Smart Thermostats

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
I have considered a smart thermostat before. Almost bought one awhile back, but looking into them again. I have kinda narrowed them down below to the most popular models right now:

The Nest (probably the original, but more than I want to spend right now and there are other options).

Sensi (Amazon's biggest seller. Just not really digging the style).

Honeywell smart thermostat (I have been around this model without the wi-fi and was impress by it)

Lyric T5 (This is also another Honeywell model but a simpler design. One thing that this has is geo-sensing, meaning it can tell by your phone's location if you are gone)

Honeywell makes a few other models as well. I think I have it narrowed down to the two Honeywell models listed above. I like the Lyric because of the geo-sening. But don't know if the other one is worth the extra $40 for the nicer display. Any suggestions?
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
Glad I did some reading and checking. Apparently all the modern wi-fi thermostats require a "C" cable to provide always on power. Most peoples furnaces don't have this wire. I checked with mine and of course I didn't either. So then you have to run new wire. I am going to do some exploring to see if I even have a "C" wire spot on my furnace. Then decided how hard it would be to pull wire. But for those of you like me looking to get one, you better check first.
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
Still haven't given up on this. I have the diagram for my furnace. While I am not seeing a "C" wire I do have 3 unused wires and one is a "BLK" one that according to the internet is a constant low power. If it works like I think I will have to buy a new roll of thermostat wire and pull it. I don't think it will be to had since it looks like it has been replaced once before. I am just hoping it was never stapled down etc. I should theoretically tie it to one end and pull it to the other. Also I am thinking about going with a Eco Bee now.

https://www.ecobee.com/ecobee3-lite/
 

ndboarder

Bill Gates' Gimp
Members
I have an Ecobee - excellent choice if you go with one.  I also previously had a less smart, but still "smart thermostat" made by radio thermostat.  Nest certainly isn't the original, there were many before, but it is one of the first to gain a lot of traction outside people just looking at smart home stuff.  Fairly expensive for what it does, but not a bad option either.
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
I have an Ecobee - excellent choice if you go with one.  I also previously had a less smart, but still "smart thermostat" made by radio thermostat.  Nest certainly isn't the original, there were many before, but it is one of the first to gain a lot of traction outside people just looking at smart home stuff.  Fairly expensive for what it does, but not a bad option either.
Ya I think the Nest need to lower it's price, the Eco Bee does so much more and such a cheaper price. Plus all the options I want, weather report, geo fencing, etc.
 
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ndboarder

Bill Gates' Gimp
Members
Yeah, the Ecobee does a lot and the remote sensors are simple and work well to monitor temp throughout the house.  I was looking at a number of possible upgrades and eventually settled on Ecobee last fall.  Happened to see Best Buy had it in stock with the package that includes 1 remote sensor, so picked that up.

How old is your house/furnace?  I'm a bit surprised you have no C wire.
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
Yeah, the Ecobee does a lot and the remote sensors are simple and work well to monitor temp throughout the house.  I was looking at a number of possible upgrades and eventually settled on Ecobee last fall.  Happened to see Best Buy had it in stock with the package that includes 1 remote sensor, so picked that up.

How old is your house/furnace?  I'm a bit surprised you have no C wire.
Like 94. From what I read the C wire is pretty common not to have. They make all sort of device to get a c wire even if you can't, but I am thinking this black unused wire is my common wire, but no way to tell. I think I am going to have my dad come over and test it with a multi tester.

Blue or BlackC – Common wire, may be unused by your existing thermostat. Enables continuous power flow from the Red wire.
http://smartthermostatguide.com/thermostat-c-wire-explained/
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
I have been digging all day and final think I found my answer. I found the circuit board in my furnace, when the blk wire is hooked up to the C portion according to this photo. That mean I just have to pull new line. Here is hoping to an easy pull.

 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
Well it was a long day. Me and my Dad had to run a whole new 5/18 wire. We spent almost all day doing it. My research paid off and my black wire was a common wire. I must say this thing is so amazing. I love everything about it. Well worth the money and I highly recommend one. So easy to setup and looks amazing on the wall.
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
The Eco Bee seems to be working good. I have spent since Sunday with it, it's nice being able to remotely change it. But you can also log in and check the graphs when the heat kicks on etc. The display is beautiful. Also honestly I don't know how it's doing it but our heat runs way less. I though it was just me wanting to think this but even my wife noticed it. So it makes me wonder if there was something wrong with our old thermostat. My only dislikes I would say right now is that the temperature display isn't every accurate. It's off by a few degrees. Not a huge deal breaker. I love the way it stays lit all the time to, real easy to read at night. No longer have to press buttons. Also like it can tell when your looking at it and change the display.
 

