Thermostat.. What do you use? What do you hate/like?

TLDR; BLUF: What Thermostat should I buy?

In the last house I had a Honeywell Z-wave thermostat downstairs and the CT-100 upstairs. They both worked great in my otherwise sketchy z-wave (non-plus) system. For reference, when the house alarm was set to Arm Away, the thermostats would widen the threshold of temperature and allow it to get a little hotter in the summer and a little colder in the winter since we weren't in the house. The system worked well enough. We had to use Z-wave because it was the only way to let the alarm control the thermostat. In the new house we are using an alarm that is capable of communicating its mode to the Hubitat controller, so we have a whole new world of options for thermostat. Until this dawned on me, I thought I would continue to use a z-wave thermostat since I knew they worked for my application. Well we purchased the Alarm.com thermostat. We've had it installed for a month, and frankly we hate it. The house is always too hot, or too cold. The thermostat says it's 75, when I use my temperature gun it says the area in front of the thermostat is anywhere between 69 and 78 (although usually it is the lower). Bottom line, I just don't like how this thermostat is working. I also don't like that I can't voice control it (with Alexa) via the Hubitat, although that is not a shortcoming of the thermostat.

So I was about to pull the trigger on the Ecobee 3 (don't need any more Alexas in the house - so not considering the Ecobee 4), along with 4 smart sensors, when it occurred to me, that I should poll the experienced. Should I get the Ecobee? Is there something better like the Nest? Should I use the Ecobee smart sensors, or get other z-wave+ sensors and let the Hubitat control the temperature (is this even an option)? Will I still be able to trigger temperature setting changes based on setting the Alarm to Arm Away?

Any other guidance?

Thanks,
Josh

You'll get a dozen answers to this question, and this has been askedf a lot of time - so definitely search for some more opinions/thoughts.

I like the GoControl GC-TBZ48... Good price, Zwave plus / 100% local, and can adjust temp calibration remotely (one of my personal requirements). Downside is no local scheduling of thermostat setpoints (I do it in hubitat anyway, though, so that wasn't a negative for me) and it isn't as "pretty" as some other options. Who sits around looking at their "pretty" thermostats is beyond me, but that's another story.

Another consideration is the HVAC equipment - do you have a humidifier? multistage heat/cool? Heat pump? That can impact the decision/choices.

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I hated my Ecobee 3 Lite. I got it so i would have the wifi as a backup. Well, the cloud servers were down more than they were up and the integration with hubitat doesn't reliably let you know when the heat/ac is running, which i need to coordinate with ceiling fans I like to run while the AC is on. So, I pulled it after 6 months and sold it on Ebay.

I have the Go Control now too but I am thinking about ditching it for something else too. It seems that the house is always too warm or too cold since installing it. I don't know if the temp sensor in it just lags behind changes in the room or what but I haven't been very happy with it. Plus it imposes a minimum spread between the heating and cooling setpoints even when not in auto mode which I just find super annoying.

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I still have 2 Ecobee 3 laying in my junk pile that I need to eBay... lol

I didn't make out too bad on mine. It ended up only costing me about $40 in the end. So, not as bad as it could have been. I really cleaned up on my Lutron Non-Pro smart bridge for some odd reason. I got rid of it for $5 less than I paid for my Pro. That was the best ebay deal I've ever made. Typically I'm not a "oh, I'll sell it on ebay" guy. Too much hassle.

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I don't see where it says Z-Wave plus (only Z-wave). Are you sure it's Z-wave Plus?

I don't need local scheduling either for the same reason. I just use the home automation controller for scheduling, and the Alarm System to indicate whether we are home or not.

When you say adjust temperature calibration remotely, do you mean change the temperature while you are away from the home? Wouldn't this be possible with any smart thermostat connected to your Hubitat (or other controller)?

As far as my system goes, I believe it is pretty simple. I think it is a single stage AC\Heater without any bells or whistles. It was the cheapest thing the builder could put on the house, I am sure.

Thanks,
Josh

I can't speak for every make and model, but all 4 of mine are zwave plus.... (see 0x5E in inClusters. That=zwave plus).
37%20PM

No, I mean that I can effectively control off of any another temperature in Hubitat instead of the temperature at the thermostat (similar to how an ecobee sensor works w/Ecobee) by biasing the thermostat temperature calibration via an app in Hubitat.

