Feb 252014
 
Lux WIN100 Thermostat

[reminder : These reviews are from internet – from different stores’ websites. These are not my own reviews]

reasonably reliable, August 13, 2008 (4 stars)

119 of 126 people found the following review helpful
I use this thermostat to turn on and off an attic fan when temperatures get too high. I’ve found that every few months mine needs to be turned off and reset, or the fan will just run continously. This is no big deal for my purposes, but if you use it for applications where temperature control is critical for keeping animals or plants alive, check it periodically or buy a more expensive unit.

 

Accurate and a great value, October 6, 2009 (4 stars)

100 of 105 people found the following review helpful

I recently purchased two of these units to regulate the temperature in my bedroom and my living room. I live in a 1 bedroom apartment. The temperature readout is spot on and it’s easy to program. However I do have two complaints:

1. The unit can only program weekdays and weekends. That means you can’t choose a specific day of the week to program. For example, I am never at my apartment on Saturdays, however since Saturday and Sunday must have the same schedule, as well as monday-friday, I’m wasting energy.

2. In order for this unit to work, there MUST be a ground plugged into the outlet. I bought two “DeLonghi HHP1500 Mica Panel Radiator” heaters (they are amazing, I highly recommend) which don’t have a ground. In order for it to work, I had to plug in an extension cord into the thermostat to trick it into thinking the ground was plugged in, then I plugged my heater into the extension cord and it worked.

Overall, I recommend the thermostat.

 

Buy this! It makes the room temperature very stable!, April 3, 2011 (5 stars)

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful

I installed 2 of these in bedrooms and plugged in electric heaters. They maintain the room temperature +- 1 degree even though I lower the central heating temperature to save money. Previously I used the thermostats built into Delongi oil filled electric radiators to control the room temperature. The best I could get was maybe +- 3 degrees. The WIN100 completely solved the temperature stability and targeting problems I was having! Continue reading »

Feb 072014
 
Honeywell Prestige 2.0

[reminder : These reviews are from internet – from different stores’ websites. These are not my own reviews]

Installed relatively easily – pay to datalog, August 22, 2013 (5 stars)

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful

Converted from an old Lennox to this with a two-stage heater and two-stage cooler. Determining which wires were which took a little time; even though they were labeled it took a little time to translate from Lennox call outs to Honeywell. Likely a non-issue for a HVAC person. Took about an hour of research on what the wires meant, and about five minutes of attaching wires to screw studs.

Best feature is the fact that it integrates with a Portable Comfort Control. This $85 remote has its own temperature sensor in it, so we can set the remote wherever it is we think we’ll get the best overall control. We mostly keep it on the main floor during the day and drag it upstairs at night. Best of all, my temperature sensitive wife can strap it to her hip and end all discussion on why it’s too hot/cold. :) Way worth the extra cost.

Only con is that you have to buy the $85 Redlink Internet Gateway to get a log of your usage. Other thermostats (like the Nest or EcoBee) have this built in. Honestly don’t think I’d use it after the first couple of weeks, but it would have been nice to have.

 

Excellent – Definitely get the Red Link Internet Gateway, January 2, 2014 (5 stars)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful

Works extremely well. Lots of customizations. Works with my Aprilaire 700 Whole House Humidifier. Only downside is it uses Red Link instead of true WiFi, so you need to purchase the Red Link gateway to connect to the Internet, but I strongly recommend you buy the accessory. I turn my system off from my iPhone while driving away from house and turn it back on 30 minutes before coming home. It’s nice saving money on heat and not walking into a freezing home. The software is flawless and well-made, just nervous like others that Honeywell may one day charge a fee. I also got the outdoor temperature sensor which is not really a necessity but it’s fun to see the temperature at your house in the morning or when you are far away, as the weather report might not accurately reflect your house. Overall, a really great product.

You do not need to be an expert to install this, although you do need a C power wire so you may need to run an extra wire if you happen to be using all the existing thermostat wires in your line.

