SmartThings Community

Thermostats with good SmartThings integration


(John) #13

@dgornik The ST scheduler has a dark past. The new version (Ticker) has been much more reliable. That’s not to say that it hasn’t had its problems, but ST has been able to fix it quicker and truth be told, it has been pretty reliable. All apps, and I mean all apps that use scheduling will likely have a problem if the scheduler fails. That being said, I have not had to reauthorized my ecobee’s for 9 months (even making it through some of the scheduling issues and ecobee server maintenance).

I use the schedules on my 6 ecobee’s (not the ST scheduler), but I use event driven activities to force my ecobee to away mode (and it works great for the four of us in the house). This has been extremely reliable and I am not dependent upon thermostat or remote sensor location/placement to detect when I’m home or away. Plus the pets cannot inadvertently trip the motion sensors on the thermostat or remote sensors and fool it into thinking we’re home. Our schedules varies quite a bit, so I have found this to be extremely reliable and by far the best solution available.

There are three viable options available. I have tried all three. If you have specific questions, please PM me.

Good luck.


(kenweise@bigfoot.com) #14

I use a Honeywell RTH6580WF. It is their base WIFI thermostat. I haven’t done much with it yet, but I have controlled each and every function while playing with it. It integrates via the Honeywell Total Home Connect system so feedback can take a bit of time.

http://yourhome.honeywell.com/en/products/thermostat/wi-fi-7-day-programmable-thermostat-rth6580wf


(Deepak Krishnan) #15

@Mike_Maxwell
Can you share the details of the thermostats you are using?


(Mike Maxwell) #16

Zen and peq (centralite pearl) are two examples of dumb smart thermostats. If you are serious about automation a thermostat of this type is all you need as all the functions (set points modes, schedules ect) are then controlled via your automations. I used to own echobees, and while nothing wrong with them I found it difficult and more complicated to override the built in scheduling they contained. My preference for ha thermostats being those that offer no cloud integrations as the manufacturers cloud control points tend to be difficult to disable and synchronize, besides, why pay for something that you aren’t going to use.


(Bob) #17

I inherited a NEST thermostat when we bought a vacation home. Integrated it with Smartthings hub using “Nest Manager”. Nest Manager was a pain to setup and an even bigger pain to keep operational. In addition, the Nest thermostat has disconnected from the WiFi several times and I have no way to get it back online unless I fly 2000 miles to take care of it. I am now using just the Nest native app as Nest Manager has stopped working and correcting the problem / updating it has proven more difficult than launching an electric car into space.

Needless to say I’m done with Nest and the Nest Manager. In fact if it doesn’t have Smartthings supported integration I’m not using it (IE: listed in the ST app marketplace). I have wasted too many hours searching for solutions to 3rd party apps and I do not recommend 3rd party apps for anyone managing a vacation home via long distance.

Thanks @rontalley your setup is what I’m after and your comments confirmed what I’m thinking.


(Yves Racine) #18

Hi, there is a reliable alternative for the Nest thermostat and other Nest products. I’ve worked more than 3 years to achieve this kind of resiliency for MyEcobee and now MyNextDevices.

I ask for a small contribution given the amount of design, development & test to achieve this kind of resilience and the added features. You can ask @slavazagromov for more feedback about MyNextTstat and zoned heating/cooling solutions:

Regards.


(Bob) #19

@siam Does the E3 have a “lock” feature like NEST? I want to limit where my rental folks can go with the temp.


(Yves Racine) #20

Yes, there are different level of “locking” for the ecobee settings…

EDIT:

See article below:


(Larry) #21

depends what you are trrying to do… I have honeywell, and their professional prestige is very nice
i have sensors in all the ducts and it alerts me if ther e is an issue in performance and also outdoor sensor.

As far as i know this is one of the best to also control a whole house steam humidifer… Their own integration is nice and their app is good.

That being said their Smarthings integration sucks!. Not only did they block our 3rd party integration which was great and also had many morer features than their official integration (ie outdoor temp, humitdity etc)

They now broke the official integration it no longer shows operating state for anyone… They keep blaming it on one issue or another but it is broken. I only use it to monitor temps which is reliable.


