Smart Thermostat in arizona

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by BigRedRage, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. BigRedRage

    BigRedRage Reckless Contributor

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    I am googling left and right after some comments from @Covert Rain about his smart thermostat but not having a ton of luck. Does anyone know some good links to information on how this works, especially and specifically for 2 story AZ homes?

    I am curious of things like:
    1) If I add motion sensors to the bedrooms, it seems it would mostly ignore the bedrooms until you go in there and focus on cooling the rest of the house which could possible reduce my HVAC use. But then, lets say everyone is in bedrooms, is it now cranking overdrive trying to cool upstairs? It seems like it could save me money but could also cost me more based on what it is monitoring. Also, if you are sleeping and sleeping still, do the motion sensors not realize you are there after 30 minutes? What about if you just go in the room for 5 minutes and head back downstairs? It would just stop worrying about that room?

    2) There are two teenagers in my house that work different schedules every day so it would not be able to "learn a schedule" and stop using AC when we arent home based on that, would the sensors be enough to do that?

    3) honestly I am less interested in motion activation than I am in just getting the HVAC to work less often because it knows temperatures for the whole house instead of just where the thermostat is. At the same time, I imagine this could raise my cooling bill because now the house knows the upstairs is hot where right now it does not.
     
  2. Covert Rain

    Covert Rain Father smelt of elderberries!

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    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  3. Covert Rain

    Covert Rain Father smelt of elderberries!

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    #1 - It will ignore the bedrooms that are hotter until someone goes in there and triggers the sensor. If everyone is ONLY in the hottest rooms it will run until those rooms reach the average temperature of those sensors based on the Thermostat set temperature. For my situation that rarely happens so I don't have to worry about that scenario. In terms of sleep there is a specific comfort sleep profile you can setup. So for example if you are sleeping on your comfort profile setting Ecobee doesn't care about movement on the sensors. It will average whatever sensor temperatures you include in that profile to make those rooms comfortable. So for example if you have sensors for another hot room that nobody sleeps in you can exclude that one when you setup your sleep profile and it won't impact the running of your A/C. You can also just run it without taking any of the sensors into consideration when you sleep and go by Thermostat only. It's customizable.

    #2 - there are multiple modes. You don't have to use the "Learn" feature. You can also set manual schedules and tell it when nobody will be home. In terms of the sensors they would be activated via motion if you wanted that. So you could keep your thermostat at say 78 degrees even though those two rooms normally say are 79 to 80. Unless someone goes in those rooms the A/C will work normally and those rooms will be hotter. If someone goes in those rooms it will stay on a bit longer until those rooms reach target temperature.

    #3 - if you only have one A/C unit and the upstairs is hot it COULD raise your bill but only if you want the sensors always active. Again, you can tell it to ignore the sensors upstairs by creating a profile (schedule) that either uses motions sensors or ignores them all together for certain parts of the day.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  4. puckhead

    puckhead Waxing Gibbous Contributor

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    That sounds really cool! :groan:


    What happens if your home network goes down or if Internet service goes out?
     
  5. BigRedRage

    BigRedRage Reckless Contributor

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    thanks covert. Maybe if I do it I can make a guide for arizona people on the benefits and how I maximized them. I'm still torn on if it would really do much for me. My house is too populated for a lot of the features.
     
  6. devilalum

    devilalum Heavily Redacted

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    The self destruct feature deploys.

    Duh


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Covert Rain

    Covert Rain Father smelt of elderberries!

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    It doesn't need the internet (except for the Weather functions and remote app functions). The Sensors and and Thermostat talk directly to each other.
     
  8. Shaggy

    Shaggy Site Owner Administrator Staff Member

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    I use ecobee with several remote sensors. Those sensors dont need you to be in the room to average out the temp between all the rooms. It's been a great thermos.
     
  9. Covert Rain

    Covert Rain Father smelt of elderberries!

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    Yep. You can set them to "follow" you or just use them to even out the temps. It's a great option. I love the sensors.
     
  10. jf-08

    jf-08 Administrator; Rules Creator Staff Member

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    I bought a pair of Ecobee3 Lites and remote sensors for my two AC units.

    One of my units runs the "main area of the house" - front great room, kitchen and family room. The thermostat is in a useless area - in a hall between my living room and kitchen. The kitchen area used to get hot as hell even though my thermostat was low. I put a remote sensor in the back corner of the kitchen and turned off the built-in sensor in the thermostat itself. So the thermometer only reads the kitchen sensor and it works great. The kitchen now doesn't have any hot spots.

    I did the same thing for the other unit which controls the 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, utility room, and back hallways. My master bedroom area was also a previous hot spot, so I put a sensor in the back corner of it like the kitchen set up and turned off the hallway sensor and now the master area is pleasant.
     
  11. carrrnuttt

    carrrnuttt Didactic

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    I have had my pair of ecobee3s since 2014.

    If you're with SRP here in AZ, you can sign up for their "conservation events" where SRP will control your thermostat during expected high load days. It's easy enough to override by just changing the thermostat value, and they're pretty reasonable with what they set the temps to. It can also earn you decent enough bill credits.

    I get $150 per event (75 per thermostat) and get a $25 credit just for being in the program: https://www.srpnet.com/energy/rebates/byot.aspx

    Ecobee also now works directly with SRP's plans with their ECO+ software update. For example, I'm on SRP's EZ-3 plan, where my bill is nice and low the rest of the day, but is fairly high between 3 and 6 pm. I used to have to set my ecobee3s to turn up drastically during those periods and I even had to set it to turn back down at 6:30 pm, because it'd start pre-cooling before 6 pm so that it would get to my desired temp by 6 pm. Now, I just tell it that's it part of SRP's "Time of Use" plan, and it knows when to turn up and turn down.

    I also used to super-cool my house heavily so that my house will stay cool during my high-rate period. Like in the 60's in my bedroom at night super-cool. But now, the ecobee3 sets itself to turn down at just the right time everyday, and it has learned when and how far to turn down to ensure comfortable temps during my peak billing period.
     
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  12. carrrnuttt

    carrrnuttt Didactic

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    BTW, I forgot to mention the fact that ecobee works with Amazon Echo and IFTT (If This Then That).

    I can ask Alexa what the temp of a specific sensor is or set the temp by asking Alexa. IFTT allows you to set a Geofence around your house where if the devices that are registered against it are away from the house, ecobee will then be set to "away" immediately, instead of having to wait for non-movement, or worry about your dogs setting occupancy. Same with setting it to "home" as you get close to your home, pre-cooling it for you.

    There are probably other functionalities to exploit, but these are just the ones I've used.
     
  13. Covert Rain

    Covert Rain Father smelt of elderberries!

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    The new version of the Ecobee fixed some of the shortcomings of the older models now when it comes to voice control thanks to the new processor. So, I am going to purchase another one here soon.

    Also, one thing I found out about the SRP deal. You can actually sign up, get the credit then opt out the next day and they still give you the credit. We just signed up and we are going to check it out thought and see if we like the program before we do anything.
     
  14. MadCardDisease

    MadCardDisease Moderator Contributor

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    We had to replace our AC units last May and I upgraded tot he Ecobee thermostats. Love them. Mine have Alexa on them so they are like an Amazon Echo.
     
  15. carrrnuttt

    carrrnuttt Didactic

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    That's the ecobee4.

    I bought mine years before those came out. I halfway thought about upgrading, but I already had several Echos across the house by then, so I figured it'd just be redundant.
     

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