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Reviews and General Information on Programmable Thermostats

Wireless Thermostat Comparison

OK, so you’ve either just read one of the reviews I have on my website or you’re completely confused over what wireless thermostat to choose and have navigated straight to this page.

Now, my aim with this website is to make life as easy as possible for people who are looking for a thermostat, and since I was where you are now not so long ago I thought this page would come in very handy.

There are a total of five wireless thermostats to choose from and they all make your indoor climate more comfortable and easier to manage. However, as with everything in life there are certain features you will get with some models but not with others, so that’s the main purpose of this section: comparing the features.

The models you will find on my website are as follows.

  • Venstar Wi-Fi ColorTouch
  • Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
  • Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Honeywell 7 Day Programmable Thermostat
  • Ecobee STAT-02 Thermostat

So without further ado, let’s move on to the main features and which models come top (or not as the case may be).

Installation

WiFiOne of the biggest problems I have come across is knowing if your current heating or cooling system is compatible with the thermostat you would like, and I’m afraid to say that Honeywell don’t exactly come out top with this one. The reason for this is their thermostats tend to require a common ‘C’ wire so they will work, and although most homes have this wire present in their HVAC system, you just might have to run an additional wire (which not everyone knows how to find out).
With Venstar you can run into the same problem, but you can get Venstar’s Add-A-Wire to easily solve this problem.

It has to be said the model I have from Nest beats everyone hands down with regards to installation. This is because the unit will actively look for the system it’s been connected to without any help from you, which makes life an awful lot easier. Plus, it’s compatible with about 95% of 24V systems on the market which is the highest I have come across to date.

Aesthetics

Unless you’re installing a thermostat in a room where it won’t be seen that often, having the ability to blend into your décor is something lots of us look for.

Venstar has really thought about this. The model I have reviewed here comes with a wide variety of different colored faceplates so it will fit in with many types of decoration. It also has various screensavers which help the device to look less like a thermostat, plus you can even upload your own images and use it as a picture frame.

Again, I also have to mention the Nest model, especially if you’re looking for a thermostat that has a very modern look to it. In fact, you could say the design for this model is nothing short of “space-like”.

Honeywell Color Scheme

The Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat also has a plethora of background color schemes to choose from.

Programming and Energy Saving

If you’re someone who prefers a really easy life, the Nest has to be the model I suggest you look at more closely. The main reason for this is there is no programming! Well, there is, in the background, but the thing is this unit will intuitively learn your schedule just by remembering what temperatures you select throughout the week.
Of course, if you want to you can also set the program manually.

All of the others do require “human” assistance with the programs however, the Honeywell 7 Day Programmable thermostat does come with a pre-programmed energy saving schedule, so if your needs in respect of temperature control are pretty standard there won’t be much actual programming involved.

Throughout the reviews you will also find something called “Smart Response Technology”. Both Honeywell models use this.
What this does is allow the device to learn how long it takes for your heating or cooling system to reach the desired temperature. This means you are programming the temperatures you want it to be at a certain time, so do bear in mind your system may fire up before the time programmed.

Ease of Use

Now, this is where it probably comes down to personal preference. Some of you may like the “lazy” programming of the Nest, whereas others who are not that worried about having a lot of features might prefer to work out a program on their own.

Nest energyBoth the Nest and Venstar models have been designed with ease of use in mind. BUT, I think that because of the way various reports are presented these models might be better suited to those of you who like feature rich devices that can take time to work out.

If you want a thermostat you can program and then leave it to do what it does best, you may find both the Honeywell models I have reviewed are better suited to you. Smart Response Technology really makes your life easier in this respect.
However, I do urge you to consider the ease of installation as well (remember the ‘C’ wire issue I mentioned).

For me, the Ecobee was bottom in this category because the overall interface and reports look complicated. In fact, if you’re not used to spreadsheets and lots of graphs, this one may not be what you’re looking for.

Wi-Fi Capabilities

WiFiAdding your thermostat to your local network doesn’t seem to be a problem with the models I reviewed here, and it goes without saying that all these thermostats allow you have access to your heating and cooling system remotely. But what you can do when you are away is an entirely different thing.

However, I must say that all apps allow you to view and change the most important temperature settings, set the system to “vacation”, change the HVAC operating setting and receive alerts. You may run into problems though if you want to change your daily schedule, because with the Ecobee you can only turn the schedule off but not change the daily settings.

The biggest difference you will find is probably with the reports, and again it’s the Nest who wins. Its energy usage reports are the most elaborate of them all, and the 24 hour graphs will give you a detailed insight in how your temperature settings have affected your heating and/or air conditioner usage.
The Venstar reports are preyy good as well.

Unique Features

  • The Venstar has a really handy text message option available so you can send messages remotely to other people at home (or remind yourself of something you need to do).
  • The Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart has a plethora of colors to choose from on the screen which will help it blend into any indoor décor.
  • The Nest Learning Thermostat (in my humble opinion) is one of the best on the market. It’s versatile, offers great energy saving options and has been thoughtfully designed from both an aesthetic and technological point of view.
  • The Honeywell 7 Day Programmable Thermostat is one of the more basic wireless models I have, and if you want the flexibility of being able to access your device remotely but prefer not to have all those “bells and whistles”, this one is a very good buy.
  • The Ecobee STAT-02 Thermostat has a lot going for it in terms of energy saving, and it’s rich in features. However, the interface isn’t the easiest in the world to navigate.

Overall

I hope this page has given you more of an insight into the types of wireless thermostats I have chosen to review. Of course, if you would like more detailed information on any of them, feel free to take a look at the individual reviews:

Nest Learning thermostat
Read Review or Check Amazon Price

Honeywell Wi_Fi Smart
Read Review or Check Amazon Price

Venstar
Read Review or Check Amazon Price

Honeywell 7-day
Read Review or Check Amazon Price

Ecobee
Read Review or Check Amazon Price

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