Thermostats

Posted on
Mon Feb 08, 2021 4:55 pm
jay (support) offline
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Location: Austin, Texas

Thermostats

I've switched between a variety of thermostats in my home automation experience: Insteon, 3M WiFi (junk), Honeywell WiFi (unreliable due to poor network implementation), Trane Z-Wave (never had an issue).

In my new home, I'm using the newest Ecobee with remote sensors in other rooms. As noted by Joe (developer of the Ecobee 2 plugin), as a general rule you won't use Indigo to directly control the thermostat. Ecobee has done some pretty amazing work with making their thermostat intelligent - working with remote sensors to determine other room temps and occupancy. Pair that with "Comfort Settings", which I guess are much smarter version of the old "programs" in other thermostats, the Ecobee this far seems to do a really good job of keeping the rooms in our 2 story condo at the temps we want based on scheduled changes between comfort changes. I have one override Comfort Setting ("Extra Cool") that I can easily toggle from Indigo when the upstairs gets a bit too warm (it's somewhat ironic that it's easier to do on-the-fly toggling of comfort settings through Indigo and the plugin that it is through their app or at the thermostat itself). I also get a rebate from Austin Energy for using a thermostat that they can commandeer during high energy use periods.

I'm waiting to pass final judgement until August & September when the temps here hit 100°F - we'll see if the Ecobee can do the necessary adjustments to keep the condo rooms comfortable using it's logic.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:01 pm
jalves offline
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Joined: Jun 16, 2013

Re: Thermostats

We have a Honelywell wifi thermostat that we can control through a plug-in with Indigo. Unfortunately that plug-in hasn't been maintained and we regularly get errors in the log about not being able to communicate. Seriously considering a new z-wave thermostat that won't require a plug-in.

Running Indigo 2021.1 on a 27" iMac (mid-2017), 40G memory, 1T Fusion Drive, OS X 12.0.1
Jeff

Posted on
Mon Feb 08, 2021 6:14 pm
Seeker offline
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Joined: Aug 05, 2013

Re: Thermostats

My trusty Trane z-wave thermostat i've been using since 2012 died on me a few days ago. it would stay in the WAIT state.

I needed an immediate replacement, so I bought the ecobee 3 lite from home depot. it worked fine, looked nice, plugin worked well. the plugin refresh rate was limited to 5 minutes i think, so not all communication seemed instantaneous. after using it for a day, i ordered a honeywell z-wave TH6320ZW2003. it arrived yesterday and i installed it. indigo recognized it immediately (no additional plugins) and it works great so far. nice simple touchscreen with tons of advanced unit settings. the only thing i miss vs the trane is the stat clock does not seem to be set via indigo/network....manual time set.

in the end, i think i just felt more comfortable with a locally-controlled thermostat vs the ecobee. ecobee worked fine even without a wifi connection (as a local stat) but any remote control seemed to rely on their server.

just my 2 cents.

Posted on
Sun May 16, 2021 5:39 am
hamw offline
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Joined: Mar 31, 2008

Re: Thermostats

HI Seeker,

still happy with the Honeywell? Does it have any advanced features like the Ecobee?

Posted on
Sun May 16, 2021 5:57 am
Seeker offline
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Joined: Aug 05, 2013

Re: Thermostats

Still happy with it. it runs very reliably. i don't use anything other than the default settings and let indigo change set points, mode, monitor temp. very basic use, but very reliable. I would consider it more of a remote controllable z-wave thermostat than a smart thermostat, at least in my use. I personally do not want the thermostat to try to figure out patterns and make set point adjustments. i'd rather handle that myself.

The main benefits for me are reliability and local (non-cloud) control.

look up the manual for honeywell z-wave TH6320ZW2003 to see all the settings.

Posted on
Tue May 18, 2021 6:44 pm
jltnol offline
Posts: 683
Joined: Oct 15, 2013

Re: Thermostats

So I've had an Insteon Tstat in 2 different houses. I don't use them as Smart thermostats, but rather as Dumb ones, and use Indigo to control temps based on a whole host of things as I'm sure everyone else does as well. I can't say its perfect, but has been pretty good. My one issue was it was cycling all the time, so basically created a trigger to lower the temp 1º when it started, and then raise it 1º when it stopped. While I can't be sure, it seemed to turn on at 75.1º, and off at 74.9º., so hence it just ran a bunch of short cycles. With the triggers in Indigo. cycles are longer(less equipment burnout), and the house more comfortable.

