Nest Integration

I integrated by alarm.com account with Nest today. It doesn’t seem like I can really do much though.

I can see the temperatures in my mobile app, and adjust them which is fine and all but that’s about it. Are there no automations or anything with the thermostat? I’d like to setup rules so if the system is armed away or even depending on the geofence the thermostat goes into a mode where less energy is used.

Also, any plans to integrate with Nest cameras? I’m going back and forth between sticking with Nest or switching to alarm.com cameras. If I could have rules around my Nest cameras though that’d be awesome.

Thanks.

I’m not aware of any plans for Alarm.com to integrate with Nest cameras. They’re direct competitors. Also, Google and Alarm.com don’t see eye to eye on data privacy. Google wants access to a ton of unrelated data as “payment” for using their APIs. Alarm.com is more privacy oriented.

Here are the features available with the Nest integration.

Alarm.com features available with Nest Integration:
  • Current target temperature control
  • Current mode control (Heat, Cool)
  • Scene thermostat control including:
    • Temperature control
    • Mode control
Nest Eco Mode display on Alarm.com:

Locally, the Nest Learning Thermostat automatically switches to Eco mode after it senses that nobody is home. This feature is not supported on Alarm.com. When a Nest Learning Thermostat is in Eco mode, it is shown as Off on the Alarm.com Customer Website and app.

To exit Eco mode, change the thermostat’s mode to Heat, Cool, or Auto. Eco mode cannot be selected from the Alarm.com Customer Website or app.

Additional features available only with the Alarm.com Smart Thermostat:
  • Integrated remote temperature sensing
  • Thermostat and fan schedules
  • Fan mode control
  • Rule-based automation including:
    • Smart away setback (i.e., Geo-fencing and panel arm away status)
    • Sensor left open setback
    • Extreme temperature setback
    • Fire safety shut-off

Thanks! Setting scenes is OK I guess, though I’m disappointed there aren’t automation options around it.

That said I haven’t been happy with Nest and Google since they destroyed the API so I’m considering other options.

Google along with a lot of other home automation seems to think automation is talking to a device or pressing a button on a smart phone. That’s not automation, that’s just a 21st century light switch. True automation though is when things happen without the user having to do anything. Geofencing, NFC tags, day/time triggers and allowing multiple triggers via if/then statements, etc help trigger events. I found ADC to be OK at best in that area, I think they could do a lot more. I understand they want to keep things a bit simple but it would be nice for them to allow an advanced page for those of us who want more automation options and not simply “automation”.

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Setting scenes is OK I guess, though I’m disappointed there aren’t automation options around it.

I hear you.

We really like the scene creation in Alarm.com, but you are right, the scenes specifically are not automation so much as a (admittedly cool) universal remote, controlling the whole house from a single widget on your phone, for example.

We’ve actually been requesting this from ADC for a while: to use the scene creation engine and implement triggers and conditionals like time of day, sensor activity, geo-fencing, arming status, etc., based on the content of the scene. Some behaviors (doors unlocking, system disarming) shouldn’t be automated by certain triggers, so it would need to account for that, but it would add a lot of flexibility and clarity to rule creation, I think.

I have a nest learning thermostat (3rd) controlling my garage heater and integrated it with alarm.com. A few weeks ago, I was testing my smoke alarms and it turned off the garage heater. It must be a default automation because I didn’t set the rule up.

There are no rules available for Nest automation at this time.

Fire Safety shut-off is configured as a Rule under the thermostat automation page.

I think what you saw was likely coincidental, as it is specifically called out as incompatible in Alarm.com, and there is no way to set it up.

thanks, Jason. Its very possible that is indeed the case. I’m going to try again just to confirm this.

However, when I go to automation, click on “add new rule” , I can choose “thermostat rule”, it then directs me to sensor triggered shutoff when I can select mainly flood sensors, which is odd, and at the bottom is says “Turn OFF fan and thermostat”, where I can save or cancel.

As to what thermostat its referring to, I dont know. I only have one thermostat linked to my alarm.com account, its the Nest (wifi) thermostat.

Without access to the account I cannot confirm any specific cause, but in general I do not see that on other accounts with Smoke Detectors and a Nest Thermostat. There is no option to automate them generally.

What you are seeing is almost certainly a bug of some kind.

Do you have any Z-wave devices or anything else that would let you create an automation rule?

I haven’t had a chance to test the auto-shut off on smoke alarm this weekend, however, I can confirm that I can integrate my Nest Garage thermostat at with my scenes (in addition to what I mentioned in my previous post). but you already knew this :slight_smile:

Yep, Nest is supported in Scenes. Scenes are just setting a desired mode and target.

With regards to the z-wave devices, yes, I have a water valve which shuts off when water is detected at a flood sensors.

here’s some of the screen shots for the thermostat rule creation.

I would recommend forwarding these images to your service provider so that they can check with Alarm.com.

We cannot open tickets in Alarm.com for an account under another dealer, and this looks like something is off about your setup.

Either this is an Alarm.com display bug, or you live in a region where this may be supported somehow and your Flood sensors are reporting/being categorized by ADC as Smoke, Fire, or CO detectors. My guess: this is a bug.

This automation is, according to ADC, not supported for Nest products, at least not in the US for sure. For this question I would recommend asking your provider so they can directly access your account and provide assistance.

Hi Jason,

I will reach out to my dealer about this. However, I tested it again this morning, and indeed it does turn off my HVAC when a fire alarm is detected. It changes the mode to “OFF” from “Heat”. Checking the log, there is a entry that says “Home: A sensor on your account reported an issue and shut off Garage at time and day.”

Garage is the name of my Nest Wifi Thermostat.

But, the original poster has a point, the automations are limited.

Despite me calling the monitoring company to tell them I was going to test the fire system, the fire department still showed up on my door step 6 minutes later…this had me thinking, is there a way I can set an automation so that it unlocks all doors upon a smoke alarm?

I think just by my experience and the discussion, ADC’s “Nest Integration” is pretty worthless.

It basically boils down to the fact you can control your thermostat on the ADC app as opposed to the Nest app, and you can include some rules in scenes but that’s it. All you can do, one way or another, is manually set the temperature.

I don’t really blame ADC for the lack of integration though, Google has really done nothing to allow Nest to integrate into other platforms. It has almost been a year since Google announced the end of the Nest API and they promised you can do everything using Google’s APIs that you could do on Nest’s APIs but there has been next to nothing in the way of progress. I think it’s obvious Google really wants to silo Nest products and doesn’t want to play well with others.

The entire home automation sector is a bit of a mess right now because there are all these various companies running various standards and none of them want to play with others. It sucks because one company could be great at lights, while one could be great at security, and one could be great at HVAC but as of now none of them talk to each other. ADC shares blame with this too, they could open up an API (and secure it) to allow other platforms access but they haven’t and I’d venture to guess it’s not on their roadmap. ADC also keeps their automation very basic and that’s a big disappointment because it could do so much more.

I hope that ADC and others really don’t market that “sure we work with Nest” because regardless of fault I find it misleading. For ADC to claim to be able to work with at least the Nest thermostat, it should be able to do just about everything a Z-Wave thermostat could do including automation and various rules/schedules.

Following up on Xeon’s experience. I had a fire alarm event today and both of my Nest thermostats were automatically switched off. I do not have any z-wave or other devices. The nests are the only non-alarm.com devices integrated with my account.