Hacked Gadgets Forum

May 20, 2009

Automated House Climate Control – Whole Home Information Awareness

at 11:06 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


As homes get bigger it’s harder to balance the heating system. You can close and open vents all you want but all it takes is a few closed doors to throw off the entire system. Jason Clark from Cyborgworkshop has overcome this issue by designing an Arduino controller that monitors sensors in all areas of his house. Servo motors then control dampers which put air where it’s needed. Have a look at the build log of the Whole Home Information Awareness project for some climate control inspiration.

"At a high level, temperature and humidity sensors in each room of the house instruct a micro controller to open and close the vents in a specific way to balance out every room in the house. The end goal is that no room will be more then 1.5 degrees and 5% relative humidity different from any other room. No more hot guest bed room and cold living room. To safely pull this off I’ll need temperature and humidity sensors in the return vents of each room, servo motors connected to the main damper controls for each vent, an air flow and pressure sensor in the HVAC main line to keep the motor from getting burned out, an Arduino to gather all of that sensor data together and a Linux box to process the data, control the sensors and create graphs of what’s going on."


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5 Responses to “Automated House Climate Control – Whole Home Information Awareness”

  1. Trent Says:

    any noticable savings on your bills? I have a house that is on a 3 zone climate control system I was wondering if breaking it down to each room would make things cheaper

  2. Bigfoot Says:

    Can you share your codes with us? The Arduino side and the pc side as well as the graphic RRD codes? Thank you.

  3. Scott Says:

    Many people *like* different room temps — warm bathroom but cool bedroom etc. This is an inspiring project, but what fun to have individual preferences too. Also, house HVAC systems don’t work well when too many dampers are closed so you may have to accommodate this.

    Good work!

  4. Jason Says:

    Sorry for the delayed response guys.
    Noticeable savings on the bills. None to speak of yet, but we don’t have a whole lot of data to work with. I can say that it is much more pleasant upstairs and going from room to room isn’t a 5 degree shock. We have a 22 foot vault in the loft that I turned into my office so the rising heat was a real issue up there.
    Code, no problem. Head to cyborgworkshop.org in the projects section. It’s lame code, but it works.
    Different temps. Good point. I had thought about making each room adjustable, but the logic and practicality of weighing each room like that, safely, while keeping the HVAC system happy didn’t have a great pay off for our use. I have since added pressure and temperature sensors into the inlet and outlet areas of the main plenum to make sure that I’m not overloading the blower. A side effect was that I now have the system alarming me when the filter is actually dirty and causing a flow problem instead of just changing it every month. I get about 40 to 45 days on a filter with carpet and I’m guessing about 35 to 40 days now that we have hardwood floors.

  5. Brian Says:

    Your system looks great. I know I am super late to this article but I was wondering if you could send me a copy of your parts list, wiring schematics, and code? It is no longer available on cyborgworkshop.org.

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