Author Topic: How can I time the ON time of my Air Conditioner  (Read 667 times)

Offline brausse

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How can I time the ON time of my Air Conditioner
« on: February 25, 2018, 05:21:16 pm »
I just installed a GC-TBZ48 thermostat. The main reason for the install is that at my vacation home, a capacitor blew on the furnace fan motor during the summer air conditioning season and as a result, the AC compressor kept running 24HRS/Day until I noticed our electricity bill jump and the heat inside the house rising to over 100F. As a result, the outside compressor unit froze up into a ball of ice. Luckily, it did not damage. Is there a way that I can have Vera time the amount of time the furnace is running before shutting off and if it exceeds a certain amount of time, notify me?

Offline Don Phillips

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Re: How can I time the ON time of my Air Conditioner
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2018, 06:11:01 pm »
I have done something that you many be able to modify to do what you need.  Attached is my PLEG status report. It tracks total blower time.
Vera 3, 1.7.1030, CT101, Everspring motion sensor, GE/Jasco switch, Leviton outlet, AeonLabs sensor, NuTone garage door, Blue Iris, Sricam SP011, iPhone locator, APCUPSD, VeraMate, VeraAlerts, PLEG, House Modes, Countdown Timer, DVR, Virtual/Multi Switch, Weatherunderground, LB60Z-1 bulb, Hue, Alexa

Offline kigmatzomat

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Re: How can I time the ON time of my Air Conditioner
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2018, 11:13:46 pm »
. Is there a way that I can have Vera time the amount of time the furnace is running before shutting off and if it exceeds a certain amount of time, notify me?
I second using PLEG

Add a trigger tied to your furnace blower being on called tBlowerOn.
Make a condition ie cBlowerTooLong

   (tBlowerOn; Now >50:00) and tBlowerOn

The value above becomes true at 50 minutes.
Now this will apply to cooling and heating. If you don't want your furnace to kick off midwinter add another trigger tied to your HVAC being in Cooling mode ie tCool. Then the condition would be

   (tBlowerOn; Now >50:00) and tBlowerOn and tCool

The first bit says they the blower trigger became true >50min ago. The next bit says it is still true now. The last bit says the HVAC is in cooling mode.

Then set up a scene tied to this condition that shuts off the furnace and has notifications set.

You could also make two conditions, one that triggers at say 45 minutes and is a notification only and another at an hour that actually turns things off and sends notifications.

Offline Priest

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Re: How can I time the ON time of my Air Conditioner
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2018, 08:45:16 am »
I know this is getting further afield from the original question, but....

Something that helped me with freezeup at my previous house (where the landlord insisted everything was fine, but it wasn't) was to introduce a blower cycle independent of the AC compressor turning on/off. I began with a schedule that was to turn on the HVAC FAN ONLY for 10 minutes every hour and adjusted from there.  This made it so that before the freezeup could actually occur the fan was blowing warmer air across the coils with the compressor off to re-melt the coils.  In the end at that house, 7 minutes per hour was perfect.  At the end of the cycle the fan changes from ON to AUTO again.  It does not mess with the HVAC's ability to turn on heat or AC then since it is just fan control.

In the house we own now, I actually still use this schedule, at 5min/hr, even though I dont have a freezeup problem. I've found that it helps maintain an even temperature in the house better because it circulates the air that would otherwise be sitting still waiting for the temp in the hallway to swing outside of the thermostat range.  It's common for my 5 minute cycle to kick in and as it shuts off or is about to shut off, the heat or air will turn on due to stirring up the hot/cold air from the other side of the house.  My power consumption has gone down due to more consistent temps and less of wife swinging the temp wildly because she's cold/hot at one end of the house vs the other.

Offline brausse

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Re: How can I time the ON time of my Air Conditioner
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2018, 11:27:06 am »
I'm new to Vera Plus so have not looked at PLEG. It seems strange that you have to buy a product to make something so simple work. In my other home, I use an ISY994 and this would be a simple piece of code. I notice that the Vera Plus has the ability to use code called Luup. I took a quick look at some Luup documentation and it doesn't look like an intuitive programming interface. Can I use Luup to do this timing? Do you think it's worth my while to try learning Luup and if so, where can I find good documentation? Does anyone have Luup code to do the timing I need? Thanks.

Offline wilme2

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Re: How can I time the ON time of my Air Conditioner
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2018, 11:57:07 am »
I'm new to Vera Plus so have not looked at PLEG. It seems strange that you have to buy a product to make something so simple work. In my other home, I use an ISY994 and this would be a simple piece of code. I notice that the Vera Plus has the ability to use code called Luup. I took a quick look at some Luup documentation and it doesn't look like an intuitive programming interface. Can I use Luup to do this timing? Do you think it's worth my while to try learning Luup and if so, where can I find good documentation? Does anyone have Luup code to do the timing I need? Thanks.

Vera out of the box is really a remote control and scheduled scene product.  For sure you can use LUA to build more sophistication (Luup is Lua extension.  https://www.lua.org/, http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Luup_Lua_extensions).  But if you go very far with it, maintaining all that Luup will be a real pain - and complex as you have to deal with a lot of Vera peculiarities (restarts).  PLEG gets you around this - making it so you don't have to worry about the code and the system issues, and instead focus on the logic.  PLEG has a free trial, and if you need no more than 5 inputs and 5 conditions, you can use it free as well.  To me PLEG IS Vera.  I would not still be on Vera if it did not exist...
Long Live UI5!  (OK finally made the switch to UI7 in January 2018, and am pretty happy....)

Offline brausse

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Re: How can I time the ON time of my Air Conditioner
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2018, 10:19:20 am »
thanks for your input. I will check out PLEG before doing something drastic like trashing the Vera and buying another ISY.

Offline RichardTSchaefer

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Re: How can I time the ON time of my Air Conditioner
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2018, 08:29:05 pm »
You will want to look at the "Counter" input.

You can start the counter when the AC turns on.
And turn off the counter when the AC turns off.
You can reset the counter on what ever interval you like (weekly, monthly, ...)