GE's Full Lineup of HomeKit-Enabled Window Air Conditioners Now Available in the U.S.

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After a soft launch of just one model earlier this spring, GE today announced the launch of its full lineup of HomeKit-enabled window air conditioning units. While there are a few other HomeKit air conditioners on the market outside of the United States, the new units represent the first HomeKit-compatible air conditioners to launch in the U.S.


GE's air conditioners deliver 8,000 to 12,000 BTUs and can cool medium- to large-sized rooms, according to the company. With HomeKit control, customers can add the units into the Home app on iOS, connecting them to Scenes, controlling them with Siri, or automating them to activate and deactivate when they arrive and leave their home.
"Consumers told us they like how they can create their own schedules to keep rooms comfortable without wasting energy," said John Desmarais, Commercial Director, Window A/C, Portables & Dehumidifiers for GE Appliances.

"Many people also found peace of mind in having control of the unit anywhere they have internet access. We're pleased to offer the very first air conditioners with HomeKit integration, bringing simple and secure control through the Apple Home app and using Siri. We are confident owners will find the convenience at the tip of their fingers."
Each unit has cooling settings for four-way air direction and an "Energy Saver" mode that automatically shuts off the fan and compressor when the room is cool enough, reducing electricity consumption and helping to save money on monthly bills. Although HomeKit control is supported, GE's air conditioners also come with an electronic digital thermostat and remote control.

Starting today, the units are available at The Home Depot (which has three models) and Lowe's (which has two models), and at local authorized GE Appliance dealers. Prices on the units vary depending on the amount of BTUs, starting around $279 (8,000 BTUs) and increasing to $349 (10,000 BTUs) and more.

Article Link: GE's Full Lineup of HomeKit-Enabled Window Air Conditioners Now Available in the U.S.
 

macduke

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I'm wondering if getting something like this would help us save money on our electric bill? My wife has a daycare downstairs in an area that is 800sqft. But during the day our a/c cools the entire house. Would it be cheaper to install something like this or instead somehow split our upstairs and downstairs cooling? And I wonder if I would need to put a door between the upstairs and downstairs to keep the temperature regulated. Right now we just have a swing open baby gate.
 
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OldSchoolMacGuy

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I'm wondering if getting something like this would help us save money on our electric bill? My wife has a daycare downstairs in an area that is 800sqft. But during the day our a/c cools the entire house. Would it be cheaper to install something like this or instead somehow split our upstairs and downstairs cooling? And I wonder if I would need to put a door between the upstairs and downstairs to keep the temperature regulated. Right now we just have a swing open baby gate.
While it'll still let some cool air come up the stairs, the majority will stay downstairs (cool air doesn't rise like hot). Many houses have split cooling/heating systems with different systems for different parts of the house. They don't separate them more than like a staircase.

For instance, I had an ex who's parents had a huge home. They had a separate cooling/heating system for the upstairs where the 3 bedrooms and bathroom their kids use to use before they grew up and moved out, were located. They only turned this system on when people were going to use those rooms (like when we came to visit). The stairway going up there was the only separator. No need for a door. The majority of the heat/cool, is going to stay to the area that system is venting to.
 
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macduke

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While it'll still let some cool air come up the stairs, the majority will stay downstairs (cool air doesn't rise like hot). Many houses have split cooling/heating systems with different systems for different parts of the house. They don't separate them more than like a staircase.

