SmartThings Community

2018: Best Smart Thermostat?

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.

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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.

Man, that’s so strange. When I tell mine to change the temperature she’ll say “Auto is keeping the temperature between 69 and 78 degrees”. I’ve never had an issue with it telling me the error you got. I do know the ecobee servers were down several times yesterday, at least the ones servicing my area. Unfortunately when Alexa errors out she doesn’t give helpful replies, like when you tell her to control a device she doesn’t know she says “a few things share that name”??
Have you tried to call out commands to your thermostat by the name she has for your ecobee? And is it possible that even though you disabled the device in ST she still has the device saved? You’d need to delete it out and rediscover it once you disable in ST and add the ecobee skill. This will set up the device to work with the new skill.

I did go through the process of removing the ecobee devices that had been pulled in from ST before adding the ecobee skill. I put the devices (sensor and thermostat) in rooms in the Echo app. No matter what phrasing I use, while I can get the temps in the two locations, I can’t set the Echo to set the temps to a specific value. I can get it to increase the temp by saying, “alexa, increase temperature by 2 degrees”. Then she responds like you said, “auto keeping the temperature between x and y”. She increases both numbers from their normal value.

Follow up questions for you:

  • Sounds like you also use auto mode, not heating or cooling mode, right? I was wondering if this was why it’s not working for me, but it sounds like it is working for you so that rules that out.
  • Are you using the ecobee skill or the ecobee plus skill? Like I said I couldn’t get the ecobee plus skill to do anything (ie, wouldn’t find my devices) so I punted. Wondering if you are using that and I need to focus on getting it to work.

At this point I’ve invested enough time in this that I really want to get it working - hope your answers can help!

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You know what, I’ve only ever told her to increase or decrease temperature and to do it by a set amount. I’m at work but when I get home I’ll try out giving her a set temperature. I bet the issue happens because of using auto. Maybe if it was just heat or cooling it would set it. And maybe if you’re more specific by saying set heat to a certain degree it would do it…or it would just turn on heat only. Alternatively we may be able to set up a routine with a custom phrase that makes sense to us to achieve what we want. I’ll get back to you tonight!

Worst comes to worst I’ll write a piston with 2 virtual dimmers that will control the hot and cold set points, because now I’m invested and will be kind of annoyed if I can’t set a particular temperature in auto :slight_smile:

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Re/telling her to set the heat to xyz, rather than just setting the temp to xyz, this occurred to me too so I already tried that - didn’t help. I am stubborn so I didn’t want to try setting the thermostat to heat mode instead of auto, but for the sake of experimentation I just did and guess what … now telling the echo to set a specific temperature works! Geez, how lame. I am filing a ticket with ecobee on this one!

Re/the “regular” vs. the “plus” skills, which are you using, or do you have both installed? Per previous I can’t get the ecobee plus skill to work stand-alone. It looks like it would work when installed with the “regular” skill but I haven’t tried that yet - it has more commands, but they are a lot more clumsy as you have to preface command with “tell ecobee to”. This just seems like a pain.

I just have the standard skill, have not tried the plus. Yeah that would be nice to have ecobee add a command to adjust auto to a set temperature. I almost always have my thermostat on auto…