Controlling a split-system aircon with Z-Wave

Control your aircon from anywhere with Z-Wave.

As the hot Australian summer fast approaches (it's 38° here in Melbourne today!), I thought it would be timely to write a blog about controlling your air-conditioner using Z-Wave. Best of all, you will be able to turn on your aircon from anywhere - never come home to a sweat-box again!

This blog only applies to infra-red (remote) controllable HVAC systems. How to control a HVAC system with a wired thermostat (which can be far more complicated) is a topic for another day... not today... It's too hot!

To make this happen you will need the Remotec Z-Wave to Aircon IR Controller and either a Vera Edge or Fibaro Home Center.

Jump to instructions for...


Adding the Remotec ZXT-120 to Vera (UI7)

Adding the Remotec Z-Wave to Aircon IR Controller (ZXT-120) to Vera is easy - follow these steps...

1. Remotec ZXT-120 - Vera

1. Open the Vera UI7 Dashboard using your preferred web browser.

2. Remotec ZXT-120 - Vera

2. Select the Devices tab along the left side of your web browser window and then click “Add Device”.

3. Remotec ZXT-120 - Vera

3. Choose “Generic Z-Wave Device”.

4. Remotec ZXT-120 - Vera

4. Click the "Next" button.

5. Remotec ZXT-120 - Vera

5. Click the "Next" button again.

6. Remotec ZXT-120 - Vera

6. Your Vera should now be in "Pairing Mode".

7. Remotec ZXT-120 - Vera

7. Now press the "Program" button on top of the ZXT-120 once.

Tidy things up a little...

If the ZXT-120 fails to pair with Vera, move them closer together and try again.

Once the ZXT-120 was successfully paired with your Vera, you can now give it a name and assign it to the room your aircon is servicing....

1. Remotec ZXT-120 - Vera

1. Name your ZXT-120.

2. Remotec ZXT-120 - Vera

2. Assign the ZXT-120 to a room.

3. Remotec ZXT-120 - Vera

3. Click the "Finish" button.

Configuring the Remotec ZXT-120 in Vera

Now it is time to configure the ZXT-120 so that it will work with your brand and model of aircon.

1. Remotec ZXT-120 - Vera

1. Look for your shiny new ZXT-120 Device Panel.

2. Remotec ZXT-120 - Vera

2. Click the round "Settings" button.

3. Remotec ZXT-120 - Vera

3. Select "Device Options".

4. Remotec ZXT-120 - Vera

4. Click "Add configuration settings".

5. In the "Variable" box - type 27. Set the "Data Size" to "1 byte dec".

Referring to the "Code List" booklet that was included with your ZXT-120 - Find your brand of aircon and enter one of the corresponding numbers into the "Desired Value" box.

Make sure you click the "Save Changes" button!

Testing the ZXT-120 with your aircon.

If all has gone well, you should now be able to control your aircon using Vera.

Make sure the ZXT-120 is within infra-red range of your aircon and try turning on the cooling mode within Vera.

If your aircon responds... congratulations! You are done.

If not, repeat the steps above and try another code for your aircon from the "ZXT-120 Code List" booklet.

Help - None of the codes work for my aircon!

Not to worry. This just means we need to put in a bit more effort. Luckily, the ZXT-120 can learn from your aircon remote.

Note: Refer to the ZXT-120 manual under "IR Learning Mapping Table" for all of the appropriate "Desired Values".

Change "Desired Value" to 0 (leave Variable as 27).

Make sure you click the "Save Changes" button!

In the "Variable" box - type 25. Set the "Data Size" to "1 byte dec". Set "Desired value: 0" (OFF).

Click the "Save Changes" button.

Wait until the LED on top of the ZXT-120 flashes once.

(It can take up to a few seconds.)

Now point your aircon remote approx. 2-3cm away in front of the ZXT-120 Program button (on top).

Press the "Off" button on your aircon remote.

If the learning process was successful, the LED on the ZXT-120 will flash twice.

If the LED on the ZXT-120 flashes six times - the IR learning was unsuccessful - you will need to repeat the above steps.

Now we add the "Desired Values" for the remaining modes listed in the manual under "IR Learning Mapping Table".

