We love the smart thermostat category. It’s a wonderful thing. Having a smart thermostat allows you to remotely control the temperature from across the room or across the world. Of course, having a smart thermostat doesn’t exactly help the people without central air—at least, not in the summer.
There’s no need to start thinking about retrofitting a central air conditioning system. Yes, those are wonderful, but also expensive. Thankfully, there are plenty of smart gadgets that are designed to work with wall-mounted air conditioning units. No pricey installations or even that beloved smart thermostat are needed.
Ready to add a little tech into your summer routine? We found plenty of cool options. Check out our list of 6 Ways to Save on AC Without a Smart Thermostat.
Quirky + GE Aros Smart Air Conditioner
We’ve talked about this product—at length. That’s because it’s cool in more ways than one. It can deliver 8,000 BTUs of cooling goodness, all of which can be controlled almost anywhere, using the free Wink app for iOS and Android devices. That way, you won’t have to worry about leaving the AC on or off. It’s also smarter than the average smart appliance, since it can actually learn all about your budget, location, schedule, and usage, and adjust the temperature accordingly. It can even turn on and off based on your location and GPS settings. Other features include three cooling modes, three fan speeds, and retractable wings for a perfect fit in your window.
For More Information: Quirky
We love shiny, new gadgets. We don’t always approve of dumping the old ones into a landfill—especially old air conditioners. This little gadget can put a shiny, new spin on your old AC window unit. Sensibo specifically works with AC units that have a remote. However, instead of access from across the room, this tiny device adds access from anywhere, using a smartphone, tablet, computer or Pebble watch. It can even remember your preferences and has iBeacon and geofencing features to deliver those whenever you’re around and in need of a cool down. The system includes a central hub and nodes that stick to any existing AC unit. The simple installation also makes it easy to move, whether it’s to a different room or different property. Other features include filter alerts and IFTTT (“If This Then That”) support.
MSRP: Starts at $159
For More Information: Sensibo
Late last year, littleBits introduced the Smart Home Kit, which comes with all sorts of goodies to automate your home on the cheap. More specifically, the kit has 14 different bits, but for this project, you’ll only need eight. That ingredients list includes the cloudBit, an IR Transmitter, the temperature sensor, the USB power bit, the number module, the AC Switch, the power adapter and USB cable combo, and “shoes.” These littleBits can turn your old AC unit into a web-enabled AC unit, which can be controlled manually from any iOS/Android device or scheduled using IFTTT. This is an affordable DIY home automation project—and extremely cool as well, thanks to the step-by-step instructions on the littleBits website.
MSRP: $249 (Smart Home Kit)
For More Information: littleBits
ThinkEco WiFi smartAC Kit
No remote? No problem! This easy-to-use kit can smarten up any plug-in air conditioner. The smartAC acts as a middleman between your outlet and your existing AC unit. Just plug it in and connect it to your home’s WiFi, so you can access some of that sweet cooling action through ThinkEco’s mobile app. In addition to tweaks, the module allows users to check out current room temperatures and add scheduling. It’s not cheap, but it will save you (and the Earth) from having to dump that old AC unit. Plus, if you have Con Edison, Baltimore Gas & Electric or CPS Energy, you may qualify for a freebie through one of their energy programs.
For More Information: ThinkEco
This add-on can automate any remote-controlled air conditioner. Designed for window, split, freestanding or central units, the Ambi Climate can be controlled through iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Like the Sensibo, this model learns usage patterns and remembers them for later use, but also monitors temperature and environment inside and out—and takes all of that into consideration when tweaking the temperature. Small and portable, the Ambi Climate also features a Wake Up timer, a motion detector, WiFi support, and the Ambi Mode to make sure the AC goes on right before you get home.
For More Information: Ambi Climate
Samsung currently has 13 different models under its Triangle line—and each one is equally cool. These models feature a single user mode, which promises to cool down the room (and cut down the costs) for just one person. The good’sleep feature can keep the room comfortable based on the average sleep cycle, so the room will never be too hot or too cold. Other features include silence technology, a Fast Cool mode, and the Virus Doctor to eliminate dust and other allergens. Of course, each of these AC units wouldn’t be a “smart” solution without remote control. That’s available via Samsung’s Android app.
MSRP: Contact for pricing
For More Information: Samsung