Getting Started

This forum is for discussion of issues related to obtaining, installing and getting started running AirCompare.
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 4:17 pm

Getting Started

Post by whadmin »

Welcome to AirCompare!

This forum is devoted to installation of the AirCompare app and tips for customizing the various settings.

Installation to your iOS device is exclusively via the Apple App Store. You should have the App Store app on your device. In the app, select the magnifying glass "Search" icon and navigate to AirCompare. Click on "GET".

First Run - Entitlements
For full-featured operation, AirCompare requires the user to authorize 3 capabilities. All are optional and may be set at any time. Read the section "About Notifications, Location Services and Homekit access” of the Help for an explanation of your options if you care to know more about those.

When you first open AirCompare, it will ask you for these 3 authorizations. Please just go ahead and accept those.

The in-App help screens will also display automatically to a new user. You can access those help screens later at any time by clicking on the question mark icon on the main or home screen. Choose the "Home" button in the upper left of the help screens if you want to exit Help.

Settings and Controls

In addition to the controls on the Main screen, AirCompare needs several customized settings. These are all accessible from the Main screen by clicking the “Settings” gear-shaped icon in the upper left corner and are described here in the order they appear.
• HomeKit
If you have no HomeKit appliances, you may choose to disable any use of HomeKit by AirCompare. This will make the app a little snappier since it won’t be wasting time or wifi resources trying to find HomeKit devices that don’t exist. This applies to the individual fan/window/ventilation and thermostat devices as well.

If you have one or both HomeKit appliances, set them up using the software they came with or Apple’s Home app. Then in the AirCompare settings, select your “Home” and the name of your accessory, its service, and finally the characteristic of the service. For instance an accessory might be a switched outlet with a service you’ve named “Living Room Lamp”, with a characteristic “Power state” that you can turn on or off. If you have a HomeKit thermostat, AirCompare needs the characteristic that corresponds to the “Target Temperature”.

Beta – Additional characteristics of a HomeKit thermostat are required but are not available as user settings. I’m not certain that all thermostats will have the same characteristics but I don’t have other models to test.

• Units
In this section, choose the units you prefer for temperature, pressure and so on. You might choose to accept the defaults that (I think) will already be there (on the left-hand side).

• Web Sources
Choose here the website you prefer for weather. Note that Open Weather does not provide a precipitation probability. If you choose Open Weather, you will not receive any warnings to close your windows as rain approaches. The choice of electricity supplier only matters if you have variable rate pricing from one of the two suppliers listed.

• Times
AirCompare allows you to choose a daily time to turn down the thermostat, typically around bedtime, and the degrees to cool down (in the next “Sliders” section). You also select the time to turn the temperature back to normal.

Most alerts from AirCompare show the latest background updates to the weather and electric rate. The frequency of these alerts shows you how often iOS is allowing AirCompare to fetch fresh data. They may arrive every few minutes or hours apart. These alerts are silent unless user action is suggested, for instance to open or close the windows or to adjust the thermostat. You can choose when to silence ALL alerts so you are not bothered by them at night, and when to let them begin again in the morning. Note that in Night Mode, the app is actively responding to updates in the foreground and no alerts are sent.

• Sliders
Select the degrees to cool down at night, to change when you are away (typically up in the summer and down in the winter), and the risk of rain that will trigger a warning to close your windows.

• Location
A manually entered location … does nothing! I need to fix this. It should override the users ‘Home’ location set in the geofence.
Setting the geofence tells AirCompare where your home is so that it knows the location to fetch weather for, and can monitor if you are home or not.

The “Ventilation” screen

AirCompare contains a full psychrometric calculator that can be accessed directly on this screen. This also allows manual entry of your indoor conditions (temperature and %RH) if you do not have a HomeKit thermostat to supply these data.

The “Thermostat” screen

AirCompare lets you adjust your thermostat in response to changing electricity prices. If your electrical rate is fixed, this feature is not relevant.

If your rate is variable and your heating is not electrical, reducing the temperature in the winter will only reduce the use of your furnace fan for a modest savings.

Larger savings come in the summer when your air conditioner is using electricity. Electrical rates can climb very high on peak usage days and you can save money by accepting a warmer temperature until rates fall again. Occasionally rates at night or early morning may even become negative, and that’s a great time to chill your home down as much as you can tolerate. Your electricity supplier will pay you to run your A/C! AirCompare in Night Mode can keep a constant vigil for such an opportunity.

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Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2022 7:44 am

Re: Getting Started

Post by ritivid »

I just joined this forum, looking forward to explore
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2023 12:19 am

Re: Getting Started

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