For instance, I had an ex who's parents had a huge home. They had a separate cooling/heating system for the upstairs where the 3 bedrooms and bathroom their kids use to use before they grew up and moved out, were located. They only turned this system on when people were going to use those rooms (like when we came to visit). The stairway going up there was the only separator. No need for a door. The majority of the heat/cool, is going to stay to the area that system is venting to.
Yeah it tends to stay cooler down there. I have an Ecobee and that probe is always cooler but I didn't know if a smaller dedicated A/C would need more of an enclosed space. But since it's downstairs maybe it won't make much of a different. We also have 8ft windows across the back of our house upstairs and I need to get them fitted with some shades to help keep the heat down during the day. I also need to figure out something with our system because I'm currently building a 320sqft office with a guest bedroom area on the far end which is adjacent to the daycare (walkout basement, unfinished area) and that is going to take some of the cooling as well. Our house is about 2600sqft before this expansion and when we moved in a couple years ago we had to shut off some of the vents in our closet and dining room to get enough air pressure back to the kids rooms which were always hotter on the Ecobee. It's kinda dumb that our central air wasn't more centrally positioned in the basement because right now it's at the far end in my workshop and has to push diagonally to the upstairs far end of the house. Might just need a bigger blower with some kind of diverter. It's been running hard with this early hot summer and we already had to fill up the coolant and the unit is only 7 years old. Probably not a good time to expand the living area but the office is against the foundation and stays pretty cool on it's own in the summer.
 

Xgm541

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These are a bit more expensive than non-homekit AC units. I have a homekit power plug that I use for my AC unit, which works well.
 

69Mustang

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In between a rock and a hard place
I'm wondering if getting something like this would help us save money on our electric bill? My wife has a daycare downstairs in an area that is 800sqft. But during the day our a/c cools the entire house. Would it be cheaper to install something like this or instead somehow split our upstairs and downstairs cooling? And I wonder if I would need to put a door between the upstairs and downstairs to keep the temperature regulated. Right now we just have a swing open baby gate.
There's no hard and fast definitive answer to your question. The most accurate answer is maybe. A lot of variables have to be taken into account. Unit efficiency - is it more efficient than your home unit. Space config - open? divided? rooms? Occupancy and activity - how many kids? How much of your basement is in ground? There are many other variables to consider.
 
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Plutonius

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Feb 22, 2003
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I'm wondering if getting something like this would help us save money on our electric bill? My wife has a daycare downstairs in an area that is 800sqft. But during the day our a/c cools the entire house. Would it be cheaper to install something like this or instead somehow split our upstairs and downstairs cooling? And I wonder if I would need to put a door between the upstairs and downstairs to keep the temperature regulated. Right now we just have a swing open baby gate.
Probably but I still don't see the need for home kit on the AC.
 

MhzDoesMatter

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Jul 1, 2002
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Just some observations if anyone cares.

I have one in my apartment. And I have a Homekit automation that sets the AC to cool when I leave work. Since my schedule varies, it works better than a timer. However, since buying this, I bought a conventional AC window unit for my bedroom which I will use with a smart plug.

The GE unit puts out a lot of cool air. But it is very loud. (I won't watch television with it on, even using BT over-ear headphones with my Apple TV.) It's ECO mode does work when the temperature is reached. But it usually reads the room as cooler than it is. (I have an iHome temperature sensor in the same room.)

Since getting the GE, I found a smaller unit with manual settings and power-loss restart features making it perfect for a smart plug. And with the smart plug, I can use an external temperature sensor to trigger the AC versus the internal one, (if it's a wonky as the GE unit's.) I haven't installed it yet, but I'm hoping it'll also be a fair bit quieter.

The GE AC was the first real Homekit device I used besides a smart plug. And it's been great to check to see if I left the air one once I've left the house or start it on my way home. I make it a point to try to get up to turn it on and off when I'm in the living room because I don't want to be THAT lazy. But I have used the AppleTV remote to turn it on and off from the couch more than once.

EDIT: Also, there are some features that are only available through the GE appliances app with an account. I've so far chosen not to get 3rd party accounts for extended features (iHome, GE, Hue) as the less external servers knowing what's in my home the better I feel.
 
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ignatius345

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Quick heads-up for ConEd customers: they'll give you a free remote device to control your plain, non-networked A/C unit. I used it last year and it was ok. I'm sure it's not HomeKit compatible, but considering I have zero HomeKit devices in my apartment, it's not really a deal-breaker for me to use their app instead of being able to yell commands into my phone or whatever.

