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Mathew Kevin

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Air conditioners have become an essential part of our home these days. The blazing heat of Sun’s radiation, have created loads on these energy hogs, thereby increasing the digits in your electricity bills. You can however save some good amount of energy if these units are used efficiently. In this article, we review sensibo – a smart  WiFi based air conditioner controller, which can be used to set schedules (7 day scheduling option), turn the AC On/Off from anywhere using smartphone, save energy by efficiently managing the heat pump and a lot more. 

Companies such as Sensibo, Tado have come up with a smart way to save energy in a more efficient manner. These companies have produced smart Air conditioner controllers which is the smart companion to window/spilt/central AC units with IR sensors.

If you are keen on energy saving, then you must own a smart device to control your AC unit. Sensibo sky is one of the best options available to teach your old AC new tricks. Even if you do now have the latest smart ACs, this smart controller will easily connect with your conventional AC.

The key highlight of this product is its Wi-Fi capability. It uses your home Wi-Fi to control the AC unit of your home. Whether it is a remote controlled window AC or a split AC, use this clever little device, and make your life easier. The minimalistic design aims at easier installation and use.

The 7 day scheduling feature gives you control over the temperature of your room. You can set as any schedules you want for a week, that suit your convenience and at the same time help you save some good bucks. You can control this unit from anywhere, through either an Android phone or iOS device or web. The humidity and temperature sensor sends you up to date report of the climate of your room. This helps in maximum utilization of the controller to achieve minimum energy usage.

You can also add it to your IFTTT smart home hub or pair it with Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Turn on your AC with just a command to  Siri or Alexa or Google.

This was just an over view of this product. Let us dig deep into its features!

Design

The Sensibo sky comes in a small rectangle package with its body mainly made of plastic material. This 3.2”×2.2”×0.8” (HWD) little controller weighs around 1.4 ounce and comes in two colour variants: cloudy white and dark grey. The small size adds to the ease of use and portability. It comes with a peel off sticker at its back, for easy wall mounting.  

A blue LED indicator has been provided, which blinks while pairing with your phone, and once paired becomes stable. You can find this indicator at the top part of its front face. It is “S” shaped and blue in colour. The power jack at its back is provided along with an Ethernet port.

The Sensibo Sky App Interface

The Sensibo sky can be controlled through the “Sensibo” app which is available in either Play store(for an Android device) or Apple Store (for an iOS device). The app is designed for smooth navigation and is easy to comprehend by any one.  

The main screen gives a quick information about the temperature and humidity of the room, and in case of an enabled geo-fencing, it also tells you if anyone is at home.

You will see some icons on your main screen like “pencil Icon” to edit the device location ,”Clock Icon” to edit /create time-based changes, the “Geo Marker” to create/change location based settings and the gear icon that takes you to the other settings related to the controls like selecting a climate react feature or setting a geo fencing radius etc.

You can also have a look of the temperature of a particular room’s AC by tapping on the “room” option, given at the top of the main screen. This will also give you information like the time left for the AC to turn on or off.

The App is well built where all the important information are easily accessible. It offers quite a few control features. Let us have a look at them too.

The Sensibo Sky Control Features

Once you login to the app, using your credentials, you are set to experience the wonders of a smart AC. You can set the temperature or turn off the AC from anywhere. Like, while on your way back from work, you can set a timer after which the AC will turn ON, so that you enter into a cool room, or in case you forgot to turn OFF while leaving the house, you can command the AC to turn off, anytime. All these through your Sensibo APP.

Another remarkable control feature of this smart product is its unlimited 7 day scheduling. It lets you take control of the climate of your room. Explore the endless possibilities of being comfortable while saving energy.

The Sensibo app has a unique climate react feature, which when turned on, will maintain the temperature of the room, according to the humidity, temperature and other comfort parameters. It takes off the load of setting appropriate schedules. This is beneficial for people with crazy and hectic schedules, to manage energy efficiently without compromising on the comfort.

Geo-fencing which is a relatively new concept has also been incorporated here; however the device lacks motion sensing. Enabling Geo-fencing gives the benefit of automatically turning OFF and/or ON by using the phone’s location. For example, if you are (your phone) somewhere nearer to the geo-fence radius, it will detect and turn on the AC before you reach your room.

Sharing is Caring, and Sensibo Sky knows it!

For each Sensibo sky device, each AC is paired and is controlled through an app, where a particular user gets access after they log in. A home or office will have more than one AC users.  Keeping this in mind, Sensibo Sky allows you to share the app login credentials with others as well, so that they can enjoy the comfort of your smart AC through their phones. If someone like your parents wants an access to it, you can share it with them. This way you care for them, while giving them the full control over the smart AC.

Smart Control

Sensibo Sky can be paired with your Amazon Alexa, or Google Home Kit. You can also use Siri shortcuts to command Siri to turn on the AC of your bedroom or any room. Tell Alexa to switch on the AC while you comfortably sip on your cup of coffee, without actually getting up and finding the remote.

If you are keen on building a smart home or own a smart hub like IFTTT, pair this controller over your home Wi-Fi. The Sensibo sky comes with an open API (Application programming interface)which lets you create smart hub community for SmartThings, Google Home Kit etc.

The app has options to create the IFTTT which can be activate easily through few taps and clicks on your phone.

This means now your conventional AC can also be a part of your smart home!

Compatibility

Sensibo Sky is designed to turn any of the traditional air conditioner unit like the split AC, window AC, provided they have IR sensors.

Installation

Installing Sensibo Sky is a breeze. First and foremost you need to download an app from app store or play store. Just download the app, and you are ready to pair it with your phone. To pair the controller with the AC unit, all you need to do is point the remote towards the phone or device. While pairing the “S” indicator will bilnk. Once paired, you can see the blue indicator get steady.  The controller comes with an adapter and an Ethernet cord. Connect them accordingly.

The app will guide you through the rest of the procedure. In case you get stuck with any step, the excellent Sensibo support team is ready to assist you anytime.  They are quick and fix your problem as soon as possible.

Sensibo Sky: A sensible way to cool down your room!

To wrap up, installing Sensibo sky at your home, is like giving your Traditional AC , a modern make-over. If you have an old AC, which works fine, and need not be replaced by the new smart ACs, which can cost you heavy bucks, buy this controller and get all the essential smart features.

It not only makes control easier, but saves you a lot of energy as well. Once you get used to the programming, and work out an efficient schedule, you can save up to 40% in your electricity bills.

Let us have a quick look at its Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Simple, robust design
  • Easy to navigate and use App interface
  • Can be easily wall-mounted
  • Climate react feature helps in figuring out the appropriate temperature
  • Can be paired with Amozon alexa, google and Siri shortcuts
  • Supports Geo-fencing and IFTTT
  • Share the device between your loved ones

Cons:

  • Little pricey
  • Does not have motion sense
  • Works with AC units with IR sensors only

If you’re looking to replace your old thermostat with a new smart or WiFi thermostat, you may face the problem of adding a new C wire/common wire (if your current thermostat wiring doesn’t have one in place). We’ve clearly explained everything about C wire in our detailed guide. If you don’t have a c wire in your current wiring (between the furnace and thermostat), the best solution to add a new wire is to use a C wire adapter – like Venstar Add a Wire kit or use a 24 Volts C wire transformer.

A C wire adapter (common wire adapter) is basically a small electronic device, which re-purposes the existing wiring between your thermostat and the furnace, to add a new wire to the system. This new wire will serve as the C wire or common wire to provide necessary power to the thermostat. Installing an adapter is pretty easy and can be finished within 30 minutes to 1 hour time. Anyone who knows how to change an electric bulb, will find it easy installing a c wire adapter.

