• Last Updated:
  • Jun 12th, 2020 10:17 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 20, 2007
1533 posts
34 upvotes
usa

Smart thermostat

We've had our thermostat when the house was built so that's 12 years ago. I've noticed the buttons don't really respond when we try to change temp. I figured its time to get new a new one and probably should get a smart thermostat so we can control it from our phone.

What do we need to know? Our family friend is a licensed electrician etc so he said he can do it fir us.

The electric company is offering discount on some smart thermostats right now. I know the Emerson Sense Touch for $49. There's always discount on different models.
22 replies
Jr. Member
May 15, 2019
136 posts
137 upvotes
Nest Learning Thermostat is awesome and pricey at the same time.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
3906 posts
1524 upvotes
I got a free one from the Ontario government :)


But yea, check with your utility for discount programs
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 20, 2007
1533 posts
34 upvotes
usa
There are several fir very low price. Currently, the Emerson Sensi Touch and Honeywell T5+ is fir $49 each.

I'm curious to know if there's anything we should know before deciding on switching to a smart thermostat.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
3965 posts
1820 upvotes
Toronto
gta1216 wrote: There are several fir very low price. Currently, the Emerson Sensi Touch and Honeywell T5+ is fir $49 each.

I'm curious to know if there's anything we should know before deciding on switching to a smart thermostat.
We have the Google Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd gen) and it's been awesome for us so far. Was purchased back when it was on sale and with Enbridge coupon and Ontario energy rebates so was a great price (in the $120 range if I recall after everything).
This is a no-brainer if you have a Google Home system in your house, so you can integrate the thermostat into the mix.

One of the best features though with Nest is geo-fencing with multiple users. So in our case both mine and my wife's phone's location is connected to Nest, and it can tell when we are both out of the house and adjust thermostat to Eco (energy saving) mode. Other smart thermostats aren't able to do this, or can only do with 1 phone or need to use software mods/apps to accommodate 2 users.
Member
Jan 10, 2017
296 posts
221 upvotes
gta1216 wrote: We've had our thermostat when the house was built so that's 12 years ago. I've noticed the buttons don't really respond when we try to change temp. I figured its time to get new a new one and probably should get a smart thermostat so we can control it from our phone.

What do we need to know? Our family friend is a licensed electrician etc so he said he can do it fir us.

The electric company is offering discount on some smart thermostats right now. I know the Emerson Sense Touch for $49. There's always discount on different models.
Had the ecobee, switched to nest. Both are decent, ecobee has presence sensors so it can heat/cool based on occupancy. Nest has just remote thermostat which can be used to set temperatures based on room - no presence, presence is done via the phone apps to detect home or not home only.

Review the features and see which one tickles your fancy, ecobee is also Canadian if it matters.

BEFORE you make a purchase though do take off the old thermostat and review how many wires you have in the old cable run - most higher end smart thermostat need a common cable to power them. The ecobee comes with a Power Expander Kit (PEK), while the Nest does not but you can purchase them from Amazon. Ideally you want five wires in the run for the easiest installation for a common heat/cool setup. At minimum, you need three with an adapter. If you don’t have enough wires and the run from thermostat is short, best is to replace the wire to future proof it and it’s way cheaper than the adapters.
Deal Guru
Aug 26, 2002
13731 posts
5331 upvotes
Toronto, ON
rob444 wrote: One of the best features though with Nest is geo-fencing with multiple users. So in our case both mine and my wife's phone's location is connected to Nest, and it can tell when we are both out of the house and adjust thermostat to Eco (energy saving) mode. Other smart thermostats aren't able to do this, or can only do with 1 phone or need to use software mods/apps to accommodate 2 users.
Ecobee determines occupancy using their remote sensors that you can place throughout the house. No phones or apps necessary and it gets a better sense of when someone is at home because not all family members have cellphones (elderly person or kids, for example). The remote sensors can also measure temperature so with enough of the sensors throughout the house, Ecobee can optimize its operation based on temperature averaging. Ecobee can still operate on geofencing if you link it to Homekit.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jun 26, 2005
9973 posts
1849 upvotes
Toronto
Ecobee or Nest is fine. I have the Ecobee. I find that all these smart thermostats with sensors, etc. are all really silly, because for 99% of us, the system is either 100% ON or OFF. Unless you have motorized, remote controlled vents, its basically, if the upstairs is too hot, system will come on. Then the main floor will get freezing cold. Vice versa in the winter.

So, just a simple programmable thermostat is enough imo. But hey, if you want to "control" your temp. via the internet if you are on vacation, then go ahead. Then again, its just another device for hackers to potentially hack into.
Deal Addict
Feb 10, 2006
2264 posts
286 upvotes
Kitchener
Programmable stat is good enough for 99% of people. Smart stats add features that some wouldn't notice or really use.

