AC Wall Unit Timer/Thermostat

I have an older AC wall unit in my apartment. It has 3 dials – one for temperature (1-8 where 8 is coldest), one for fan speeds (low cold, high cold, low fan, high fan), and a manual lever that opens the vent in the back. I’m reciting this by memory as I haven’t actually looked at it closely, but it has one of the larger 3 pronged cables that plugs into a dedicated outlet in my wall (perhaps used for a higher voltage).

In any case, my intentions are as follows:
   • Have a timer for the AC unit to plug into to turn off on programmable intervals
          o Monday – Friday it will be on after 6:00pm until 7:00am the following morning.
   • One nice feature would be to give it a thermostat capability.
          o If the temperature is below 70 degrees during these time intervals, for instance, then the AC unit will shut off, otherwise it will power back on.
   • Another obscure (and I’m sure complex) feature would be to allow remote access to the timer. I know that this requires some unique hardware, but I’m familiar with programming and can visualize the methodology in telling the timer/thermostat unit a different set of commands (let’s say I know that I’m coming home early – I send information to the device via the internet to have it turn on a few minutes before I get home).

I understand the last part is quite complex, but it’s not a priority at all, rather, a neat little feature that would make this all the more worthwhile (and in my eyes more interesting). I know that there is a similar device out there (can’t remember the brand name) that has a lot of these features, but I’m not willing to drop $300+ on something like that. For now, my priorities are listed in order per the bullets. First and foremost is being able to program a timer for a wall AC unit. Second is to have it detect the temperature of the room and set it accordingly. And third is the availability to ‘talk’ to the device remotely.

My question for you is: how can I get through the logistics on this sort of project? What components (hardware) am I looking at (general price range), and what degree of difficulty will this entail? I have my computer practically right next to my AC unit, so communication with the device won’t be difficult in those regards. Otherwise, I’m just looking for tips and pointers.

If someone happens to know of a (cheap) unit that does most everything that I’m looking for, then great. I’m all ears and really appreciate any feedback.

Kiteman5 years ago
Photos (especially of the electrical gubbins) would be a great help here.
Phoenix5794 (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
Are you asking for photos of my AC unit? Otherwise, I have nothing to offer.
I'm actually looking for others to help point me in a direction as to what hardware I should be focusing on etc.

I won't be able to get a home picture until tomorrow, but in the meantime, here's a random picture with the controls nearly identical to mine (hopefully it gives you a better insight as to what I have to work with).

ac-looks.jpg
Yes, if folk know the space, see the wires etc, they can come up with better ideas.
canucksgirl5 years ago
Here's a programmable thermostat outlet that should work for you from Amazon.com. Its specifically designed to work with A/C units or heaters.