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Old 02-07-2017, 07:40 AM   #1
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Home thermostat

As many of you spend a considerable amount of time on the road I thought this would be an appropriate place to post my question on home thermostats.

I am looking to upgrade our thermostats so that I can control them on the road and was wondering which ones you all would recommend?

Thanks
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:51 AM   #2
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When I had my system replaced they installed the WiFi thermostats from Trane and a Nexia hub. The hub connects via Ethernet cable to my router and the thermostats talk to the hub via WiFi. I have an App on my iPhone and iPad and you can also get to it via a web site from any browser. The setup allows me to store "automations" that are basically scripts that the system sends to the thermostats. I have one for "AWAY", one for "OFF" and one for "OCCUPIED". I have a schedule in each of the thermostats. OCCUPIED runs the schedules, AWAY sets the thermostats on heat at 55 degrees to keep pipes from freezing and OFF turns everything off.

I can run automations or control individual thermostats from the apps.

Al
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:02 AM   #3
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I installed a Sensi WiFi by Emerson which lets me monitor and control my home via my smartphone. It is fully programmable, but I just keep an eye on the temperature and make adjustments as we near home.
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:09 AM   #4
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I have used NEST, Honeywell, but I now have Ecobee, which I like the best of all of them. Sort of depends on your equipment at home as to which may be best for you.

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Old 02-07-2017, 09:37 AM   #5
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I've been using NEST for several years. No problems nor complaints. Also have a
Nest AWARE and a Nestcam.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:42 AM   #6
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Also have had a Nest for many years, since they came out. Love it. Also now have two Nest smoke detectors (also love them, particularly the nightlight feature) and two Nest cameras, one inside, one outside. High quality stuff.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:26 AM   #7
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We had a non-wifi programmable thermostat for years, and replaced it with a basic Honeywell wifi unit this last year. The Honeywell is programmable at the thermostat just like a non-wifi model, which we like. The wifi app gives similar controls, plus more flexibility for programming the schedule.

Our model is Honeywell's basic version. One thing we wish we had that comes with more advanced models is the ability to know if the heating/cooling is actually on at any given moment, and a record of how many hours & minutes of heating and cooling has been run. That lets you know more about what is actually happening when you are gone.
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:01 PM   #8
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I have a Nest thermostat in each of our two zones. I really like them. I also have a Nest Camera to keep an eye on things while we're away. I can see the set temp, change it, see humidity, even see outdoor temp remotely. I can set it for a more efficient 'Away' setting, and it will actually notice if there's no movement in the room for some time and set it to Away on its own if I forget. The thermostats and camera are all visible and controllable via the Nest smartphone app.
The only thing I'm not crazy about is Google now owning Nest, as their privacy policy is, well, no privacy. They claim to not use any data from Nest, but who can trust them? I picture Google executives sitting around saying, "Look, Rich just turned up his heat! Let's put some down coat ads on his browser page." ;-/
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:26 PM   #9
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Also use the Ecobee and like it a lot (disclosure, I work in the HAVC industry)

Easy to use, reads the outdoor temperature via you zip code from the web, so that can simplify some set up. And mine doesn't have geofencing that may seem like a privacy invasion to some.

Nice when you know you are coming home a day early from a long trip. Just pull out your phone and start up the AC from vacation mode to standard program. It also has 365 day programming.

Generally speaking, you will probably be fine with any of the major brands and their units. Important to get the one you will USE the PROGRAMMING. If you don't like it or understand how to use it, move onto another product.
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:26 PM   #10
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I have two Nest thermostats that are easily controlled from the smartphone while on the road. I also run Home Assistant, this is a home automation hub that's based on a Raspberry Pi 3 computer (RP3). A RP3 cost about $40 and the software is open source and free. In my case, I use Home Assistant for many things. As an example, it acts as my home alarm. When I arm the system from my phone, it automatically sets my Nest thermostats to Away mode (saving energy) and will sound an alarm if any of my doors are opened. if an alarm goes off, Home Assistant will automatically notify me on my phone. I probably use Home Assistant for another 5 things so it's great for folks who are into home automation and can write simple scripts.
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:15 PM   #11
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Ecobee is great
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:18 PM   #12
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nest here too. I have the nest cam watching my reef tank.
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:16 PM   #13
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My thanks to all a lot of great info Now I need to talk to my AC guy.
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:18 PM   #14
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Interesting news story on how hackers can get into your phone and computer through Wifi thermostats and refrigerators. Google it.
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:46 PM   #15
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BTW the Nest is very easy to install and comes with everything you need - including a screwdriver. No A/C repairman required.
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Old 02-08-2017, 05:45 AM   #16
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Kwhat can't they get into today. It seems like every electronic item we own is hackable. Not sure what the solution is other then to live off the grid
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:25 AM   #17
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I control my thermostat via my DSC alarm system over the telephone. I can select programmed thermostat modes ie. home and away, check settings, change temp etc. If the furnace stops working or temp goes below 6 degrees Celcius it notifies the alarm company. Alarm also has other monitors for wet floors, sump pump overflow and gets me an insurance discount for flood and more. I can turn off and on the alarm system and open a garage door to let someone in. Internet not needed. Peace of mind while away and up to room temperature by the time I arrive home.
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:29 AM   #18
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Yes the Nest is very easy to install yourself. Everything you need is included. There are videos to walk you through it as well.
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:27 AM   #19
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I just read in a security brief that hackers are now hacking home WiFi's in addition to anything else they can get a hold of.

They encouraged a separate lengthy password for each appliance or functioning item that you controlled by WiFi.
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:37 AM   #20
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New thermostats may require new wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rg416 View Post
Yes the Nest is very easy to install yourself. Everything you need is included. There are videos to walk you through it as well.
We actually bought a Nest a couple years ago, before our Honeywell. We found out that it required running a new multi-wire cable down to the furnace. We were going to do that ourselves, but the Nest warranty statement said the unit would not be covered unless an approved installer ran that wire. That caused us to return the Nest. The Honeywell also needed the new wire, but their warranty did not have such a restriction.

I don't remember numbers for sure, but I think our original thermostat cable had six wires and the new requirement was seven.
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