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HVAC Zone Controls & Zoning Dampers

Best WiFi thermostat for Zoning Control

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Image from ecobee.com

Image from ecobee.com

Make your SmartZone even smarter by connecting "smart" thermostats (WiFi) for smartphone and tablet app control.

A few years ago there were only two or three available and a prices that could make hvac zoning with WiFi cost prohibitive.  Now there are dozens of Wifi thermostats and some even with price points that make buying them for zone control palatable.  With SmartZone, all WiFi thermostats on the market will work so it comes down to budget and features that make since for zoning.  The criteria we uses for evaluating these thermostats included: how well the APP supports multiple thermostats, price, ease & flexibility of install, wfi connection reliability & interface at the thermostat.

Below is a brief summary of our results.

  • Nest - very nice but a little expensive if you need several thermostats (for zoning).  The app works well for multiple thermostats as long as you log in under the same account when provisioning.
  • Ecobee 3 - also very nice... but for zoning, the Ecobee Lite is the way to go unless you have a specific need for those remote sensors.
  • Ecobee Lite -  Our Pick - this is the best bang for the buck for an all around Wifi thermostat for zoning.  Ecobee also has the best app for zoning with easy adding of multiple thermostats and viewing options.  https://www.ecobee.com/ecobee3-lite/
  • Honeywell Lyrc - Expensive for what you get but it looks nice and is from the industry leader.  This would probably be the last WiFi thermostat i would buy for zoning unless i was using the Honeywell TrueZone panel... even then, i would choose the Ecobee Lite.
  • Emerson Sensi - This is a thermostat that looks like a basic (non-wifi) thermostat.  If you are looking for something that will disapear on the wall as if it were not there... this is it.  This app is OK but the interface at the thermostat is clunky like any older programmable thermostat.
  • Lux-Pro - Good thermostat at a good price... it is our VALUE pick.  Straight forward but with some unique features like the knob for adjusting temp.  Programming from the thermostat is not great but you can save some $ over the Ecobee Lite.
  • Vine Thermostat - looks promising but the app isn't as good as some of the leaders like ecobee, nest and honeywell.
  • Radio Thermostat - good price and features... have seen some reliability issues and wifi connection problems with the 4 i tested.  This one is great for hackers... open API & ability to write your own software to communicate to this thermostat.
  • Alarm.com Thermostat - cheapest on the list and for some people or applications it might be all you need.  My biggest concern is that this company requires all the data to go through their web-app and if they go out of business the thermostat could be worthless.

Wirecutter's review of wifi thermostats is lacking:http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-best-thermostat/  I usually agree with wirecutter but I think they did not do as in-depth expert analysis as usual withe the WiFi thermostats.  They left out a few key ones like LUXPro & Radio Thermostat.  Honeywell has a lower-end version and so does Ecobee.  There is a new one on the market that i am curious about too called the vine thermostat.  I will update post when tested.

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SmartZone-4X
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