Amazon has been actively involved in developing smart home gadgets for the past few years, and in 2021 they launched a budget friendly smart thermostat in the name “Amazon Smart Thermostat”. Priced very competitively, this smart thermostat from Amazon competes with budget smart thermostats like Nest E, and Ecobee Lite.
A value for money thermostat with all essential features packed into a compact, stylishly designed body, featuring modern aesthetics.
Note: Compatibility with your home HVAC system must be checked before buying, as this thermostat is not compatible with some types of heating/cooling systems.
Let’s get a detailed look into features and design!
The design side!
Amazon smart thermostat is a “budget friendly” model and this effort for cost cutting is evident in the design side. The body is made of plastic material (Nest and Ecobee uses metal for outer body and touchscreen glass for display). But the looks are good enough and stylish for a thermostat in this price range. Afterall, we don’t play around with a smart thermostat screen every day like we do with our smart phones! We create a schedule, program the settings and the rest is supposed to be taken care by the thermostat itself every day and night without our attention.
The display has only 3 buttons (touch sensitive, led lit), and their primary purpose is to adjust the temperature on the device and to switch between heat, cool and fan modes. Current temperature is the main display (which is by default in Fahrenheit and can be switched to degree Celsius if you prefer so), and some other in display icons like ‘heat mode’ , ‘eco mode’ are provided.
The mobile app for Amazon smart thermostat is the same “Alexa” app used by other Amazon smart home gadgets like Amazon Echo. The thermostat can be controlled by using the Alexa app, and you get all the voice command features through the Alexa app.
If you’ve not used Alexa before, its a pretty straightforward app and is easy to get through. If you are a fan of voice commands, and would like to control this thermostat verbally, you can easily do so using the Alexa app in your smartphone.
Note: The thermostat has no built-in voice command system, but you can control the device using any Alexa enabled devices like Amazon Echo or using the Alexa app in your smartphone.
The App provides energy usage reports for the thermostat. The good side of Alexa app is that it provides energy reports for all ‘alexa compatible’ smart gadgets in your home.
Another innovative feature from ‘Alexa’ is the ‘Hunches’ – which is an AI based (artificial intelligence) based habit learning algorithm. This feature will learn your daily usage pattern of the thermostat and over time the algorithm will start doing many tasks for you. For example, if you have smart bulbs in your home, and you turn all of them off at bedtime every night, ‘hunches’ will learn this pattern and start doing this task of “turning off lights” every night the same time.
In the case of a thermostat, if you set a particular temperature after you reach home from work every day, ‘hunches’ will learn this and start setting this temperature automatically for you the same time every day.
The Technical Side!
The Amazon smart thermostat requires a c wire (common wire). If your HVAC wiring don’t have a C wire, you can use a C wire adapter and solve this problem. An option to buy a Honeywell C wire adapter along with the thermostat is provided in the Amazon website itself (as a bundle product).
Amazon smart thermostat is compatible with most of the 24 volts home heating/cooling systems. Amazon has provided a compatibility checking tool link in the smart thermostat product web page, and you can use this tool if you’re unsure of your system compatibility. This thermostat works well with conventional forced air systems, heat pump systems and radiant boiler hvac systems.
Note: This thermostat is not suitable for line voltage/high voltage (110v/240v) heating systems like a baseboard heater.
Note: This model does not support HVAC systems with more than 3 stages, or systems that has multi speed fans.
Note: This thermostat is compatible with “Alexa” smart home app only! The device is not compatible with Google Home, Apple Homekit or Samsung SmartThings.
Note: WiFi connectivity is available (Standard 2.4 Ghz 802.11 b/g/n), but this device is not compatible for 5G networks and peer to peer ad hoc networks. The standard WiFi connectivity is more than enough for a smart thermostat.