Getting a smart WiFi AC controller is an easy way to increase the efficiency of your home’s air conditioning.
With smart AC control, you can control your air conditioner from your phone, make schedules, monitor AC usage, and take advantage of a ton of other smart features. It might even lead to savings on your monthly electric bill.
To better understand the value of AC controllers, we surveyed customers who purchased our Mysa Smart Thermostat for Air Conditioners and asked why they made the upgrade.
But first, let's learn more about smart AC controllers and how to control AC from your phone.
What is a Smart WiFi AC Controller?
Smart WiFi AC controller, smart AC remote, and smart thermostat for AC are all different terms for the same thing. These devices pair with your air conditioner to replace your existing LCD remote and use WiFi to control your AC via infrared signals. Essentially, it’s a smart upgrade for an LCD remote that controls an air conditioner.
You may have also heard of smart AC units. Smart AC units have built-in smart technology, whereas smart AC controllers are external devices that make your existing AC units smart.
Is a Smart Air Conditioning Controller Right for Your Home?
If you’re interested in upgrading your AC control, it’s important to consider compatibility. AC systems are usually pretty easy to distinguish, it all comes down to if you have a ducted or ductless air conditioner.
Ducted air conditioning systems have ducts or vents throughout a home to distribute air. Usually, this is part of a central HVAC system and is controlled by the same 1-2 thermostats that also control the home’s heating. AC Controllers are not compatible with ducted AC systems. Instead, you’ll need a low voltage smart thermostat like Nest or ecobee.
Ductless air conditioning doesn’t have any ductwork. Usually, homes have multiple ductless AC units since they’re zoned systems that control a specific room or area of a home. Ductless mini split heat pumps, window air conditioners, and portable air conditioners are all examples of ductless AC systems. If you have ductless AC at home, a smart air conditioner controller is for you!
How to Install a Smart AC Controller?
‘Installing’ a smart thermostat for air conditioners is quick and simple. With the right product in-hand, you can have smart home cooling control in minutes. We’ve broken down the process into 4 simple steps.
Step 1: Plug your smart WiFi AC controller into an outlet close to your mini split or AC unit. Make sure that the device has a direct line of sight to your AC unit — meaning there are no walls or large objects in the way (this would block control signals).
Step 2: Connect your smart AC controller to WiFi using instructions in the smart thermostat’s app. Most smart products require a 2.4Ghz WiFi connection. If this is not available, you may have to contact your internet provider for assistance in splitting your network.
Step 3: Pair your AC controller to your AC unit. (‘Pairing' means connecting using WiFi). Start pairing by choosing the type of AC unit you have (ex. mini split, window AC, etc.), and enter your AC or mini split unit's brand.
Then point your current AC remote towards your new smart controller and turn it on and off. This helps match the infrared (IR) commands from your remote to the smart thermostat's database. After finding a match, the AC controller downloads all of the commands for your existing remote to give you full control.
Step 4: Set-up features like Scheduling, Geofencing, Energy Insights, and any other smart AC control features you’d like to use.
10 Reasons to Get a Smart WiFi AC Controller (According to Customers):
To help you understand the benefit of having a WiFi AC controller, we surveyed customers who purchased Mysa’s Smart Thermostat for AC. Here are their 10 most popular reasons for getting better AC control:
1. Scheduling (44%)
The most common reason that Mysa customers had for upgrading to smart air conditioner control was Scheduling. Over 44% of customers said that their biggest frustration with their old AC control was not being able to schedule settings:
“Having to adjust constantly the temperature of the unit to save energy and for comfort.”
“Not [being] able to automate it and easily set schedules.”
Scheduling is one of the most basic, but powerful, smart features. If you’ve wondered how to control an air conditioner and save, a feature like scheduling is the answer. Scheduling helps you save by making sure you use AC as little as possible, while still keeping your home perfectly comfortable. Instead of manually turning your AC on and off when it’s not in use, you can schedule these changes to happen automatically in your AC controller app. It can even help resolve household thermostat wars. One customer noted that this was a common frustration with their old way of controlling AC:
“No scheduling, often fighting with my spouse over the temperature :)”
Schedules can be set in 15 minute intervals to fit your unique lifestyle. And AC control app access can be shared with your whole household. Everyone can set rooms to their personal preferences and make changes any time in the app. So, everyone is perfectly comfortable, and you save on costs.
2. Remote Access — Control Your AC From Anywhere (25%)
The second most popular reason customers had for upgrading to a smart WiFi AC controller was remote access. About 25% of people said that they purchased Mysa so they could control their AC from anywhere.
“With your app and device I can control the AC from anywhere which is important to me.”
Using a smart AC controller app, you can monitor and control your AC remotely. Whether you’re at the office, or on vacation across the globe, you can monitor humidity, run time, and change your AC settings; all in a smartphone app. This way, your home is always comfortable, without wasting energy.
