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How to make your stupid window air conditioning smart

  A window air conditioner with a smart plug above it.
Josh Hendrickson

Window air conditioners are crucial in homes without central air conditioning. But switching any device on and off is a problem, and smart air conditioners are expensive. With a smart plug, you can make many air conditioners smart.

Why make a window air conditioner smart?

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9/06/xPlugs-HTG. jpg.pagespeed.gp + jp + jw + pj + ws + js + rj + rp + rw + ri + cp + md.ic.vfngRhZp5X.jpg "alt =" An intelligent iClever plug over an air conditioning plug over a blue ceiling.
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Window air conditioners are expensive and expensive often cost between 200 and 500 US dollars. They make up for these costs through a long service life – it is not unusual for them to work for five to ten years. The best way to cool several rooms in a house is to buy multiple units, one for each room. But that will make you run from room to room to turn it on when you get home. Later you run around to turn them off and save power. And when you get home, it may be that your home is hot, until you turn on your air conditioners and they have the opportunity to cool things down. If you are not home, you may not want to run it all day.

Some newer A / C devices have Wi-Fi options for voice and remote control, but buying a brand new air conditioner for this feature does not work. & # 39; It does not make sense if the old system works well and is energy efficient. The next best thing is to make your air conditioning smart by adding a smart plug. With a smart plug, you can turn on or off an air conditioner in the house or apartment via an app or voice control. And you can turn it on remotely when you're on the way home. So your home is cool on your arrival.

Smart plugs are cheap and cost between 15 and 30 US dollars. They can be ZigBee, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth based. Most of them work with Alexa or Google Assistant, and you can easily control them from your phone. The best use for smart plugs is voice control and automation. But you can also save money. However, as not every air conditioner is compatible with smart switches, you should first check if your air conditioner is working with smart plugs.

How to check if your air conditioner works with smart plugs

  Close-up of the A / C unit with mechanical power and speed switches and a knob.
Your A / C unit requires physical toggle switches or knobs to work.

Smart plugs are great devices that work on simple principles. First connect a device – such as a lamp or coffee maker – to the Smart Plug. Plug the Smart Plug into the socket. Now you can program and control the plug with his smartphone app.

Turning off the Smart Plug will cut off power to all connected devices. In fact, it is the same as pulling out the lamp or coffee maker. When you turn on the Smart Plug, you have "plugged in the lamp".

But the same simple principle of disconnecting and restoring power limits the Smart Plug features. Not all devices work with a smart plug as some use an electrical switch. Electrical switches store the current status of turning on and off on a circuit board, and this memory is lost when power is removed. Mechanical switches let the power supply through like a normal light switch based on their physical condition.

Before you buy a smart plug for your window's air conditioner, you must first check the power switches. Is it a softkey with LED indicator? Or a mechanical switch, which is switched to switch on and off of such a toggle switch or knob in different positions?

  A closeup of an air conditioner with an electric switch and a LED screen.
Soft keys and a LED screen are usually an electrical switch and do not work with a smart plug. Josh Hendrickson

If it's a soft push button, the device probably will not work with a smart plug. If it's a mechanical switch, you can make it smart. If you are still not sure, you can do a simple test. Turn on the air conditioner and unplug the power cord. Wait five seconds, then reconnect. If your air conditioner is turned on without you pressing a button, it will work with a smart switch.

This also works for portable air conditioners. But the same restriction applies: you need a portable air conditioner with mechanical switches that can be turned on as soon as you plug it in without the extra push of a button.

Once you've determined that your air conditioner works with smart plugs, it's time to buy some. We have several recommendations for smart plugs. If you do not have a hub, consider using Wi-Fi. A slim smart plug like the eufy Smart Plug Mini will fit in your room best if the plug on your air conditioner is large and unwieldy.

CONNECTED: The Best Smart Plugs

How to set up your air conditioner with your smart plug

  Connect a Windows Air Conditioner to a smart plug , which is connected to a power outlet.
Josh Hendrickson

Once you have your smart plug, getting everything ready is a straightforward process. If you have not already, install your Windows Air Conditioner as usual. Plug it into your Smart Plug and into the wall. Then download and install the app for the Smart Plug.

The installation process for the app and smart plug depends on your smart plugs. Here are instructions for the Smart Plugs from Kasa, eufy and Belkin. Only one Smart Plug is set up with another device. If you have already done so, you should already know what to do.

If you have set up the Smart Plug, you can integrate it into Google Assistant or Alexa.

When you connect a smart plug to a voice assistant, think about the name you give each plug, and do not forget to add it to a group or room. This makes the control even easier.

After connecting to a voice assistant, you can create a routine to automatically turn the air conditioning on and off at specific times of the day or night. We recommend using the Google Home or Alexa app, not the Smart Plug app. If you follow this advice with all your devices, you'll always know which app to go to if you need to adjust a routine. It's more convenient than thinking of using the Kasa app for intelligent plug timer, but the Philips Hue app for lights, etc.

Intelligent plugs are not a perfect automation solution. For example, you can not set temperature or speed. And when your air conditioner is old enough, it wastes power or does not cool a room anymore. You should consider replacing it instead of buying a smart plug. But if your window air conditioner is working properly and does not consume too much power and you only need the ability to turn it on and off, intelligent plugs are a great way to add voice and remote control along with automation for less than buying an intelligent air conditioning system.

With this trick you can also make other devices intelligent. You could even set up some "smart" fans to keep your home cool without running the air conditioner.

CONNECTION: Not all devices work with smart power outlets. Find out how

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