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Really like my Nest but it won't do what I need

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    Really like my Nest but it won't do what I need

    It gets cold in Denver, but as many in the US know right now it's colder than normal. I installed a new whole home steam humidifier last August and had never dealt with moisture build up on the windows before if it's set too high and the outside temp drops too low. Nest won't let me change the humidity setting via automation. I need a thermostat that will so that I can vary the humidity based on the outside temp automatically.

    I really like the Nest as it looks as slick at it is. I admit, I like cool looking gadgets so having a sleek modern appearance vs a white box does count for something.

    I'd 100% prefer something that I could control locally without a cloud, but guessing I won't find that nowadays. I don't really want to be traveling in the winter sometime and lose access remotely due to some failure and come home to a house with widow sills starting to rot, and mold...or wood so dry it starts to crack.

    Can you do all this with the Ecobee's...and are there even "cooler" options out there? I won't say price is no object, but often you get what you pay for (mostly).

    Thanks for any suggestions...


    #2
    Yes, Ecobee's can do this. Despite using the cloud, the scheduling is still stored local, the cloud is used for machine learning to adjust the coefficients for your home, ie, when to turn on the heat in the morning so you get exactly 70F by 6am. So intermittent Internet connectivity doesn't mean you lose your schedule

    This link talks about operating different types of humidifier systems:
    https://support.ecobee.com/hc/en-us/...-installations

    Comment


      #3
      TC1 - THANKS! I probably need to figure out how to use a built in schedule as well as events. I control my thermostat entirely via events currently due to situations like this...

      If it between 45-65 degrees HS sets the temp to 66 at 5PM and let the house cool down on it's own for bedtime in the winter.

      If it's below that I'd be freezing in an hour so HS drops it 1 degree an hours so that 9PM-9:30 it's at 66 (especially on days we have weather like right now!).

      I do this to set the one of the 3 modes heat cool and heat-cool based on both forecasted and actual temps.as well. It's all very dynamic, but I need to set a schedule likely as well so if I do lose contact things don't get too out of skew.

      Thanks for the link...frost control sounds awesome!

      The one thing I'm still not clear on is can HS4 control the humidity settings since on a Nest it can't?

      Comment


        #4
        Aren’t both the Ecobee and the Nest cloud based solutions? Cloud based solutions are terrible, and dangerous if they drop out due to cloud infrastructure or network interruptions. You should really protect yourself from that. There are local solutions that don’t require the Internet.

        HomeSeer 2, HomeSeer 3, Allonis myServer, Amazon Alexa Dots, ELK M1G, ISY 994i, HomeKit, BlueIris, and 6 "4k" Cameras using NVR, and integration between all of these systems. Home Automation since 1980.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by ts1234 View Post

          The one thing I'm still not clear on is can HS4 control the humidity settings since on a Nest it can't?
          As far as Nest is concerned, don't forget that Google deprecated their API for it... so really, not much control is achievable.

          The Ecobee PI for HS4 exposes a lot of controls. Besides one letting the Ecobee control and estimate everything based on your comfort preferences, you can also override and tweak it anytime you want from HS4 (yes, Internet connection needed for that). I have a simple one-stage on-demand boiler for my heat, but below is a screen shot of everything that is exposed from one of my Ecobees (the first device is an Ecobee wireless room temp/occupancy sensor, highly recommended to average the temp across rooms and sense whether the HVAC should go on or off based on occupancy). For example, I normally keep our upstairs where the bedrooms are Off/Away during the day to save money. But my wife's home office is also upstairs, so i put an Ecobee room sensor in there, if she works from home it automatically senses her in the room and overrides the Away schedule. She never has to touch the thermostat and my money-saving schedule stays intact.

          You can ask Spud in the HS4 Ecobee forum about humidity control.

          Click image for larger version

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          I highly recommend reading through Ecobee's website and support docs to get a feel for what it can really do. Buying one and then doing your own control logic kind of fights the Ecobee at what it does best (machine learning based on your house data, how fast it can cool down and heat up under different weather conditions). Of course everyone's situation is different and you still have the option to override any settings whenever you want via HS4.

          Comment


            #6
            Krumpy - Thanks! I don't mean to sound trivial but could you give some examples and are they all white boxes with green and blue LED screens? If not, I 100% am looking for something local if they make it.

            TC1 - I'm not clear if you have a humidifier but I don't see an option to control it. I do need to look more at the ecobee docs. PS the room sensor approach sounds ideal

            There are others out there, I assumed someone may be using...a couple examples...

            GLAS Smart Thermostat by Johnson Controls, Translucent OLED Touchscreen, Wi-Fi, Mobile App, Works with Amazon Alexa: Amazon.com: Home Improvement

            Stelpro ASMC402 Smart Home Wi-Fi Controller Thermostat Adds Maestro Connectivity to Line Voltage Electric Baseboards, Convectors, and Fan Heaters - - Amazon.com

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by ts1234 View Post
              It gets cold in Denver, but as many in the US know right now it's colder than normal. I installed a new whole home steam humidifier last August and had never dealt with moisture build up on the windows before if it's set too high and the outside temp drops too low. Nest won't let me change the humidity setting via automation. I need a thermostat that will so that I can vary the humidity based on the outside temp automatically.