A C wire transformer is basically a 24 volts step down transformer adapter, which has to be plugged into a mains outlet. This device has 2 output wires which should be connected to the thermostat. If you have an outlet point somewhere near the thermostat (most transformers comes with 25 foot cable) , you can easily solve the C wire problem by connecting one wire to the C terminal and the other wire to Rc terminal of the thermostat.

C wire adapter or transformer ?

The installation method is entirely different for a C wire adapter (like Venstar) and a C wire transformer. A C wire transformer is quiet easy to setup as you just need to plug in the device and connect two wires to the thermostat. The problem with a C wire transformer is, you need to have a plug in outlet near to your thermostat location. Another issue is the long cable running inside the room (not hidden inside the wiring conduits), which tampers the visual beauty of your room interiors.

On the other hand, a C wire adapter is always hidden inside the furnace circuit box. There will be no wires running through the rooms or any such things that affect the interior aesthetics. A c wire adapter re-purposes the existing wires between the furnace and the thermostat. But the installation takes more time & a little effort compared to a c wire transformer. You’ll need to open the furnace circuit box, make some connections (according to instructions provided in the adapter kit), attach the kit onto furnace box, and finally make some more connections on thermostat terminals.

I’ll explain how to install both the devices using images and videos below. Let’s begin with a C wire transformer and finally move on to C wire adapter.

How to install C wire transformer ?

I am using Fyve C wire transformer as an example to demonstrate the installation process. Fyve – is one of the best selling and popular c wire transformer model. You’re free to buy any other model you feel good.  Take a look at the Fyve c wire transformer image given below.

24 volts c wire transformer
Fyve – C wire transformer – Source

The installation process is very simple. A C wire transformer has two output wires; connect one wire to Rc terminal and the other wire to C terminal of your thermostat. Once you finish this connection, plug the transformer to your mains power outlet. The installation is complete now and the thermostat will be powered upon switching ON the power outlet.

C wire transformer connection – Source

Watch the video given below and you’ll get a better idea of the installation process.

How to install C wire adapter

As I mentioned before, installing a C wire adapter is a perfect option as it leaves nothing externally visible (like those wires in the case of transformer). I am using Venstar – Add a Wire adapter to demonstrate the installation.

Steps of installation: The installation is divided into two sections; 1) steps at the thermostat 2) steps at the furnace circuit board

Note: Make sure to cut mains power to the furnace and the thermostat before you begin installation.

Installation steps at the thermostat:

The Venstar Add a Wire kit has the Venstar device (which is to be attached on furnace circuit board) and a wire pair (which is to be connected to thermostat terminals). This wire pair is simply a wire splitter, where a blue wire is splitted into yellow and green wires

  1. Open the thermostat plate and make the following connections
  2. Remove the wire on ‘G’ terminal and connect it to ‘C’ terminal
  3. Remove the wire on ‘Y1’ terminal and pair it with the ‘Blue’ colored wire on the wire pair. Enclose the open pairing with the caps provided.
  4. Connect the ‘Green’ wire (on the wire pair) to ‘G’ terminal and ‘Yellow’ wire (on the wire pair) to ‘Y1’ terminal
  5. Close the thermostat box.

Installation steps at the furnace circuit box

  1. Attach the venstar device onto the furnace circuit box (you can drill the screws provided into the mounting hole)
  2. Connect the ‘Red’ wire from venstar device to the ‘R’ terminal of furnace circuit board
  3. Connect the ‘common wire’ (in brown color) from the device to ‘C’ terminal on furnace circuit board
  4. Remove the wire on ‘G’ terminal (in furnace circuit) and connect it to ‘C’ terminal on furnace circuit
  5. Remove the wire on ‘Y1’ terminal (in furnace circuit) and connect the ‘Yellow’ wire from venstar device into the Y1 terminal.
  6. Connect the ‘Green’ wire from venstar device into the ‘G’ terminal on furnace circuit.
  7. Now there is one wire left on the venstar device, a ‘Blue’ colored wire. Pair this ‘Blue’ wire with the wire we have removed earlier from ‘Y1’ terminal, and close it with the caps provided.
  8. The installation is finished, close the furnace box and you can power the furnace now.

The video given below clearly explains how to install Venstar Add a Wire adapter kit.

So we have seen how to solve the C wire/common wire problem using a 24 volts transformer or a C wire adapter.

If you’re researching online to buy a new thermostat, you may have stumbled upon the term “C wire” or “Common wire” many times. Just like many other folks, you might be confused “What is a c wire?” In this guide on “thermostat c wire” – we explain everything you need to know about the Common wire,  known popularly as the C wire.

The purpose of a C wire is to ensure continuous flow of 24 volts AC power supply to the thermostat.

Back in the olden days, thermostats were just on/off switching devices and they used to draw the necessary power from the heating system itself (be it a furnace or a boiler). There was no need for the thermostat (old models) to be turned on 24/7, as they had nothing much to do while the furnace is not working.

Modern smart thermostats and WiFi enabled thermostats are feature rich, and they do continuous monitoring of weather, closely watch furnace performance (for energy savings), they have voice control, gps based features like geofencing, and they can be controlled from away places via internet. All these features demand the thermostat to be functioning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all the year. Thus modern thermostats require a continuous power supply and the C wire or Common wire is required for most thermostats to ensure 24 volts AC supply continuously.

Note: You might be thinking the R wire (Red wire) from furnace is already a power line and why a C wire is required! Well, the R wire is a power source but it does not ensure a continuous supply when the furnace is OFF. The C wire is more like a neutral wire (in electrical terms) and it completes the electrical circuit between the furnace (or any heating system) and the thermostat, thus ensuring a flawless power supply to thermostat even when the furnace is OFF.

How to know if you’ve C Wire

To know if you already have a C wire in your home wiring, there are two ways.

  1. Look at the backside of your thermostat
  2. Look at the circuit board of your furnace (heating system)

Examine Backside of your Current Thermostat

The easiest way to know if your home wiring already has a common wire is to examine the backside of your current thermostat. To do this examination, you may remove the face plate and take the thermostat out of the wall. Now you will see wires coming into different terminals of your thermostat marked R, W, Y, G, Rc, C, O/B etc. Look specifically for a wire attached to the terminal marked ‘C’ (as shown in the image below).

Caution: Before removing the face plate of thermostat, make sure you’ve cut the power supply to the thermostat (and the furnace/heating system).

Common Wire - Thermostat
“C Wire” coming into thermostat – Look “Blue” wire in ‘C’ terminal – Source

In the above image, a “Blue” coloured wire is coming into terminal marked “C”. Usually “C wire” or the Common Wire will be a blue coloured wire. But there is no particular standard for thermostat wires, so it can be any color like Yellow, Brown, Green or any other color.

If you see a wire of different color, say Yellow in the ‘C’ terminal of your current thermostat, most probably it should be your ‘C’ wire. You can verify this by opening the circuit board of your furnace, and make sure the same color wire is connected to the ‘C’ terminal on the furnace circuit board.  Take a look at the image given below.

C Wire in Thermostat
Yellow color wire connected in ‘C’ terminal – Source

In some cases, your old thermostat may not have a ‘C’ terminal. In such cases, there are chances that a ‘C wire’ is already in place but left unconnected. Look for any wire that is tucked away behind your thermostat. If there is any such wire, verify it as the common wire by examining the circuit board inside your furnace.

Examine Circuit Board of your Furnace/Heating System

In USA, the most commonly used heating systems are gas furnace, boiler or a heat pump. Some households use a combination of gas furnace & heat pump. In any case, your heating system will have a circuit board with terminals marked similar to the thermostat like R, W, Y C, O/B etc. You can identify/verify the common wire by examining this circuit board. Take a look at the 2 images given below.

Furnace Circuit Board - C Wire
C wire from furnace circuit board going to thermostat – source

If you observe the terminals, you can see two wires are tapped from ‘C’ terminal. The ‘black’ color wire is part of the set that goes to the thermostat. The ‘white’ color wire is part of the set that goes to the condenser unit. In another image given below, you can see the same C wire going to the thermostat terminals side.

