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[OP]
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Aug 13, 2008
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Mississauga

Smart Themostats.....

How many of you here are using smart thermostats? Ecobee, Nest, etc?

I have a programmable thermostat and am finding it difficult to make a case for upgrading......aside from having access to it via my phone, do your installations offer any other advantages, or more importantly, energy savings?
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Aug 10, 2011
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With my Ecobee, at night, I can program it to use the separate sensor in my master bedroom, so that the thermostat reacts to the temperature there instead of in the living room, where it's colder at night.

When I'm on vacation in winter, I can move the sensor into the basement and have it maintain a steady temperature of 16 degrees down there so the pipes won't burst.

Stuff like that. It helps.
:confused:
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Feb 9, 2006
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Brampton
Got a Gen 3 Nest.
The additional control over the HVAC system helps.

The whole out of the box "Automation/Connectivity" is convenient like being able to tell Alexa what temp to set to and turning the temp down when you're away.

The Added connectivity and integration of smart thermostats is where it really shines IMO. The Nest I will have to say is not the most friendly for this since it lacks Homekit support and the integration it offers with works with Nest partners such as Wink is really weak.

In addition to the Nest I Have Nest protects (I wish I could read the raw data from them, sound level/temp humidity) on every floor so the home/away detection is better than without. My Nest is integrated into my OpenHAB setup.

I use it as presence detection to know if someone is home. If not then it obviously lowers the HVAC setting, but I also use this status to turn on my Alarm, turn off any running electronics and also the HRV.
My HRV controller isn't very smart, and lacks a fan interlock. So I applied some logic to read indoor/outdoor humidity to decide the optimal humidity levels in the house, while prioritizing the amount air changes in the house (via the HRV)
I also tie in the control of my ceiling fans to help keep the house a bit more comfortable, the house will attempt to keep things in check with the ceiling fans and the furnace fan until based on humidity levels and internal temp start running the AC.
I also chart/log my HVAC runtimes and estimate the power consumed. I did try to use the data to try and tweak the temperature/humidity settings to be more efficient but WAF didn't work out.

If you have no interest in home automation & don't care for connected gadgets and have a fairly set/well programmed schedule you will see little value in smart thermostats.
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Feb 15, 2005
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I guess I'm the odd one out. I have a Honeywell Prestige IAQ 2.0. It does the basics plus integrates with your alarm through the Honeywell Totalconnect portal. This thermostat can also be set to commercial mode to do things like pre-occupancy purge, change the parameters of the PID algorithm, etc.

In terms of HVAC control, the equipment interface module can control a humdifier, dehumidifier, HRV interlock plus a relay for some other thing like a flood sensor. It has 3 hardwired temperature sensors. 1 for exterior, 1 for intake and 1 for discharge temp. It can also take a bunch of wireless indoor and outdoor sensors. The thermostat can be set to automatically regulate the humidity based on exterior temperature plus a leaky window setting to reduce/eliminate the glacier on your windows.

Essential, the IAQ-series of thermostats is for complicated HVAC setups or for someone who just wants a single unit to take care of everything. No silly toys like Nest where they WANT you to play with the thermostat.

There's a smartapp for Smartthings that will integrate everything into a single gateway.
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rf134a wrote:
Mar 8th, 2017 12:10 pm
I guess I'm the odd one out. I have a Honeywell Prestige IAQ 2.0. It does the basics plus integrates with your alarm through the Honeywell Totalconnect portal. This thermostat can also be set to commercial mode to do things like pre-occupancy purge, change the parameters of the PID algorithm, etc.

In terms of HVAC control, the equipment interface module can control a humdifier, dehumidifier, HRV interlock plus a relay for some other thing like a flood sensor. It has 3 hardwired temperature sensors. 1 for exterior, 1 for intake and 1 for discharge temp. It can also take a bunch of wireless indoor and outdoor sensors. The thermostat can be set to automatically regulate the humidity based on exterior temperature plus a leaky window setting to reduce/eliminate the glacier on your windows.

Essential, the IAQ-series of thermostats is for complicated HVAC setups or for someone who just wants a single unit to take care of everything. No silly toys like Nest where they WANT you to play with the thermostat.

There's a smartapp for Smartthings that will integrate everything into a single gateway.
I don't know about Odd one out but the IAQ is serious HVAC automation system. You're right when you call the Nest and the Ecobee type "Smart" thermostats toys.

The IAQ is equivalent to say comparing a professional installed Crestron or Control4 Home Automation system vs Throwing money at a HomeKit/Wink (Consumer) Home Automation system.

