Automating an Old Ducted A/C with Home Assistant

Hey everyone,

I recently embarked on a DIY adventure to retrofit my old ducted air conditioning system into a smart, energy-efficient setup using Home Assistant. I thought I’d share the journey and outcomes with you all!

Main Idea

Our house has an old Actron Air system, which isn’t compatible with modern smart controllers. Replacing it was too costly, so I found a way to make it smart with some creative solutions and DIY effort.

Challenges

The main issues with our old system were:

  • Inefficient temperature control across different zones.

  • High running costs.

  • Lack of remote control.

Tools Used

  • Home Assistant: Central hub for integration and automation.

  • Zigbee Fingerbot Switches: Control the physical buttons on the A/C unit.

  • Temperature Sensors: Monitor temperature in different zones.

  • Zigbee2MQTT and AppDaemon: Manage the devices and automation logic.

How It Works

  1. Fingerbot Switches: Installed around the A/C dashboard to control power and zones.

  2. Temperature Sensors: Placed in each zone to provide real-time data.

  3. Automation Logic: Uses Home Assistant and AppDaemon to turn the A/C on/off based on the desired temperature and zone priorities.

Outcome

The retrofit has drastically improved comfort and efficiency. Each zone is now managed individually, saving energy and reducing costs. The total cost was around $173 AUD, a fraction of replacing the system.

Here’s a look at the final setup:

Summary

This low-cost, low-tech solution turned my old A/C into a smart system, making it more efficient and manageable. It’s not limited to Actron Air and can work with other systems too.

For a detailed guide and code, check out my full post here. I’ve also included links to the tools and resources used.

Feel free to ask any questions or share your own experiences!

Cheers!