How to Make Your Dumb AC Unit Smart with Alexa & WiFi

How to Make Your Dumb AC Unit Smart with Alexa & WiFi


We live in a modern world and the world is related to modern technologies. If you have already double-checked the prices of smart air conditioners and found out they aren’t affordable for you, don’t be sad. I know many people who are saving money for a new unit but can’t buy it right now. If you’d like to touch this problem a bit sooner, I prepared for you tips on how to make AC unit smart or at least to get some smart abilities.

Read my review very carefully because it’s not an easy process to upgrade your current AC unit and some gadgets need other gadgets to work properly or just to work. Keep reading and find out more about them!

Smart WiFi Plugs

The smart WiFi plugs are very intelligent little gadgets helping us in our normal life. Every plug is used for one device at home. The plug communicates by WiFi connection with your smartphone and allows you to monitor the plugged device. And it doesn’t matter what kind of device it is.

The installation process is more than easy. The plug is installed in the outlet and then you stick the power cord of the device into the plug. The only thing you need to do it to install a free app to keep your device under control.

Wemo Insight – WiFi Smart Plug

If you always forget to unplug the air conditioner or some other home appliance the Wemo Smart Plug will be the best solution for you!

But Wemo does offer more than that. It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant and in the free app, you can control the consumption of energy and calculate monthly costs. From my point of view, it’s worth it!

How does it work? Simply plug your AC unit into it. The app on your phone or tablet allows you to switch on or off the device. You will be also monitoring how many hours your unit was operating and the app gives you feedback about costs. And if you also have or buy Alexa Echo you can use voice commands for Alexa.

Does the plug with window AC machine work as a smart unit? Partially yes. You’ll be able to turn the unit on and off and monitor the overall costs due to some parameters. But you won’t be able to change temperature or fan speed. It’s impossible with a smart plug.

Pros
  • WiFi connection.
  • It’s able to control and calculate your monthly costs in the app.
  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Compatibility with Apple HomeKit and IFTTT.
  • Compatible with iOS and Android.
Cons
  • You need to combine the plug with Alexa device (e.g. Amazon Echo) to use Alexa and voice control.

Teckin – Smart WiFi Plug

This smart plug is very popular and people love it. I must admit it offers the best performance-price ratio. And of course, it helps you to solve a problem of how to make AC unit smart. At least a bit.

How does it work? This Smart WiFi plug allows you to plug your electric devices into outlets and then comfortably control them via an app. You can directly turn it on or off, set a timer or a customized schedule. It means you can control all of your appliances remotely.

Does the plug with window AC machine work as a smart unit? Actually not. You can easily set a timer or switch it on or off. But you won’t be able to change the temperature, fan speed, modes, and many others.

How to use it? Simply plug the TECKIN smart plug into an electrical outlet and connect a chosen device to the Smart Plug. The chosen device is in our case your older window air conditioner. Now, you can wirelessly control your AC unit by using a tablet or smartphone. You just need to download the free app Smart Life. But keep in mind that a secured 2.4GHz WiFi network is required.

Pros
  • WiFi connection.
  • Compatibility with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT to control the device by using a voice.
  • You can program a schedule and a timer.
  • Easy to use for every electric device.
  • Affordable helper.
Cons
  • To use a voice control you have to buy an Alexa device e.g. Echo Plus.

Smart Home Hubs

The smart home hubs are intelligent gadgets helping you with controlling all of your smart devices such as cameras, lights, switches, air conditioners, door locks, thermostats, and so on. from one place. You can do it by using free apps on smartphones or tablets or by using a voice. The hubs help us to control energy consumption and avoid sky-high bills. They also allow using automatic commands for example when you’re leaving a house they can turn off all lights and air conditioners according to your location.

Echo Plus – Built-in Smart Home Hub

Echo Plus has built-in Zigbee hub to easily setup and controls your compatible smart home devices. Use your voice to ask Alexa to do it. But what happens when you don’t have a smart window cooling machine? You can use it for a regular AC unit but you need to buy a smart WiFi plug working with Alexa.

How to use it? It’s easy. Plug the Echo Plus into an outlet. Sync Echo Plus with Alexa app via your smartphone or tablet. Then, connect your old window air conditioner with a smart plug. Ask Alexa to discover your devices. Alexa immediately finds your connected cooling machine.

Does Echo Plus make my window AC unit to be smart? Partially yes. As I mentioned you need to buy a smart WiFi plug together with Echo Plus if you don’t have a smart AC machine. Thanks to these both things you will be able to switch on and off the air cooling appliance, and set timer by using your mobile phone or tablet wherever you are. And you also be able to turn it on and off by using a voice and asking Alexa for it. But you won’t be able to change temperature, fan speed, etc. It’s possible only on a smart AC unit.

What types of AC unit is compatible with? Echo Plus works with every kind of non-smart AC unit. But you need to plug the cooling machine in a smart plug to get a WiFi connection. The Echo Plus communicates via WiFi. If you don’t have a smart plug the Echo Plus won’t work.

Pros
  • WiFi connection.
  • Compatibility with smart WiFi plugs.
  • Voice control of your electric devices by using Alexa.
Cons
  • If you don’t have a smart air conditioner, you need to buy a smart WiFi plug together with Echo Plus.

Samsung SmartThings Hub – Smart Home Automation Hub

A smart hub providing a perfect price-performance ratio. However, it’s cheaper than standard hubs this appliance offers more.

It’s compatible with more than 40 brands and you connect lots of smart devices to control them from one place and also use voice commands.

How does it work? If you don’t have a smart air conditioner you should stick it into a smart plug firstly. Then your smart plug and the smart hub can communicate via WiFi connection. If you own any other smart devices you can control them from the free SmartThings App, Google Assistant, or Alexa.

