Now that winter is setting where I am located in the southern US, I began to brainstorm on ways I could automate the heating of my home using HomeKit. I already have smart thermostats (one from ecobee and one Nest bridged to HomeKit with Starling Home Hub). I like to use a space heater in my living room as we have vaulted ceilings, so we lose a lot of heating from the floor vents. While there are a handful of Wi-Fi-based space heaters, there were none native to HomeKit. As with anything HomeKit related, there’s usually a way through Homebridge, so that’s what I did.
HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.
I purchased the Govee Electric Space Heater because I found a Homebridge plug-in with good reviews and reasonably priced. When I got the heater in, I unboxed it, installed the base (requires a Phillips screwdriver), and then downloaded the Govee iPhone app to start onboarding it to my Wi-Fi. The app initially connects over Bluetooth to the heater, and then it runs you through the process of onboarding it to your Wi-Fi. The Govee app works well, so even if you aren’t running Homebridge, it’s still a great Wi-Fi-enabled space heater.
Since I use the HOOBS box for easy Homebridge management and setup, I logged into the portal and then searched for a Govee plug-in, and found a great option. I added the plug-in through HOOBS, and all I needed to enter was my Govee email and password and input the MAC address. Within a few minutes, the Govee heater was in HomeKit, showing up as a fan. Unfortunately, HomeKit isn’t set up to know what a heater is (something I hope comes in the future), but it’s trivial to enable it using HOOBS and Homebridge.
The Govee Heater supports three different heating modes (low, medium, and high), and the plugin developer has integrated that into the HomeKit setup. For example, you can choose between three levels to increase the power inside the options to turn it on.
The Govee app does an excellent job of letting you control the heater, including setting timers, but I love using HomeKit automations for as many things as possible. For example, since I am using a HomeKit enabled thermostat, I can build an automation to turn the heater for 30 minutes if the temperature drops below 64 degrees in the home. Without HomeKit, I can’t make that work technically. A key reason I love HomeKit is that I can make devices from different manufacturers work together inside the Home app and with Siri and HomeKit automations.
If you’re looking for a way to heat a small area with Wi-Fi and HomeKit, then you’ll love the Govee Smart Heater when it’s paired with HOOBS. Although HomeKit doesn’t natively support any space heaters on the market, HOOBs has solved this problem. As it’s gotten colder, I’ve enjoyed managing our living room space heater through HomeKit.
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