Air conditioners use an extraordinary amount of energy. According to a recent article in The Economist, making air conditioners more energy efficient could reduce carbon emissions by 180 billion tons by the year 2050. Lowering the use of air conditioners can go a long way to helping climate change (and lowering your power bill).
What it does
Simply ask Alexa to open “Cool My House” and you’ll be told if weather conditions in your area make it comfortable to open your windows. If they are, then it will also tell you when to close your windows to maximize the cool climate in your house. If weather conditions don’t permit you to open your windows, “Cool My House” will check the forecast to see when you should open your windows.
How we built it
Python, the National Weather Service API, and a lot of research about temperature, humidity and dewpoint.
Challenges we ran into
Unfortunately, some of the weather APIs aren't very well defined. ZIP Codes also work in mysterious ways. That said, we powered through it and learned a lot about both.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of the usefulness of the app in finding out about when it is OK to open your windows. I always would question exactly when I would feel comfortable shutting off my AC and opening my windows and now I can feel confident in just asking Alexa when I should "Cool My House."
What we learned
Dewpoint is the best way to track how comfortable the humidity level is.
What's next for Cool My House
Automatic alerting when the weather conditions permit my windows to be opened would be a nice addition.