You don’t need to replace your older heat pump to get WiFi control. I trialled a Sensibo Sky to see how it stacked up.
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It’s a plug-in unit that mimics the infrared signal of your heat pump remote. It transplants the remote into your phone, via an app, and simplifies its functions in a user-friendly interface. Your phone sends inputs to a server, which then sends the commands to the heat pump via the Sensibo located in your house.
The Sensibo Sky is a sleek device, about the size of a deck of cards. Setup is directed by the app and I found it easy to follow. It ended with me pointing the heat pump remote at the Sensibo and pressing the on/off button. As soon as it detected the remote, I could begin using the app. I found inputs into the app were picked up instantly, with the heat pump immediately adjusting to my changes.
The Sensibo also has a built-in thermostat and humidistat, which is used to control the heat pump. The Climate React feature meant I could set the minimum and maximum temperature or humidity I wanted and the heat pump reacted accordingly.
I also set it up so my phone’s location would operate the heat pump automatically. I could make the heat pump fire up whenever it sensed I was close to home. I also set it to switch off automatically when I left the house. This meant there was no chance of me accidentally leaving my heat pump running all day. The Sensibo is also compatible with the Amazon Echo. You can simply tell the Echo to turn on/off and adjust the temperature.
I could set as many timers as I wanted on its seven-day schedule. Though I had to search for this feature in the app, once found they were easy and intuitive to set up.
I loved the extra convenience this small unit provided, and my normal “remote rage” was consigned to history since the heat pump didn’t ignore me like it used to. It is certainly useful and the simplification of heat pump features really justifies the cost.
When compared to another WiFi controller, the Pebble, which I previously trialled, the Pebble comes a distant second. Timers on the Sensibo are easier to set up. There is the added feature of climate react where heat pumps will switch on to desired settings when certain temperature or humidity thresholds are met. You can also set the heat pump to turn on/off based on your location. Both of these features are seriously smart. The Sensibo simply offers more, doesn’t have the ongoing subscription cost, and is $50 cheaper.
Price: $199 1 Pack, $349 2 Pack, $499 3 Pack, $669 4 Pack.
Availability: Dick Smith (online only)
The Sensibo Sky claims to work with all heat pump brands. We trialled it with a Fujitsu.
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By James le Page
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