The Best in Home Automation
Thermostats, comfort, Wi-Fi connected thermostats, and now, even Wi-Fi thermostats that respond to voice commands! For those who like gadgets, welcome to a higher level of sophistication. We were recently informed that Bryant has developed a thermostat that communicates with Alexa (Amazon Echo and Amazon Dot).
It’s not new to be able to control your thermostat from your smart device but now with Amazon’s Echo and Dot compatibility, you don’t have to get out of your chair! Just say “Alexa, raise my temperature 2 degrees.” Nice gadgetry!. Impressive to your guests! But I would advise a little caution before purchasing any Wi-Fi connected thermostat based on the following:
- If you purchased a super high efficiency system that requires a “proprietary” thermostat, Don’t do it YET! I am not yet aware any manufacturer of this type of thermostat that has one compatible with the Amazon Home Automation platform for communicating systems. I am told that Bryant is working on one and will have it available soon. These types of systems are known as communicating systems. They will not operate without the proprietary thermostat that was installed with the system due to the complex software algorithms that are used in the thermostat to provide advanced comfort features.
Uh-Oh and OOPs! are close by. Don’t Do It!
- If you purchased a system that contains a “variable speed” air handler (blower) and decide to upgrade to an automated thermostat you could lose some of the benefits of your heating and air conditioning system, if the system was installed correctly. (Go here to get more information.) The benefit that I am referencing is increased dehumidification capabilities. You may not be aware of this, but the premium you paid for the variable speed air handler may exceed the cost of the new automated thermostat.
- Unless your DIY skills include a high level of understanding heat pump operation AND reading wiring diagrams, DIY folks are likely to get tangled up making the switch, when attempting to preserve the capabilities of the heating and air conditioning system when replacing with any Wi-Fi enabled thermostat. Unfortunately, the best path for installing a Wi-Fi connected thermostat is selecting a professional to do it for you.
You can go here (click on the Thermostat Tab) to get more information about Bryant’s Housewise compatibility with the Amazon platform.
As time progresses, I am sure that more Wi-Fi enabled thermostats will have compatibility with smart home technologies. And the compatibility on other platforms will provide features that will equal or exceed those available from the Amazon Echo and Dot products.
As this article is written, I am awaiting the announcement that Bryant’s Housewise thermostat is compatible for Apple’s home automation platform. I expect the Apple / Bryant Housewise compatibility to be announced in the coming month or months (real soon).
I haven’t heard anything yet on the compatibility with Google’s home automation platform, but I suspect that version will be available soon. And to me, the safest path for Wi-Fi automation will be provided by the manufacturers of heating and air conditioning systems.
If you find yourself getting fascinated with a Wi-Fi thermostat, call us. We may be able to provide a recommendation that rewards you with a utility rebate. We may also be able to improve the capabilities of your system with our recommendation. So much to gain and so little to lose!
Wouldn’t be nicer if Alexa could take the dishes off the table and clean them up too! Hopefully, Amazon has some engineers working on this!