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BigRedDog

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Anyone ever installed a wifi thermostat on their furnace?
« on: February 08, 2016, 06:56:30 AM »

We'e had a computerized thermostat for years but want to upgrade to something we can monitor while we're away from home.  I also want to add a monitor to warn me if there is water rising in the basement.  Been looking around and the big box lumber stores all have similar pieces with different brand names.

Any suggestions (positive or negative) ??? ??? ???

Eventually we'll add security cameras too but I want to make sure they'll all work together without a major hassle before I take that step.
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livewire

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Re: Anyone ever installed a wifi thermostat on their furnace?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2016, 08:05:11 AM »

My Honeywell T87 doesn't know how to talk to my phone.   ;D


I have very limited experience with wifi thermostats, but I'm willing to learn.  Still a pretty new gimmick. 
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Re: Anyone ever installed a wifi thermostat on their furnace?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2016, 09:08:23 AM »

We have the Nest and love it.  This is our third Winter with it and it easily paid for itself the first year.  It knows when you are in the house and turns the heat up or down after it learns your patterns.   You can control it from any computer or smartphone, so you can adjust the heat from your easy chair or in bed if you want.  We’re gone a lot, and it’s especially helpful then.  You just set it on “Away” and it reduces the heat (or AC in the Summer) to whatever setting (52 degrees in our case) you choose.  Right before boarding the plane for home, we’ll set it on “Home” and the house is perfect when we walk in the door.  It also knows the outside temperature (from the internet) and exactly how long it takes to get the house up to temperature based on that. In the Summer it even has logic that continues to run the fan for a few minutes after the AC compressor shuts off so you get maximum use of the cool air that remains in the system.  You can get all kinds of data from it as far as how many hours a day the system runs and how each month compares with prior months and years.
 
I know at least a half-dozen people who have bought one after my recommendation and they all are happy with it.
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Maverick

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Re: Anyone ever installed a wifi thermostat on their furnace?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2016, 09:46:00 AM »

I have Honewells at my houses up north and they are great. They let me know when the temp drops below a certain level, they allow me to adjust the temp from anywhere, they send me a message when the signal is interrupted for any reason. I know they can do many other functions but I like just basic stuff like upping the temp before I leave home and having it nice and comfy when I arrive. I would recommend them to anyone.
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arpydave

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Re: Anyone ever installed a wifi thermostat on their furnace?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2016, 11:19:51 AM »

Before getting all tech'ed out on WiFi, think good on your thermostat location. Most are installed with the shortest stretch of (5 wire, cheap) run, likely near the furnace.

a) it should protect your pipes in winter.
b) it should monitor your living zone. Where you sit and watch TV or pound away at your computer. Not 4 or 5 feet up on the wall adjacent/over the heat exchange unit where it's subject to ambient heating/cooling. That's why so many say that the bathroom is the warmest room, that room is near the furnace, and the thermostat is on the hall wall nearby.

Relocating, having a programmable, and even then maybe a WiFi will save you money.



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BigRedDog

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Re: Anyone ever installed a wifi thermostat on their furnace?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2016, 01:24:43 PM »

Before getting all tech'ed out on WiFi, think good on your thermostat location. Most are installed with the shortest stretch of (5 wire, cheap) run, likely near the furnace.

a) it should protect your pipes in winter.
b) it should monitor your living zone. Where you sit and watch TV or pound away at your computer. Not 4 or 5 feet up on the wall adjacent/over the heat exchange unit where it's subject to ambient heating/cooling. That's why so many say that the bathroom is the warmest room, that room is near the furnace, and the thermostat is on the hall wall nearby.

Relocating, having a programmable, and even then maybe a WiFi will save you money.


The furnace is in the basement and it is centrally located in about the middle of the house.  The upstairs has always been cooler than the main floor even though 'heat' rises.  Someday I hope to remodel up there and move our bedroom up there (I actually prefer it cooler). 