(Bob) #22

Thanks. I found a video on YouTube that shows exactly what I needed. I was about to pull the trigger on the E3 Lite until I learned none of the Ecobees have a battery backup. Simply amazing! Back to square one.


(Yves Racine) #23

Hi, just curious: Why would you need a battery backup? Even if there is power outage, you won’t lose your schedules or thermostat settings as the E3 has flash memory.

To my knowledge, few thermostats have a battery backup (and usually it’s for saving their settings only) . You must live in an area with a lot of power outages to have this requirement.


(Bob) #24

It’s for WiFi connectivity. Ecobee saves their settings in flash but it seems worthless when it comes to reconnecting to the network after a power failure. Plenty of Ecobee complaints of people losing their connection after a power failure. I can’t afford that, I’m 2000 miles away.


(John) #25

I have had no issues with reconnecting. If WiFi is working, then the ecobee reconnects without issue.


(Yves Racine) #26

Never heard of wifi reconnection issues either…


(Jared) #27

I have never had any issue with my two ecobees reconnecting after they have lost power. By the way, why would you want a battery in them when the power is out anyway? Your HVAC will not have power so the thermostat is useless anyway.

Also a note about ecobee with smartthings, this is an awesome smart app to use with it. I use it and it’s great!


(Bob) #28

Of course the HVAC goes out of commission when the power goes out, it goes without saying. However when the power comes back on or worse if the power cycles on / off like it has a tendency to do in a storm, it’s the reconnecting to the router thats the issue. Stuff like that seems to wreak havoc on flash memory. To cover the bases I have already put the router and ST hub on a battery backup.

There is no doubt that many people have no problem with their Ecobee reconnecting but there is always 2 sides to every coin. This is a vacation rental and I have to get control back when the power comes up. I may still try it, I like what I see of the Ecobee. I can get one from Amazon and then do some testing by cycling the HVAC power switch.


(Bob) #29

Unlike Nest, I see Ecobee can connect directly through the ST marketplace. This is very important. Considering I only need a few things like temp control, modes, and the ability to change these via ST automation I suspect I won’t need anything else but the basic interface.

Example:. 3 hours before Renter check in

  • I activate an automation called Renters Arriving
    - Thermostat mode goes from Away to Home
    - Thermostat is set to 67 (from 50)
    - Water heater goes from Vacation to Hot
    - Alarm goes from Away to Disarmed

That’s it, nothing elaborate. Automatically scheduling these events would be convenient, but not mandatory. ST automations unfortunately don’t have a calendar function (everything but).


(Yves Racine) #30

Hi, if reliability is key to you (as your secondary residence is far away), you should consider the E3 with my custom ecobee integration which includes some resiliency attributes not found in other thermostat integration such as disconnect protection (contrary to Nest, for security purposes, ecobee requires to refresh the auth tokens every hour which sometimes leads to disconnect issues under the ST platform, even for the ST stock ecobee device) and the “replay” logic in case of ST or ecobee outages.

The “replay” logic ensures that commands sent to the thermostat will be kept in a queue if they fail in order to “replay” them within the next hour…

This algorithm is not included in the ST ecobee device (under the marketspace) or any other custom ecobee integration.

Also, I’ve expanded the ecobee thermostat capabilities with a unique Amazon echo/Alexa integration (it can give you comfort & energy savings tips based on the indoor/outdoor conditions at your home) by executing a smartapp called ecobeeGetTips or by interacting with echo’s voice commands.

Regards.


(Bob) #31

Thanks for the heads up Yves. “Custom / Unique Integration” implies battling with the IDE / GitHub / Device Handlers and all the complications that come along with side loading custom apps. That’s a big “reliability” show stopper in itself. Definitely not interested in Echo / Alexa either especially in a vacation rental.


(Yves Racine) #32

OK. Reliability is usually important (and defined) during operations not during installation, but that’s your choice.