Joy in Simple Automations

This week I created a pretty simple automation in my home which makes me disproportionately happy, so I thought I’d share.

I live in California, in the Bay Area. We’ve been choking on smoke here for over a week. I’ve found that if I turn the fan on for my home’s forced air furnace, the furnace filter does a great job of clearing out the smoke from the house. So I’ve been using that… a lot.

Sadly, the blower on my furnace is a power hog. It consumes 900W. I feel guilty about leaving it on all the time.

So… how I fixed this: I replaced my home’s “dumb” programmable thermostats with some GoControl zwave thermostats. I then wrote a couple of simple automations: one which turns the blower on if the AQI in my house goes too high (measured using a PurpleAir indoor sensor), and another once it goes low enough.

Now my air quality is in a nice sawtooth pattern, and my fan is not on all the time. Success!


Sometimes the simple ones are the best :+1:

Zen and the Art of Home Automation Maintenance

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Nice! Just remember to change your filter more often now!

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How do you like the GoControl thermostat?
I have a NEST and l (and more importantly the wife) like how it looks and operates…except I do not like the API issues (i.e. not having one…yes I know there is one now, but I want local control now). I have looked at Z-wave thermostats and really can’t find one that is visibly appealing and as functional (First world problems).

The GoControl is a simple thermostat that just works. No fancy features, no schedules on the thermostat – but none of that matters, as anything fancy I do I do with Home Assistant. I’ve had no problems since I installed it.


I did not find an easy way to get the 10 min average locally but I did figure out how to get the 120 second average (2 mins).
I thought maybe it was another page…nope…ish. It is as simple as changing the live=true to live=false on the resource line. I tested this with postman first and it works and matches the local average page for the PurpleAir.

I also notice that there are more json entries than I had noted before (total of 85) they are the same topics whether live or average. Most are self explanatory but some I’m just not sure about. I’ll do some more digging but curious if anyone might know what the ‘status’ topics are.

(Thought you might want to know)