Right now I'm not even interested in trying to save money although every ad I read says that will be an end result.  Just looking for the ability to be able to see what is going on at home while I'm looking at the palm trees the professor is leaving behind 8) 8) 8)

I have Honewells at my houses up north and they are great. They let me know when the temp drops below a certain level, they allow me to adjust the temp from anywhere, they send me a message when the signal is interrupted for any reason. I know they can do many other functions but I like just basic stuff like upping the temp before I leave home and having it nice and comfy when I arrive. I would recommend them to anyone.



Thanks for that tidbit Mav...   hadn't read that but did wonder if any would be able to do that.  About the only reason the signal would be interrupted would be if the power goes out and in that case I'm more concerned with the sump pumps not running and flooding the basement (has happened a few times).  What I don't comprehend is if the power goes off then the wifi is dead so how can it still send you a notification?  I figured I'd have to ask one of the neighbors to call me if the power goes out then I can have one of the kids come and check the sump pump crock and plug in the generator to 'dry out' the basement.  At the rate we're going we're not going to have any big 'snow melt' to worry about though. 

I guess I really have to think about a 'stand by' generator that will just take care of things.  Do they have an app for those to tell you when they've kicked on?

We have the Nest and love it.  This is our third Winter with it and it easily paid for itself the first year.  It knows when you are in the house and turns the heat up or down after it learns your patterns.   You can control it from any computer or smartphone, so you can adjust the heat from your easy chair or in bed if you want.  We’re gone a lot, and it’s especially helpful then.  You just set it on “Away” and it reduces the heat (or AC in the Summer) to whatever setting (52 degrees in our case) you choose.  Right before boarding the plane for home, we’ll set it on “Home” and the house is perfect when we walk in the door.  It also knows the outside temperature (from the internet) and exactly how long it takes to get the house up to temperature based on that. In the Summer it even has logic that continues to run the fan for a few minutes after the AC compressor shuts off so you get maximum use of the cool air that remains in the system.  You can get all kinds of data from it as far as how many hours a day the system runs and how each month compares with prior months and years.
 
I know at least a half-dozen people who have bought one after my recommendation and they all are happy with it.



The Nest does seem to be the one that is setting the standard right now. 

I've read so many brochures and online articles I may be getting this wrong now...

The Nest uses batteries which you obviously would have to replace periodically.  The thermostat being replaced is a White Rodgers programmable.  It has 3 AA batteries and they would last 2-3 years so not a big deal but a wifi thermostat is in 'constant' communication with your network so may use batteries faster.

The Honeywell (not the Lyric which is aimed directly at the Nest to the point of being round even) which is one step below does not have batteries but does require a 5 wire hookup.  No problem since that is what is already there and I think that is how Mav is saying it would be able to sense a power outage. 

I'm digesting slowly as I take it in and throw part of it back out.  I kind of was already down to the Honeywell or the Nest.

Staples sells a device called Connect which they say works with Honeywell but they don't mention Nest.  This device and corresponding app lets you monitor your thermostat, high water sensor, cameras and other devices all from one app which seems like it would be a plus. 

Various price points depending on where you want to 'start'.

http://www.staples.com/Staples-Connect-HUB-Kits/cat_CL211634



Here's the Android phone app link...

lots of additions you can do including door locks and raising and lowering your blinds.

http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/marketing/staples-connect/emulator.html

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Re: Anyone ever installed a wifi thermostat on their furnace?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2016, 01:30:56 PM »

BRD, the Nest has a "permanent" battery inside that charges from the low voltage wiring to the thermostat.  I don't think you need to replace it unless something unusual happens.  We've never done a thing to ours in the couple plus years it's been installed and have never had an issue.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Anyone ever installed a wifi thermostat on their furnace?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2016, 01:37:57 PM »

BRD, the Nest has a "permanent" battery inside that charges from the low voltage wiring to the thermostat.  I don't think you need to replace it unless something unusual happens.  We've never done a thing to ours in the couple plus years it's been installed and have never had an issue.

Yes, that's right...   

like I said I've read so many promotions they're all running together!

