Thermostat setup advice

I'm looking for a new thermostat setup for my house. Currently using an Ecobee, but it's not meeting the needs I have. I thought it would be great, and it was offered at a discount from the power company, but it's not working as well as I'd like. This is mostly because the 2 floors of our hose are consistently 4-5 degrees different in temperature. And since Ecobee's own remote sensors seem impossible to obtain, I can't set up anything to take multiple rooms into consideration. Here's what I would like to do.

The thermostat is installed on the main floor of the house in the living room. I would like to have a remote sensor in the office, also on the main floor, as well as remote sensors in the 3 bedrooms upstairs. During the day, I'd like the system to use the average temperature between the thermostat and the office sensor, then at night switch to using the average of the sensors on the upper floor.

I'd also like as much as possible to be Z-Wave. This is simply because I already have a couple of Z-Wave devices, so using and expanding the existing mesh would be preferable to building a Zigbee one.

I'm looking for recommendations for products as well as recommendations for setting up the automation I'm looking for. Most of what I've done with Hubitat and automation is around door locks, so this is outside of what I'm familiar with.

Honeywell T6 pro z-wave and pretty much any decent sensor should do. Others will chime in with best rule practice. GoControl is another excellent Tstat. Guys like @aaiyar and @dylan.c tend to get down to the minutia and give great advice on HVAC

1 Like

The Hubitat built-in app that you want to use is "Thermostat Controller".

You can couple this with any number of Hubitat-compatible sensors (z-wave or zigbee).

In terms of thermostat, my recommendation would depend on what HVAC equipment you have. If it is single stage (AC or heat-pump), I'd recommend the Honeywell T6. If it is two-stage (AC or heat-pump), then the GoControl provides much finer grained control over the second stage than the Honeywell.


If you’re otherwise satisfied with the Ecobee, I would consider @aaiyar’s suggestion to use the thermostat controller app and any temp sensors that are compatible with Hubitat, before replacing the thermostat entirely.


I would add to this and also suggest you balance your system. While heating, close vents or dampers slightly in warmer rooms and make sure colder rooms are wide open. Then, do the opposite in the spring when you switch to AC. It might take a couple days to figure out (set, wait, set, wait, etc), but once you have it right, you can quickly switch it back and forth seasonally.

1 Like

What about "smart vents", from companies like Keen, or Flair?

Some folks here have had good experiences with Keen vents, several others have not. Flair is a cloud connection. In general, I would prefer a system to be balanced via dampers and not motorized vents to minimize affecting the air-handler blower motor by back-pressure. However, there are reasonable ways to use motorized vents. I'm tagging @yracine66 here because of his experience with Flair and Keen vents.


I do plan on doing smart vents in the future, but other home improvement projects are higher on the list than HVAC updates.

1 Like

Yes, I have worked with both Flair and Keen Home vents, and I have developed some interesting zoning smartapps.

See my threads for more details:

And, a recent testimonial from one of my Flair device users:


1 Like

I've been quite satisfied with my Ecobee, but I was able to get a pair of remote sensors (3 remote sensors plus the thermostat). Without them, I expect I would be dissatisfied also.

As @aaiyar and @Equis mentioned, using your existing vents and dampers to even out the temperature in your home is a good place to start. A few temperature sensors scattered around can help immensely here. Don't forget to make sure your return vents are unrestricted as well. You should do this regardless of which thermostat/sensors/automations you use.

While this could be a good short-term solution (until ecobee sensors are available again), I would recommend against this in the long term. Mainly because this essentially forces your ecobee into a perpetual HOLD, with all changes directed by Hubitat. Not only have you've turned your $200 smart thermostat into a $30 (WiFi) smart relay, but you've just created dependencies on Ecobee's cloud service and your own internet connection. I prefer my HVAC to have a fail-safe state of reverting to internal thermostat programming and hard-wired interface. This is a personal preference and others are more comfortable with a greater degree of external "automation." My recommendation would be keep the ecobee and use the thermostat controller until the smartsensors are available. Then move all programming to the ecobee and stop using HE for day-to-day HVAC control. If you want to continue to use HE for HVAC automation, then using a Zwave thermostat with generic sensors would be the way to go. Which option you choose depends on your goals and level of comfort with automating your HVAC.

Automated dampers can be great if properly applied (I've never used Keen or Flair, though). If significant airflow restrictions are created and not properly applied, comfort can actually decrease and equipment damage can occur. These can be avoided relatively easily with a bit of understanding and effort. If this is indeed a long term goal of yours, the Z-wave thermostat is a superior choice. The cloud-based Ecobee integration just isn't robust enough for this type of control, IMO.

1 Like