Furnace common wire or c wire
C wire from furnace to thermostat – Source

I hope that was very clear! You now know how to look for a c wire or common wire in your heating system wiring. If you already have a C wire in place, you just need to connect the same C wire to the new thermostat (when you replace the old model). It is very simple and pretty straight forward. Read the installation manual of the new thermostat you buy and wire the device accordingly.

What if you don’t have Common Wire

If you don’t have a C wire running from the furnace, you’ve the following options.

  1. Install a new C wire
  2. Use a C wire Adapter
  3. Choose a thermostat that doesn’t need C wire or has an alternative solution

 

 

 

Since 1914, LUX has produced a wide range of thermostats from manual to smart. These come in decent budget and are filled with lots of features. One of its products LUX TX500Ua promises great features at a fair price. We shall give a detailed review about its specifications and features in this article.

LUX TX500Ua, can be used for a wide range of 24 volt single/multi stage heating systems as well as single stage cooling system. However, these cannot be used for line voltage heating system like electric baseboards.

It has a simple design, with the control push buttons secured inside the front panel. Only the temperature up/down and hold buttons can be seen on its front panel.

This programmable thermostat can be used to program different schedules for the weekdays and weekends(5- 2 programming). Not only this, you can also set a separate schedule for each day of the week in its 7 day programming option. The number periods for each day can be selected between 2 or 4 periods.

In case you do not need a routine, and want to change the temperature manually, this thermostat has the provision for that too.

The thermostat program is protected from the unauthorized hands, through the keypad lockout option provided.

The large display is quite useful to get an idea about the room temperature and helps to program effectively. It is designed to be read in any lighting conditions, as it is provided with backlight.

Another unique feature is its programmable air filter timer, where you can set the time after which the thermostat would remind you to change the air filter. This boosts the timely maintenance of the machine.

This was just an overview of the product; let us dig deep into the features of this programmable digital thermostat.

Design

If we talk about the design of LUXTX500a, it looks pretty standard. It comes in a rectangle shape, with the dimensions being 5.38x 3.38 x 1.1 inches. It has a LCD screen on its front and three long push buttons placed just right below the screen. The two of the push buttons are the “UP/Down” buttons, which are clearly indicated by the respective arrows. Between these two buttons, there is a “hold” button, which can be used to hold the room temperature at a set value, for as long as desired.

The push buttons are made of resilient semi soft plastic and hence are easy to push and use.

There are 3 slide buttons and two other push buttons too. These have been securely placed under the cover of the front panel. You will have to remove the cover every time you want to set/reset the fan, system or other settings related to the control.

Display

The LUX TX500a display provides all the vital information needed at one glance. You can see the room temperature on its one side and the set value on its other side. Other than this, it displays the mode, time, day and other options. You can read it under any lighting conditions as it has a backlight, which turns on for 10 seconds once any of the front panel buttons is pressed. It is long enough to see the current temperature and program. In case, there is a need for prolonged back illumination, you will have to press any of the buttons while the back light is still on. This will reset the 10 second timer, so that the screen will be illuminated for an extra 10 seconds.

Programming & Operation

LUX TX500a offers a variety of programming options, which makes the operation easy. To start with, once you remove the front cover, you will see the various options to control the system.

If you have a blower fan connected to the heating system, then you have the choice to choose between the “auto” mode and “on” mode, for the fan operation. The auto mode runs the blower according to the need and is an economical option to choose. However, if your home requires constant operation of blower fan, then you have the liberty to choose the “on”mode. It will run the fan continuously.

The system controls include: “heat”, “cool”, and “off”. While the heating and cooling system can be selected by switching to “heat” and “cool” modes, you can turn off the HVAC system by selecting the “off” mode.

There is an easy provision to change the system settings like day/time, temperature program, air filter program and run option, all these through a sliding switch. This means there is no need to scroll down a menu and make the change in settings, a tedious process.

All you will have to do is slide the switch to the required settings, you want to change, and use the UP/DOWN and hold button to set a value.

In case you have an electric heating system whose heating coils have become inefficient, LUX TX500a provides an option to accelerate the heating process through the “emer” or emergency heating button.

Now, these were the highlights that accentuate its easy and efficient operation. Let us move on to its programming options.

As already mentioned, this thermostat provides the user with a flexible programmable memory. You can choose the programming styles (5-2, 7 or manual) that suit your routine.

The 5-2 day programming style enables you to set a temperature program for the weekdays and weekends in two different combined process. This means you can schedule different temperature settings for the 5 weekdays and 2 weekends.

In 7 day programming, you can create a different schedule for each day of the week. The manual option is for those who do not want the thermostat to follow a specific routine and are comfortable in changing the temperature manually according to the current condition.

This thermostat also provides the user to choose from 2 or 4 periods for a day.

Another great option and minimizes effort is the “copy” feature. This copies the routine of a day to another day. It eases the process to programming the same schedule for 2 or more days.

Set temperature can be changed whenever necessary through the temperature override option, whereas the temperature hold option allows to set the value at a particular temperature for a long time.

Apart from programming the temperature settings, this thermostat allows its users to set the temperature swings and calibration, in the unlikely case of the inaccurate and inefficient working of the thermostat.

Even though the thermostat comes properly calibrated at the factory, and need not be altered, there may be cases when it needs to be changed. The thermostat allows you to add or subtract 5F from the room temperature in such cases.

Installation

If you are someone who is handy around the house and are familiar with wiring, the installation of this 2 wire thermostat will be easy for you. The instruction manual has a well described installation guide.

In case you need to use the heat blower fan, you will need to use the third “c” wire and connect it to the fan.

Compatibility

This thermostat boasts of being a universal thermostat, meaning it is compatible with all the HVAC systems. Except that it is not.

We can say it is compatible with almost all the HVAC systems which include:

Most single-stage 24-volt, heating and cooling systems, 1 stage heat / 1 stage cool: gas, oil, or electric systems, Single-stage heat pump systems (without auxiliary or emerency heat), 2-wire hydronic (hot water) zone valves, Millivolt heaters (including wall heaters / gas fireplaces).

NOTE: IT is NOT compatible with:

120/240 VAC line-voltage systems (without a transformer, Multi-stage heat pump systems (with auxiliary or emergency heat), 3-wire hydronic (hot water) zone valves.

Power Source

LUX TX500a is dual powered. This means it can be either operated with 2 AA alkaline batteries or can be powered by directly wiring to 24 V source.

These were the significant features of this budget friendly thermostat from the house of LUX products.

Let us take a quick look on to its pros and cons, before we wrap up this article.

Pros

  • Large, backlit display
  • Easy to use function buttons
  • Operation can be understood easily
  • Choice between 7 day, 5-2 day and manual programming
  • Choice between 2 or 4 periods for a day
  • Program can be prevented from unauthorized hands, by locking it
  • Temperature override  and hold option

Cons

  • Pretty basic and standard look
  • The front cover is hard to open
  • Need to frequently open the front cover to access the control buttons

 

When we mention about smart thermostats, NEST and ECOBEE are the two names that pop up in our minds. Even with their splendid design and the lucrative features tailored for complete comfort, they come at a cost that is sure to burn your pockets.

Needless to say, their high price makes us think twice before investing a hefty amount on them. Hence, companies thrive to manufacture affordable alternatives to these thermostats. The LUX GEO WH Wi-Fi  is one such smart thermostat model.

LUX Product Corporation, on June 22, 2015 released on of its smart thermostat model, which had almost every smart feature and would fit in to a decent budget range.  Being true to their philosophy of designing products that ensure comfort and easy access, this thermostat will not disappoint you.

With the price it comes, it has various features which make it no less than a smart thermostat.