The different in cost shows(An IAQ2.0 kit is ~$500 + Install[You can DIY it, but it takes more knowledge than swapping a thermostat.]) . I tried to mimic Some of the advanced functions offered by the IAQ and other commercial "Climate Control" systems
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bk2the6ix wrote:
Mar 7th, 2017 9:21 am
How many of you here are using smart thermostats? Ecobee, Nest, etc?

I have a programmable thermostat and am finding it difficult to make a case for upgrading......aside from having access to it via my phone, do your installations offer any other advantages, or more importantly, energy savings?
Spending 3 minutes every 6 months with your crap programmable thermostat will save you as much as Nest, Ecobee, etc. The main thing those things provide are:
Nest:
- Pretty interface
- Remote control
- "Learning" (which works pretty poorly)

Ecobee:
- Remote control
- Ability to compensate for a poorly insulated / balanced home

Cheapest wifi thermostat you can find:
- Remote control

As tebore mentions, you could just build a "smart" hub (OpenHAB is fantastically capable, making Control4 look like 12 year old technology), and gain all the functionality of Nest/Ecobee and way more. Does require you're interested in putting in a bit of effort, and have a computer running at all times.

I went the cheap-arse wifi thermostat route; Nest was thoroughly disappointing in every way except appearance.
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Cheap thermostat is the easiest. Less to maintain, less to break, and no worries about internet of things exploits. I don't want to have my thermostat held ransom or bricked in the middle of winter.
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Oct 1, 2012
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Toronto
Im trying to make a case for upgrading to a smart thermostat as well. Without controlling the vents, how does a smart thermostat redirect airflow to rooms that are most needed? For example, in the summer, i want more cold air upstairs, but less downstairs. When it senses a person upstairs, will it turn the AC on longer so the upstairs temps reaches ideal temp? Won't that make downstairs even colder and waste more energy?
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150dpi wrote:
Jul 7th, 2017 11:31 am
Im trying to make a case for upgrading to a smart thermostat as well. Without controlling the vents, how does a smart thermostat redirect airflow to rooms that are most needed? For example, in the summer, i want more cold air upstairs, but less downstairs. When it senses a person upstairs, will it turn the AC on longer so the upstairs temps reaches ideal temp? Won't that make downstairs even colder and waste more energy?
To control your vents automatically you have to install automated vent dampers, which are not cheap. Otherwise just open/close the vents once in the spring and once in the fall.
Sr. Member
May 3, 2005
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Woodbridge
I have an old Honeywell TH9421C1004 Visionpro IAQ Thermostat that controls the AC, furnace, and humidifier with an external temp sensor. I found that this unit seemed to offer me more than the Nests when they were coming out. The only thing I'm missing is wifi and remote control but then I've programmed this thing that I never have to touch it unless it's a special event. It even has frost control for the windows during the winter months. I know people that will shut off the furnace remotely on their phone when they step out of the house for a couple of hours. To me this is too much micro managing and likely doesn't offer much savings in the end. At this point a Nest thermostat would be more for looks than for functionality compared to what I have now.
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Oct 1, 2012
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engineered wrote:
Jul 7th, 2017 11:40 am
To control your vents automatically you have to install automated vent dampers, which are not cheap. Otherwise just open/close the vents once in the spring and once in the fall.
I see... So without these smart vents, NEST or Ecobee is basically useless? or am I missing something else that these thermostats can do?
[OP]
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Aug 13, 2008
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150dpi wrote:
Jul 7th, 2017 1:36 pm
I see... So without these smart vents, NEST or Ecobee is basically useless? or am I missing something else that these thermostats can do?
its basically a glorified regular thermostat with wifi (connect to your phone/alarms/monitors/etc and 'learning' capabilities.
a regular programmable thermostat is just fine for 99.9% of users.
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Oct 1, 2012
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Toronto
bk2the6ix wrote:
Jul 7th, 2017 1:44 pm
its basically a glorified regular thermostat with wifi (connect to your phone/alarms/monitors/etc and 'learning' capabilities.
a regular programmable thermostat is just fine for 99.9% of users.
Thought so. Thanks.
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150dpi wrote:
Jul 7th, 2017 1:36 pm
I see... So without these smart vents, NEST or Ecobee is basically useless? or am I missing something else that these thermostats can do?
Not useless. When you leave home they'll automatically set to AWAY. When you're in bed you can change the temps without getting up. I haven't touched my physical tstat since I set it up. I can also review historical stats for when it ran and for how long. For $100 I find it well worth it.
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Feb 4, 2015
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Went from regular Honeywell tstat to Econet tstat [no wifi module] and have been trying to rationalize purchase of Ecobee3/4 or Nest... we mostly just set it and adjust perhaps once during day and once at night... can even program that but not do every day.

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