If you’re a recent Echo purchaser that is looking to get into the smart home game, a good place to start is with a thermostat that doesn’t require a hub. A hub is a motherboard that controls your smart home, but you really only need this if you are hooking up a lot of devices. If you just want to explore how you can use your Echo with some smart home features, then I recommend that you skip the hub for now.
Instead, you can choose from one of three home thermostat systems that work with Echo and run independently from a hub.
The Nest thermostat is the newest system to be compatible with Echo; it uses your WiFi and a Bluetooth connection to function as a smart device. The Nest is positioned as a device that learns – it programs itself using auto-schedule after it learns from you. It also features an auto-away setting that adjusts when you leave. The unit has a digital display screen, and an overall thin and sleek design. There is a Nest app which allows you remote control of the temperature, and also gives you access to a history of your energy use. And, of course, you can now connect the device to your Echo, and use commands like “set the bedroom to 67 degrees” to easily adjust the temperature of any room to your liking.
The Ecobee3 uses smart sensors to monitor occupancy and temperature in specific rooms, so that it can adjust temperate room by room. It also creates an energy profile for your home using thousands of data points, from the outside environment to your home and away patterns. The unit comes with one free sensor, but the rest you’ll have to purchase separately for about $65.00 per two-pack. Ecobee3 can support up to 32 sensors, and the more you have, the smarter your thermostat will be. Like other smart thermostat units, it can also help users save energy, and ultimately reduce the cost of their energy bills. Ecobee3 offers you all the standard ways to control your smart devices: using your computer and using an Apple or Android app, and, as a bonus, can be controlled with voice commands once connected to your Echo.
Sensi claims that you can use their step-by-step installation tutorials to have your unit installed in no more than 15 minutes. Once installed, this smart thermostat is connected to your WiFi and gives you remote access and control with a mobile app. It allows you to set up a seven-day scheduled to help reduce energy waste. Sensi is also accurate – keeping your room within one degree of your desired setting. The unit is small and looks similar to a regular thermostat, but it also includes a built-in humidity sensor. When you are home, you can use your Echo to change the temperature in your home using just your voice.
Photo by: Nest