Smart Thermostat Recommendations

Bigman38

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
Jul 27, 2010
19,376
18,738
113
37
Council Bluffs, IA
Got a nice surprise today that we need a new thermostat. Was looking at smart thermostats but I don’t know much about them so I’d appreciate some recs if you have them.

Looks like the Nest is still really popular, someone recommended an Emerson Sensi but I’ve never heard of those until today.
 

boone7247

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Aug 15, 2011
3,006
932
113
Near the City
I have had Nest and Ecobee (two different houses) I believe the Nest is a better UI, both the app and at the thermostat.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bigman38

cy4state

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Aug 28, 2017
267
657
93
Nevada, IA
We have an Ecobee. We got it because it had extra sensors we use around the house, Nest didn't at the time. We love it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bigman38

Trice

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2010
6,964
11,400
113
This was years ago, so perhaps this info is outdated by now, but I'll share in case it's useful.

My ex-BIL was an HVAC guy. He said Nest products caused all kinds of headaches for HVAC guys. I don't recall what the nature of those headaches were, but I asked the same question of a number of his co-workers when they serviced our systems and they all agreed. They recommended Ecobee, and I do frequently see Ecobee reviewed very positively. I may be getting one myself soon.

I will say, however, that I'm a little skeptical of claims of huge energy savings. If you're already using a programmable thermostat - and you actually take the time/effort to program it - it seems like you're 90% of the way there. I'm sure there's some learning that a smart thermostat can do to eek out more efficiency, and for sure the ability to change settings from anywhere at any time is nice. But I'd be curious to hear whether people who switched really saved all that much.

FYI, if you're on MidAmerican, you can buy at a substantial discount with the rebate priced in.
 

JP4CY

Doesn't quickly stand up when the plane lands.
Staff member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Dec 19, 2008
66,410
81,317
113
Testifying
Make sure you have the correct wires before you buy any product.
I was an original Nest user eons ago and needed to run new wire for a C connection.
 

istater7

Well-Known Member
Mar 31, 2010
4,702
1,102
113
I got the Sensi through an Alliant Energy rebate last year. I like it. Pretty user friendly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bigman38

herbicide

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Mar 23, 2006
10,945
2,370
113
Ankeny, IA
Add me to the "check your wiring" group before purchasing. I have a 2yr old Nest still new in the box because it doesn't support fresh air ventilators.

If your house/HVAC is relatively new (say 15-20 years or newer) it is likely it has a fresh air ventilator and Nest no workie without substantial work arounds/additional equipment.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bos and Bigman38

alarson

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Mar 15, 2006
55,101
64,561
113
Ankeny
I've really liked my ecobee with the sensors. Having it follow the temp based on where I'm at in the house, and specifically having it only look at my bedroom temperature at night is nice
 

cyfan92

Well-Known Member
Sep 20, 2011
7,482
11,885
113
Augusta National Golf Club
I have a new unit (2022) and the Nest Thermostat works great with it.

Our old HVAC unit and the Nest thermostat DID NOT GET ALONG... I would have gotten the Ecobee if I could do it over again on a legacy unit. If you are buying a new or have a new home, the Nest will be fine.
 

herbicide

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Mar 23, 2006
10,945
2,370
113
Ankeny, IA
I have a new unit (2022) and the Nest Thermostat works great with it.

Our old HVAC unit and the Nest thermostat DID NOT GET ALONG... I would have gotten the Ecobee if I could do it over again on a legacy unit. If you are buying a new or have a new home, the Nest will be fine.
That was not the case for us... Nest has no accommodation for Fresh Air Ventilators, which most new houses have, at least here in DSM area, and have for many years, I believe if Energy Star Home = Ventilator.
 

NickTheGreat

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Jan 17, 2012
10,526
4,434
113
Central Iowa
I bought my Ecobee 3 when it came out, so many years ago. I really like it.

I don't have much of a desire to have it "follow me" or learn my schedule. Which is the majority of the point of it. But I do really like the remote sensors, and the app is pretty damn convenient.

It ties into my home automation system, and the newer ones have Alexa capabilities, which I have no desire for that either. I never change the temperature of my house once I've got my schedules set up.
 

nrg4isu

Well-Known Member
Dec 29, 2009
1,942
3,145
113
Springfield, Illinois
I've had both a Nest and an Ecobee. I don't like either one honestly. Both over complicate the UI and "smart" features.

I'm probably not the typical user though. I want simple hardware that does what I tell it to do. I'll do the rest of the fancy stuff myself. I'm a huge nerd (CprE grad) and a big fan of HomeAssistant.

If I were to look for one today, I'd look for one that has basic features and doesn't try to guess what temperatures I want it to be set to.