Cielo Breez Plus review: A superb way to make your dumb air conditioner smart

This is one of the best devices we’ve tested for controlling a stand-alone air conditioner.

Cielo Breez Plus
Cielo WiGle, Inc.

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At a Glance
  • Cielo Breez Plus

Easy to set up and incredibly responsive, the Cielo Breez Plus is one of two Wi-Fi-connected air-conditioner controllers this company manufactures. Like many similar devices we’ve tested, the simpler (and less-expensive, at a street price of $68) Breez Eco relies entirely on the Cielo Home app. The pricier Breez Plus, reviewed here, has a street price of $109, but it features a display and onboard controls, so you can program a connected air conditioner without needing to pull out your mobile device.

In control

The Breez Plus, like all Wi-Fi A/C controllers, enables your generally unconnected window, portable, mini-split, and various other types of air conditioner (or dehumidifier) to be a lot smarter. Not only do you gain more control over your appliance, you also stand to save money by reducing your energy consumption. These controllers operate much like a smart thermostat for a whole-house HVAC system, but they manage a single device in one room. Oh, and they need to be within the air conditioner’s line of sight to operate.

This class of product can only work only with air conditioners that have a remote control of one type or another; they essentially take the place of that component. But many of the similar products that compete with the Breez Plus, including the Sensibo Sky and the Tado Smart AC Control (both of which I reviewed earlier), are limited to A/C units that have remote controls with displays. While Cielo’s controller prefers that type of remote, its expansive compatibility list includes both. Nonetheless, your A/C unit still needs to have some kind of wireless remote in order for the Breez Plus to control it. You can check your model’s compatibility on the company’s website.

cielo breez plus 03 Jason D’Aprile / IDG

The Cielo Breez Plus can operate on low-voltage wiring if it’s available; otherwise, it will run on its provided AC adapter and USB cable.

The Breez Plus’s own display is easy is easy to read, dimmable, and reports both the indoor temperature and relative humidity. You can indicate your preferred comfort range for both values in the Cielo Home app. You can also create daily or weekly schedules with your mobile device: Just set the time, days of the week, function, temperature, and fan speed to achieve maximum efficiency. I did find the day selector to be confusing, however, since it’s hard to tell if you’re selecting or deselecting a day. Other than that, the scheduler is easy to use and works great.

If you don’t adhere to a regimented schedule (and who does these days?), Cielo Home also supports geofencing. When you leave the circumference of the designated geofence, the app will turn your air conditioner off to save energy, and turn it back on when you re-enter the circle so your home is already cool when you get there. The app also tracks and reports your air-conditioning usage. When you are home, you can opt to control your A/C (or get temperature reports) with voice commands spoken to an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant smart speaker.

Simple, useful, and efficient

cielo app 05 Jason D’Aprile / IDG

Cielo’s Breez Plus takes humidity as well as temperature into account.

Cielo’s Breez Plus is the easiest A/C controller I’ve tested to date. Set the controller within your air conditioner’s line of sight, plug in its 5V power adapter and USB cable (or use your thermostat’s low-voltage in-wall wiring, if you have that—the controller’s range is 13 feet either way).

Launch the Cielo Home app on your mobile device and follow the directions to connect the Breeze Plus to your Wi-Fi network. Next, grab your A/C’s existing remote, point it at the Breez Plus, and press the power button. It’s an absurdly simple process, and both the app and the Breez Plus are designed for user friendliness.

That simplicity really makes the Cielo Breez Plus standout—it is like no other A/C controller I’ve tested. I’m less impressed with its busy industrial design (the units from Sensibo and Tado are both more appealing to look at), and the build quality of Cielo’s controller doesn’t impress me either. The unit arrives mounted to its stand, and it’s difficult to take off—I thought it might crack while I was detaching it so I could mount the controller on the wall. But the Breez Plus and its app have so many great features that those shortcomings are easy to overlook.

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At a Glance
  • While this isn’t the most attractive air-conditioner controller we’ve seen, it is the most versatile and the easiest to set up and use. It's also compatible with more air conditioner models than its competitors.

    Pros

    • Incredibly easy to set up and use
    • Tracks humidity as well as temperature
    • Broad compatibility with various models of air conditioners

    Cons

    • Fragile build quality
    • Unattractive industrial design
    • Scheduling section of display is difficult to read
  
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