advertisement
Forums

The Forum is sponsored by 
 

AAPL stock: Click Here

You are currently viewing the Tips and Deals forum
new thermostat
Posted by: wurm
Date: November 25, 2017 10:51AM
I'm probably going to take advantage of incentives and get a new thermostat. We have natural gas heat and central air. I think I've narrowed it down to these below. I feel comfortable that I could install the Nest (based on their info sheet), but I feel less comfortable about DIY with the Ecobee. The Honeywell Lyric looks doable, too. I don't think I care about a "learning" thermostat, but these are all wi-fi, so I like the idea of remote programming. Any of these seem more like a "no-brainer" than others?


Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: space-time
Date: November 25, 2017 11:13AM
Most (probably all) require power, I believe that is what is called a C-Wire

[www.cnet.com]

My setup did not have a C wire. The EcoBee 3 that I got came with a adapter that I installed at the furnace and that delivered power via one of the other wires.

Make sure you have a C wire, or that the thermostat you get comes with an adapter for power, otherwise you have a little power problem.


EDIT:

A note on 'power stealing'

Other models, like the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Honeywell Lyric can use a C wire, but they don't require it. If your HVAC system doesn't have a C wire, these thermostats and others instead draw power directly from those other wires when the A/C or heat is on. When neither system is running, those thermostats will cycle the power on your HVAC system briefly in order to supply that extra dose of power. Many HVAC professionals, as well as Nest and Honeywell Lyric competitors, tend to refer to this practice as "power stealing."

While power stealing can work -- and did work well in my old condo for years after I upgraded to a second-gen Nest from my older thermostat -- it has some inherent risks. For instance, turning on your heat or A/C for no other reason than to power other parts of the thermostat can actually damage your HVAC system. Burst of voltage streaming through the system at unexpected times can lead to short circuiting.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/25/2017 11:14AM by space-time.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: billb
Date: November 25, 2017 11:16AM
Most require a C wire, mostly to power the display and communication capabilities

Will my nest/honeywell/ecobee work without a constant internet connection and account with nest/honeywell/ecobee ?

Will my nest/honeywell/ecobee work in "dumb mode" or sans wifi ?

Will my nest/honeywell/ecobee work with Apple's Homekit ?



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: wurm
Date: November 25, 2017 11:36AM
Thanks for the replies.

Yeah, I just watched the installation video for the Ecobee and it does look like I need that power extender, but it's included in the package. Seems doable. Interesting that the Nest installation doesn't show any wires going to the C terminal.

I'd like to think that these are all operable without the app, if necessary. How would I confirm that? I don't care about using it with Apple's HomeKit (don't have it or anticipate getting it), nor with Alexa (which we barely use now).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/25/2017 11:37AM by wurm.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: space-time
Date: November 25, 2017 12:25PM
yes, it works without App. I used the iPhone only to connect EcoBee to WiFi, I can't recall how I did that, but it was 1000x easier than typing my 32 character password smiling smiley. After that you can program it from device itself, online, or with the App.

The App comes in handy when you go are on the road and want to change settings, like you forgot the heat on and want to turn it down to save some fuel, or want to increase temp about 1 hour before you get home. You can even automate most of these with geofences, IFTTT, etc.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: graylocks
Date: November 25, 2017 12:59PM
wow! i thought my power company's Ecobee 4 for $99.50 was a steal. it's sitting on my kitchen table now as i still try to figure out where the motherboard is on my furnace as i will need to use the power extender kit. i myself am looking forward to having the app. in the summer my son cranks the AC down when i'm not home. now i'll be able to monitor and reset!



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/25/2017 02:11PM by graylocks.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: Winston
Date: November 25, 2017 01:12PM
Last spring we got a new Carrier system with a Carrier "smart" thermostat system. When I did a network scan it showed up as a Redpine Signals WiFi device. We did have to upgrade the wires, as we only had a three wire run to the current thermostats. Redpine supports Apple HomeKit, but Carrier either hasn't enabled it or didn't buy that feature from Redpine.

The big advantage touted for the Carrier thermostats is their being integrated with the Carrier A/C compressor and air handler/furnace controls.

The system has an outdoor thermometer (or gets a feed from somewhere local), which is part of its "smarts". When we first turned the heat on this fall we got wide swings in the temperature, as the system calibrated itself. Now it does a great job of holding a steady temperature. It does not have the "is anyone home" tracking that a device like a Nest thermostat has, so it doesn't learn about our habits - you have to manually set up an away or night schedule, but I prefer that.

