2018: Best Smart Thermostat?

I only have experience with a Trane z-wave thermostat and honestly have no idea what it costs. It came with our house and it and the Schlage lock are the whole reason I got into this addiction. :slight_smile: I think The Go Control thermostat can be found for cheap, but its ugly. The Honeywell T5 now works with smartthings, and I think its lower cost than the others.

I’ve got an Ecobee 3 and I like it with one caveat. It does not work well with a fresh air fan that is controlled by the thermostat. If you don’t need that functionality then it is great.

In some cases, the Ecobee is dumber then the thermostat it replaced. I can not do things like lockout the fresh air fan dependent on outside temperature or if I am asleep, both things the dumb Honeywell can do. The Honeywell also can setup fresh air fan usage on percentages not just a minimum number of minutes per hour. It also runs my fresh air fan whenever it is in away mode when it clearly should not be running it at all (currently have a ticket with Ecobee for that). I am on the verge of returning and trying to find one that does what my existing Honeywell can do and works with SmartThings.

That is true about the mute. And, yes, it will work with the full echos.

There is the Ecobee Plus Alexa skill that ties Alexa to Ecobee directly (without SmartThings) that also offers a lot better control than the default skill.

Not sure what features you would not want but it is your option to turn it on or off. I was stating whatever worries you would have would be negligible over the benefits. Mine is in the living room and I do use it. In fact, as Christmas presents got delivered, I got the notifications on it. As long as you get the notifications from one of the devices in your home, it turns the notification indicator off on all the rest.

The only thing that this does not seem to do is be able to be grouped into a multiple device music output group. I am hoping that changes.

If your concern was not to have the speaker output, you can turn the volume all the way down. The red mute indicator will be there if you mute the microphone. I think that is a warm and fuzzy for those overly concerned with Big Brother.

I guess you could not turn on the Alexa portion in the thermostat because the skill just uses the cloud between Alexa and Ecobee to control each other. SmartThings also goes between it and the cloud to Ecobee to run between them. So, not setting up the Alexa portion on the thermostat should not lower any functionality except Alexa commands on that device or allowing it to play music.

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Not sure about the 3 but the 4 has a single wire (+24VAC) or two wire (switch) output for accessories. Since my furnace has a dedicated +24VAC terminal for my humidifier and I wanted it to be the humidistat over the one in my cold air return, I have two wires from my bundle between furnace to thermostat.

From the Humidifier terminal on my furnace (which is only hot whenever the furnace is running), it goes up to the accessory terminal 1 on the Ecobee 4, then accessory terminal 2 on the Ecobee 4 back down to the furnace to the +24VAC (not that it matters) on the humidifier, and then from the humidifier’s -24VAC terminal, it goes back the furnace’s C terminal, which is -24VAC, thus completing the circuit. The Ecobee 4 acts as a switch in the circuit (like the switch on a flashlight).

It only supports one HVAC accessory on that terminal. It can be a humidifier, dehumidifier, or a ventilator (vents fresh air into the building).

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Thanks for all the info Kirk. Sounds like I should go w/the 4 and just not set up alexa, that way it’s off but I don’t have the annoying red light on. I would like to be able to control a whole house humidifier with it so that pushes me towards the 4 (as does the pricing - the discount on the 3-lite isn’t really enough to push me in that direction since I want the remote sensors).

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If you do not have enough wires between them, you might be able to run the new wires up the wall (assuming you are not dealing with finished ceilings below the wall) by using the current thermostat wire as a pull string to get the higher conductor wire up the wall. I tried that (I ran a 7-wire and a 5-wire twisted together) but ran into a fire stop. I ended up using fish tape.

Read the installation manual for your furnace and air conditioner. My furnace was newer and was capable of running 2-stage. My air conditioner is not (and it is harder to do that on an air conditioner–but check yours). I simply had to connect the wires up to the furnace and change 1 jumper and my furnace runs dual stage. Most of the time, it is stage 1, which is 1/2 power, and that saves you in use and in utility costs. It has been below zero the last few days so stage 2 is getting its workout, too. I am comfortable. It tries stage 1 and then goes to stage 2 after a bit.

One other thing I like about this thermostat is that it will shut off the heat (burners in the furnace) or the air conditioner but keep running the fan for about 45-seconds allowing you to use that leftover heat in the heat exchanger or cooling in the evaporator that will help lower your bill a bit.

For the device handler and app, I upgraded from the basic to this one:

[RELEASE] Free Ecobee Suite, Version 1.2.

Install it on SmartThings BEFORE you install it into SmartThings.


Costco in the USA is selling Ecobee 3 with three sensors for $180.

