Being able to turn on an air conditioner just before you get home has become an important selling point for many producers of smart electric switches (like Smart Things or WeMo). It surely feels nice to return to a cool home on a hot summer evening. However sadly, this feature may not be accessible to many modern A/C owners.
There is a simple reason why. Smart switches aren’t smart enough. What they do is either they let current to get through socket (ON) or prevent current from getting through (OFF) which is equivalent to plugging your air conditioner’s power cable in and out. Since air conditioning consumes quite a bit of electricity, modern models have digital switches with a safety feature which prevents them from automatically turning on after a power outage. This means that if you cut and apply power to your modern A/C using a WeMo switch, it will stay off and wait until you will manually press a button (most probably on your remote).
If you are using an older A/C or a fan then it’s a different case because these appliances use a mechanical switch. Cuting and applying power to these gadgets would work as if someone is pressing on the ON/OFF button.
To solve this and similar issues we are working on Microbot Bridge. Bridge is an Internet-connected IR remote control station which perfectly imitates A/C’s remote control. This way you can automate your A/C regardless of the switch it has. Welcome to your home, cool home!