It's a zoned system (5 zones), with a variable speed A/C compressor and furnace. This allows the system to respond to the load on a given area of the house separately. Dampers can direct the air to just one zone.

I'd argue that the advantage of a "learning" thermostat is not just that it might learn your habits (as with the Nest's IR detector watching people walk by), but that it should be able to better anticipate how the exterior heat or cold load will affect your home, including what sunlight does.

The only thing I haven't figured out yet with the Carrier thermostats where to set the transition points between cooling to heating. In fall and spring we have a number of days when we might want some cooling in the middle of the day, and some heat at night. Or can get by without the heat, because the house will warm when the sun comes up.

I don't want the system to switch back and forth more often than needed. While the thermostats are supposed to be able to switch mode automatically, we have to set "heat at" and "cool at" points for each one. There's no "keep the house at 72 degrees" setting where the thermostat figures out what to do on its own. Ideally the thermostat would integrate both weather forecasts and a real-time look at things like how cloudy it is, but I don't think it does that. The main screen does show a weather forecast . . .

At least check with the manufacturer of your HVAC system to see if they offer something that works directly with your system.


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: wurm
Date: November 25, 2017 03:13PM
And then there's this one that gets good reviews and doesn't need a C wire (it uses batteries), but it also isn't on sale through the power company.

Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: billb
Date: November 25, 2017 03:46PM
Quote
wurm
And then there's this one that gets good reviews and doesn't need a C wire (it uses batteries), but it also isn't on sale through the power company.



[sensicomfort.com]



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: November 25, 2017 04:48PM
If you want the temperature sensor in a different location than where the Thermostat is located, the EcoBee has remote sensors that can be put anywhere, and can be what the EcoBee uses rather than Thermostat location. Works great if you have a room that you use that bakes in the afternoon sun.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: wurm
Date: November 25, 2017 05:54PM
Thanks, billb. Most all of these things have made it easy to check compatibility before purchasing. Now I'm leaning toward the Ecobee because it includes that extra adapter thingie that basically give you a C wire. Hard to beat for $49. Well, $57.06 after shipping and tax.

Ken Sp., I haven't been able to determine whether this includes a remote sensor or not. But even if it doesn't, it seems like a good deal.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: space-time
Date: November 25, 2017 06:01PM
I believe the remote sensor 2 pack is $50, well worth it IMHO. Now I can have the bedroom at perfect temperature at night, I don't have to guess what the thermostat downstairs should be in order to keep bedroom at desired temp.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: graylocks
Date: November 25, 2017 06:39PM
Quote
wurm

Ken Sp., I haven't been able to determine whether this includes a remote sensor or not. But even if it doesn't, it seems like a good deal.

the E4 includes one sensor. that's the white square in front of the black thermostat.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: graylocks
Date: November 25, 2017 06:40PM
Quote
space-time
I believe the remote sensor 2 pack is $50, well worth it IMHO. Now I can have the bedroom at perfect temperature at night, I don't have to guess what the thermostat downstairs should be in order to keep bedroom at desired temp.

where have you seen the 2 pack for $50? i've not seen it for less than $79.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: wurm
Date: November 25, 2017 06:44PM
Oh, I knew that was a sensor in the picture; I just wasn't sure it would be included in the rebated product from the electric company. I know, I'm such a cynic. And it's moot anyway, as I just placed the order. How can I go wrong for $50? smiling smiley
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: graylocks
Date: November 25, 2017 06:46PM
Quote
wurm
... as I just placed the order. How can I go wrong for $50? smiling smiley

that's how i felt spending the $99 with my power company! for $50 i wouldn't even have debated with myself for a few days before pulling the trigger. got some info on my furnace from my HVAC guy today. going to attempt the install tuesday.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: wurm
Date: November 25, 2017 06:49PM
Now here's a dump question to go along with this.

I see an unused blue wire tucked in the hole behind the existing thermostat. I also see the other end of that blue wire unattached to anything down at the furnace's control board. Theoretically, could I just connect one end to the C screw at the furnace control board and the other end to the C screw on the new Ecobee? Or am I likely to blow up the house if I do?
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: graylocks
Date: November 25, 2017 06:52PM
Quote
wurm
Now here's a dump question to go along with this.