I originally purchased Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat from Home Depot and replaced it with this one. This is much more heavy duty version of that thermostat, with a lot more customization options and a better looking (albiet larger) casing. I would recommend this one over the ‘dumb downed’ version they sell as the DIY model any day of the week.

Continue reading »

Jan 272014
 
ecobee EB-STAT-02 Smart Thermostat Reviews

[reminder : These reviews are from internet – from different stores’ websites. These are not my own reviews]

Definitely better than my Nest was., December 5, 2012 (4 stars)

172 of 179 people found the following review helpful

After weeks of putting up with two flaky Nest Learning Thermostat – 2nd Generation T200577 units, I gave up on Nest and decided to give this a shot. So far, it’s been pretty decent.

Since the two are similarly-priced, and there are lots of reviews about each model, I’ll offer a comparison.

INSTALLATION:
Without question, this is harder to install than a Nest. In saying that though, some people are going to find the installation much easier than others.

First, the ecobee has a relatively large panel that needs to go “somewhere” between your furnace and thermostat. For my setup, my furnace and thermostat share different sides of the same wall. So, wiring could have been as simple as cutting the thermostat line somewhere in the middle, wiring up R/W/G/Y in the panel, and using the remaining wire to do +/-/I/O to the thermostat.

The tricky part is getting power to the panel. I decided I was going to run a common wire, and after changing out the physical wire, I realized that I didn’t know as much about 24V as I thought. Now, I *could* learn some more about HVAC wiring, or I *could* check and see if I have a 12V wall wort type of transformer.

Sure enough, I had a 12V transformer from an old Linksys router, and my power problem was easily solved. Then I connected my humidifier to the first ACC terminals, and I was set.

The Nest, on the other hand, required no wire cutting, and draws power from the existing wiring. However, it’s notoriously unstable. Om my particular system, it would complain about improper wiring for ten minutes or more, if the power had been cut. Others have reported the battery slowly discharging. Easy to install, not so easy to maintain.

INTELLIGENCE
The Nest tries to learn when you come and go, and when you adjust the thermostat, and creates schedules accordingly. In my experience, it creates them totally wrong — not noticing for hours when the house is empty, arbitrarily turning on the heat to a temperature it had never been set to, allowing a wide variance on either side of the temperature you set it at.

The ecobee, on the other hand, tries to learn how your house and furnace work. It isn’t going to learn that you like it to be 73 when you first wake up, but it is going to learn how long it takes to make sure your house is 73 when you tell it you wake up.

CONNECTIVITY
Both Nest and ecobee offer a web interface. Nest is bright, clear, and easy to use. It’s like using Apple’s iCloud service. On the other hand, ecobee is full of options that aren’t necessarily clear to laypeople, was designed for someone data-driven, and is as inviting as reconfiguring your home router for fun.

On the IOS / Android side, Nest presents a smaller (though fully-functional) version of their web interface. Brilliantly, ecobee did just the opposite. Their mobile application presents an interface that looks just like your thermostat’s interface. Very, very smart.

DATA
Nest shows you a cute daily bar that represents 24 hours in a day. When there’s a red slash, the furnace was on. Blue for A/C. Some days, you’ll get an arbitrary leaf.

Fire up Microsoft Excel 2010 if you want to get granular with the ecobee, because every five minutes, it logs:
*Date
*Time
*System Setting (heat / cool / off)
*System Mode (compressor, heating stage, etc.)
*Calendar Event
*Program Name
*Cool Set Temp
*Heat Set Temp
*Actual Temp (accurate within 1/10 degree)
*Humidity Set Point
*Actual Humidity
*Outdoor Temp
*Wind Speed
*Cool Stage1 (seconds)
*Heat Stage1 (seconds)
*Fan (seconds)
*Humidifier (seconds)
*DM Offset