              I really like the Nest as it looks as slick at it is. I admit, I like cool looking gadgets so having a sleek modern appearance vs a white box does count for something.

              I'd 100% prefer something that I could control locally without a cloud, but guessing I won't find that nowadays. I don't really want to be traveling in the winter sometime and lose access remotely due to some failure and come home to a house with widow sills starting to rot, and mold...or wood so dry it starts to crack.

              Can you do all this with the Ecobee's...and are there even "cooler" options out there? I won't say price is no object, but often you get what you pay for (mostly).

              Thanks for any suggestions...
              The steam humidifier creates humidity, right? What in your house eliminates humidity? In the winter months in cold weather the usual issue is to balance humidity such that windows don’t build up condensation. That in my experience can be very tricky. Usually just run the Air Exchanger to circulate the air more often.

              So how is your humidifier connected to a control mechanism? What level of humidity do you want to keep the house at?

              I’ll be honest, I don’t trust any cloud based solutions. Nest and Ecobee have each had complete cloud failures.

              So why not design your own hvac solution based on some controller that you trust? For example, I have each of my RCS TR-40 t-stat’s connected into my Elk security system. While I have never concerned myself with humidity control, you’re starting to make me think about it. It wouldn’t be hard as I can connect temp and humidity sensors into the Elk and then have the ELK (using HomeSeer and/or ELK automation rules) control as needed. The ELK is a completely standalone (with battery backup) security and automation platform which I have connected into HomeSeer 2, HomeSeer 3, HS4 (testing), and Allonis myServer all at the same time. This is not a requirement, but rather shows the capability.

              I’ll have to investigate how my Honeywell Humidifier works. Guessing that the Honeywell controller just clicks a relay until the desired humidity. Ok, so put temp/humidity sensor in the cold air return, feed that into the ELK, have ELK calculate values for temp and humidity, and then using their rule engine control as necessary. I already have my Air Exchanger connected into the ELK, so this should be all that complicated with some basic electronics.

              I like this much better already...
              HomeSeer 2, HomeSeer 3, Allonis myServer, Amazon Alexa Dots, ELK M1G, ISY 994i, HomeKit, BlueIris, and 6 "4k" Cameras using NVR, and integration between all of these systems. Home Automation since 1980.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by ts1234 View Post
                Krumpy - Thanks! I don't mean to sound trivial but could you give some examples and are they all white boxes with green and blue LED screens? If not, I 100% am looking for something local if they make it.

                TC1 - I'm not clear if you have a humidifier but I don't see an option to control it. I do need to look more at the ecobee docs. PS the room sensor approach sounds ideal

                There are others out there, I assumed someone may be using...a couple examples...

                GLAS Smart Thermostat by Johnson Controls, Translucent OLED Touchscreen, Wi-Fi, Mobile App, Works with Amazon Alexa: Amazon.com: Home Improvement

                Stelpro ASMC402 Smart Home Wi-Fi Controller Thermostat Adds Maestro Connectivity to Line Voltage Electric Baseboards, Convectors, and Fan Heaters - - Amazon.com

                Ok, so you want a pretty display for your hvac? Why not create the display using software and graphics and display via in-wall tablet?




                HomeSeer 2, HomeSeer 3, Allonis myServer, Amazon Alexa Dots, ELK M1G, ISY 994i, HomeKit, BlueIris, and 6 "4k" Cameras using NVR, and integration between all of these systems. Home Automation since 1980.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Krumpy...actually a great approach to think about. I only put up with the cloud when I absolutely have to .... If only Alexa had a local brain...Local HS voice control never worked well for me. Too many errors....plus mic's in every room is kind of tough.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Alexa is fine as a cloud solution. It doesn’t do any processing other than voice processing. If local control is for automation tasks then outage of Alexa would not impact day to day smart home activities, right? I mean, the house is supposed to be smart, so why would control of the house by required via Alexa? Sure there can be voice command, but if you have your HVAC control designed right then you would need voice interaction other than for non normal situations. The respective in-wall touchscreens can take care of that. My experiences are that Alexa outages are usually very short. As I remember, NEST thermostat had an entire outage for one or more days.
                    HomeSeer 2, HomeSeer 3, Allonis myServer, Amazon Alexa Dots, ELK M1G, ISY 994i, HomeKit, BlueIris, and 6 "4k" Cameras using NVR, and integration between all of these systems. Home Automation since 1980.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Krumpy - I only mention Alexa as it's one of the few cloud based resources I depend on. My goal is everything local. That's simply not realistic in a few cases like Alexa/Harmony Hub/Etc. It really doesn't have anything to do with this topic even though I can control my Nest with that service as well. Voice control is essential to my workflow in my recording studio.

                      I like your thoughts on controlling things by my own temp/humidity sensors. I'd still want to have a local schedule in the thermostat as backup since even local HS4 automation can go away thx to Microsoft and HS4 bugs. I could time my events around a local thermostat schedule to do what I want.

                      My main concern is the challenge of the humidifier...if it was 85 one day and 10 the next (not impossible in Colorado) and I was away. I use the Nest heat/cool mode while away to make sure the house doesn't toast or freeze.

                      Comment

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