The ability to trigger events based on outdoor and indoor environmental conditions is particularly useful in home automation routines, and one of the best environmental monitoring solutions we’ve seen is Netatmo’s Weather Station system, which not only provides the usual temperature, humidity, air pressure, and air quality monitoring across both outdoor and indoor sensors, but can also be expanded to monitor rain and wind conditions.
This is also where the IFTTT (IF This Then That) service really shines. Netatmo has yet to add direct support for platforms like Apple HomeKit and Google Home, which means that IFTTT becomes a necessary solution if you want to tie this information into your other home automation accessories.
The IFTTT Netatmo service supports a wide range of triggers based on both the obvious environmental conditions — temperature, humidity, and air pressure, and air quality — as well as a few that may be less obvious, such as noise level, rainfall, and wind speed, assuming you have the necessary components to your Netatmo Weather Station.
The basic Netatmo Weather Station includes one outdoor sensor that reports temperature and humidity as well as one indoor “base station” sensor that provides temeprature, humidity, air pressure, air quality, and noise level info. Additional indoor sensor modules can be added, although it’s worth noting that only the primary station monitors noise levels. Two separate outdoor modules can also be added to the system to track rainfall and wind conditions, both of which can also be used to trigger IFTTT actions.
Turn on a space heater when it gets cold
One of the more obvious scenarios is simply turning on a space heater when the temeprature in a room drops below a certain level. In this case, we’ve simply connected a small heater to a WeMo smart plug, which can be toggled on and off by IFTTT.
A second IFTTT recipe (or “applet”) can also do the reverse — turning off the heater once the room is warm enough. While it’s not as sophisticated of a solution as a smart thermostat, this can be especially handy if you live in an apartment where you don’t have control over your own heat.
Turn on an air purifier when the air quality drops
Since Netatmo can also monitor air quality (in the form of carbon dioxide levels), you can also use it to automatically turn on an air purifier when the air quality gets poor. In this case, we again go to Belkin’s ecosystem, which has a WeMo-enabled Holmes/Bionaire air purifier that you can use.
Of course, you could also just use a smart plug in the same way as for the space heater example earlier, but the WeMo-enabled air purifier also allows you adjust the level, meaning that you could create multiple IFTTT applets to ramp is up if the air quality continues to be poor.
Close the shades when it starts raining
If you have Netatmo’s rain gauge in your system, you can also trigger IFTTT actions based on when it actually starts raining outside. In this case, closing your Lutron shades so you don’t have to look at the dreary day outside.
Of course, you can also use a weather service like Weather Underground for this, but this action allows you to detect when it actually starts raining at your house, which we think is somewhat cooler than just relying on the weather report.
Turn off the lights when the room gets quiet
Netatmo’s main base station can also monitor noise levels, and you can tie these into an IFTTT applet to do things like turning off the lights if the room is quiet.
This a useful way of ensuring that lights aren’t needlessly left on when nobody’s in a room, and in some cases it’s more reliable than using a motion sensor.
Make sure your garage door is closed when it’s windy
With Netatmo’s Wind Gauge and Chabmerlain’s MyQ garage door opener, you can easily create an applet that makes sure your garage is closed when the wind exceeds a certain level.
If your garage door is already closed, this applet will leave it that way, but if you’ve left it open, this is a good way to make sure all of your stuff doesn’t go blowing away in high winds.
While the weather station is inexpensive, the flexibilty of Netatmo with IFTTT creates a whole range of useful possibilities. In addition to controlling other home automation accessories, you can get notifications of everything from temperature changes to rain, wind, and noise conditions, and IFTTT’s triggers also let you record data so you can do things like keep a log of air quality levels or rainfall history in a Google spreadsheet. It’s a pretty versatile solution, and an area where IFTTT particularly shines.