The Wi-Fi enabled LUX/GEO thermostat is the first of its kind to be truly powered by batteries. You can choose which power source you need for your LUX/GEO thermostat. You can either use batteries or use the C-wire to get power directly from the source or even use a micro-USB cord to power up this thermostat. If you use the C-wire or USB to power up, this thermostat can be used with Amazon Alexa enabled devices too.  

This 7 day programmable smart thermostat gives you 2 options: either set 2 periods for a day or set 4 periods for a day. This gives the flexibility to program the schedule in our way. The dial placed on the front is used to change the set temperature.

The LUX/GEO thermostat can be used to control the HVAC systems like Conventional heat & A/C up to 2-stage heat/2-stage cool, heat pumps with up to 2-stage heat/2-stage cool (including aux/emergency heat),3-wire heat only hydronic systems (hot water, baseboard and radiator)and Gas millivolt heater. It cannot be used for line voltage heaters like an electric baseboard.

The geo fencing feature of LUX GEO thermostat is another of its main feature that sets it apart from its high priced competitors. This feature tremendously helps to reduce the energy consumption in the long run.  

This was a brief overview of LUX GEO thermostat, let us dig deep into its various features.

Design

When you compare the LUX GEO thermostat with the Nest Learning and Ecobee 3, you may not like the look of it. It is rectangle in shape with 5.8(W) x1.5(D) x 3(H) inches and looks like a basic thermostat. One good thing is that it can be mounted in any way, either horizontally or vertically. It has a 2 x 2-inch LCD display on one side and the other side has a 2 inch diameter dial. The dial side is rounded off at the edges. The thermostat thickness is about 1.5 inches and this means it will project a bit more than a normal thermostat.

This model gives you the option to choose between its two finishes. One is white with pearl chrome accent and the other one is black with black chrome accent. It is one of those few wi-fi enabled thermostats that give you such choices!

Display

The 2 x 2-inch LCD display of the LUX GEO thermostat is quite large and displays all the vital information. The LCD screen is backlit, so you have visibility at all times. You can control how long the screen needs to stay lit. It can either stay all day long or just automatically turn off after 5-15 seconds.

The interface kind of looks like an old school model with the large, blocky, black and white fonts used to display the information on its LCD screen.   You can make selections on screen using the dial. It is simple to use and hence the temperature settings can be changed by anyone.

The display prompts whether the thermostat is being used with a heating or cooling device, the room temperature, the set temperature, the date, whether the wi-fi is connected or not, among many other things. You can navigate through its settings and learn a lot more.

Program and control options

Since this is a programmable thermostat, and not a self learning thermostat, you will have to program the temperatures, which is good, if you do not have a fixed routine.

It gives you the liberty to choose whether you want it for heating or cooling. Also, if you select the auto mode, it will automatically toggle between cooling and heating systems, once you have set the appropriate temperatures.

Also, for each day you can schedule temperatures for either 2 periods or 4 periods.

The round dial does the selection for you. You will have to press at the top of the dial to select the desired option from the menu. In case you want to go back to the menu, press at the bottom of the wheel.

The control can also be done remotely, when the Wi-Fi is enabled. You will have to install the LUX  GEO app on your android/iOS device to completely control the thermostat from virtually anywhere.

This means even if you are away, you can set the schedule in a way that you get to enter into a cosy home, after a long tiring day.  

You can also lock the temperature settings, such that it is free from wandering and unauthorized hands. The LUX GEO app has a collection of energy profiles to choose from, so that you program and control the thermostat in the most economical manner.

Once the Wi-Fi is enabled, you can control multiple LUX Geo thermostats installed at different rooms in your house through the APP itself.

There is also an option to control LUX GEOS installed in different houses, through the APP.

This control feature is great, if you are a constant traveller.

Geofencing feature

LUX GEO, as you can guess from the name itself boasts of the one of the newest feature trending in the market and that is the geo fencing feature.

Geo fencing feature lets you choose a virtual fence around your house. The thermostat here is connected to your phone or tablet through Wi-Fi, then when you(that is your phone) moves away out of this fence, the thermostat turns up the AC or heater to a more energy efficient temperature.

This is a great one, especially when you have random in and out schedules. It avoids reprogramming every time you enter the house.

In case, you do not need this feature, there is an option to disable it also. This is what makes this thermostat so flexible in its operation. You can personalise the settings according to your needs and convenience.

Compatibility

This thermostat is ideal for a HVAC unit like Conventional heat & A/C up to 2-stage heat/2-stage cool, heat pumps with up to 2-stage heat/2-stage cool (including aux/emergency heat),3-wire heat only hydronic systems (hot water, baseboard and radiator)and Gas millivolt heater.

However, if you want a smart thermostat for your eat pump with (Y2) two compressor stages or a line voltage heating systems (120/240) like an electric baseboard, LUX GEO is NOT for you.

Installation

 The LUX GEO thermostat has a bi-directional mounting design. This enables to install it either horizontally or vertically. It also comes with a 24V C-wire, which can be used for powering it up. You can also install this thermostat without the C-wire. This thermostat’s installation process is a bit different from its NEST and ECOBEE counterparts, where you only have to  insert the wires to their respective slots. Here while installing the LUX GEO, the wires need to be screwed to their respective places.

Other than that the installation process is quite basic and can be done easily by following the installation guide that comes with this product.

Power Source

One of the main highlights of this thermostat is its ability to power up fully using only 2 AA batteries. It can be powered up by any of the three methods, which include: battery source, direct line source through 24V C-wire and a USB micro plug.

So even if you do not have the provision to install the unit with the C wire, you always have the option to power it up with 2 AA batteries.

Cost

With all the features it possess, it is almost like a smart thermostat. The only thing missing is a touch-screen display.

For all its features, the price is quite reasonable when you compare it with the high end smart thermostat producers like the NEST and ECOBEE.

Go for it, if you want a smart thermostat in a reasonable price.

Quick Overview:

Let us now discuss the pros and cons of the LUX GEO Thermostat briefly to conclude the article.

PROS:

  • Geo fencing
  • Reasonable price
  • Simple design and easy to use interface
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • Can be controlled through LUX GEO app on you Android/iOS device
  • Energy settings suggested to minimize the energy bill
  • Available in 2 colour finish
  • 7 day programming with the flexibility to program either 2 or 4 periods per day.

CONS:

  • Does not support many home automation hub like IFTT
  • Amazon Alexa is enabled only when the C-wire is used.
  • The black and white, blocky font n the LCD display looks outdated

All in all, the LUX GEO gives you the luxury of a smart thermostat without giving you a hole in your pocket

 

“LUX TX100E – Customisable, Simple, Efficient 7 Day Programmable Thermostat”

LUX, the Philadelphia based product company, is one of those leading thermostat providers which produce quality products under a decent budget. They have wide range of thermostat models in market from a basic thermostat to a high end smart thermostat.

Here, we discuss the TX 100 model, which is a programmable low voltage thermostat from the house of LUX.

This 7 day programmable thermostat is highly customizable and very easy to use. It can be programmed for a straight 7days of the week or can be programmed differently for 5 weekdays and 2 weekends. Not only you can program the temperature schedule, you can also program the configuration of this thermostat. This makes it highly customizable for the operation.

TX 100 is designed to be used for low voltage(24V)heating and cooling systems. It has a sleek body with easy to use push buttons to select the temperature and other features from the menu on its LCD screen.

You will be free from the clicking noises while the thermostat turns on/off, it performs silently. The attractive, mercury free design is no rocket science to use. It is designed in a way which can be operated by anyone.

It also provides temporary override and manual hold option which gives you the flexibility to change the preset temperature, in case there is a change in your schedule.

Another great feature of this thermostat is that it provides the freedom to adjust the heating and cooling requirements. There is slide up/down button on its front panel that serves the purpose of selecting the heating cooling options.