I see an unused blue wire tucked in the hole behind the existing thermostat. I also see the other end of that blue wire unattached to anything down at the furnace's control board. Theoretically, could I just connect one end to the C screw at the furnace control board and the other end to the C screw on the new Ecobee? Or am I likely to blow up the house if I do?

i'd post that question of the Ecobee Reddit and/or the Facebook Ecobee Group for a wider range of installation experiences.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: space-time
Date: November 25, 2017 07:03PM
Quote
wurm
Now here's a dump question to go along with this.

I see an unused blue wire tucked in the hole behind the existing thermostat. I also see the other end of that blue wire unattached to anything down at the furnace's control board. Theoretically, could I just connect one end to the C screw at the furnace control board and the other end to the C screw on the new Ecobee? Or am I likely to blow up the house if I do?

you may be lucky and someone installed a 5 wire cable but only used 4. If that is the case, I am 99.99% sure you can use that for C wire, but as mentioned above, ask some experts. Ecobee has good support, they are based in Canada, and when I called on a Saturday, they were able to help me over the phone. I did install the power extender kit correctly at the furnace, but I missed a small detail when connecting the thermostat. IIRC in my ase there was Rh and Rc connected at the old thermostat, and Ecobee said it does not matter where I connect that wire, since it will figure it out by itself. But later in the manual said that if I install the PEK, then I should connect that wire to one specific terminal, and of course I had it connected to the other one smiling smiley
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: wurm
Date: November 25, 2017 07:51PM
Good thinking, both of you. Thanks!
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: parsaplenty
Date: November 26, 2017 09:31AM
Good choice on the ecobee. Been running one with 3 sensors for about 18 months and added 2 more about 9 months ago. We have a home, not huge by any means, but with a lot of windows so as the sun moves around the house, different sensors control whats going on with our HVAC. BTW, none of the sensors is the actual thermostat since its in a relatively out of the way location so I have it isolated. It still displays, but has no control over the system. We have 6 different comfort settings programmed. The sensors also sense occupancy so if there isn't any activity you can have an away setting programmed.

My focus is on overall comfort with energy savings secondary and the ecobee does this well. Yes, I've spent some time tinkering with it.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: wurm
Date: November 26, 2017 11:07AM
I'm telling you, Google is pretty amazing. Well, the internet is pretty amazing; Google is a great way to navigate it. After a little perusing of the Facebook and Reddit sites for Ecobee, I figured I'd just try googling "unused blue wire to thermostat". I did that, and among the first hits I got was a question that could have been written by me. And it was followed by a pretty thorough answer.

Now I have to clear my head of the many negative comments I read on the Ecobee Facebook page. Granted, there were more positive comments, but still...
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: FormerlySaleenl
Date: November 26, 2017 11:59AM
I also took advantage of the $49 Ecobee - it arrived yesterday (!) and we already installed it. We had a first generation Nest previously but we've been unhappy with Nest reliability lately, plus we wanted a sensor in a different room because our thermostat is in a poor location.

When we went to hook it up, we realized that when they installed the furnace five years ago, they ran the wiring for a proprietary thermostat (only 4 wires and no C wire) and that the Nest had not been taking advantage of most of our furnace's features. We ended up running a new wires to the thermostat and also adjusted some of the dip switches so that the furnace would work properly with our non-proprietary thermostat.

Only one day in and so far so good. The built-in Alexa is interesting and we will see how we end up using it, if at all. I really like the touch interface compared to the Nest dial and click.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: new thermostat
Posted by: billb
Date: November 26, 2017 01:47PM
Yeah there's a lot of misinformation online. Gotta weed thru it.

I'm looking at thermostats too because I have to replace the wire to my thermostat as the insulation is falling off the wires, it is that old and heat baked, plus I'm removing a non-load-bearing wall and of course the thermostat is on it. Started off researching how many conductors to replace to the new location for future proofing and have ended up looking at Lyric T5 to also maybe upgrade from my honeywell two wire and previous Lux programmable I never liked and put the old round on back.

Course mom wants a better thermostat too and her wires are all spliced and a mess so new wire to run there too if I take it on.

Oil boilers have rats nests for wiring.Especially with a bunch of zones.



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]
Options:  Reply • Quote
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 94
Record Number of Users: 186 on February 20, 2020
Record Number of Guests: 5122 on October 03, 2020