Open-Source HVAC?

Yes, it is becoming a thing! We believe sensor-to-cloud technology and open-source ethics have the power to contribute to this movement!

Favorited Favorite 1

Although adoption of open-source in HVAC has been slow, it could revolutionize the industry. Recently, we discovered a number of our customers are coming over from the HVAC industry, presumably engineers, who are using our wide range of environmental sensors to test and develop their ideas. We've collected these relevant products onto a single page to jumpstart your next HVAC or Building Science project.


It turns out this movement is even bigger than we realized, and a group of open-source HVAC enthusiasts launched an online community called OpenHVAC earlier this year!

For a bit more context about recent happenings in the HVAC world: The study of Building Science has been drawing attention to the massive health and energy impacts of buildings big and small. The HVAC industry is a core piece of the building puzzle, leading to a sudden explosion of improvements to technologies like heat pumps, energy-recovery ventilation, and thermal storage. These rapid changes have put immense pressure on HVAC Technicians to implement them without the tools to collect important data, nor the equipment controls which can integrate and act on this data with useful transparency or flexibility. Especially in residential HVAC, it's often impossible to orchestrate increasingly fine-tuned and complex systems without straightforward interconnectivity solutions. Building Science researchers & nerds, other growing trades like Energy Raters & Building Automation Technicians, and even homeowners who just want a window into these newfangled comfort systems all stand to benefit from open data & control platforms too.

The OpenHVAC community was founded on the belief that open-source can (and will!) play a huge role in solving these challenges, and that these timely opportunities can be explored through collaborations between Makers and Trades. The community aims to:

  • Identify problems in HVAC unsolved by proprietary systems to develop solutions and promote the results for all to use.
  • Syndicate the best open-source solutions that can achieve better HVAC outcomes for HVAC professionals & homeowners.
  • Develop open-source tools, software, hardware, and datasets that can be used by HVAC practitioners to improve their craft.

Join the OpenHVAC conversation on Discord!

Some YouTubes For Your Consideration

You can also learn more about OpenHVAC by checking out the community blog, which showcases open-source HVAC and Building Science use cases.

Our Niche In This Niche

It turns out a lot of the breakout boards we make feature technologies that are cutting-edge in this space. Take our new Photoacoustic Spectroscopy CO2 Sensor for example. This advanced sensor provides unparalleled accuracy in measuring carbon dioxide levels, essential for optimizing indoor air quality and energy efficiency. The PAS CO2 employs a photoacoustic spectroscopy measurement system that combines narrow-band filtered IR light and a highly sensitive microphone inside the sensing cavity to measure CO2 concentrations from 0 to 32,000ppm with a best accuracy of ±(30ppm + 3%) when reading between 400ppm and 5,000ppm.

But this is just one example of us picking a cutting-edge technology from a partner and putting it on a board. We have tons of sensors to choose from:

SparkFun Atmospheric Sensor Breakout - BME280

SparkFun Atmospheric Sensor Breakout - BME280

SparkFun Air Velocity Sensor Breakout - FS3000-1015 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Air Velocity Sensor Breakout - FS3000-1015 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Environmental Sensor - BME688 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Environmental Sensor - BME688 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Pressure Sensor - BMP581 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Pressure Sensor - BMP581 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Temperature Sensor - STTS22H (Qwiic)

SparkFun Temperature Sensor - STTS22H (Qwiic)

SparkFun Micro Temperature Sensor - STTS22H (Qwiic)

SparkFun Micro Temperature Sensor - STTS22H (Qwiic)

SparkFun Qwiic Starter Kit for Raspberry Pi

SparkFun Qwiic Starter Kit for Raspberry Pi


SparkFun Air Velocity Sensor Qwiic Kit - FS3000-1015


So then you take one or more of these sensors and plug it into our DataLogger IoT, which autodetects many of our sensors, via our Qwiic Connect System. You can then pick from one of the Iot services we support. With a 2.4GHz WiFi connection, you can also send data to the cloud! The following IoT services are supported:

  • MQTT Client
  • MQTT Secure Client
  • AWS IoT
  • ThingSpeak MQTT
  • Azure IoT
  • HTTP IoT
  • MachineChat
  • Arduino IoT Cloud

Rapid prototyping is key to time-effective research and development, and SparkFun's Qwiic Connect system simplifies the process for HVAC developers. This plug-and-play system eliminates the hassles of soldering, allowing researchers to focus on their projects and new ideas. By connecting sensors together with Qwiic, SparkFun enables HVAC developers to iterate and test their ideas swiftly and efficiently without compromising data accuracy.

Plug-And-Play Sensor-to-Cloud Action!
Check out this blog to learn how to set up sending sensor data to AWS is 15 minutes!

We also think Matter and Thread have the potential to make smart home systems interoperable, which could have a big impact as the HVAC space gets IoT-ified. Be an early adopter by checking out this shameless marketing plug for our Thing Plus Matter Board - MGM240P.

So, What Now?

Obviously, we are new to all of this and have a lot to learn! Consider filling out this form if you want to hop on the bus with us. Also, if you are already an Engineer/Developer in this space and have projects you want to share, we'd love to hear from you! If you sign up, we'll send you some neat updates on new sensors and technologies, as well as some of the open-source HVAC projects we make and find around the web.

Comments 1 comment

  • Member #618222 / about 5 months ago / 1

    Why not use the SparkFun IR Array Breakout, and detect if there are people in the room? For instance during the night in a bedroom, look if someone is sleeping, if the blanket is covering them, and use that information to adjust the target temperature of the HVAC!

Related Posts

Recent Posts


All Tags