Smart Thermostat Suggestions?

A resident is  interested in knowing if anyone has had good luck finding a “smart” thermostat that connects to our heat pump setups. Any recommendations or warnings?

Feel free to post any info you have in the comments. Thanks much!

(and for those of you not sure what a “smart” thermostat is, here’s more info about them in general)

14 thoughts on “Smart Thermostat Suggestions?”

  1. I’ve got 2 Nest thermostat E, their cheapest option. It works well. You can control it from your phone, set schedules, and save energy.

    1. Matthew, how is the nest getting power? When I installed the nest thermostats I had to tap the heat pump power using the unused thermostat wiring. This required electrical connections inside the heat pump panel.

      1. I set it up a couple of years back, now that I think about it again I did have problems installing it but I figured it out and did not end up needing an electrician. I set it up with Yellow wire to Y1, G to Gold/Brown wire, R to Red wire, W1 to White wire, and *OB to Light Blue wire. I’d send a picture but I can’t on here. I might have also had to set it up differently through the app but I don’t remember, I’m pretty sure it’s still set to heat pump.

        1. Just circling back after trying to wire in an Ecobee Lite that was incompatible with another installation, but appears it either requires that powered “C wire” off the furnace (which I assume is your fifth white wire, which I do not have) or the installation of Ecobee’s “power extender kit,” which requires hardwiring an adapter into your heat pump’s control board, which as far as I can tell, is not even user accessible on this old heat pump.

          In short, if your smart thermostat does not allow for battery power it may be incompatible (depending on whether your unit originally had run an extra C/power wire from the heat pump to the wall).

  2. I’m afraid I don’t have any info but I’m very interested in seeing the responses, commenting here as a reminder to follow this post.

  3. I recently purchased 2 LUX TX9600TSa 7 Day Universal Touchscreen Thermostats from Amazon. They are fully compatible with our Heat Pumps and they work great and are really easy to program. I have already had a noticeable decrease in my electric bill. They are approximately $50 each and you can also purchase a nice white bezel from them for approximately $10 each.

  4. I don’t think the thermostats I recommended above are smart thermostats but they are programmable and easy to use.

  5. I also have programmable/not smart thermostats (Honeywell Home RTH2300B1012) that are inexpensive and have worked well for several years. They have a few different time slots for weekdays and separate ones for weekends so you can set it lower when you go to work/overnight/etc. They didn’t require any additional power or wiring. They need 2 AAA batteries every few years for the program memory.
    I had to add 2 jumpers (Y to W and R to Rc) to get it to work properly between the heat and cool functions.

  6. Little late to the discussion on this, but looked into a lot of these thermostats in lieu of kneeing remote management over vacation properties and while Nest’s most well know/advertised, there’s some great options in the Ecobee, Emerson Sensi, and Honeywell RTH lineups. I’ve also used the more affordable GoControl smart thermostats as well, but those offload all programmability of schedules to a separate smart Z-Wave compatible smart home system like SmartThings or more recent Alexa devices (that have a hub built right in).

    Consumer Reports has a good breakout that doesn’t require a full subscription to check out:

    Looking for a more thorough analysis? Tom’s Guide has a good breakout here too:,review-2751.html

    Hope this helps!

  7. One of my LUX TX9600TS thermostats bit the dust today. I was just trying to adjust the temperature and the screen would not light up. I took it off the wall and reset HW and SW, new batteries and still not responsive. I don’t want to even touch the other one for fear it will stop working on me and then I’ll be without heat. I installed my two LUX thermostats 3/16/2003 and they have been working well until today. No electronics is going to work forever and the more complicated it is, the more likely it will break. I was thinking about getting new Nest thermostats anyway but nothing is built to last. Nest offers a four year warranty plan (extra money); I guess this is how long they figure the things will last.

  8. Follow up here. I installed a Nest G4CVZ which I bought from Amazon. Here is a review of the thermostat. It’s newer than the Nest E.

    It works fine and worked with the wiring I had in my apartment. The wiring to my thermostats uses a 6 wire brown cable of which 4 wires were being used. Two were not connected. The Nest thermostat wants a ‘C’ wire or common wire which was not connected. Once the C wire is connected, you are good. The installation to me was a no brainer because if the wiring is not correct, it will tell you during the install. The thermostat ‘detects’ every wire during the install and tells you which ones are connected. If you aren’t comfortable installing, recommend someone do it for you. It’s a bit more complicated than installing a light fixture.

    One final thought: the reason you need the C wire is for the thermostat to charge it’s lithium batteries. If it runs on batteries alone, the unit will disconnect from the network and you’ll need to charge the batteries every two weeks.

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