Does Samsung SmartThings Hub make my window AC unit to be smart? The answer is partial yes. It’s the same case as in every other smart hub. If your air conditioner isn’t a smart device you will be able to switch it on and off from the App or by using a voice. But there is no chance to change settings, temperature, etc.

What types of AC unit is compatible with? Any type. But keep in mind you need to stick the “dumb” air conditioner into a smart plug because your current cooling machine can’t communicate with the hub. It needs wifi from the plug.

Pros
  • Voice commands to control devices by using SmartThings and the Google Assistant.
  • Fully compatible with iOS and Android devices.
  • Compatible with more than 40 brands of smart devices.
  • It’s possible to connect cameras, thermostats, lights, switches, etc.
Cons
  • You need to buy the Amazon Echo to use Alexa services.

Air Conditioner Controllers

You can imagine the air controllers as smart brains of your “dumb” AC unit. When you install a smart plug and stick your air conditioner into it you can comfortably switch the unit on and off remotely by using a smartphone app. But that’s all because the smart plug doesn’t let you change the settings or to do anything else to simulate smart behavior.

But when you desire to do more than only to switch on or off the cooling machine via phone or voice command, you should definitely take a closer look at smart controllers. How do they work? These smart gadgets simulate the infrared signal from your air conditioner’s remote control while using your WiFi network to connect with a free app on your cellphone or tablet. 

Smart controllers usually work on any ac units that work with remote control, including window units, portable air conditioners, and mini-splits.

Sensibo Sky – WiFi Air Conditioner Controller

Sensibo Sky belongs to a group of air conditioner controllers. These controllers help you to make from your current ordinary AC unit a smart AC unit.

How does it work? Before you buy this controller you should know it will work only if your current cooling machine has a remote control. The remote control works via infrared connection as well as the controller. If you sync it with AC unit you can turn on or off the machine. It’s able to detect when you leave your home or coming from work and turn it off or on according to your location to save energy and money.

Does Sensibo Sky make my AC unit be smart? Definitely yes. You will be able to use and change all the functions available on the air conditioner via the app on a phone or tablet and you’ll be able to operate the unit by using a voice if you add devices like Amazon Echo.

What types of AC unit is compatible with? Sensibo Sky is compatible with windows, in-wall, split and portable units. You don’t need any smart plug but your unit has to have a remote control.

Pros
  • WiFi connection.
  • Compatibility with iOS and Android.
  • Compatibility with Alexa, Google Home, Apple Siri shortcuts, and Amazon Echo.
  • Humidity sensor.
  • Your location detection to turn on or off the AC unit when nobody is home or arriving.
  • Available in black or white design.
Cons
  • It will work only if your current window air conditioner has a remote control.

Cielo Breez Plus – Smart Air Conditioner Controller

The Cielo Breez Plus belongs to smart air conditioner controllers that can show off WiFi connection and a wide range of compatible appliances such as Amazon Echo, smartphones, etc.

It offers automatic operation like being switched on or off according to your position, humidity control, set temperature range, scheduling, and many others. These operations save up to 25 percent on the energy bills compared to the normal working AC unit.

How does it work? You need to download a free app into your smart device and register before you start to use it. Then, you just need to sync your smart device and Cielo Breez. And that’s it. Everybody who has access can operate the unit. It’s also possible to check the settings on the big display of Cielo Breez.

Does Cielo Breez make my AC unit be smart? Absolutely! The best advantage is you can use it with any smart device that is iOS, Android or any web-compatible appliance. You can set a comfortable temperature range, check humidity control, and filter check alert. Everything through a free app on your smartphone, tablet, etc.

What types of AC unit is compatible with? Cielo Breez works with mini-split units, portable ACs, and the window air conditioners having a remote control.

Pros
  • WiFi connection.
  • Compatible with iOS, Android, Alexa, and Google Home.
  • Filter status check.
  • Temperature rate control and humidity control.
  • Automatic detection of your position to turn on or off and save energy.
  • Every family member with access can control the unit just like you.
  • Scheduling.
  • Big display with visible settings.
Cons
  • Your unit has to have a remote control.

AirPatrol – WiFi Smart Air Conditioner Controller

The AirPatrol WiFi controller is suitable to control your AC unit or heat pumps. The only condition is to have a unit with a remote control having LCD.

This controller allows you automatically to cool or heat your house. You will be able to set the timer, schedule, temperature, or turn off when everybody leaves home or turn on when somebody is arriving.

How does it work? When you download a free app into your smart device like a phone or tablet, you can sync the app with your AirPatrol Controller. If you have more than one controller the app is able to manage all of them at one screen.

Does Cielo Breez make my AC unit be smart? Sure! You can control your unit by using a voice or you and your family members can control it on a phone or any similar smart appliance. It’s possible to set a favorite temperature or any other settings for cooling or heating. It’s up to you.

What types of AC unit is compatible with? It works perfectly with any mini-split, window mount or portable air conditioner.

Pros
  • WiFi connection.
  • Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Google Home, and IFTTT.
  • Compatible with iOS, Android.
  • Scheduling.
  • Switch multiple controllers.
Cons
  • Your AC unit has to have a remote control with LCD.

The Bottom Line

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on the purchase of a new smart air conditioner you should find out cheaper solutions that don’t require to replace your current unit.

My picks help you to solve your problem of how to make AC unit smart, intelligent, and automatic. They offer the best price-performance ratio. You’ll be amazed at many other ways they can be used for. It’s great to upgrade your home and avoid sky-high energy bills and improve your comfort. For only a few dollars you will join the 21st century. And you will enjoy neverendingly comfort.