Use IFTTT to turn off thermostat when forecast temp is high

Remarks, questions, tips and tricks regarding the Netatmo applications.
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baronmax
Posts: 10
Joined: 30 Jun 2015, 15:58

Use IFTTT to turn off thermostat when forecast temp is high

Post by baronmax » 21 Jul 2015, 00:33

Whilst its the Summer here in Scotland and temperatures regularly reach 18 or even 19 or 20 degrees (!) I'd like to have the thermostat switch OFF for three hours if:

1) at 6.30am the predicted outside temperature for the day is more than 16 degrees (say) and
2) revert to schedule if (later) the outside temperature drops below 16 (say).

In this way I won't have my boiler firing up for an hour in the morning when my set point is 19 (normal) but the actual inside temperature is 18.2 (say) but will normally come up above 19 in time, due to the house warming up with sunshine...

With IFTTT I can do the second easily using the Netatmo weather station trigger but doing the first is tricky. This is because the IFTTT weather forecast channel provides a trigger for 'tomorrows high temperature greater than' but not one for 'todays high temperature greater than...'

OK I know I could just turn it off in the Summer but where's the fun in that? I want it automated! The main problem is that there doesn't seem to be an easy way of working with variables with IFTTT (ie to take a variable and see if its more than a certain value) but if anyone has any ideas let me know!

cmugur
Posts: 88
Joined: 30 Dec 2014, 11:49

Re: Use IFTTT to turn off thermostat when forecast temp is h

Post by cmugur » 22 Jul 2015, 10:18

You may use the Weather channel to trigger you Netatmo thermostat (if current temperature rises above...) than ...

TypeC
Posts: 289
Joined: 30 Dec 2014, 21:35

Re: Use IFTTT to turn off thermostat when forecast temp is h

Post by TypeC » 22 Jul 2015, 11:29

That's an interesting problem. Unfortunately, it seems to me to highlight an inflexibility of IFTTT. You can get this information from (for example, I'm sure there are others) an api at OpenWeatherMap, but there is no channel that I can see which will allow you to process that data into an IFTTT trigger.

My humble opinion of IFTTT is that they'll do fine until someone else comes along with a model that keeps the apparent simplicity of the original but allows power users to create and (crucially) share the equivalent of channels. If this can be combined with improvements in the triggering system (AND, OR, etc., so you can, in your scenario, avoid freezing your 'nads off at 16c in the house at 7am just because the outside temperature is predicted to hit 20c at 4:30pm!) I think it will eat into IFTTT's market share quite quickly.

baronmax
Posts: 10
Joined: 30 Jun 2015, 15:58

Re: Use IFTTT to turn off thermostat when forecast temp is h

Post by baronmax » 22 Jul 2015, 13:52

Thanks TypeC and cmugur.

cmugur: that sort of works but what I'm keen to do is not have the boiler fire up when the current outside temp is low (eg at 6.30am) but is forecast to be high later (ie when the sun will eventually do the warming eg by 8.30-9am say). At the moment (in Summer) the Netatmo is turning the boiler on and then when the sun does the warming the setpoint temperature is being exceeded and I'm spending money on gas unnecessarily.

TypeC: I take your point about me potentially freezing my nads if the outside high temperature only happens much later in the day at 4.30pm say but that's the kind of live-life on a knife edge sort of person I am :) But yes as you suggest - a more nuanced forecast eg forecast for 3 hours ahead would be better.

Anyway I think I have figured a clunky work around to make this happen with IFTTT. I'm a bit surprised with how many rave pieces are written about IFTTT but how limited it is in practice.... That said they probably make their money from the app providers with custom triggers so if they had a free for all on that it might destroy their revenue base (not sure how otherwise they make money!)

The solution is to use IFTTT to fire the weather forecast at 6.30am trigger to the email action (I created a specific email address for the purpose). I then use email filtering rules (hosted in the cloud on cpanel) to determine whether the forecast outside high temperature for the day is high (>16C say) using regex logic. If it is then an email is sent back to IFTTT (with an appropriate hashtag) which is then used as the trigger to set the Netatmo thermostat to manual mode for three hours (eg from 6.30am to 9.30am). Hurrah!

Anyway that's what I've set up, now I'll see if it works in practice and my life will be almost perfect! (ahem...)

TypeC
Posts: 289
Joined: 30 Dec 2014, 21:35

Re: Use IFTTT to turn off thermostat when forecast temp is h

Post by TypeC » 23 Jul 2015, 10:33

That's quite a signal path!

I agree with you re IFTTT's lauding in the media / blog world. I guess anything that (easily) connects otherwise disparate systems is much better than them staying unconnected, regardless of the inflexible model.
baronmax wrote:TypeC: I take your point about me potentially freezing my nads if the outside high temperature only happens much later in the day at 4.30pm say but that's the kind of live-life on a knife edge sort of person I am :)
I can tell you'll cope fine. Anyone who can use the words, "nads" and "knife edge" in the same sentence without wincing deserves respect.

baronmax
Posts: 10
Joined: 30 Jun 2015, 15:58

Re: Use IFTTT to turn off thermostat when forecast temp is h

Post by baronmax » 23 Jul 2015, 15:54

Thanks TypeC - was a bit more complicated than I thought... on redirecting email from cpanel/email back to IFTTT it gives it a different email address - which was different to the 'receive' one registered with IFTTT... so it doesn't work as you need the same email address for send and receive using the standard email trigger.

The solution was that I had to redirect email to Gmail then use an Gmail/filter trigger to make IFTTT work....

I don't think I could have done this easily in Gmail because it doesn't allow regex searches in its filters (i.e. searching for one character with others) whereas cpanel does...

Anyway if anyone is interested (which I doubt!) the regex search I used in my cpanel email filter to filter out temperatures of >16C was:

With a high of (1[6-9]|[2-9][0-9])C

This matches 16C, 27C, 99C but not 7C or 13C or -17C etc

(after having modified the weather report from IFTTT sent to my cpanel email address to give temperatures in Centigrade rather than Fahrenheit...)

Ok that really is enough of all this now!

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