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I just replaced a pair of Nest Gen2 Thermostats as one of the two base-plates went bad, running auxiliary heat constantly. A replacement base-plate is $100 from Nest, and they are a known failure point.

I chose to go with a pair of Ecobee3 Lite thermostats. I can honestly say that the temperature control of these Ecobee's is better than my old Nest's. The Nest tries too hard to save energy, and sacrifices user comfort, IMHO. Nest does not provide any way to tweak some of the settings necessary on a case by case basis. The Ecobee's provide me with that flexibility. I have had them running for a few weeks now and have not noticed any cloud reliability issues, yet. In my case, I am not trying to control these via Hubitat. I bought a smart thermostat to run independently of my home automation system. I like that I can integrate it with Hubitat, but mostly for data acquisition purposes (i.e. graphing trends.) I also like that the Ecobee's have Apple HomeKit integration as an added bonus.

I prefer a WiFi thermostat as I like using a native application on my phone when away from home to control it, if necessary. Having to depend on Hubitat (or any other home automation platform!) to run/control my HVAC is not something I am personally comfortable with. I want a standalone device to take care of everything.

Check with your local power company. I was able to buy the Ecobee3 Lite thermostats for $89 a piece from my power company. I noticed that in some other areas of the country, the were as low as $39 a piece during Black Friday sales via local power companies. Of course, you have to be a customer of that power company to qualify for the discount. My power company also sells Nest Gen3 thermostats, however with Google killing off the Works with Nest program, and not replacing it with anything so far, I have a hard time recommending Nest these days.

Good luck!

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Hope so! :slight_smile:

Any z-wave or zigbee should work fine.. I still use a ct-101.. If you are like me, thermostat features donโ€™t do much because it is all controlled by my rules... I would actually prefer one that is just a sensor/blank box with no physical control...

I have 2 of the Ecobee 4s, I went with them primarily for the remote sensors --which I hoped would take care of 2 minor cold spots. The remote sensors do work most of the time, though they have a tendency to not detect presence every now and then. Like oglewon, I wanted to keep the hvac system stand-alone. Cloud access has been convenient and the WAF is generally high for these t/stats, though I do occasionally hear some rants about "having a mind of its own" regarding Away settings. Having Alexa on board hasn't been the nuisance I thought it'd be. I have not integrated the Ecobees with HE. One PITA has been the inability of the E4s to hold a specific temperature setting for an extended period.

THAT SAID, if it wasn't for the WAF, I'd toss these and give zigbee t/stats a try. I think that I could accomplish the remote monitoring better with an assortment of temp/humidity and motion detectors.

And I have 1 Ecobee 3 that I also have to get onto eBay.

I got rid of mine for the same reasons that @Ryan780 got rid of his - up, down, the Ecobee cloud was always in a state of flux.

I replaced it with a Honeywell T6 Pro (Zwave Plus) thermostat recently, and it seems to work well.
(I use the generic zwave thermostat driver, not the community version for the T6 Pro).

Zen Thermostat user here


anything that is not cloud based imho.

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I have Ecobee 3's in two locations that I personally use and they have been solid, one has 7 sensors and the other has 4. Their sensors are "occupancy" sensors not motion sensors and the report back though the thermostat to the cloud. The thermostat and sensors once configured can operate if the connection to the internet goes down since most of the processing is done locally with assistance from the cloud. But the hubitat cannot interact directly with the thermostat only the cloud services.

Two years ago there was a lot of issues when I had a few clients of mine on Vera and the "authentication" failed and they had to be re-registered but on the Hubitat patform using the Ecobee Suite everything has been rock solid:

Picking a thermostat is dependent on what you plan to do with it. In my case and many of my clients you buy a smart thermostat to be smart and leverage it's ability to use schedules and home/away automation and push those states into the automation hub to help with decision making in rules. If you plan to negate the smart capabilities with your hubs functions there is nothing wrong going with a plan "connected" thermostat and driving the mode changes.

