SmartAC promises the HVAC health tracking your smart thermostat doesn't do

Smart thermostats like Nest and Ecobee aren't new, but ways to make whole house AC and heating systems more intelligent – and proactively avoid them breaking – are far more rare. SmartAC is aiming to change that, with a DIY-installed HVAC monitoring system that doesn't aim to replace your existing connected thermostat, but instead work alongside it and track the health criteria that they can't.

As we've seen with other smart home platforms, SmartAC consists of a number of different sensors. A Comfort sensor clips to your HVAC vents, and monitors the air supply flowing through to make sure the system is working properly. A Filter sensor, meanwhile, tracks the life of the air filter. Finally, there's a Water sensor which can spot leaks, such as from faulty humidifiers.

Each attaches magnetically, so there's no screws or drilling to be done, and run on a pair of AA batteries. The sensors themselves will work with Nest, Ecobee, and others, connecting to a SmartAC Hub – which is mains AC powered rather than battery powered – that connects to the cloud.

The promise, though, is more than just flagging when there's an issue observed. SmartAC claims its machine learning system can predict when an HVAC breakdown is likely, tracking things like temperature and airflow throughout the day. It'll also remind you of regular maintenance tasks, such as replacing air filters.

The downside to SmartAC is that – unlike is the case with most connected thermostats and smart home systems like Samsung SmartThings – there's a subscription fee for that monitoring. The hardware itself starts at $99 for a bundle with the hub and one of each of the three sensors. Service comes in at $5 per month at launch, though normally it'll be $10 per month.

SmartAC argues that there are savings to be had that should help offset those costs. A better-maintained HVAC system, it points out, uses less electricity; avoiding big maintenance issues can also save money, and there's a Comfort Guarantee if SmartAC's machine learning doesn't warn you of a breakdown that takes place. It's worth noting that only promises a year of free service rather than to cover any of the actual repair costs, mind.

Subscribers also get filter discounts, and you can add extra sensors to track other areas, such as potential leaks from washing machines and dishwashers. The starter kit is available to order now, and you don't actually need a smart thermostat to use it as SmartAC is compatible with regular, dumb thermostats too.