This was just an overview of what to expect from this thermostat in brief. To know more about its features, read on.

Design

The TX 100E thermostat has a dimension of 1.1×5.4×3.4 inches and weighs around 8 pounds. It has an attractive, mercury free design which is not only environment friendly but also looks good on any wall. It has control buttons on its front panel which include push button and slide button.

The set, next, hold and up/down push buttons have been placed for control of software settings. The slide buttons have been given to control the blower fan and the heating cooling system.

The heating/cooling system can be turned off by sliding the button to the “off” position. While using the thermostat for heating, you can choose the heating option. Same is for the cooling system.

This control panel is easy to use and understand, hence can be operated by anyone without much effort. The LCD screen displays all the vital information and acts as an interface while programming.

Display

Since, the LCD screen plays an important role while programming, it needs to be easily read and understood. The TX100E thermostat’s LCD screen is big enough to ensemble all the important information. It shows the mode, the ambient temperature, time and date. If you want to view the set temperature, simply press the up/down button.

You can change the menu settings, through the menu options displayed on the screen when either of the set/next buttons are pressed. You can also choose which temperature format needs to be displayed: either Fahrenheit or Celsius.

The interface is clear and can be read in all lighting conditions. This is because the screen gets illuminated for 10 seconds when any of the buttons are pressed. If any one of the buttons are pressed again while the backlight is on, then the screen will be illuminated for additional 10 seconds.

Programming options

LUX TX100E thermostats provides 2 programming styles to choose from. One is weekday-weekend (5-2)programming style and the other one is an individual routine for each day of the week (7 day programming). You can also choose not to program a schedule by using the manual mode of the thermostat. Here, the thermostat will not follow any routine ad maintain the temperature at the set temperature until it is changed manually using the up/down buttons.

By default, this thermostat uses 4 periods for each day. However, you can change to 2 periods per day as well, according to your convenience. Also, if you feel like changing the temperature setting while the thermostat is working, you need not reprogram the whole schedule again. For this, the temperature override option has been given. It sets the temperature to a new value, while the thermostat is still on.  

There is also the option to copy a day’s setting to set the schedule for another day. This saves a lot of time in setting a schedule for days which need similar programs.

In any case, you need the feel to hold a temperature at a set value but want to follow a routine also, and then you can use the temperature hold button. Here, the temperature will be held at a particular value for indefinite time, as long as it is released.

Since, this thermostat can be used for heating and cooling system, it provides the option to program for both these systems separately.

Another remarkable feature of this thermostat is that, not only can you program the temperature settings but also can do it for calibration settings. Any case, if you feel the results are not accurate and calibration needs to be changed, then you can adjust the room temperature measurement to as low as subtracting 5 degrees to as high as adding 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Compatibility

TX100E thermostat from LUX is a low voltage thermostat and is designed to work with single stage heating system only. It can be used with a fan blower system only if the “G” wire is used.

It is compatible with: gas, oil, electric or single stage heat pump systems, 2-wire heat-only hydronic systems (hot water baseboard and radiator), Millivolt systems (wall heaters/furnaces and gas fireplaces)

It is not compatible with:  Multi-stage heat pumps, 3-wire hydronic zone valve systems and Line voltage systems (120/240 VAC)

Installation

This thermostat can be installed with 2 or 3 wires. In case you need to control the fan blower, you must install the “G” wire.

Installation process has been given in detail in the operation manual of the thermostat. It is advisable to hire a professional help for the same, if you are not quite familiar with the home wiring techniques.

Power Source

TX 100E is a dual powered thermostat. This means it can either be powered using 2 AA batteries or can be directly powered through the 24V system.

Miscellaneous features

  • No clicking sound while turning on/off. Fully silent operation makes it suitable to be placed in any room.
  • The configurable temperature swing value gives you the flexible to adjust how much the temperature can be allowed to “swing” before the thermostat starts it operation.
  • Keep it safe from the unauthorized hands by locking the keypad.

 

These were the main features of the TX100E programmable thermostat in detail. Let us now conclude by listing out the pros and cons of the product.

PROS

  • Backlit display
  • Option to turn off the heating/cooling system
  • Silent operation
  • Adjustable temperature swing and calliberation
  • Accurate room temperature sensor
  • Easy to program
  • Dual powered
  • 7 day or 5-2 Day programming

CONS

  • Cannot be used for multi stage heating/cooling systems
  • Not compatible with electric line heaters

For so long until 2017, a proper smart thermostat was not available for baseboard heaters and line voltage based heating systems.  In 2017, MySa thermostat was launched in the market – which is a smart thermostat exclusively designed for line voltage heating systems like baseboard heaters, fan forced heaters, convectors and for radiant ceiling heaters. MySa comes packed with a lot of smart features like WiFi connectivity, internet based control using apps, voice control by interfacing to smart home hubs (Alexa, Homekit, Google Home etc), energy reports and a lot more. 

Thermostats were really “old school” till 2011, and many households were using a simple digital programmable or manual thermostat variant. A revolution was started when Nest labs first introduced smart thermostats in 2011. Since then, lots of new smart and internet connected models like Ecobee, Honeywell RTH9585WF, and Emerson Sensi has gained popularity.

All these revolutions were happening in low voltage thermostat models suitable for central furnaces, heat pumps and central boiler systems. No innovation was happening in thermostats for line volt systems like baseboard heaters until 2017, and Empowered Homes Ltd (headquartered in Canada) put an end to this by launching its  innovative smart thermostat Mysa for line volt systems.

In a nutshell, Mysa is currently the best WiFi enabled smart thermostat for line voltage systems, which can be controlled via internet, has a user friendly mobile app, can be interfaced to smart home hubs for voice control, and is compatible with 120/240 volts, delivering a max output power of 3800 watts at 16 amps current.

This beautifully designed 5.7” tall x 3.8” wide x 1.1” thick thermostat comes in soft white rectangular box type structure. This sleek design blends well into any wallpaper and gives a stylish, elegant look to your wall.

The subtle LED light on its surface shows the ambient room temperature and two control UP/DOWN arrows. The controller is cooled by the heat sink that adds to the big size of this thermostat.   

This unit is compatible with the 120V/240V line heating systems like the electric baseboards and supports loads up to 3800Watts.

In order to control the device remotely, you will need to first install the device and then set up the app on your phone.  The app works in both android and iOS devices, and allows you to set up customized comfort from literally anywhere.

The device has self learning abilities and learns your schedule, that is if you have a fixed routine, and programs accordingly for you.

There are quite a few smart, self learning line voltage from Stelpro, ATMOS etc. Here, we shall talk about the features those MYSA smart thermostat posses.

What makes MySa smart thermostat different?

One of the major problems that some of the smart thermostats faced was the lack of proper connectivity and the need for a third party hub. MYSA thermostat has been designed to overcome these issues.

It has relatively good wi-fi connectivity and the MYSA app is also quite user friendly. You need not be a tech guru, to use this app.

Also it works with the popular smart home hubs like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT etc. This means you need not require to install any third party hubs.

Therefore, if all you want in a smart thermostat is that it should work well with its wi-fi connections, MYSA thermostat is the right choice for you.

Design

The Mysa thermostat sports a sleek, modern, yet minimalist rectangular design. It looks like a small white box which may seem a bit thick. It adds to the style quotient of your modern home.  

The display shows current room temperature and two arrows (up/down) to change the temperature setting on device. Temperature and the arrows are displayed using LED, which resembles the dotted displays of the past with a modern outlook. The display is capacitive touchscreen, and the UP/DOWN arrows can be touched to increase or decrease the temperature setting. 

Mysa is a little bulkier in build and the thickness is due to the big heat sink used to cool off the Triac based switching IC. Many conventional thermostats uses relay based switching which is inefficient compared to triac switching. Though the use of triac makes the device bulkier, it gives significant benefits in terms of faster switching, higher efficiency and energy savings. 

