Best Non-Cloud Thermostat 2019?

Hello All,

Any opinions or new info on the best non-cloud thermostat out? I am wanting to move from the Ecobee 3 sooner than later :slight_smile:


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I recently moved from Ecobee 4 to the Zen thermostat and so far I'm much happier

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What HVAC equipment do you have? The only thing that keeps me from switching right now is that my HVAC setup works with the ecobee3, but I would lose functionality if I switched to any z-wave/zigbee thermostat.

I have a 2-stage heat pump with 2 separate AUX heating sources (so I use R, C, G, W1, W2, Y1, W2, and O/B terminals). After seeing how nicely @waynespringer79 has setup his Zen, I really wanted to replace my ecobee, until I found out that I would lose one of the AUX heat (W2).

I still vote for the GoControl GC-TBZ048 (I have 4 of them) - as long as you don't need humidifier support and depending on how you want to do temperature programs/scheduling.

I like it because:

  1. Cheap
  2. Simple to operate from front of device
  3. DOESN'T have scheduling/programming, as I do that externally anyway
  4. Z-Wave plus, so all communication is well documented and the driver can be modified/extended at will (or one can just use the in-box driver for it in Hubitat, if needs are simple).

My system has the wires below:

Ro, G, Y1, W1, C

Single-stage heat/cool - you're good to go with any z-wave/zigbee thermostat of your choice.

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I just purchased a zen yesterday to replace my nest. I'll loose my humidifier control through the tstat though. To get by this I'm going to use an iris smart plug with a 24v transformer, multiple humidity sensors around the house and RM. These seem to go for $199 USD. I'm in Canada and Roger's cable uses these for there smart home platform, I picked it up brand new for $90 CAD. I'll post back how I like it once I get it setup.

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I just realized that I can put a sequencer-type relay between Aux1 heat and Aux2 heat, so that would take me from 8 wires at the thermostat down to 7, and my system would be compatible with the Zen. So I just bought a Zen.

@waynespringer79 - you know this is your doing!


Ah nice, where is the best place to grab a zen, all I can find is the Wifi edition.

Here are a couple on eBay at a reasonable price:

Both are ~$80 (including shipping), and they are both ZHA 1.2 (not WiFi).

Thank you sir :slight_smile:

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If your humidifier is on the furnace, the water valve is controlled as the furnace fan is started and stopped. You won't want the water valve to be open when the furnace isn't running. You certainly may have this worked out but just wanted to point this out.

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No worries, the humidifier solenoid is controlled directly through my nest now and wont run unless the fan is running. I'll just be recreating this but using an average of all the humidity sensors in my house.

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So many recommendations for the Zen. I've had one for years, so perhaps they've changed, but am I the only one who gets weird setpoints on them? Like, mine is currently set to "57" but reports 57.2. The current temperature reads as 56.9, and the last reading was 57.8 (the display does not read or set anything less than one integral degree Fahrenheit; these are what it reports over Zigbee).

This isn't too annoying but can mess up some automations that try to set or read integral setpoints (or temperatures). For example, 57.2 is certainly greater than 57, but since the thermostat is basically set to 57, that's not really what I'd want such a comparison to tell me.

Also, my ability to remotely turn on the fan (from Hubitat) stopped working with a recent Zen Thermostat firmware update (which I got from ST and hoped would solve my Fahrenheit woes; it did not). I can still turn it off just fine. I don't do this much, but it's still annoying.

Safe to say, despite the fact that it looks pretty, I've been looking for a different thermostat (preferably also one that does not look like it's from 1905), and I'm surprised to see it recommended so much here. :slight_smile: But yes, it works...mostly, and it's not a terrible idea.

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It doesn't bother me as I don't even use the thermostats setpoints or temp readings for my automations. I use the combination of 38 temperature sensors throughout the house for the temp readings, and base the automations to tell the thermostat solely to turn on or turn off based upon those readings.

I noticed the 57.2 stuff when I first installed, and even then I didn't think the temp reading was very accurate so I based the rules instead like I stated above.

Now I haven't even ever looked at what those readings at the thermostat itself says.

Just curious, how do you manage that? To my knowledge, there is no way to tell the Zen Thermostat (or most really unless you're using your own relay) to, for example, "run the heat right now" except by manipulating its setpoint--which I could certainly adjust a bit in either direction based on other readings and some automation, but it sounds like I'm missing something, and I'm always curious what neat ideas others have. I'd love to hear this one, as much as I enjoy sitting in a 54-degree bedroom because I'm not doing anything like that. :slight_smile:

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What I do is I have the automation to "set" thermostat to a way higher than I want it to get for heat (avoiding the possibility that the thermostat may by it's design shut it self off by reaching that setpoint) and the same thing for cool in the other direction.

Then incorporated into the rule I use when the house average temp is reached to shut off the thermostat. Here is the rule I use.

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What are you getting for humidity sensors?
I've been using the Xiaomi temp/humidity sensor, but I'm looking at alternatives.

I have some zooz and aeon multi's as well as a couple xiaomi.

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Take a look at Sinope too. I don’t have one, but they look nice and I think @mike.maxwell gives them a :+1:t2:

[2023 update - I have 9 of them and they're excellent for locallized electric heating like I now have.]