ComEd is still offering $100 rebates, up to two per address.
I purchased this Ecobee 4 from ComEd $149 (less $100 rebate)

I have a Honeywell rth9580wf1005 that I have owned for about 4 years & it has been a very good WIFI thermostat. Over the past few weeks it has lost WIFI connection & I have done everything to attempt to get it to connect again. I have tried three different routers, changed the SSID and security settings and still cannot get it to connect. I think something may have gone wrong with the hardware and now I think that I will have to replace this thermostat and am trying to decide which one to purchase.

I have grown to rely on the features available when paired with Smartthings, especially Geofencing. It seems that if you use Smartthings, you don’t need a Nest or Ecobee because Smartthings can do everything that the thermostat software can do. Honeywell used to be a solid company and the RCHT8610WF2006 Lyric T5 looks like an economic choice. I am also thinking of getting a Z-Wave thermostat because of the problems that have developed with my WIFI thermostat. Any suggestions?

As you can probably tell, there are those who want a Smart Thermostat and those who want a dumb thermostat that communicates well and then let SmartThings take care of the setpoint changes, geo-fencing, etc. There are pros and cons of both lines of thinking.

I have a CT-100 (Z-Wave) hooked up with the C-Wire that definitely falls in to the dumb category. IMHO, even if SmartThings messes things up, the thermostat would likely just not make any expected changes.and it might stay a little cold or warm - depending on the season. Using webCoRE and SmartThings, I use geofencing and automode changes along with auto-setpoint changes. I could (but don’t currently) use temperature sensors throughout the house to adjust the thermostat too.

I will suggest ecobee 4 smart thermostat. The thermostat comes with room sensor. I using it from last 6 months and had no issue with it.

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I use the ecobee4 as well, with the (free) ecobee suite manager smartapp. There is a more robust paid smartapp out there, but the free one works for me. The entire system works great, and the different modes it operates in help a lot in energy saving and keeping us comfortable. The extra sensor keeps our bedroom warm at night, instead of freezing cold because of the giant single pane windows making up an entire wall.
I read there were issues using the ecobee app geofencing with multiple people, so we use smartthings geofencing, and send mode change commands from the smartthings app. Don’t have to worry about scheduling - which is a pain if you have changing work hours, and it never goes into away mode if anyone is home.

Another vote for the ecobee 4 … but what is this paid app? I haven’t seen anything about that.

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Oh, interesting. Thanks for the link!

My only complaint is that it doesn’t integrate well w/my Echo’s … they very consistently set the temp 2 degrees lower than the value I ask for. Not really sure what that is about and kind of annoying … it would be nice to be able to change the temp hands-free. Oh well.

I have no problem using my echo with my ecobee. Do you use the native ecobee skill for alexa or do you control it through the smartthings skill? I had issues with the smartthings skill and my ecobee, so I use the ecobee skill. You just tell her “Alexa, increase temperature” and she ups it by 2 degrees. Or you can tell her how many degrees you want. You dont have to call out the name of your thermostat either, she knows what you mean.

I tried the ecobee skill and it had issues … at this point I don’t recall what the problem was, but I disabled it. I should try it again I guess. Good to know it is working for you, if it doesn’t work for me maybe I’ll dig deeper. Does it create any confusion having two sets of ecobee’s in Alexa - the skill and the one’s it finds from smartthings?

Yes! Disable alexa from being able to discover and use the thermostat in the smartthings alexa smartapp

I just have my Ecobee3 connected to ST and control it on Echo and Google Home. For additional functions, I use their app or on the web. I am very happy with it. I upgraded from the GoControl thermostat after using it for a couple years. It was a pain to change the program on ST. Now I don’t have that problem with Ecobee3 using their app.

OK so I disabled the ecobee in the ST Alexa smart app, then I set up the ecobee skill on the Alexa app. Now I can get the temp from the two rooms where I have sensors (the thermostat and the sensor) but when I tell her to set the temperature to, lets say 68, she tells me “I can only set the temperature between 60 and 72” and doesn’t do anything. That’s kind of annoying since 68 IS between 60 and 72! (I have my ecobee 4 set to auto mode so it figures out if it should run the furnace or AC. As it turns out, 60-72 is the range of allowable temps I have set for heating. Clearly Alexa is confused.) Any ideas?

I tried this with both the ecobee and ecobee plus skills. The ecobee plus skill seems hosed … when I enable that it doesn’t find the ecobee devices. So there are multiple things not working right here.

Hi, I’m using the honeywell lyric thermostat and had no problems linking to my st v2 hub, personally being a heating engineer if you haven’t bought anything yet look at the smart trv’s this set up is by far better having controllable individual radiators.