The new scat pad came with thermostats that look like 1970’s surplus thermostats.
Totally analog. I think they even had mercury in them.
So I started a search for more appropriate units, with a high geek factor. I looked at the Nest 2, which would be OK . . . for my mom. The Nest 2 does not get good reviews, but they look great. People who buy them love them for their design. Read more than one review before making a decision. I also considered the Honeywell WiFi units sold at Home Depot. These units are nice and get good reviews. However, they lack the cool factor of the Nest 2, and the geek factor of the Ecobee.
Stat2, http://www.ecobee.com/solutions/home/smart/ has the geek factor and function I was looking for. I can program as many time periods as I want. You are not limited to: Sleep, Awake, Away of typical programmable thermos. So I have Sleep, Awake, Workout, Work, Home. You can also program Vacations. It has a “Quick Save” button, so if the weather is great, touch a button on the way out the door to go surfing and it will set the temp back 4 degrees until you return. The units are WiFi enabled, so they can be programmed via Chrome, or iPhone or Android.
Any geek can install these units themselves. The installation is slightly more complex than the competitors because the Ecobee is two pieces of hardware. There is a smart board that contains the relays etc which connects to your HVAC units. This can be installed anywhere, but is usually close to the HVAC unit itself. The other piece is the thermostat unit, which connects to the smart board. The thermostat unit is a nice sized, color touch screen with a neutral design that is skinable. The smart board can accept a module to connect additional sensors (temperature and humidity). I suppose Ecobee or a hacker could create additional modules. The smart board has a zillion connections to connect to and control about any type of HVAC unit you need to control.
The scat pad has three zones, and thus three of these units. The units are all tied to one account on the web, which means, I can easily control each unit from my phone or whatever.
Ecobee provides extensive reports on your energy usage. If the reports are not enough, they provide an API so you can go nuts creating your own.
Now you are asking yourself, “wouldn’t a real geek build their own system”?
You could probably could build your own, but why? Not to mention, HVAC units are expensive to replace if you get it wrong.
After all, we are just talking about a thermostat.
There are many competitors. So take a look and consider upgrading to a connected thermostat.