ndboarder

Bill Gates' Gimp
Members
The Eco Bee seems to be working good. I have spent since Sunday with it, it's nice being able to remotely change it. But you can also log in and check the graphs when the heat kicks on etc. The display is beautiful. Also honestly I don't know how it's doing it but our heat runs way less. I though it was just me wanting to think this but even my wife noticed it. So it makes me wonder if there was something wrong with our old thermostat. My only dislikes I would say right now is that the temperature display isn't every accurate. It's off by a few degrees. Not a huge deal breaker. I love the way it stays lit all the time to, real easy to read at night. No longer have to press buttons. Also like it can tell when your looking at it and change the display.
Are you sure the display is off by a few degrees?  If so, how do you know?   Also, do you have the remote sensor located anywhere?  With mine I noticed that the main thermostat was showing a temp above what I thought it should.  Often it would show 73-74, even though it was set to keep the temp at 72.  Then I realized that with the remote sensor and my configuration it was getting the house to an average temp of 72, so it was say 74 upstairs and 70 downstairs at the remote sensor before the furnace would shut off
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
Are you sure the display is off by a few degrees?  If so, how do you know?   Also, do you have the remote sensor located anywhere?  With mine I noticed that the main thermostat was showing a temp above what I thought it should.  Often it would show 73-74, even though it was set to keep the temp at 72.  Then I realized that with the remote sensor and my configuration it was getting the house to an average temp of 72, so it was say 74 upstairs and 70 downstairs at the remote sensor before the furnace would shut off
Mine is the "Lite" version. the only sensor I have is the one built into the device. To answer your question on how I know it is off, is because I have a outdoor thermometer outside and it and my multiple phone weather apps are all close, but theirs is way off. It's not my indoor temp, but the outside temp it displays. It has something to do with where they pull their weather from. I read about quite a few people complaining about it and switching to a different host for their weather updates.
 

ndboarder

Bill Gates' Gimp
Members
well, you can add sensors.  I got the lite as well, but in some offer that included 1 remote sensor anyhow.   But ok, if it's just the outdoor temp then that isn't them it's just the provider being used for the weather and whatever station they use to get the temp.  I don't recall which they use, but if it's only a couple degrees off who really cares.  How often are you gonna go wander over to your thermostat just to check the weather if you have all your apps and own thermometer anyway?  (Hint:  The answer should be never, and if you happen to walk by and check it knowing an approximate temp is good)
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
well, you can add sensors.  I got the lite as well, but in some offer that included 1 remote sensor anyhow.   But ok, if it's just the outdoor temp then that isn't them it's just the provider being used for the weather and whatever station they use to get the temp.  I don't recall which they use, but if it's only a couple degrees off who really cares.  How often are you gonna go wander over to your thermostat just to check the weather if you have all your apps and own thermometer anyway?  (Hint:  The answer should be never, and if you happen to walk by and check it knowing an approximate temp is good)
Well the problem is the thermostat will somewhat change the temperature inside because of the outside weather. Plus it's not just a few degrees off, but more like 10-15%.
 

ndboarder

Bill Gates' Gimp
Members
Well the problem is the thermostat will somewhat change the temperature inside because of the outside weather. Plus it's not just a few degrees off, but more like 10-15%.
Hmm... is that some option you turned on?  I think it just goes based on what temp you have set for the house and any swing you allow for - I guess maybe if you are using the activity stuff where it will drop on it's own if no one is home.  The most I would think the outdoor would do would be help it predict if it was going to need to kick on.  Either way it shouldn't be heating/cooling your house unless the actual indoor temp has dropped below the acceptable threshold.
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
Well I logged in and checked my monthly report. Not to bad. This thing will end up paying for itself.

 

ndboarder

Bill Gates' Gimp
Members
You going to upgrade to the Ecobee 4 now @nodle.

I don't think I will.  It looks a little sleeker, but doesn't seem to do much more functionality wise (other than having Alexa built in).  I don't see Alexa build in as a big deal - I control mine through my Vera controller anyway - and you can already control the 3 with a separate Alexa device.  It would only make sense for someone that doesn't have a 3 year or really wants an alexa device where their thermostat is placed

 
 
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
You going to upgrade to the Ecobee 4 now @nodle.

I don't think I will.  It looks a little sleeker, but doesn't seem to do much more functionality wise (other than having Alexa built in).  I don't see Alexa build in as a big deal - I control mine through my Vera controller anyway - and you can already control the 3 with a separate Alexa device.  It would only make sense for someone that doesn't have a 3 year or really wants an alexa device where their thermostat is placed
I didn't even see they had a new version out. But no I am not interested in he whole Alexa thing. Maybe if they lower the price of a Alexa to say $20-$30 then I may pick one up. But my Ecobee can do the whole Siri thing from my iphone etc. Plus I believe if you have an existing Alexa in place mine can connect to it. Overall I am very happy with my Ecobee and it really has saved us money.
 
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