So, you wind up with something that looks like this:
Date Time System Setting System Mode Calendar Event Program Mode Cool Set Temp (F) Heat Set Temp (F) Current Temp (F) Humidity Set Point (%RH) Current Humidity (%RH) Outdoor Temp (F) Wind Speed (km/h) Cool Stage 1 (sec) Heat Stage 1 (sec) Fan (sec) Humidifier (sec) DM Offset
12/3/2012 0:00:00 cool compressorCoolOff Kevin Up 72 68 71.8 0 49 45 0 0 0 120 0
12/3/2012 0:05:00 cool compressorCoolOff Kevin Up 72 68 71.9 0 50 45 0 0 0 0 0
12/3/2012 0:10:00 cool compressorCoolOff Kevin Up 72 68 71.9 0 49 45 0 0 0 270 0
12/3/2012 0:15:00 cool compressorCoolOff Kevin Up 72 68 71.8 0 50 45 0 0 0 180 0

It’s exportable as a CSV, or if you want to scour your info from ecobee’s page, it looks like they’ve got some RRDTool implementation running.

CONSTRUCTION QUALITY
The Nest is the one that’s going to impress. It feels substantial, it looks beautiful, and any monkey can use it.

This thermostat is the one that makes people say “…but it has a great personality, and really nice hair”. The interface looks and feels about a decade old, the touchscreen is more than a little temperamental about registering taps, and the unit itself ls flimsy plastic to Nest’s steel and glass.

VERDICT
I’m reserving some judgement to see how my next bill looks. The Nest actually increased my electric bill, and kept my gas bill at the same usage as my previous furnace, which was rated at 15% lower AFUE. Like the Nest, and its eight updates, I plan to update this.

If you put a gun to my head, I’d say the ecobee is the more serious thermostat. So far, I’d buy it again.

UPDATE: 02/26/13
I noticed a request or two for an update, so here goes…

Now that I’ve had the Ecobee for a while, my gas usage is down 30% year-over-year. Part of that is a more efficient furnace from last year. But when comparing to the Nest I had, my gas usage went down in spite of the weather getting colder. So the actual Ecobee-vs-Nest savings is fairly substantial.

What I like the most, though, is that the Ecobee lets you get very granular. Want the fan to operate for 15 minutes out of every hour? No problem. Want to set up different temperatures every half hour? Done. Need the humidifier to operate independently of the heat? Just connect the wires to the brain board.

So in addition to saving gas, I’m also able to circulate the air — keeping the temperature even throughout the house, and filtering it — and make a nighttime schedule that drops from 72 to 65 so gently, you’d hardly notice. There’s something psychological about hearing the air circulate, I guess.

As far as intelligence and reporting, there’s so much, it’s probably easier to type out what’s on the HomeIQ page:
First, you get the crazy metrics I pointed out above, presented in a graph.
Then, another runtime report that charts how long your HVAC system ran, and another tab that adjusts the runtime to external temperature.
And then… insights (and I’m typing these out as they appear):
Your Ecobee saved you 4%
Your Ecobee rating: **** / ***** (This is a calculation of how your house retains heat)
Your system ran 7% less than the average for your state / province
In January, your heating ran for 124 hours. This was 43 hours more than the previous month.
Your performance is influenced by a number of factors:
1) Weather — In January, your average weather was 27.1 degrees Fahrenheit. This was 5.7 degrees colder than the previous month.
2) Weekly Schedule — In January, your average heat setpoint was 70.2 degrees Fahrenheit. This was 0.3 degrees warmer than the previous month.

It’s all displayed as infographics, and looks really sharp. Compared to “You got a leaf for today”, Nest really can’t hold a candle to it.

All things considered, this is the thermostat for any true geek who wants to build an insanely custom HVAC system, or for someone who enjoys never having to check the thermostat, because the temperature is so well-balanced after investing some programming time. I’d absolutely buy this again.

 

I LOVE this thermostat!, May 12, 2011 (5 stars)

95 of 105 people found the following review helpful

Synopsis:
Yes, this is a pricey thermostat – there is no disputing that but, this isn’t a clunky time clock that just adjusts the temperature set point a few times a day either. Plain and simple, it’s a computer to monitor and control your home environment and it does this very well. Continue reading »

Jan 142014
 

Honeywell-RTH6580WF-Wi-Fi-7-Day-Programmable-Thermostat-0

[reminder : These reviews are from internet – from different stores’ websites. These are not my own reviews]

A good budget wifi thermostat – Could be easier to install…, April 15, 2013 (5 star)

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful

I picked up this thermostat at Lowes. I had expected to pay $150 for Honeywell’s touchscreen wifi thermostat or as much as $180 for last year’s nest. I was pleasantly surprised to see a wifi thermostat option for around $120.