As an example, enter 2 for "Desired Value" for "Variable 25" (19° C Cool).

Click the "Save Changes" button.

Helpful tip: Make sure your aircon remote is currently set to 18° and then point your aircon remote at the ZXT-120 and increase the temperature to 19°.

Repeat the above learning process until you have included all of the "Parameter Values" from the "IR Learning Mapping Table" in the ZXT-120 manual.

Setup complete :)

You should now be able to control your aircon from within Vera. There are extra control functions presented in Vera that are not compatible with the ZXT-120 (for example, you cannot control fan speed) - just ignore these. You can control the important stuff - both heating (if your aircon is reverse cycle) and cooling.


Adding the Remotec ZXT-120 to Home Center

Adding the Remotec Z-Wave to Aircon IR Controller (ZXT-120) to Fibaro Home Center is easy - follow these steps...

1. Using your preferred web browser, open the Fibaro web interface and click on “Devices” in the top menu.

2. Select “Add or remove device” from the left menu.

3. Check "NWI - Network Wide Inclusion".    4. Click "Add".

5. Now press the "Program" button once on the ZXT-120.

Tidy things up a little...

You should now have 4 new devices (which will currently reside in the "Unassigned" room under the "Devices" tab).

Now we should tidy things up a little... In turn, click on the "Wrench" icon for each new ZXT-120 device.

Now give it a new "Name". Then assign it to the "Room" the aircon is servicing.

Make sure you click the "Save" button on the right after renaming and assigning each device!

Configuring the Remotec ZXT-120 in Home Center

Now it is time to configure the ZXT-120 so that it will work with your brand and model of aircon.

Click on the the "Wrench" icon for any of the 4 new devices.

Now select the "Advanced" tab.

Scroll all the way to the bottom and click the 'Add Parameter" button.

In the "Number" box - type 27.

Referring to the "Code List" booklet that was included with your ZXT-120 - Find your brand of aircon and enter one of the corresponding numbers into the "Desired value" box.

Make sure you click the "Save" button!

Testing the ZXT-120 with your aircon.

If all has gone well, you should now be able to control your aircon using Home Center.

Make sure the ZXT-120 is within infra-red range of your aircon and try turning on the cooling mode within Home Center.

If your aircon responds... congratulations! You are done.

If not, repeat the steps above and try another code for your aircon from the "ZXT-120 Code List" booklet.

Help - None of the codes work for my aircon!

Not to worry. This just means we need to put in a bit more effort. Luckily, the ZXT-120 can learn from your aircon remote.

Note: Refer to the ZXT-120 manual under "IR Learning Mapping Table" for all of the appropriate "Desired values".

Change "Parameter 27" to "0".

Make sure you click the "Save" button!

Add another "Parameter" with "Number: 25" and "Desired value: 0" (OFF).

Click the "Save" button.

Now point your aircon remote approx. 2-3cm away in front of the ZXT-120 Program button (on top).

Press the "Off" button on your remote.

If the learning process was successful, the LED on the ZXT-120 will flash twice.

If the LED on the ZXT-120 flashes six times - you will need to repeat the above steps.

Now we add the remaining "Desired values". As an example, enter 2 for "Desired value" for "Parameter 25" (19° C Cool).

Click the "Save" button.

Helpful tip: Make sure your aircon remote is currently set to 18° and then point your aircon remote at the ZXT-120 and increase the temperature to 19°.

Repeat the above learning process until you have included all of the "Parameter Values" from the "IR Learning Mapping Table" in the ZXT-120 manual.

Setup complete :)

You should now be able to control your aircon from within Home Center. There are extra control functions presented in Home Center that are not compatible with the ZXT-120 (for example, you cannot control fan speed) - just ignore these. You can control the important stuff - both heating (if your aircon is reverse cycle) and cooling.

One last thing, be sure to take a look the Heating and Cooling Panels in Fibaro Home Center.

Enjoy :)


Some final thoughts…

As always, please leave a comment below if you run into any issues – we are always happy to help. If you have found any errors with the instructions in this blog (in my defence... did I mention it's 38° today?), let me know :)

Happy summer and all the best,

Brad

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