The thing with air conditioners is that not all of them are smart. Non-smart air conditioners cannot be controlled using a smartphone or tablet. Thankfully, there are now devices that allow you to update your non-smart air conditioners.
Top Line Up Front: My overall take (see conclusion) is that the Ambi Climate 2 available here for a comparable price, is the top alternative to the Sensibo right now. It has great connectivity with the smart home and an incredibly competent Artificial Intelligence to auto-calibrate!
Sensibo Sky is a device that makes your air conditioner or heating system smarter so that you could control it with your smartphone.
With Sensibo Sky, you can turn your air conditioner on or off even from halfway around the world. You can also check its status and the current temperature. It also uses your phone’s GPS location to know where you are so that it could automatically turn itself on or off.
This is very useful in some instances like when you are nearing the house and you would like the room already cool by the time you get there, or if you already left the house but forgot to turn your air conditioner off.
Using the mobile app, you can also set a seven-day schedule, as well as filter maintenance alerts.
Furthermore, everybody in the family can have their own mobile app on their own smartphones, allowing them to operate Sensibo. It also works with Amazon Echo and Google Home, and you can use IFTTT recipes with it. Here is a price for a single kit of Sensibo Sky.
However, what are the best alternatives to the Sensibo Sky?
Ambi Climate 2
Ambi Climate 2 makes your old air conditioner smarter by synchronizing with your AC’s remote control. It also has the ability to learn things on its own.
Ambi Climate 2 (my full review here!) has sensors that measure humidity, amount of sunlight, and thermal comfort, as well as the weather outside, helping it gauge the kind of clothes you are wearing, as well as the time of day to help gauge your body’s metabolic cycle, so that it can come up with the right temperature for you.
With Ambi Climate 2, you do not have to fiddle with the remote control constantly in order to stay comfortable. Ambi Climate 2 will keep the temperatures just right for you.
Ambi Climate’s ability to keep track of six factors is very useful in keeping you comfortable while keeping your energy bills low. It keeps track of the time and adjusts your air conditioning so that you would not be too cold while you sleep at dawn.
If it suddenly rains, Ambi Climate can easily adjust the temperature of your AC.
The minimalist design on the Ambi Climate 2 includes a plastic build with a shiny black plastic top and a wood-like material for the bottom. The Ambi Climate 2 has three LED indicators and that is pretty much the only things that you see on the device.
It is also quite handy, measuring 4.25 inches wide, 1.6 inches deep, and 3.19 inches tall. This means that you can put it just about anywhere.
However, more than its looks, the Ambi Climate 2’s main selling point is the fact that it can easily learn your behavior and then allow you to keep the remote control and even your smartphone away.
Ambi Climate has different modes. There is the Comfort Mode, where the device will adjust the AC’s temperature automatically to suit your comfort levels. Then there’s the Temperature Mode, which will make the AC reach whatever temperature you set.
Meanwhile, the Away mode will ask you for a cooling, drying, and heating threshold and the Ambi Climate with only cool or heat the room according to these preferences and never beyond.
Furthermore, you would love the Amazon Alexa support that is going to be added in the third quarter of this year. If you have an Amazon Dot, Amazon Echo, or any other Amazon Alexa-powered speaker, then you will be able to use voice commands to operate your air conditioner.
You will also love the multi-user geo location. The Ambi Climate is able to turn your air conditioning off when it senses that you are out of the house and may not be coming back soon. But what if you live with other people and you leave?
Would that mean that the Ambi Climate would be turning the AC off on all these people? With multi-user geo location, the Ambi Climate will detect the GPS location of each user’s smartphone, and only if it has ascertained that absolutely nobody is home, it will turn off the air conditioner.
On the other hand, the Ambi Climate will also be able to turn the air conditioner on when one of the users is nearing home.
What’s more, you can use IFTTT recipes with your Ambi Climate 2. This allows you to get more automation out of your Ambi Climate 2. Ambi Climate 2’s mobile app will also feature usage statistics and insights, giving you an easy way to spot trends in your usage over time.