I got the thing home, took down my old thermostat (which had 4 wires R, G, Y and W) and installed this one. I turned my furnace back on and… nothing. It turns out I didn’t have a “c” wire. There were 6 wires coming from the furnace but only 4 of them were used. I removed the cover from my furnace and took a look. Sure enough there was a “C” spot with nothing hooked up to it so I stripped the (unused) blue wire going to my thermostat and connected it to “C”, then went back upstairs and hooked up blue to “C”. I turned on the furnace and the thermostat woke up. I thought I was done. I was wrong.

I now had to connect to an adhoc network called “new_thermostat_somethingorother” and the only way to force my iPhone to believe it was the real internet was to go into airplane mode before choosing it. I got to the wifi setup page, picked my home wifi ssid and entered my password. I thought I was done. I was wrong.

I went to honeywell’s web site, created an account, entered my thermostat’s mac address and checksum. I then got a very nice user interface for entering on times and off times. I was impressed. I thought I was done. I was wrong. The thermostat had to download a software update. I grow sick of buying stuff new and the first thing it has to do when it gets on the internet is send me away for up to half an hour while it updates its firmware. When the firmware update was over I thought I was done. I was wrong. Continue reading »

Jan 092014
 
Honeywell RTH6450D1009

I have compiled the most useful user reviews about the Honeywell RTH6450D1009 Thermostat from internet. Here you are :

Watch out for “Smart Response Setting”, February 11, 2011 (4 star)

85 of 89 people found the following review helpful

I had to replace an older cheaper Honeywell that decided it didn’t know what time of day it was.

I decided to go with this more expensive model– but I had reservations after having read some reviews and comments elsewhere where some people complained that the furnace was always on, or they were burning more oil or gas than before. . .

I found the reason–

It’s called ‘Smart Response Technology’

It’s ‘ON’ by default if you do the quick DIY install.

To turn it ‘OFF’ you have to download the FULL MANUAL from the Honeywell site to see how to get into the ADVANCED Settings of the device. The pamphlet you get in the package is just your BASIC setup.

I bought the programmable Honeywell to control my oil usage and keep the furnace from heating the house in the dead of the night when everyone is in bed. And I would set the Program to turn the Furnace ON and reset the Temp back to 70 degrees at 7 AM. In short– The Furnace turns ON at 7 o’clock and in time, (20 minutes or so) the house gets warm.

What SMART RESPONSE does is uses an algorithm to attempt to get the house to the Programmed Temp BEFORE the Programmed Time. The result is the Furnace will turn ON an hour or more BEFORE the time you set to raise the temperature until it hits 70 degrees EXACTLY at 7 AM.

Okay– it’s a nice, cute helpsy idea that I’m sure a Honeywell Programmer/Engineer is rightly proud of. Problem is, the Furnace is BURNING OIL when I don’t WANT IT TO.

I didn’t notice what the Thermostat was doing until late one night I was watching a movie real late– when I heard the Furnace go ON and STAY ON at 4:30 in the morning. And I was like: “WTF?” When I went to look at the Thermostat, it displayed: ‘In Recovery Mode’

That was the Smart Response circuit attempting to ease the night-time temp back up to 70 degrees in time for 7 AM. Except that meant the thing was BURNING MY OIL AT 4 IN THE MORNING!! If I hadn’t been awake, I would never have noticed this.

So disable “Smart Response”. That way the Furnace only comes on when YOU program it to.

Continue reading »

Jan 062014
 
Venstar T5800

It was easy to find reviews for Nest Learning Thermostat (I think because it looks fancier then all other programmable thermostats), but it wasn’t the case for Venstar T5800. I spent some time to collect these reviews for you. Here are the reviews from various customers :

 

Venstar T5800 ColorTouch Touchscreen Programmable Thermostat, August 8, 2012 (5 stars)

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful

I am an owner of the T5800 and while I’m not a HVAC contractor – I work in a related business. I’m writing this review mainly to refute some of the things stated by the previous reviewer. . . .