Just remember if you do live in a area where temperature can damage your home if something doesn't work (freezing pipes, high temperatures) what process would you trust to control the a/c or heater, the physical thermostat or a connected hub telling the thermostat what to do?

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The native Hubitat support for Ecobee is atrocious - they have implemented barely half of the standard commands, they don't recover transparently from Ecobee Cloud outages, they only poll for data every 5 minutes, and when they do they poll very inefficiently. I have offered a tune-up for their support, but so far they aren't interested.

My Ecobee Suite is perhaps overkill, since it allows you to see/touch/change pretty much everything the Ecobee's can do. But it also polls wisely and efficiently, as frequently as every minute, so that automating fans like you describe is almost seamless. More importantly, you will likely never notice that the Ecobee Cloud is down, as the Suite recovers automatically (and silently) to all but the worst Ecobee outages (none in the past 2 years, at least for my 5 Ecobee's).

The suite includes a variety of Helper apps that don't override the operation of the Thermostat itself, but make it simple to set up rather complex automations (like turn on this fan when the AC goes on, but only if somebody is home, change the thermostat to Home/Away/Sleep when the Location Mode changes, etc.).

For a lot of Hubitat homes, Ecobee Suite makes Ecobee automation work.

Ecobee Suite is free on both the SmartThings and the Hubitat platforms (although I do accept contributions). And I also happily accept both enhancement requests and criticisms..

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But if the cloud is down you still have zero remote control. And summer before last it was down more than it was up. That's a deal breaker for me. I have to have the remote control as I travel for work and don't want to come home to an uncomfortable house if my schedule changes and I want to heat it up/cool it down before the schedule that's been pre-programmed.

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FWIW, avoid the Nexia Platinum 850 at all costs.

Its fine as a Thermostat, but it's a Zwave+ hub itself, and while it joins as a secondary controller (as far as I can tell), Nexia wants $ to make it useful.

Sadly, as a hub, it appears to pass no data back to the network that Hubitat can use...like temperature or system state.

Avoid.

S.

Iโ€™m going to throw my vote in for the Vivint CT-200. Nice, clean design that can run off batteries, or a C-Wire :slight_smile:

Some time back I did a lot of research on Zwave / Zigbee thermostat to use. My particular goal was the use of a remote temperature sensor. I ended up with a ecobee 3 lite for this reason. With the remote sensor averaging it and the main sensor I'm happier than I have ever been.

During my research I found that many of the thermostats have no anticipator or equivalent. Some I've asked the mfg support on how the temp is controlled only some answered.

I have a Pearl thermostat and an Honeywell TH8320ZW1000.

The Honeywell uses a "proportional" control and it works very well. Basically the same as all the non Radio thermostats I've used. It cycles heat 3 or 4 or 5 ( you select) an hour. The "ON" time for each cycle is set by the temperature.

The Pearl uses a "simple" (aka dumb) control. You set a temperature band and the heat follows the temperature. i.e. you set 69 ยฐF with a deadband of 1 degree. Here the heat goes on at 70 and goes off at 68. Far to wide a band for me.

I have an oil boiler and hot water baseboard heat. I asked ZEN how their thermostat controlled temperature. Their response was:

Based upon information you provided it has been determined that the system type is not compatible with the Zen Thermostat. Zen is not compatible with Multi-Zone nor Baseboard systems.

Asked Sinope the same question, they replied:

we are using fixed Cycle (15sec to 30min) with a period depending of the temperature of the room and the required setpoint.

As for connectivity the Pearl and Honeywell have given me no issues many many months. The ecobee is not connected to Hubitat and I rarely use the ecobee website.

As for aesthetic design I think most designers are holdovers from the 50's. I like the Nest the best but won't own one, the ecobee isn't too bad. The Honeywell I have is oversized and ugly! Especially since it uses a CR2032 battery for its RTC, AND they will not let you read the RTC! Being able to read the RTC would be great if I was running my Hubitat off line.

John

Any z-wave or zigbee should work fine.. I still use a ct-101.. If you are like me, thermostat features donโ€™t do much because it is all controlled by my rules... I would actually prefer one that is just a sensor/blank box with no physical control...

I have this one as well. It has been pretty solid. Everything controlled by rules as well. I hardly touch the thermostat itself.

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