Let's talk thermostats and house comfort

I see the new built in thermostat control app and all the new integrations with the latest version or RM. I'm curious...because maybe I'm oversimplifying what I'm doing. I only have a couple very simple RM rules that handle that job for me.

So for those of you with:

  1. Central Heating/AC
  2. NO vent controllers
  3. NO individual room controls

What do your automations look like? Mine are very simple based on Mode (which is based on presence and time). For me 4 modes that are relevant here.

  1. Away (set Heating Temp and Cooling Temp)
  2. Day (set Heating Temp and Cooling Temp)
  3. Evening (set Heating Temp and Cooling Temp) (same as day for me)
  4. Night (set Heating Temp and Cooling Temp)

For me adjusting those temps based on mode is pretty simple. I do have an automation that turns up the heat in the house if it's below a certain temp when my wife leaves work (she's a teacher and she leaves at different times). Same with the kids and school. I use my old webcore presence sensors for this and flip switches in HE because...well that's the only way I can see to do it. IFTTT and Life360 don't allow per person geofence updates. Anyways...that's kind of a "nice" house is warm when she gets home thing.

But I'm reading about the ECO modes/etc. What else is everyone doing?

Again, maybe it's me because once you add in vent controls or individual room controls I can see all kinds of stuff in there based on room presence.

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I have three settings for my CT100 and they are synced with my alarm. The rules don't change the operating state of my AC, just the temp settings:

Alarm State - AC State - Cooling - Heat

  1. Off - Auto - 76 - 72
  2. Away - Auto - 82 - 68
  3. Home - Auto - 76 - 70

The only time the operating state changes is when I open any windows. Then a "window-open" switch turns on and the AC turns off. When the windows close and the "window-switch" turns off, then the AC goes back to Auto.

Window Switch - Operating State
On - Off
Off - Auto

I also use a webCoRE presence sensor, but it runs on my ST hub and using the HE Hub Link to drive a virtual presence sensor on my HE. I only use this to turn my alarm off.

For me I have around 15 heating rules as i set my temperature by time of day.
I've shown these below.
This gradually ramps the temperature up through the day.
I have restrictions in these rules for when we are away etc.
For me the new Thermostat app needs fully configurable time of day settings not just modes etc.
If we could do this is the stock HE app I could probably loose quite a few rules.


I have temperatures set by mode.


I toggle the heat/cool based on the outdoor temperature. Although my Thermostat has the whole range temperature concept, I hate that idea. Whether hot or cold I want basically the same temperature maintained, not a range of 5+ degrees.

Rules for thermostat?? NONE

Nest takes care of all of our scheduling based on time of day and whether we are home or not.

In the morning it bases temp off of the Nest temp sensor in the Kitchen.
In the day/evening modes it bases temp off of the Nest temp sensor in the Living Room.
During Bedtime it bases house temp using the Nest temp sensor in our Master Bedroom.

The only heat/ac related rule that I do have is based on if there is a window or door open. Then it just yells through the house and sends a pushover to warm us.


My use is pretty simple: I set the thermostat to what I want when I'm home (more or less manually--on the device, using Alexa and a complicated workaround since HE doesn't support this natively, or with dashboard either at home or sometimes before I get home). I don't use an "Away" mode, as my modes are primarily used for lighting and automations based on time of day with respect to sun position and my typical sleep/wake times, and I don't think "Away" fits into this category. I also don't use presence apps or devices. Instead, I wrote an app that tries to figure out when I'm not home and turn the thermostat up or down accordingly. This app uses motion sensors (the same one I use for my lights...did I mention I'm really into lighting automations?) and figures I'm "away" if it hasn't detected movement for a certain amount of time on any specified sensor, optionally while in certain modes or restricted by time of day.

That app is here: [RELEASE] Turn Thermosat Up/Down When Away (based on motion sensors)

Works great for me. I'd consider something that turns it back to "normal" for me automatically, but I get home at a different time pretty much every day, and even if it's a bit cooler (in the winter) than I want for a while when I get home, changing it back manually ensures it's never working too hard for no reason. I look forward to seeing what neat ideas other people have, but this works well for me. :slight_smile:

I have only one rule: set heatpoint at 64 during Away and Sleep modes. If I'm home and cold, only willpower determines whether I give in and raise the heat.

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I have two EcoBee3 thermostats each controlling it's own HVAC unit. I have programmed into my Ecobees:

Right now I have RM rules based on a Hubitat Mode change that controls the thermostats (really just uses the SetAway() when all presence sensors depart and resumeProgram() when any presence sensor arrives). And I have Home and Night schedules and setpoints programmed into the thermostats.

This is a better response than I thought I'd get. Interesting ideas and differences!

One thing to note is what thermostat do you have? I have an ecobee with sensors and do it this way.