The brightness of the display can be adjusted through the mysa app. It can be turned completely off or set to a light in the 10- 100 percent brightness range. It is wired directly to the power supply and hence discards the need of using batteries.

Next thing, which makes a thermostat smart, is its in built sensors. Let us see what this thermostat has to offer in regard to its sensors.

Sensors

If we talk about its in-built sensors, then it is embedded with humidity and temperature sensors. These predict the amount of humidity and temperature of your room. It reflects the measured value on its screen, through a subtle LED light. This helps the thermostat to maintain the temperature of the room.

When the temperature sensor measures the room temperature to a value, which is far from the set value, the thermostat works at a high power. This power is reduced as the room temperature approaches the set value.

The display shows how much power is being used by the thermostat. A single small flame indicates low energy consumption, while 3 small flames indicate highest energy consumption.

The one drawback with this model is that it lacks motion sensor. This effectively means that it does not offer any native geo fencing feature, which is one of the helpful tools in reducing the energy usage.

Talking about the remote sensors, it senses the outside temperature when integrated with the smart hub like IFTTT through the MYSA app on your phone.

Sensor Specs

Temperature Precision: +/- 0.4 F / 0.1 ℃
Humidity: +/- 2%
Control Range: Complete Off, 5-30 ℃

Customised Comfort

MYSA can be controlled from anywhere through its app on any android/iOS device. You can set the temperature and schedule according to your routine, easily through this app. You can set up to a total of 56 temperature set points for the whole week. This means that, if you spread the temperature set points evenly over the week, you can set up to 8 temperature values a day.

You can create zones in your home, by using two or more thermostat which needs to work on same schedule, through the MYSA app. You can create your customized schedule and save it for future. Also, if you have a fixed routine, the MYSA thermostat learns it and implements it accordingly.  Your thermostat will work according to your schedule, and deliver its best performance. In case you need to change the temperature in a particular zone, you can use the “Hold indefinitely” option. This overrides the set temperature to the new value.

Energy Saver

When you invest in such a high priced smart thermostat, you need to know if its worth the price. A smart thermostat is placed in your smart home, to help you save energy in a smart way. So, you have to choose a thermostat which would help you for the same.

How this smart thermostat aids in saving the energy? Well. it generates real time energy usage reports which lets you check where and how much energy is being wasted. This helps you in generating an optimal schedule that not only suits your life style, but also your pocket.

Another cool feature is its easy to activate, vacation mode. If you are going away on a vacation, then set the vacation mode on. The thermostat will work accordingly.

There is also an option to cut off the supply between the thermostat and the heater. This means, you can use the thermostat only when it is needed.

The MYSA app also estimates how much energy bill you will have to pay, according to the energy usage.

Compatibility & Tech Specs

MySa is a line voltage/high voltage thermostat that works with 110 volt or 220 volt systems. 

MySa thermostat is compatible with most of the line voltage heating systems like:

  • Electric baseboard heater,
  • Convectors (short cycle),
  • Fan-forced convectors (long-cycle),
  • Radiant ceiling heating
  • Self-contained hydronic baseboards.

Note: MySa thermostat can not be used with low voltage systems like Central furnace based systems, boiler heating systems, heat pumps or any other system that comes under low voltage operation.  

Electrical Ratings
  • Output – up to 3,800 Watts (maximum)
  • Voltage – 120V / 240V AC
  • Max Current – 16 Amperes 

MySa Installation

First of all, MySa is a high voltage/line voltage thermostat. If you don’t have prior experience in handling electrical wiring, you should not try to install a line voltage thermostat yourself. You’d be better off calling a qualified electrical technician to do the installation for you.  Otherwise, if you have enough basic technical knowledge about electrical systems, and if you’ve done some electrical installations before, you can easily install a MySa thermostat following the well explained installation guide.

MySa has published a demo installation video in Youtube. You may watch if you want to get an idea of MySa thermostat installation.

The beautiful hardware features accompanied with the basic smart thermostat features makes this thermostat a good choice. Before wrapping up this review, here are the pros and cons of the product listed briefly.

Pros

  • Sleek, robust design
  • Reliable wireless connectivity
  • Temperature and humidity sensors with high precision
  • Schedule up to 56 temperature points, that is around 8 temperature set points for each day
  • Works really well and in sync with popular smart home hubs like the Apple Homekit, Google Home, Amazon Alexa and IFTTT.
  • Voice control via smart home hubs.
  • Use of TRAIC Integrated circuit instead of a relay helps the thermostat to heat up at different intensities, which in turn increases the thermostat efficiency
  • Energy usage reports available in mobile app helps in proper energy use monitoring and save energy by taking necessary action.
  • Quick set of the vacation mode
  • Supports multi zone feature

Cons

  • Lack of motion sensor.
  • No native Geofencing, which is quite useful in reducing the energy consumption.
  • Does not support Samsung smartthings hub as of now.
  • Use of large heat sink for the TRAIC IC makes the product thick and bulky.

To wrap up, MySa is currently the best line voltage thermostat with WiFi feature for systems like baseboard heaters. If you’re serious about WiFi feature, you should not look beyond MySa as its wireless connectivity is very reliable. Also, there are not many choices for line volt thermostats with WiFi feature and a well designed mobile application. Though there are models like Stelpro KI, they require third party hubs like an Z wave controller to connect to home WiFi network or internet. And the mobile app for Stelpro model is substandard. Overall, MySa is really a winner & the best choice (if you’ve enough budget) as a modern, smart line voltage thermostat.

One of the main concerns while installing a HVAC system at our homes is the amount of energy it consumes. To make the optimal utilization of the heating/cooling systems, thermostats need to be installed. However, even if we love the smart thermostats from the leading NEST, ECOBEE brands, their price tag may seem heavy for you when you are on a tight budget.

Nevertheless, companies like the LUX products, thrive to produce an affordable thermostat without compromising much on its quality. One such product from this manufacturer is the LUX TX9600TS.

It is a 7 day programmable thermostat and is compatible with almost every heating and cooling unit. The large, touch-screen digital display adds to the elegant look of this unit. It has two small sliding switches for fan control and to turn on/off the heating/cooling system.

Another remarkable feature of this unit from LUX is the flexibility to choose the number of periods per day. You can choose either 2 periods or 4 periods programming for a day. Each day of the week can have different schedule, according to your routine.

You can always switch to the non programmable mode in this thermostat, where you can set the temperature manually. The thermostat will continue to work at this temperature, unless it is programmed at a different set value.

The programmable touch screen has a lock option, which prevents it from unwanted changes through wandering hands. Also, the temperature override and temperature manual hold option amplify the versatile nature of this unit.

The temperature format can be switched between Fahrenheit and Celsius by selecting appropriate option from the user friendly menu. There is an optional recovery feature too, which aims to reach the set value of the temperature at the scheduled time by changing the temperature setting early.

Let us dig deep and learn more about its features.

Design

One of the things which we have in the back of our mind, while shopping for a thermostat is its look. We tend to go for models with an elegant look which would exemplify the beauty of the inner walls of our home.

The LUX TX9600TS may fall into a medium budget category, but it does not compromise on its look and style. It blends with any wall and adds charm to your home while providing the comfort you need. It comes in a 5.4×1.1×3.4 inches rectangle shaped unit. It has a large, touch-screen digital display, right on its front and two slide-push buttons on its side.  One of the switches is provided to control the blower fan and the other is to select the system mode.

Overall the thermostat is designed to give the user easy to access features and hence can be considered user-friendly

Display

As already mentioned, LUX TX9600TS sports a digital, large touch-screen display. The display interface gives quick, clear information about the temperature, day, date and other vital system information.  The easy to read display comes with a backlight to assist you in viewing in dark, dim lighting conditions.