The main thing I must say is – if you don’t know what you are doing – hire a professional. I’ve always said “the devil is in the details” and while it may be a breeze to replace a thermostat (all you need is a small screwdriver) there is always a possibility that some little things may (or may not) get in the way of a successful installation.

This thermostat requires a constant supply of 24 volt power, and you must have a wire called a “common” coming from your system transformer and running to the “C” terminal on the thermostat. This “C” wire along with the “R” wire provide the power and they shouldn’t be touched together or jumpered together unless you are interested in sparks, flames, or melted plastic. If you are running a furnace and an air conditioner – and you have 4 wires coming to your thermostat (the most common scenario) – you will NOT be able to use the T5800 out-of-the-box. This doesn’t mean it’s game over. There is a product called “Add-A-Wire” that you can purchase very inexpensively that will allow you to duplex 2 functions on 1 wire and then use the free wire you created as your common. You could also run another wire.

For the reviewer to say that you can just jumper things together is akin to saying you can put a paperclip in an electrical outlet and everything would be fine. Specifically, jumpering “R” and “C” together would most certainly fry your transformer. The fact is – a thermostat installation might not be a DIY project. If you aren’t sure of what you are doing, pay the money to hire a professional, or do a little more research. Don’t criticize the product or the manufacturer because of your own ignorance. It sounds like in this case, Venstar bailed this person out. Kudos to them as they really weren’t on the hook to do anything (IMO). Continue reading »

Dec 312013
 
Nest Learning Thermostat - 2nd Generation - 1

Energy-Efficient and Quality Built Thermostat., October 15, 2012 (5 stars)

830 of 914 people found the following review helpful

I originally purchased the 1st generation of this thermostat. The only thing I didn’t like about the 1st gen thermostat was how far it protruded from the wall. On my final day for the return policy of the 1st gen, the 2nd gen was advertised to be released soon. So, I didn’t hesitate to uninstall the old thermostat to send it back, pre-order and wait on the 2nd gen. The 2nd gen thermostat’s profile in my opinion is perfect for the look and style I desire in my home; It makes my home appear a little more modern, but not too much. The install was easy and it looks great just as with the 1st gen. I noticed a $35 drop in my $120 per month power bill w/the first gen. I have a 2200 sq/ft home w/3bdrm and 2bth that’s occupied by only myself and my wife. My AC system is a basic singles stage AC and a two stage heater; I hooked up six wires: O,R,B(C),W2,G & Y. I live in FL and the AC runs at 82 during the day and 78 at night. I’m hoping for about the same performance if not better with this thermostat. I’ll admit I did try to go with a programmable Honeywell thermostat which ended up not being compatible with my system while waiting on this order. So my options were keep to my pre-order with the 2nd gen nest or keep the old thermostat from over ten years ago with no features. I’m glad to have decided to go with the 2nd gen Nest.

There are Nest only exclusive cost-saving features on this device. So please no ranting on how this is just another overpriced thermostat for those who are reading reviews and are against this product. Move on to another product where people care instead of being a Debbie downer. My two favorite features of this unit are the auto-away and air-wave technologies (for the A/C) which are probably the two most cost saving features for me. Air-wave shuts down the compressor before the push box. Since the coils are still cold from the compressor running, the thermostat knows how long it takes for your home to get from one temp to another. Depending on this time, the thermostat knows when to shut down the compressor to save power while still getting the home to the desired temp. Auto-away is a feature that shuts off the AC within a programmable range if it detects no one is home. My unit is in a hallway that doesn’t see much traffic (I spend most my time in a back office) and this unit still managed to not go into auto-away mode while I’m home. A side note on auto-away though is that it must be trained within the first two weeks before it has an idea of your home activity. Once the unit trains itself, the power saving features will all be automated unless you manually disable them. Continue reading »