all cooked. I replaced the batteries and reset the furnace (just in case). It kicked on and the heat started. Phew!

No question in my mind that, had I not been awakened, the temperature would easily have dropped down to about 55 degrees by 6 a.m. Since my daughter sleeps in the lower level (which is always several degrees colder) this could have been really problematic.

Another ‘saved my bacon’ story.”  – Steve

Want to recreate Steve’s extreme temperature warning in your smart home? Here’s how:

There are two ways to do this.
Steve uses the It’s Too Cold SmartApp that’s found within the Convenience category of the SmartApp catalogue. This will alert you if the temperature drops below a certain degree, and (optionally) can turn on a space heater in response to the cold temperature.


For those who want to achieve this directly from their SmartThings Dashboard, simply go into the Damage & Danger category, click on the Extreme Temperature prompt, pick an area of your home to monitor and a SmartSense Multi sensor that you’d like trigger notifications, and then set the extreme temperature that you’d like to watch out for.

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Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. Could you post the SmartApp catalogue online for perspective purchasers? I lived that this article gave me some ideas on how I might use smartthings. Wish I could see more.

  2. What engineer in their right mind programs these crap-ass thermostats to simply fail when the batteries do? This guy could have froze, I live in Arizona and could get heat stroke. Considering what these things cost is a smoke detector-type chirp to much to ask on all these units???


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