The backlight is activated for 10 sec, once you tap anywhere on the screen. Also, this time is extended for the next 10 seconds, if you tap on the screen while the backlight is on.

The top most portion of the display shows whether the thermostat is being utilized for heating or cooling. If the heat system is working, you will see small flame like icon, and if the cooling system is on, you will see snowflake icon there. This assists you in monitoring your HVAC system.

Programming & Operation

The LUX TX9600TS gives you the option to program a different schedule for each of the 7 days of the week. Also, you can select whether you want 2 or 4 periods for a day. This benefits the users, with no fixed routine.

This thermostat has 2 control slide switches, which enhances it usability.

The upper switch is the fan mode switch and has 2 options: Auto mode and On mode. When the “auto mode” is selected, the thermostat will automatically turn on and off the blower fan according to the needs. When the “on mode” is selected, the blower will be turned on continuously.

Auto mode is preferable as it optimizes the energy usage.

The lower switch is to control the system settings. It has three options: Off, heat, cold.
“OFF”– Turns off the HVAC system, “Heat”- Turns on the heating system, “Cold” Turns on the cooling system.

Another useful option provided by this manufacturer’s unit, is the temperature override and temperature manual hold. It lets you change the set temperature at anytime. Also, the emergency heat option is a great plus for those with heat pump configuration. It prevents the heat pump to waste energy, in case the outside temperature dips drastically. When in emergency heat mode, the display will show “Emer Heat” instead of “Heat mode”.

The system menu offers numerous options which, when used to program a schedule properly can save a lot of energy being wasted.

In case you need the thermostat to follow a same routine for more than one day, you can make use of the program copy feature. This allows you to copy a schedule from one day to another day, without the need to create a separate program schedule.

This unit has adjustable temperature swings, the minimum temperature swing being +/-0.25°F, which is fine to produce accurate results and good functioning. This swing can be altered when needed. Another unique feature is its adjustable temperature offset and energy usage monitor.  

  Installation

While buying a thermostat to replace an old one, or even for a new home, one thing that bothers is its installation process.

Installation for this thermostat has been well explained by videos on Youtube and also in its installation guide. If you are familiar with home wiring, you can carry it yourself, using these aids.

One thing, though which might look like a problem is that you need to take off the back for the installation. For this you need to use the second of the three flaps given on its top. You have to oush it back from the other two flaps and it will flip open.

If your heating system has a blower fan, you will need to connect it to the “C” wire. Only then can you switch the blower on/off.

Compatibility

Even though the manufacturers boast this thermostat to be “universal compatible” thermostat, this does not work with certain heating systems like:
Line voltage electric baseboard heater and two stage cooling systems

Other than this it is compatible with almost all other North American heating and single stage cooling systems which include: two stage heat/ one stage cool (gas, oil, electric, or single stage heat pump systems, two wire heat only hydronic systems (hot water baseboard & radiator) and millivolt systems (wall heaters, furnaces & gas fireplaces).

Power Source

This thermostat can be powered in three ways. One way is to power it up with the 24 voltage AC alone , the second way is to power it up with only batteries(2 AA alkaline) and the third one is to power it up partially by 24 V AC and the batteries.

The thermostat works better when powered by batteries alone. You can program it even when it is taken off the wall, if powered by batteries alone.

Now that the basic features have been discussed, let us have a look at its pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Adjustable programming for each day of the week
  • Choice of 2 or 4 periods for a day
  • Adjustable temperature swings
  • Dual powered(both battery operated and 24 volt AC operated)
  • Easy to read, backlit large display
  • System turn off option
  • Blower fan control option
  • Program copy function
  • Compatible with almost all multi stage heating and single stage cooling system

Cons:

  • It cannot be used for electric baseboard heaters and multi stage cooling systems
  • Works better when operated with batteries

In a nutshell, LUX TX9600TS feature packed thermostat and one of the good options available in the market for its price.

 

Ever since thermostats have been serving the mankind, it has undergone numerous makeovers in terms of its shape and features. As we tend to create a smarter home, with each passing year, the add on features available are plenty. Now the thermostats not just control the temperatures control the temperatures by themselves, but are smart enough to save you great bucks in terms of energy bills.

Although these add ons have made life simpler in terms of the output they produce, it is quite tiresome to learn the new technology and the associated programming, for a common person.  Also, the budget needed to buy these high end thermostats may burn your pockets.

Therefore, there are some of us who still like the good old manual thermostat models, which are still untouched by the new generation digitalization wave.

They are simple to use and very light on the pockets. One such popular manual thermostat model is the Honeywell’s manual double pole premium YCT410B1000/U model. These are line volt thermostats and come in single pole variant as well. The Honeywell T410A1013 is its single pole model variant.

This article describes the features and operation of this Honeywell manual thermostat.

If you are buying a thermostat for the first time, then you must be wondering what do the single pole and double pole terms signify.

Basic difference between single pole and double pole thermostats

A single pole or 2 wire thermostat, keeps the heater on at a minimum set temperature at all times. It does not cut off the heater completely from the power source. This may pose some safety concerns in the case where temperature dips suddenly in your absence.

If the temperature goes below the set minimal temperature, the heater gets turned on automatically. If this happens when you are on a vacation with things lying near to the heater, a serious fire mishap may occur.

A double pole or a 4 wire thermostat, on the other hand, has a “turn off “ option wherein, the heater is turned off completely. This makes this model more reliable and hence is more popular among the consumers.

If we talk about the Honeywell manual thermostat, its double pole variant is more popular than its single pole variant, even when almost all its features are quite similar.

This thermostat is ideal for a line voltage baseboard heater and is rated at 120 – 240V ,5280 Watts.

The single knob controller makes it super easy to use. The installation manual guides through the installation of this product to make the process a breeze.

Let us dig deep into more of its features.

Basic Design

The 2.2 x 2.8 x 4.5 inches rectangle shaped thermostat from the house of Honeywell has a very basic box like design. The front panel has a dial to set the temperature at the desired value. The thermostat design goes well with any wall and kind of looks like an old school fan regulator.

The mounting base is made of rugged plastic which makes it robust. It has a single cover and has vents on both top and bottom. The temperature is displayed in Fahrenheit, in both the variants of the thermostat. You need to handle the product carefully, mishandling or extra pressure on the know, may damage the dial and sensor.

The temperature range over which this thermostat controls is 50C to 250C.

The only difference in design between the two variants is that the leftmost position in the single pole thermostat indicates the minimum temperature that can be set, while the leftmost position in the double pole thermostat is marked “off”. The “off” mark indicates that the heater is turned off.

Bi metallic temperature Sensor

The accuracy of this thermostat owes to its bi metallic temperature sensor. This sensor uses the two fundamental properties of a metal: the thermal expansion and the temperature coefficient. Here two thin metallic strips are bonded together in a way that there is no motion between them.

This basic sensor is less expensive and is one of the reasons behind the low cost of this manual Honeywell thermostat.

This sensor works well to sense the high temperatures; however it may not generate accurate result at low temperatures. The accuracy of this thermostat is found to be +/-5 degrees.

Operation

The operation of a manual thermostat is the simplest. You are free from the hassles of programming the desired room temperature and there are no issues of memory outage. All you need to do is turn the knob to the desired temperature level.

If you intend to use the single pole variant, be sure of keeping your valuables away from the heater. The heater gets heated up unexpectedly with a sudden temperature dip. This poses serious safety concerns if not monitored properly.

The double pole variant has no such issues, you can turn off the heater when not required and set the temperature when heating is needed.

If the thermostat is used for the first time, it is recommended to set the temperature at 20oC and check whether the heating done is satisfactory. If you do not get a satisfactory output even after 2 hours, try setting the knob to increase or decrease the temperature as required.

Compatibility

The line Manual thermostat from the house of Honeywell can be used for the temperature control of a radiant cable, electric baseboard and resistive rated fan forced heaters within the ratings: 22A at 120/240, 5280Watts.

