Best Thermostat Device/Setup

Hello!

I have another question in my journey into HE :-). Thanks in advance for your replies!

I am trying to figure out a better setup for my air conditioning situation. I have three different distinct AC units/circles in my home. They have some old-fashioned thermostats (and located in some very inopportune locations, it seems to me... in other words: The temperature is measured in the hallway when I am really mainly trying to cool places like the bedroom and my office).

So the questions are:

  1. What is a good thermostat to use and integrate into HE?
  2. Is there a good way to tie temperature sensors in individual rooms into the overall setup? In other words: Rather than just letting the thermostat sense the temperature in the hallway, can I drive it based on the temperature measured by sensors in other rooms?

Thanks!
Markus

You have quite a few options with modern thermostats. Some support room sensors and follow you room to room etc. The issue is do you want to code your own thermostat settings or allow the software in the thermostat do the work? Some say that they want more control over the thermostat and other just want plug and play.

You may want to do some searches on the forums and read how folks are using their thermostats and what they prefer to use. Start with the list of compatible devices and then go from there:

https://docs.hubitat.com/index.php?title=List_of_Compatible_Devices

Thanks for the response.

Simple setup would be nice, but I don't mind if I have to do some programming myself (I am a software developer). I will check out that list and see what pops up.

Thanks!
Markus

I've had ecobee for a few years now. You can add remote sensors to it and I have one in every room. The sensors can be used for temp control and they have occupancy sensors built in. So rooms that are used get calculated for the main thermostat, rooms that are vacant do not. At night I have it set to only use the master bedroom sensor to keep it where I want it. The system also shuts itself down when the house has been completely vacant for a while and turns back on when we arrive.

I just recently converted my lights and other things to Hubitat and love it! I could technically replace ecobee with something that would work with hubitat directly at this point, but the ecobee works so damn well that I have zero desire to do that. I honestly never touch the thermostat, ever. It really doesn't exist any more so why mess with perfection? Just my 3 cents anyways.

I guess it really boils down to your needs and wants.

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I’ve been using few Honeywell T6 Z-wave series and very happy with them. Works with Hubitat, super easy install and a good price.
You can setup some rules in Rule Machine to control it with different temp sensors.

Honeywell TH6320ZW2003 T6 Pro Series Z-Wave Stat Thermostat & Comfort Control, Smart Home https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HFL7R44/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_Z8J73QZJG458A22Z1M2K?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

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I like the Zen thermostat (Zigbee flavour)

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If you do go with Ecobee there are two integrations for Hubitat and both work well. One is the built in driver and the other is a community developed driver by @storageanarchy. I have been recommending Ecobee's due to their open api (still cloud connected). And their implementation of room sensors for follow me mode. At locations that have a Hubitat and Ecobee's I almost always install the community driver:

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There’s actually three, with the third being from @yracine66

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This is the one I use:
Zen Zigbee Edition

There were some issues initially, but with the various updates, it is performing very well and has been very reliable. My rules work well for controlling it when we leave and arrive at home and the mode changes also work to set it between our day and night settings. My rules are relatively simple but I think it would work well with more complicated automation setups also.

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Same here. I have two Ecobee 3 Lite thermostats that I bought via my power company discount device website. I also use the Ecobee remote sensors in multiple rooms. Works great.

Ecobee guy here as well, though I use it for heat rather than AC. I have old fashioned steam radiators (actually they are the original steam radiators and probably 100 years old) and of course the whole house is a single zone. The thermostat is in the dining room, but with remote sensors all over the house the thing does a really good job of keeping the whole house within a couple of degrees.

I use the built-in ecobee integration but only so I can make fancy temperature gauges with Hubigraph. I don't actually control the Ecobee from HE. I also use the mode the Ecobee is in to decide whether it's summer or winter. IE if the Ecobee is in heat mode, stop turning on and off window units!

Like @sanewton72 and @StephenH I use the Zen thermostat. It has a nice simple interface that my wife REALLY likes. It does not have an intrinsic scheduler function. I handle that in HE as a part of my Modes.

Here is a discussion about how you could use temperature sensors in other locations to control a Zen (or any) thermostat.

Remote sensor with Zen thermostat in Hubitat

I have used other smart thermostat that are replete with features and functions. This one is the best for us.

Just want to add a little information:

While there are Hubitat compatible thermostats, like the ecobee, which use information from external sensors to control the HVAC system, Hubitat itself comes with an app called "Thermostat Controller", which controls any Hubitat-controlled thermostat using input from Hubitat-compatible temperature sensors.

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Thank you aaiyar. I must ask. I am currently using Nest thermostats. They work as expected and I have remote access. They are however separate from HE. I have no integration between the two (HE and Nest ). Nest has been reliable and I have no complaints about these except that I want a cleaner integration with our home automation. I am interested in Zen or Ecobee lite as, from what I've read so far, are better suited for HE integration. Please tell me, am I understanding this correctly? Or, might you, or anyone, have suggestions?
Thank you.

The popular ecobee integrations are cloud based, not local. As others have said, the system itself is great (as are the various app) but can present issues if you are trying to integrate into other systems. For example I use my ecobee heating-cooling state to trigger my main zone dampers. The cloud based interface was not fast or reliable enough. I've been able to work around this, but it took some effort and adding a HomeAssistant controller and an MQTT app on HE.

A limited local interface is supported using HomeKit (or compatible open source alternatives like HomeAssistant).

In the end, I've been very happy with the ecobee and the remote sensors. It's a well designed system.

out of interest @StephenH ...updates to what? (HE, or Zen firmware)
What issues did you see?

Thank you all for your responses. This is extremely helpful!

Thanks
Markus

I have Nest thermostats as well... I use Homebridge and Node-RED to sync my radiant floor heating (Zigbee Pearl Thermostats) with the Nests in the winter. I still have a Nest account rather than Google account which helps.

Hopefully Google can get their API sorted and allow control via HE directly but who knows if or when that will be..

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The updates were to HE. I had some issues with the thermostat not getting my changes. I think they happened too quickly for the thermostat to respond so it would switch and then switch back to the prior setting. I noticed this not only with the Zen, but with other models I tried as well.

I also put in some rules to check periodically to make sure my thermostat settings were appropriately set. That also helped. Lately though, I have not seen those rules needing to be used.

Ecobee thermostats are solid performers. I had an ecobee3 with 5 or 6 room sensors for a long time. About 2 years ago, I switched to a Honeywell T6 z-wave thermostat with a bunch of zigbee temperature/humidity sensors. I've been very happy with the switch.

That being said, if the current Hubitat integration with Home Assistant were available at the time I made the switch, I would probably still be using the ecobee3 - except controlling it locally using Home Assistant.

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