I setup IFTTT switches to trigger the ecobee comfort modes. I had to do it this way instead of built in apps that adjust the heating/cooling points because the comfort modes utilize the sensors to ensure the rooms you want are at the right temperature. Manual overrides don't allow this to function.

The only modes I have are Home and Away. All of my automations are based off that.

If away, the away comfort settings is set. When somebody arrives then the home comfort settings are triggered based on time of day.

My whole setup is a custom written app but this should give you an idea of some of the logic. I also have extra logic that puts the ecobee into a "disabled" comfort mode if somebody leaves the door/window open too long. This avoid's wasting energy/gas.

The actual temperatures I use will be different for everybody based on your tolerance, but my time of days are morning (so its warm when we wake up), daytime, evening and night (cooler while sleeping and only bedroom is monitored).

I use life360 for per person geofencing. Its possible.

Ecobee 3 owner. I don't try to automate the automation. The only thing I have HE doing is resume program when I activate our goodnight routine. This is just in case one of us was cold and manually adjusted heat by thermostat or Alexa.

Just like @bptworld, I let the thermostat do what it was designed to do.


Me too really.
We have a ‘Netatmo’ thermostat which is independantly programmed.
As we have dogs, we don’t turn the heating off specifically when we leave.

The only thing extra we do is use a virtual switch ‘heating boost’ which uses ifttt to tell the Netatmo to turn on at a higher setting for one hour.

This is added into an alexa routine.
“Alexa I’m cold” turns the heating up for 1 hour :slight_smile:


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I also have EcoBee and let it do it things. But would be the same if I using zwave unit. Set points change based on time of day and day of week. I work from home a lot and the wife doesn't work any longer. So there is almost always somebody around.

There is one twist, I have multiple temp sensors and several get avg together to control the thermostat, which sensors are grouped or ignored also changes with the time of day.

For me it's the same deal, minus one rule even.

  1. Away +- 4DegF of Home (HVAC tech explained the stress incured by any more than 4Deg after cranking the heat / AC. Makes sense.)

  2. Home - What is comfortable.

  3. Night - -3DegF in the winter / A bit cooler than Home in the summer, can't remember. Gotta be cool at night.

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68F Daytime
64F Sleep
64F Away

All heat modes, I live in Alaska, can't justify A/C for 5 days of 80F weather per year, LOL.

I have nest thermostat but I allow HE to control it based on occupancy and time of day.

That's an great idea...love that.

So my thought was why invest in an expensive thermostat if I have all this logic in a hub. I use a generic zwave tstat (CT100) and do all my "logic" in Hubitat (prior ST). But the reason I asked is because of all these fancy expensive t-stats I couldn't see the advantage FOR ME. So I wondered how everyone was using them. Like what seems like most on here. Pretty much I'm home or not and that determines the set temp for heat or cool.

There are some neat ideas in here that's for sure! The boost one is getting implemented for sure with my family.

Yes possible in Life360. However Life360 doesn't present that information into Hubitat. So I have to use IFTTT. And IFTTT only recognizes the "First" or "Last" person to arrive leave a geofence, not who.

Not sure if I may be just not understanding but Im pretty sure it does. When you set up the Life360 connector in hubitat you then select your circle and it will present to you the people in that circle. You select each of them and it create a presence device for each person. Using those devices you can then act on each person.

I have it set up to announce via Alexa when each person arrives and announces who it is.

Honeywell TCC WiFi thermostat here. No driver available that allows me to put it in permanent hold mode, so I use RM to hit some different IFTTT Webhooks endpoints, which sets the cooling and heating setpoints. Mine is fairly simple, mostly mode based and only 3 modes.

68 when Away mode
72 when Home or Night mode

82 when Away
78 when Night
76 when Home and weekday morning from 6:30-8:30
78 when Home and not weekday morning

IFTTT doesn't have the ability to switch between heading/cooling/off mode, so nothing done there.

Oh I'm sorry, correct it does and that all works great. I'm referencing the actual location data outside of the house. Like my wife's work or the kids school that you setup as locations in Life360. I don't have visibility into that in HE. And in IFTTT you kind of do...but it's limited. The WebCore presence sensor let's me know when a specific person arrives and leaves a specific location. As in the above one rule is that when my wife leaves the geofence of her work. It triggers the thermostat so the house is warm when she gets home.

We like to do the boost thing in our household also. My approach is to have RM rules where if the thermostat set point is moved over 69 (Heat), or under 77 (Cool), delay 30min, then set it back to 69/77 (those being our usual setting when we're home).

I also use RM to manage heating/cooling mode based on ApiXU temperature, if it is less than 66 out, set mode to heat. If it's more than 76 out set mode to cool. (less futzing around when setting boost temps at the thermostat itself this way, vs auto mode)

Additional RM rule, when Hubitat mode is "Vacation" one of the actions is to set the thermostat to away mode so eco temps kick in.