 

This cannot be used for inductive loads like contactor/relay.

 

Low on maintenance

This Honeywell’s thermostat needs limited care. It comes with a trouble shooting guide, which explains all the possible problems that may occur along with the remedies.

Like for example if there is an issue with the heating, the guide will help you understand the cause and look for a suitable solution.

Installation

The installation is quite easy and effective. You will need to read all the instructions carefully and follow them to get the best results. If your heater has been inoperative for a long period of time, ensure that the heating system is in working condition before installing this device.

Check the thermostat before using it, by turning the heater on first and then turning the thermostat knob fully towards left and then right. Once you hear the clicking sound and the heating system starts working, you can be ensured that the thermostat has been installed properly.

It is recommended to contact a professional, if you do not have any prior experience handling household wirings.

 

Power Source

This thermostat is wired directly to the line source and does not need batteries to operate. This means you will be free from the hassle of changing the batteries and its related cost.

Now that you got a detailed idea about this basic model from Honeywell’s, let us wrap up this article with an overview of its pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Simple design
  • Rugged plastic makes it strong
  • Easy to use knob
  • Comes in two variants: double pole and single pole
  • Easy to install
  • Works with 120-220V electric baseboard heater upto 5280 Watts
  • Reasonable price

 

Cons:

  • Cannot be used for inductive loads
  • Accuracy is quite low: about +/-5 degrees
  • Bimetallic sensor gives less accurate results at low temperatures.

Thermostats are generally needed during the cold, chilly winter days. If you are ready to buy a new thermostat and need a basic one, this one is ideal for you. It is cost effective and keeps your room nice and toasty at a temperature you wish.

Hope this article helped you to learn the features of the Honey well 4 wire/2wire premium manual thermostat.

Thermostats are one little piece of technology, which have an imperative role in the day-to-day comfort of almost every North American citizen. Ever since Andrew Ure, the Scottish scientist who patented the first bi-metallic thermostat, this small temperature controller has come a long way.

In the late 19th century, around 1884, Albert Butz who invented the formed the “Butz Thermoelectric Regulator Company”, which later got merged and is now one of the iconic thermostats manufacturers in the history of thermostats, the Honeywell Inc.

With more than 180 years of hard work and a vision to provide comfortable and energy efficient solutions to the mankind, Honeywell Inc have produced umpteen number of thermostats ranging from the very basic manual ones to the high end, self learning thermostats.  

These days when digitalization and internet of things are taking over people’s life, there are still some of us who like the simpler version of technology. If you are one of them, then you might like the product I am going to discuss in this article, Honeywell’s RLV3120A1005 digital non-programmable thermostat.

The house of Honeywell launched this simple yet efficient non-programmable line thermostat for electric baseboard heaters, convectors and radiant fan ceilings, back in December 14, 2009. It is rated for 2000 watts at 240 volts and 1000 watts at 120 volts, which means they would be suitable for a 7-9 foot heater.

Honeywell RLV3120A1005 thermostat’s design

Honeywell’s RLV3120A1005 unit has a dimension of 1.5 x 6.5 x 9 inches. This rectangle shaped thermostat weighs around 6.4 ounces and has a smooth white surface with the exteriors made of strong plastic. The front panel constitutes of a digital LCD screen and two push buttons. The buttons are made of plastic, which may not feel great to press as these designed to be a little tilted away from you.

What about its LCD display?

The LCD display is quite large and can be easily read by anyone. It displays the ambient temperature in either Fahrenheit format or the Celsius format. You can choose either of the formats. The display temperature range of this thermostat is 0 °C to 50 °C.

Coming back to its display, one major drawback I see is that it does not have a backlight.

Below the temperature you will find small flames like symbol. This indicates the heating intensity of your heater. In case the heater is not working, you won’t see this symbol. The number of flames seen can be anywhere from 1 to 5, depending on the heating intensity. A single flame symbol indicates that the heater needs to run at 20% intensity (max.) to reach the desired temperature.

This means if you see, for example 3 flames symbol, it indicates that your heating unit may run at at least (3×20)60% intensity to reach the desired temperature. This is a nice feature, since it gives an idea about the heat energy being consumed.

Operation of RLV3120A1005

The operation of this non-programmable thermostat from Honeywell is really simple. Anyone can use it, as it is plain basic. This is the main reason why this product is a wise choice for you, if you are one of those who hate the high end technologies and the complicated operation associated with them.

Just set the temperature to a desired value, and you are good to go. The thermostat will do the rest job to attain and maintain the temperature at the desired value.

How to change/ view the set temperature on the LCD screen?

As already mentioned this unit has 2 push buttons on its front panel, which serve the purpose of temperature adjustment. You can set the temperature in the range of 5 °C to 30 °C.

They are also there for another reason also. Press either of these two buttons, and you will see the set point on the LCD screen for 5 seconds. If you need to change it, you can use either the up button to increase the set point or the down button to decrease the set point.

If the temperature shown on the screen is the set point temperature, an arrow symbol will act as an indicator just above the temperature reading.

In case of Power outage, the thermostat retains the set temperature in its permanent memory. This saves you from resetting the temperature after every power outage.

 

Choosing the temperature format

As already mentioned, this unit gives you the liberty to choose from either Fahrenheit or Celsius  format. You can select any of these two, whichever suits you the best.

The up and down button when pressed for 3 seconds, will display the current format. Now, using either of these buttons, you can change from Fahrenheit to Celsius or vice versa, as you need.

 

Will it make clicking, annoying noises during its operation?

This Honeywell thermostat is designed to work silently. Its 100% silent operation is due to the use of TRIAC switching which eliminates the unpleasant and annoying noises during its operation.

This makes it suitable to be installed at bedrooms also.

Accuracy of RLV3120A1005

This thermostat boasts of a precision of ± 0.15°C / 0.27°F. This means the thermostat will throttle the heater to minimize its energy consumption. This prevents the temperature of your room to go any degree cooler or hotter than the set temperature.

The temperature is maintained around ± 0.15°C / 0.27°F of the set point temperature.

Compatibility

As already mentioned, this thermostat can be used to control the heating devices like electric baseboard heaters, convectors and radiant ceiling heaters. The load needs to be resistive only and can go up to 2000W at 240V and can take a minimum resistive load of 200W at 240V.

If you have a resistive load which is either rated below 0.83 A or higher than 83A, then you can not use this thermostat.

Also, this product cannot be used to control fan-forced heating system, central heating and inductive load like a system driven by a relay.

Installation

The RLV3120A1005 thermostat can be easily installed using the detailed instructions and by taking proper precautions as per its user’s guide. Both 2 wire and 4 wire installation can be carried out. The wiring of the thermostat is also as easy as connecting one of its wires to the heater wire and the other to the power supply through a solder less connecters for copper wires.

Since it is directly powered by the line power, it does not require any batteries. So there will be no worrying about the changing the batteries and the additional cost that come up with them.

Overview of the pros and cons of RLV3120A1005

Pros:

  • Sturdy build and smooth plastic body
  • Simple operation
  • Two easy to use UP/DOWN push buttons
  • Large LCD display, which can be read at any angles.
  • Accurate temperature control with a precision of ± 0.15°C / 0.27°F.
  • No clicking noise
  • Compatible with electric baseboard heater, convector and radiant ceilings
  • Temperature format can be changed from Fahrenheit to Celsius and vice-versa
  • View and change the set point temperature on demand.

Cons:

  • No backlight for the LCD display.
  • Plastic push buttons feels slippery to use
  • Not compatible with inductive loads

As a person who is looking for a sober non programmable thermostat, I hope this article gave you a brief about one of the plenty options available in the market.

Now that you are familiar with the features of the Honeywell RLV3120A1005 thermostat, you can decide whether it is worth your money or not.