Fireplace enhancements

Now that the heating period is truly started and fireplace is being used more frequently, I though to smarten things up a little bit for the fireplace part of our house.

1. How many times have I forgot to close the fireplace panels?

When burning wood in a fireplace, the fireplace sheets needs to be opened of course to avoind carbon monoxide and all the smoke inside the house :D. But too many times when the burn is completed, I forget to close those panels.. that’s basically energy wasted when the panels are open for the whole night! So I asked myself how to remember to close the panels before bedtime? Then it hit me: door/window sensor to the rescue 🙂

First thing to do was to figure out how to attach sensor to the metal stick. I desided to design a 3D model that I could use to install door/window sensor into. It came out a bit loose, so I thightened it out with a metal clamp, so far so good.. Door sensor I used was Xiaomi Zigbee Door sensor that I paired with my Conbee II ZigBee receiver.

Sending a notification

After pairing the sensor with my hub, it was time to create an automation with Home Assistant. I created just a simple automation to send a push notification to my phone at 21.30 if the panels are still open. That way I can go and close those before getting to bed. Nothing too fancy so far, I think this is enough.

2. Setting up the ventilation

When having a forced ventilation a small under pressure is always active. That, of course, makes starting fire a little more difficult. Luckily my ventilation machine (Vallox 121SE) has a feature called “fireplace mode” that actually creates a small overpressure for 15 minutes. I recently created a modbus client with ESP8266 and integrated it into home assistant. Some days ago I finally managed to implement a remote fireplace switch control on it aswell.

However, I do not want to open a phone every time I’m starting a fire so I decided to install a Xiaomi Switch next to the fireplace. I configured Home Assistant to enable ventilation fireplace mode on a button click, so now I just need to press the button before starting a fire. Again one more thing to make things more “simple”.

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