Thermostat recommendations?

Hello. Apologies if this isn’t the correct category for this post. I justify it by claiming that I’m looking for gear to configure, so it sort of makes sense. :slight_smile: Please feel free to ask me to move it if there’s a better place.

Very new to Home Assistant. I’ve currently got presence sort of working, and am looking to integrate it with a thermostat. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet bought into an automation ecosystem, so while that frees me up, it also makes my choices somewhat overwhelming.

Can anyone recommend a good, basic, somewhat inexpensive thermostat? I’m living in a small-ish apartment, so my needs aren’t complex. I literally just want to control heat/cool and temperature from HA. I would strongly prefer something that stays local and doesn’t require a third party account with a separate service.

Nest looks expensive, and seems to require a separate account. I thought Insteon might work, particularly as my space is small, but it seems the only supported component also uses external cloud services (my WAN connection can flake at times and I’m behind a repeater, so I’d really rather not tie my core automation to external infrastructure.)

Any recommendations? I’m continuing to research, but not having made any major ecosystem choices means that all choices are open to me, which makes the decision more difficult. :slight_smile:

Thanks.

Honeywell makes a Zwave thermo that’s reasonably priced.

I understand your desire to stay local, but keep in mind that a cloud based thermo will still allow you access if your HomeAssistant server goes down. Just a consideration.

Honeywell also makes a reasonably priced Smart thermo that I used to use (before moving to the ecobee 3) that worked well with HA as well as Alexa and Wink.

I have 3 of these, again, ZWave so you would need a ZWave capable hub or stick:

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Depending on your definition of ‘somewhat inexpensive’, sure :slight_smile:

I am currently running one of these. They run around $100. It is on the expensive end of a “simple” thermostat, but very much the cheap end of “simple thermostat with a published API”. They have an app and cloud server and all of that, but you don’t need it. The wifi unit has a Rest style http interface that is fairly easy to get going. There is built in support in Home Assistant for it via the Radiotherm component.

These do not require zwave or any zwave equipment. Just wifi. (there is a zwave version as well, although I have no experience with it, so can’t help there).

It supports all the obvious stuff you would expect - scheduling, hold temp, away mode, etc. Has a configurable filter change reminder. It isn’t as feature rich as the Ecobee 3, but it also costs 1/3rd as much. Between Home Assistant and some DHT22s (or similar) around the house, you can easily duplicate the functionality of a Nest or Ecobee without needing to open any ports (or upnp) or depending on some company to stay in business to keep your home warm in the winter.

No major downsides. A few minor issues in the library, but nothing that impacts functionality. I would buy the same unit again if I were to need another thermostat.

There are a few in the Radiothermostat CT line that have different features at different price points. (Edited to add - like the one @aimc posted above me while I was typing this up!) Make sure you do your homework and pick out one that works well for your home.

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Radiotherms are pretty popular with a lot of users here, so there would be plenty of support.

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Not sure how it will work as you are in an apartment but worth a shot…

Check with your gas and electric provider (depending on how your home is heated/cooled) and they may offer rebates on your thermostat. My nest was $100 after 100 from my electric company and 50 from my gas company. Worth a shot.

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Man, I have to start reading closer - totally missed that. Wouldn’t really change my recommendations, but I would say that you may want to check with the super or the rental office to make sure that they don’t have any issues with you installing a thermo.

No worries there–I live in an apartment co-op so I have lots of freedom to hack. I just need to be able to take whatever I install with me when I leave, so no hugely complicated/deep integrations.

It might be a little extreme, but I bought a Sonoff TH with a temperature sensor, connected it to my heater/AC, re-flashed it with an alternative firmware (ESPurna in my case) and configured a generic thermostat in HA.
Total cost about 12€.
If you need to take the temperature far from the heater, you’ll have to add about 4€ for another sonoff.

gl

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Something to think about…

In another thread someone mentioned that there are built in fail safes in commercial thermostats for overheating protection, etc. what is the fail mode of your setup? For example if a connection fails does the sonoff fail on or off. Could you cook a pet that is home alone if the system fails?

The sonoff in itself has no fail safe: if it’s on it stays on until told otherwise (or until powered).
I guess it wouldn’t be difficult to modify the firmware so that in case of lost connection, it turns off, maybe for a thermostat application that could be useful.

In any case, my heater has a builtin thermostat, currently it’s on 26 °C, so no risk to roast a pet :smiley:

gl

Phew, that’s a relief!

I’m going for Qubino z-wave thermostats, they have built in protection, and they come with external temperature sensors. There are many different types (on/off thermostat, heating/cooling thermostat, pwm thermostat etc). They fit in the walls and the non-thermostat Qubino modules (like cover controllers, relays and dimmers) also are compatible with the temperature sensors. So combining all that with some Home Assistant Generic Thermostats should be an awesome, safe and reliable setup.

How have these been working out for you overall? I know some people have reported issues with the target temperature being incorrect (Z-Wave Thermostat Problem) and HVAC fans not functioning properly in “auto” mode (meaning one would have to create HA automations to turn on the fan to the appropriate speed when the furnace or AC kick on). I have one laying around, but have not installed it yet due to these issues.

They work pretty well as dumb thermostats that I can change the target temperature of which is all I need them for. I just have baseboard heat no HVAC so I am just using that piece of them so can;t comment on the rest.

One of the three reports an incorrect current temp back to ZWave although it maintains the correct set temperature.

What you mean heater/ac, the current going to your heater?

I have the heater outside, not sure about the distance from router. But have thermostats wires inside the house (but no AC there, unless I bring it)

What could I do?

I think you should check the voltage of the thermostat wires but if you have only two wires I’m afraid then you’d have to bring some power there.
If you’re thinking about a sonoff, to operate on thermostat wires you’d need some of the 5v/12v models: they can operate as switch on a couple of wires without implicating them into the power supply…

gl

which model?

something like this: https://www.itead.cc/smart-home/inching-self-locking-wifi-wireless-switch.html
Take into account that re-flashing them would require some soldering and a serial/usb interface: not a super easy task the first time you do it, and that they require an external 5v OR 12v (choose your model appropriately) power supply.
On the bright side, I have 4 of those in my house and they work pretty well with HA once re-flashed…

nice product. WHich enclosure are you using?