The incentive for the utility is they can access the device and bump up your unit by a couple degrees if there's a severe shortage in the power network, as happens on super hot days. Having gone through severe blackout here in NYC, I personally can live with a couple degrees difference if that can be avoided...
 
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macduke

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Jun 27, 2007
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There's no hard and fast definitive answer to your question. The most accurate answer is maybe. A lot of variables have to be taken into account. Unit efficiency - is it more efficient than your home unit. Space config - open? divided? rooms? Occupancy and activity - how many kids? How much of your basement is in ground? There are many other variables to consider.
Yeah I probably need to talk to an expert. This is only going to get worse after I hookup my new office to the HVAC.
Probably but I still don't see the need for home kit on the AC.
I have HomeKit on the Ecobee so I'd want it on both systems and then I could program things so that they work together more effectively or can be scheduled better. Using Siri with stuff like that is really convenient.
 

alexgowers

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Jun 3, 2012
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HomeKit integration is massively over emphasised in these products, mostly useless and will become obsolete sooner than you would want it to.

A good AC is always better than the best connected one etc. However I have to say out of all things connected AC is probably the best second only to warming up the car on a winters day remotely!
 

macwhiztech

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Jun 29, 2018
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I bought one of these, the 8000 BTU model from Lowe's. The only reason I didn't return it was the hassle of taking it back.

It's not a very good air conditioner. It's LOUD. REALLY LOUD. You're not going to be able to comfortably watch TV in the same room as this air conditioner. The lowest fan speed is as loud or louder than any other AC I own set to maximum... and it gets louder than that. I bought similar ACs 15 years ago that were quieter than this one.

While it's capable of cooling decently, it does a terrible job keeping the temperature at the set point. It likes to keep things about two degrees warmer than the set point. It's like a hotel-room air conditioner that way.

Getting the thing connected to HomeKit is a pain. The software isn't great. And even if you only want to use HomeKit, you need to create a "GE Appliances" account and agree to let them collect full telemetry from the unit. (And keep in mind "GE Appliances" is really Haier, a Chinese company. You're paying big bucks for a Haier with a GE badge on it.)

The HomeKit integration will let you power the unit on and off and change the set temperature (via a frustrating slider interface that makes it hard to get the temperature you want). It does not let you change between "ECO," "FAN," and "COOL" modes. It does not let you change the fan speed. It doesn't give you notifications when the filter needs cleaning. It's bare-bones. The device-specific app isn't much better, and it doesn't work right on the iPad... but it works better than HomeKit.

You can automate some of these things via IFTTT, but I've found the IFTTT integration to be buggy. It doesn't always work, and if two events fire at the same time (like, change temperature and operating mode at a certain hour) then one of them may be dropped.

Let's say that you want the thing to set a higher temperature and switch to ECO mode during the day, and a lower temperature and COOL for the night (because you like a cold room to sleep in). You can't do this with HomeKit. The ECO/COOL function isn't there. You also can't do this with the GE app. You can only do this with IFTTT, and even then it's hit-and-miss.

The HomeKit support is a half-baked remote control. (And by the way, the included physical remote control is bare-bones compared to what LG and Frigidaire give you. About the only plus is that it has Braille to help the blind distinguish the identical, single-column buttons.)

The technical support hasn't been especially helpful, and there's a clear language barrier there.

For this, you pay a substantial premium.

Pass on the "smart" "GEs" and buy a dumb LG. It'll be quiet, it will be better constructed, it won't invade your privacy, it'll keep the house comfortable, and it'll be cheaper.
 

KPandian1

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Oct 22, 2013
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Good point. I set mine at 68 all the time during the summers.
I am intruding into your personal preferences because I know 68 degrees F is too low to set for cooling mode - that is the temperature for heating. I have ceiling fans installed in all the rooms and my A/C bill is down by more than $120/month in the peak hot weather.

A good electrician can snake an extension to rooms with no ceiling outlet.

Cheers.
 
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