Integrating Off the Shelf Air Conditioners


Hey Everyone,

I’m a ex-plumber/farm kid/uni-student and I’m hoping to build a large server to grow tropical fruit down in Christchurch NZ. I’m all over the construction but I have zero knowledge or skill in programming, so any help would be AMAZING!

I was wondering if it were possible to control an off the shelf, reverse cycle, wall/window, air conditioner to manage the heating and cooling of the space. I stumbled upon the below project which is utilising a lot of the same products that are used in the PFC, to run the cooling and fan only options. Apparently he has left provision in the code for heating but that it isn’t finished.

Is this something we can integrate into the PFC rather than building heating and cooling systems independently as it should be cheaper to repurpose an aircon than to build heating and cooling systems by components right?

Again I’m not a software person so if anyone can advise if its possible I’d love to know

Thanks a lot,


Do you want to learn programming, or are you more interested in just finding a simple solution for controlling the temperature? From what you’ve described, it sounds like just setting the thermostat on your air conditioner might meet your needs, but maybe you have other goals that you didn’t mention.

If you want to learn programming with a DIY project, then Arduino is a great way to get started. Here are a couple good links for getting started with Arduino:

Here are a couple ideas if you want to learn more more about designing and automating grow rooms:


Setting the thermostat manually would be the easiest however, that would not automate the climate recipe which is my goal. Thanks for the links, I’ll definitely look into teaching myself programming however I am unsure how successful that will be…

I think I will approach the mechatronics department at Canterbury and see if anyone there can help with automation.

Which is the easiest design program to produce models of my designs? Currently they’re just pencil drawings

Thanks again