Hanson: Wireless Thermostats
by: Craig H Guido, CS
“Smart homes” utilizing more technology and apps on our smart phones are quickly becoming reality in many homes. What used to cost people thousands of dollars to automate their home can now be done for just a few hundred dollars. Like me, one of the first places homeowner start to look at automation is a smart thermostat. Over the past few years the market has had many new players come on the scene, with some old ones throwing their hat into the Wi-Fi Thermostat options as well.
Three main brands have shined above the rest…. Nest, Ecobee, and Honeywell. These three have seemed to dominate the Market recently. Here at Almar we have experience with all three brands and can see the pros and cons of each.
Honeywell, a name that has been in the thermostat game for years. The strength with Honeywell is that they offer many different cost levels for thermostats. The Lyric Line and FocusPro are their two main models. The entry level FocusPro that can be purchased for around $100 many places.
- The design is like many of the thermostats that you have in your home today.
- Can be programed from the HoneyWell App.
- It is a great cost effective way to get into a Wi-Fi thermostat
- Lacks the features that some of the other brands give you.
Ecobee3 The Ecobee line of Thermostats gives you great options and expendability with their units. While the physical thermostats interface and app aren’t as sleek as Nest, the performance is on par for nearly $100 less than a Nest, for the EcoBee3 Lite edition, but the sensors can add up fast costing nearly $70 each.
- The Thermostat touch screen is a little challenging for some to use
- It is a reliable interface (a place where the Honeywell units sometimes lack with connectivity issues).
- The best things about the Ecobee is the ability to have multiple sensors for 1 thermostat. So if you have a 1 zone house and want the thermostat to take the average of the rooms, or even focus on heating/cooling one particular room, it can do that easily. Something none of the other units can currently do (even though Honeywell is soon to be coming out with a very similar system).
Nest, the thermostat that seemed to start it all. The Nest is the most expensive these options, topping out around $250 for a single unit. It is also the sleekest looking and best overall interface to deal with.
- Sends you ‘green leaves’ when you are being energy efficient and monthly reports to compare you to other users efficiency.
- Controlled with a dial, we find that most people pick up how to use it much quicker than the other units. It does lack the ability to have multiple sensors.
- The Nest App is also the easiest and cleanest designed app.
Nest, Honeywll, or EcoBee can all be used with Apple Homekit, Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home, if you are really into making it automated. Also these units can be installed by a homeowner or a certified professional at a reasonable costs. These units all require a common wire (power from your HVAC/furnace unit) to allow them to operate, even though commonly this wire is present, some homes may not have a common wire and would have to call a professional to help with the installation.
Almar Building & Remodeling Co (Hanover Ma). As a third generation family owned and operated company for over 58 years Almar Building has all the benefits of a small company with the options of a larger company. From Additions, Kitchens, Bathroom, Basement Renovations, Siding, Windows, to Doors Almar services the entire South Shore of Massachusetts including: Hanover, Hingham, Pembroke, Norwell, Milton, Scituate, Cohasset, Duxbury, Hanson, Abington, Rockland, Holbrook, Braintree, Weymouth, Milton, and many more towns.