Thanks for getting me back on track again ;) ;) ;)
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BigRedDog

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Re: Anyone ever installed a wifi thermostat on their furnace?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2016, 01:53:39 PM »

Here's the powered shades that work with the Connect device from Staples.  They're not 'inexpensive but they look like they're pretty good quality...   

and no cords if you have infants around!!!


Part of what we're attempting to accomplish is to be able to make it look like we're home even when we're not...   

Putting lights and TV on a timed remote accomplishes that to a point but I think most of the timers are on a schedule to repeat at the same time every day.  With this, turn on a light, lower or raise a shade...

it would really make it appear you're home unless the bad guys are literally camping in your front yard and know you're not home.  I was just thinking it might drive the neighbors a little crazy because they'd know we were gone  :o :o :o

Serena® shades by Lutron
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T-M-T

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Re: Anyone ever installed a wifi thermostat on their furnace?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2016, 01:55:56 PM »

I do find it amusing that a company with the resources and market share of Honeywell basically took one of their products for granted and let an ex-Apple guy, who started off knowing zero about thermostats, reinvent a product and force them to play catch-up.  Evidently, the ideas of a thermostat being user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing never occurred to them before.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Anyone ever installed a wifi thermostat on their furnace?
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2016, 02:20:02 PM »

I do find it amusing that a company with the resources and market share of Honeywell basically took one of their products for granted and let an ex-Apple guy, who started off knowing zero about thermostats, reinvent a product and force them to play catch-up.  Evidently, the ideas of a thermostat being user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing never occurred to them before.


I agree...

that's one problem with being the big 'comfortable' dog in any business...

easy to get complacent!!!

If we go with a Honeywell it' won't be the Lyric which is Honeywell's late answer to the Nest...

I haven't found one really favorable review of the Lyric yet.  Like you say, too late to market and obviously still trying to play catch up!!!



My wife likes this one because the color scheme is adjustable and I like it because all the basic info is right there looking at you when you are home.  I realize some people might not like all that info being right there. 

More info at:

http://yourhome.honeywell.com/en/products/thermostat/wi-fi-smart-thermostat
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Tiny

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Re: Anyone ever installed a wifi thermostat on their furnace?
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2016, 05:09:59 PM »

My son has that Honeywell thermostat and loves it. We went to his house one day and turned up the heat and he called us from work and said his Thermostat told him what was going on.

He also has wireless cameras all over that you just plug into an outlet and they tell him when there is motion in the house and he can view what's going on, on his phone. He has one in his garage that so he can see if he left the garage door open, then he can shut the door with his phone.

He had a basement flood once so now he has a water detector there too. He can turn lights on and off with his phone too.

He works at Ford in Dearborn designing computer server systems. I asked him when he has time to work?
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blue2

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Re: Anyone ever installed a wifi thermostat on their furnace?
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2016, 05:43:24 PM »

The think with computer systems guys is their mind is always working.
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Maverick

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Re: Anyone ever installed a wifi thermostat on their furnace?
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2016, 06:33:52 PM »

BRD

My Honeywell doesn't tell me when the power goes out although indirectly it does. What it sends me is a Failure to Communicate message which I assume is generated when it fails to communicate with Honeywell headquarter. You will get the same message if the power goes out or the internet goes down.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Anyone ever installed a wifi thermostat on their furnace?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2016, 07:35:12 AM »

BRD

My Honeywell doesn't tell me when the power goes out although indirectly it does. What it sends me is a Failure to Communicate message which I assume is generated when it fails to communicate with Honeywell headquarter. You will get the same message if the power goes out or the internet goes down.

Ok, got that now.  I found that little bit tucked away on a website about how it communicates to their servers and then the info goes out to your devices.  It won't really know that the power is out but rather just that there has been a failure for the device to communicate in a timely manner (never could find what that time frame is... 

minutes, seconds?

That makes me wonder how well (in my particular case) the high water alarm will work.  We use two pumps in parallel so water up on the floor can pretty much only happen if the power goes out and then I doubt the high water alarm has such a sophisticated system as the thermostat would. 

I do appreciate everyone's opinions and tidbits of knowledge on this topic. 
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