Tado Smart AC Control
Tado Smart AC Control works like Ambi Climate 2 and Sensibo. This smart air conditioner controller is able to replace the physical remote control that comes with your AC.
You can now install the Tado mobile app on your smartphone and use it to turn your air conditioner on or off, or to control your air conditioning unit.
You can also use the mobile app to set up geofences around your home. The Tado Smart AC Control can use your smartphone’s GPS to determine whether you are outside of the geofenced area, and turn off the air conditioning.
Conversely, once you get within the geofenced area, it will automatically turn on the AC.
You can also control your AC yourself even when you are outside the home. Plus, with easy scheduling, you can set different temperatures throughout
This way, you no longer have to take out your smartphone, because the mobile app will just follow the set schedule. All of these would allow you to save up to 40% of your AC costs.
In manual mode, you have full control of the air conditioner. The mobile app’s home screen also serves as the manual mode screen where you can turn off the AC, adjust the desired fan speed, and temperature. Then there are the smart scheduling modes: Home, Away and Sleep.
Home mode includes settings for when you are home, Sleep mode has the settings you want while you are sleeping. These two modes are able to use your phone’s GPS to know if you are home. If you are not, the Tado Smart AC Control will not turn on your air condition even while in Home or Sleep modes.
Meanwhile, the Away mode will switch your air conditioner off during the scheduled times. The Tado Smart AC Control is also compatible with IFTTT, and you can use recipes to automate your Tado to make it work with Amazon Alexa.
The Tado Smart AC Control also has a touch panel on the device itself. Even if your Wi-Fi network goes down, you can easily control your air conditioner.
You can always use your air conditioner’s remote, but there is a chance that the Tado will just turn it on again. To be sure, you should use the touch panel on the device itself. How do you do this?
Touch the front of the Tado Smart AC Control to activate the touch display. You will cycle through different screens, including current temperature, current mode, and ON/OFF. For each screen, you will also see the up and down arrows that will allow you to change each setting.
For instance, if you feel too cold, you can activate the touch display, cycle to the current temperature screen, and then turn up the temperature. If you want to turn it off, cycle through to the AC ON screen and then press the up or down arrow to turn it off.
IntesisHome WiFi Air Conditioner Controller
Sensibo, Tado, and Ambi Climate 2 may be perfect for homes and small offices, but you would need to buy one for each air conditioning unit you have.
What about apartment administrators or office managers who want to install smart air conditioner controllers but are fazed by the cost of having to buy one for all of their air conditioners?
The good news is that there’s IntesisHome WiFi Air Conditioner Controller, which enables you to control more than one air conditioner.
IntesisHome WiFi Air Conditioner Controller allows you to control your non-smart ACs from anywhere in the world through your tablet or smartphone.
IntesisHome promises to give you insights on how to save energy by letting you see your usage patterns and allows you to control which ACs need to be run in order to maintain a certain level of comfort.
The IntesisHome WiFi Air Conditioner Controller works with IFTTT recipes, allowing you to automate it using different devices and even connect it to Amazon Alexa.
Pricing details are not readily available because this is more geared towards business owners or property owners who have to control several air conditioners.
Final Take: The Best Alternatives to Sensibo
The beauty of smart air conditioner controllers is that they can help you save on your energy bills while also making it easy for you to ensure that everyone is comfortable. Getting a smart controller is also significantly cheaper than buying a new smart air conditioner.
This is especially helpful if your current non-smart air conditioners are still new or still working efficiently.
Most Users: For most homes and homeowners, my preference is generally to go with the Ambi Climate 2 available here for a comparable price to the Sensibo. The Tado is considerably more expensive and the software (right now) is a bit less reliable.
Non Smart AC Homes: But if you have a lot of non-smart air conditioners, then you certainly must consider the IntesisHome WiFi Air Conditioner Controller.