Manually turn on Ecobee cooling?

I monitor my server room temperature and can see it with the ‘sensor.theatre_temperature’ entity. I want to have an automation turn on the home’s aircon if the room’s temperature gets too high. Even though this will affect the entire house, I don’t care. I just need to start up the aircon for 10 minutes. I’ve got all that automation worked out; but I don’t know how to just instruct the ecobee to turn on the airconditioning.
I’m guessing I could do it by changing the target_temp_high value to something very low, then after 10 minutes change it back. Before I do that though, is there any more straight forward way to just tell the ecobee to “turnon air con please, irrespective of your opinions and settings”?

I think I would just stick to manipulating the temp. The thermostats have some builtin mechanism to help maintain the health of AC components (e.g. not cycling the compressor back on if it was just on).

How often are you finding you need to kick this on? The reason I ask is maybe to look at some solutions I have come across in the network engineering rhealm.

Is your server room pretty much sealed off? If so, here is what I would do:

1.) Stick a vent low on the door (or elsewhere) of your server room if the associated noise is not going to bother anyone. Lower air is cooler air.

2.) Up, as high as you can, put in an exhaust vent. That will allow hot air to push out and draw cold air from the door. All you have to do is make sure it goes between two studs, like a cold air return, same with the cold air inlet.

That has achieved a vast majority of fix for what I have seen because temperature wants to equalize and these are low-cost solutions that should keep your energy bill in check and help keep people comfortable in the rest of your house since no power is required at all. This also pushes the air up high where it has less of a chance of hitting anyone. Not sure where your server room is but this may even make things unnoticeable.

If you find you still have problems, you could set up a plug in brushless fan insert up top where your heat exhaust vent is behind it and put it on a HA controlled switched outlet and then put a temperature sensor in there, somewhere that would be pretty quick to adjust the room’s needs. You could easily set up an automation to kick on the fan to push out the hot air, drawing in the lower cool air once the room hits a certain temperature, and then wait to turn it off when the temperature gets back down, again. That would be active cooling.

I think pushing the hot air into your house the net change becomes less noticeable when you factor in the volume of air in your home than cranking up the AC. Those brushless fans pull very little power.

Other than that, @FriedCheese has it right, you are going to have to modify temperature settings but that is going to be far more hit and miss.

I’ve got an AC Infinity fan mounted above the ceiling and an identical one mounted under the room, connected to existing ducting. The ceiling one takes warm air from the top of the room and sends it outside. The duct one brings in air from the existing home HVAC into the room. They act in unison. They’re both controlled by a bluetooth controller that I control within HA.

There are numerous automations that control this pair. When anyone enters the room, they turn on to ensure fresh continuous air. When nobody is in the room and it’s not too warm, they turn off, otherwise they will turn on occasionally to bring in cooler air. The air coming in from the HVAC will always be cooler than the air in the theatre because the theatre is on the 3rd level and has the server in it.

The automations include hysteresis logic to prevent constant state changing.

If the room gets too warm, an automation will turn on the home HVAC (via Ecobee) momentarily (10 minutes max) in an attempt to quickly cool down the room. At the same time, it ramps up the AC Infinity fans, which act to essentially suck most of the generated cool air that’s intended for the rest of the house, into the theatre. After <10 minutes, it returns the HVAC back to it’s prior setting.

The automations take into account if there’s anyone in the room and the current CPU and other server onboard temperature sensors to determine when cooling is required. It also notifies me on my watch that it’s turned on cooling, giving me a heads-up that the room is too warm.

Since the theatre is in the room above the garage, with sloping ceiling/roof, on hot days the sun will warm the roof and the heat will gradually radiate through the insulation into the theatre. So the ambient room temperature may be significantly different than the radiating heat from the wall/ceiling. This creates a very thermally dense but very unresponsive heat source. The AC Infinity fans cannot hope to move enough air through the room to lower the temperature, so the HVAC is used to bring in cold air when necessary.

I was able to find the entity_id of the ecobee and the different configuration values needed to read, store, change, and restore the ecobee within these automations.

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