I had a nest years ago (early generation) and when I upgraded my HVAC system I tossed the nest as well. I don't miss it at all.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 20, 2007
1533 posts
34 upvotes
usa
We always have people in the house, so geo-fencing etc really isn't important fir us. Since our thermostat is not responding well, and will need to get a new one, so I thought I should use this opportunity and get a smart thermostat.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
3965 posts
1820 upvotes
Toronto
rvs007 wrote: Ecobee determines occupancy using their remote sensors that you can place throughout the house. No phones or apps necessary and it gets a better sense of when someone is at home because not all family members have cellphones (elderly person or kids, for example). The remote sensors can also measure temperature so with enough of the sensors throughout the house, Ecobee can optimize its operation based on temperature averaging. Ecobee can still operate on geofencing if you link it to Homekit.
The downside to that is that you need to purchase multiple sensors so can add significantly to the cost. Also if you have sensors triggering energy-saving mode on thermostat, it could shut off the heat/ac if someone is still at home but simply in a room with no sensor or they are sleeping or something. We much prefer the included geo-fencing for this without having to use additional apps, and since we're the only 2 adults living in the home (and kids always with one of us) this works perfect for us. The look/feel/UI of the Nest is also way better, but this is entirely personal preference.

Everyone will for sure have different situations and needs though, which is why it's important to research the features and capabilities of any new smart thermostat to determine if it's the best one for you.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35089 posts
21063 upvotes
Center of Universe
gta1216 wrote: We always have people in the house, so geo-fencing etc really isn't important fir us. Since our thermostat is not responding well, and will need to get a new one, so I thought I should use this opportunity and get a smart thermostat.
Don't fall for the hype of Ecobee or Nest, as you're simply paying for the name and additional convenience features (I had both).
Any tstat with a schedule is more than enough and if you want wifi control, than the lower cost Honeywell units are a good choice.
Deal Guru
Aug 26, 2002
13731 posts
5331 upvotes
Toronto, ON
It really depends on how "smart" the OP wants his new thermostat to be. There's varying degrees ranging from simply following a set schedule (in which case a programmable thermostat will do), to one that you could control by wifi, to one that can change its program based on occupancy/geofencing, all the way to one that you can integrate into a home automation setup so that the thermostat's state can be changed based on triggers (like pause its programming if the windows or doors are opened, as an example).
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35089 posts
21063 upvotes
Center of Universe
rvs007 wrote: It really depends on how "smart" the OP wants his new thermostat to be. There's varying degrees ranging from simply following a set schedule (in which case a programmable thermostat will do), to one that you could control by wifi, to one that can change its program based on occupancy/geofencing, all the way to one that you can integrate into a home automation setup so that the thermostat's state can be changed based on triggers (like pause its programming if the windows or doors are opened, as an example).
I didn't get the sense that OP was looking to go full HA.lol
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2004
4698 posts
1180 upvotes
Wat
I like to be able to turn up the heat or air conditioning a couple hours before coming home from extended time away. Also useful if I forgot to turn down heat or AC when I'm gone for a trip or weekend. That's the main reason I like Smart thermostats. I disable all the other learning features.

Plus it was free from Gov't. I got Nest and Ecobee free but currently using Ecobee.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 20, 2007
1533 posts
34 upvotes
usa
Wiseman wrote: I like to be able to turn up the heat or air conditioning a couple hours before coming home from extended time away. Also useful if I forgot to turn down heat or AC when I'm gone for a trip or weekend. That's the main reason I like Smart thermostats. I disable all the other learning features.

Plus it was free from Gov't. I got Nest and Ecobee free but currently using Ecobee.
This is pretty much the same reason I'm thinking if getting a smart thermostat. If I'm upstairs and want the house warmer or cooler, I can simply adjust it from my phone and not have to go downstairs. And since the utility company is offering a huge discount, why not.
Deal Addict
Feb 10, 2006
2264 posts
286 upvotes
Kitchener
gta1216 wrote: This is pretty much the same reason I'm thinking if getting a smart thermostat. If I'm upstairs and want the house warmer or cooler, I can simply adjust it from my phone and not have to go downstairs. And since the utility company is offering a huge discount, why not.
If you can get it for next to nothing because the utilities are subsiding it, great. But like other have mentioned the added features are not worth it at full price. If you only want wifi capability then there are other stats that do the same thing.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 20, 2007
1533 posts
34 upvotes
usa
I read that a "c" wire is required. I asked our family friend who is a licensed electrician. He didn't check but said it should have it. What if we don't have it?

Between the Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat and the Honeywell Home T5+, which would you get? These are the 2 that's currently on sale thru the utility company. They have different offers at different time.
Deal Guru
Aug 26, 2002
13731 posts
5331 upvotes
Toronto, ON
gta1216 wrote: I read that a "c" wire is required. I asked our family friend who is a licensed electrician. He didn't check but said it should have it. What if we don't have it?
If your basement is unfinished, it should be quite easy for your friend to run an additional wire from the thermostat location to the furnace. If it's finished, then you need a PEK (Power Extension Kit). The Ecobee comes with the PEK while the Nest doesn't, but someone mentioned you can get one from Amazon.

Top