I wouldn't consider one that connects to a cloud and then to Indigo.

Posted on
Fri May 21, 2021 3:55 am
Seeker offline
Posts: 430
Joined: Aug 05, 2013

Re: Thermostats

jltnol wrote:
So I've had an Insteon Tstat in 2 different houses. I don't use them as Smart thermostats, but rather as Dumb ones, and use Indigo to control temps based on a whole host of things as I'm sure everyone else does as well. I can't say its perfect, but has been pretty good. My one issue was it was cycling all the time, so basically created a trigger to lower the temp 1º when it started, and then raise it 1º when it stopped. While I can't be sure, it seemed to turn on at 75.1º, and off at 74.9º., so hence it just ran a bunch of short cycles. With the triggers in Indigo. cycles are longer(less equipment burnout), and the house more comfortable.

I wouldn't consider one that connects to a cloud and then to Indigo.



I use the same +1/-1 triggers for my cool cycles and it does work great. We just replaced our 20 year old HVAC this winter, and it is much more efficient so the cool cycle times were pretty short with an absolute set point. the offset works well. i'm pretty sure this can be set in my tstat config, but it is simple in indigo.

Posted on
Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:13 pm
sjseeger offline
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 26, 2021

Re: Thermostats

Would love one (or more) of your thoughts on the following use case, and recommendations for best thermostat to get the job done (replacing a Nest due to it's lack of integration nowadays):

We have a 3 story house, including a slightly sub-grade, finished basement. Generally, the basement in the summer is ~10-15 degrees cooler than the main level (right now main level is 83 and the basement is 69). We also have a whole-home fan that we utilize at night (dry climate, so it gets nice and cool). I purchased a new Ecobee, as XCEL is currently having a promotion and discount for signing up for their A/C Rewards, so that they can tweak the temps based upon peak usage. Also, with their added sensors, I have hopes of doing the following:

- Use Indigo to monitor the thermostat and a basement sensor, and instead of turning on the A/C, have it turn on the fan and run it until the basement and main level get to within a defined delta of one another (e.g. 5-7 degrees). To me this feels smarter than how the Ecobee simply uses an average of the temps.
- When the delta is within a range, but the temperature gets too high, then it turns on the A/C to bring things back down.
- In the evening, or when/if there's a significant drop in outdoor temp, and the outside temp is lower then the in-house (monsoons, etc), Indigo then fires up the attic fan until the house matches the outdoor or gets to a certain temp (or until the outdoor warms back up).

So, I'm not sure if I'm looking at things in the smartest way, or if the above is viable, but if so would just love to know if the Ecobee is overkill, or if there's a better solution out there. Thanks for your thoughts.

Posted on
Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:04 am
FlyingDiver offline
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Location: Southwest Florida, USA

Re: Thermostats

If you're planning on doing your own logic for the thermostat, I do NOT recommend the Ecobee. You're going to spend a lot of time and effort fighting it's internal programming.

joe (aka FlyingDiver)
my plugins: http://forums.indigodomo.com/viewforum.php?f=177

Posted on
Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:35 am
jay (support) offline
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Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Thermostats

Agreed - I was trying to figure out a way to have a different set of schedules for when we have company. Apparently they think that a vacation mode (quite different) is enough, but it's really not.

I did figure out a way to do it though:

  1. Make sure the hold duration setting is set to "decide at time of change"
  2. Create trigger(s) to run at the various times to activate a specific comfort setting - each should make the hold type for the setting to "Indefinite"

Basically, tell the ecobee to forget about any internal schedules when you make a change and just wait for the next change. Then schedule your changes. When you want to go back to the schedule, cancel the hold either on the thermostat or via the Resume Program action.

This solution is a bit of a pain in that you have to do step 1 above if, like us, you prefer having dynamic changes only last until the next scheduled change. We find this useful when we just need it to be a bit cooler (yesterday for us) or warmer for whatever reason, but not for long enough to override the normal scheduled transitions. If you forget to set that setting back (as I did when our company left last week), then you wake up in the middle of the night and it's too warm (as happened last night for me)... :roll:

All in all, if you want to do the majority of control through Indigo, then the Ecobee probably isn't the best choice. But if you only need Indigo to take over occasionally, then the Ecobee seems to be a workable solution.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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