3. Smart Home Integration (16%)
Smart home integration was another important consideration. About 16% of people said that they upgraded to Mysa because it was compatible with their smart assistant and the rest of their smart home.
“There was no way to integrate with my smart home.”
“It’s nice that Mysa AC is compatible with HomeKit and Google Assistant to control the heat pump.”
It’s just important to choose a product that’s compatible with your favourite smart home assistant. For example, if you like Apple products, you’d need a smart AC controller that works with HomeKit.
4. Ease of Use (13%)
Before switching to Mysa, about 13% of customers said that they found controlling their air conditioner confusing. If you have a handheld AC remote, it can be hard to understand all those buttons!
“All the buttons were absolute nonsense. I finally can use all the features of my AC with an easy to use interface.”
Proper AC control is important. A smart controller makes managing your air conditioning simple with an easy-to-use app.
5. Access to Data to Increase Efficiency and Save (8%)
Another reason to get a smart AC controller is related to efficiency and energy savings. About 8% of customers said that before Mysa they were frustrated with the lack of information about their AC usage. Without this information, it’s hard to make changes to be more efficient.
“Didn’t know how much it was costing me to run”
“Not being able to see consumption.”
To save on air conditioning costs, it’s important to first know how much you use it. An AC controller with an Energy Insights feature makes it easy to find ways to save. Users can see a history of runtime, ambient temperature settings, and humidity all in the app. This information can then be used to become more efficient.
6. On Device Temperature Display (8%)
Some customers also wished that their old AC remote could act more like a traditional thermostat. When controlling an air conditioner on the other side of the room, it’s hard to know the exact temperature; especially if there’s no visible thermostat display.
“Could never tell [the] exact temperature in [each] room.”
“No visual indication of temperature.”
A smart WiFi AC controller has a digital temperature display on the device. So, it’s easy to see the temperature in each room. Plus, you can take advantage of remote AC temperature control, by using the app to monitor this information.
7. Other Smart Features & Updates (6%)
Lack of smart features and app updates was another reason why 6% of customers decided to change how they controlled their air conditioner.
“Not enough settings - scheduling etc. Had to change it up and down morning and night.”
It’s hardly fair to compare a manual remote to WiFi air conditioner control. Remotes can take care of basic functions and AC settings while sitting close to your air conditioner. But, with a smart AC thermostat, you can control AC with your phone from anywhere and take advantage of a ton of smart features. For example:
Scheduling lets you easily program & customize heating or cooling schedules, based on your lifestyle. It will automatically turn your AC on/off, change temperature/settings, etc.
An app gives you online AC control on your phone, from anywhere.
Energy Insights tracks humidity, ambient temperature, and runtime so you can find ways to save.
Smart home integration, so you can have AC control with Alexa, Google Home, or Apple HomeKit.
Geofencing lets you program your air conditioner to make automatic changes, based on how close you are to home.
8. Losing the Remote (5%)
We can all relate to losing a remote in the couch cushions. About 5% of people we asked said that “[f]inding the remote'' was a frustration that they had with their old way of controlling AC. With smart AC control, you can control your air conditioner without a remote. So, there’s no need to worry about searching the couch cushions or junk drawer. Simply control your window AC, portable AC, or mini split from anywhere on your phone instead.
9. Home Heating & Cooling Control, All in the Same App (5%)
Another reason that people said they invested in a smart WiFi AC controller was being able to control heating and cooling in the same app.
“Setting schedules, and synchronizing them with the other thermostats in my house.”
“I have multiple Mysas for my baseboard heaters. To have one app is super convenient.”
If this is a concern for you, we suggest looking for a smart AC brand that also makes products compatible with your home’s heating. For example, Mysa makes smart thermostats for electric baseboard and in-floor heating, as well as for ductless AC. So, you can control your home’s electric heating and cooling together in one app. If you have low voltage heating and ducted cooling, AC control with Nest might be for you.
10. Device Design & Accessories (3%)
The final item on our list is a little subjective. About 3% of people said that a frustration with their old AC control device was its design and lack of accessories (for example, no table top stand).
“[My old] unit was a basic, ugly, small, unaspiring design.”
Smart AC controllers come in many shapes and sizes. So, finding the best AC controller in terms of design comes down to personal taste.
Something else to keep in mind is accessories that come with the product. For example, Mysa comes with a table top stand and adhesive strips. So, you can choose to display the unit on a side table close to your air conditioner or mount it on a wall.
Upgrade Your AC Control
Getting a smart WiFi AC controller is a quick and easy way to upgrade your home’s air conditioning.
Smart air conditioning control is great for any smart homeowner. If you’ve wondered how to control AC from your phone, consider a smart thermostat for air conditioners. Create schedules, monitor usage, integrate AC with your smart home, and so much more.
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Note: These insights were taken from aggregate data from an anonymous customer survey conducted by Mysa. All data was collected and analyzed in aggregate and does not contain details about individual Mysa users.