First Apple HomeKit window air conditioner hits US market in time for summer

Posted:
in iPhone
After a very long "coming soon" period on Apple's HomeKit accessory list, GE has finally shipped the Energy Star 115 volt Electronic room Air Conditioner model AHP08LX with HomeKit support.

GE HomeKit Air Conditioner model AHP08LX


The window unit is the first AC with HomeKit to hit the shelves in the United States. Available solely at Lowe's for now, the unit delivers 8000 BTU and is intended for medium-sized rooms up to 350 square feet.

The unit uses GE's WiFi Connect technology, and besides HomeKit, has Google Home integration, as well as Amazon Alexa and IFTTT compatibility.

A spot-check of store inventory suggests that the unit is not stocked in stores, but is available for delivery for $319.

In setups with a Home Hub, with users all running iOS 11 on personal devices, scenes including the air conditioner can be set to run only when one person comes or goes, or when everyone in the same HomeKit group does. Air conditioning either through a whole-house thermostat, or this window unit can remain on until the last person leaves the house, and resume when the first person returns.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    Awesome
  • Reply 2 of 4
    tzm41tzm41 Posts: 65member
    Nice, want to see people's review of it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 4
    ktappektappe Posts: 745member
    I'm in the market, but 8000BTU just isn't enough. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 4
    macwhizmacwhiz Posts: 5member
    I bought one. I'm thinking hard about taking it back.

    First, it's LOUD. On low, it's as loud as my old LG on high. 

    The HomeKit support is super-basic. You can turn it on and off, and set the temperature. You can't switch between "cool" and "eco" modes. You can't set the fan speed. You can't do anything but on/off and temperature. And it frequently goes "No Response"; whatever CPU is in the thing doesn't seem to stay on the WiFi.

    You can't just set it up with the HomeKit code. You have to use Haier's app (it's branded "GE," but "GE Appliances" is licensed to Haier, a Chinese company) to set it up first. And to use Haier's app, you have no choice but to agree that they may upload and use extensive telemetry, including your room's temperature, every button you press, and so forth. The app had trouble connecting to Haier's cloud at first, and couldn't handle a half-configured device. I had to reset the device's WiFi, which was fun, because there's no documentation included for the WiFi features, and the app isn't terribly helpful. The GE Appliances website has a FAQ that tells you to hold the WiFi button until the light flashes, but that doesn't always work. By trial and error, I managed to get it to reset. The setup process requires you to enter a password printed on the side of the air conditioner. Once you get it set up in the app, then you can do the usual HomeKit setup.

    Did I mention that it's insanely loud? Don't think about putting it in a room where you want to watch television. 65 to 70 decibels measured two feet away with an iPhone app.

    The GE/Haier app lets you control more features of the device, but not all of them. It has a slightly more useful scheduling option than HomeKit, but not enough to be truly useful. It looks like you might be able to develop something using IFTTT, but that totally blows the point of getting HomeKit.

    It looks like HomeKit can be used to control fan speeds and multiple "on" states for air conditioners (e.g., Off/Eco/On), but Haier chose to do the most bare-bones implementation possible.

    And for all this, you pay a $120 premium over a normal 8,000 BTU window air conditioner.

    (And don't get me started on how horrible Lowes' customer service was to actually buy the thing.)
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