Category: Knowledgebase

6 things you should do before you replace your current thermostat with a smart thermostat

If you’re ready to replace your old thermostat with a shiny new smart thermostat, read our 6 tips first to ensure a smooth upgrade process! We learned some of these lessons “the hard way”, and now we are sharing them here so you can learn from our mistakes! 1. Confirm your system is “low voltage”…
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What is multistage heating and cooling and how do I tell if I have it?

Part of figuring out if your system is compatible with a smart thermostat is determining if your 24v HVAC system is single stage or multistage. (Wait a minute, how do I tell if I have a 24v HVAC system in the first place?) Single stage systems are best described as “on-off“. They’re either blowing hot…
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6 reasons why 2018 is the perfect time to buy a smart thermostat

Nobody likes buying something only to have something new and better come out a month later. Smart thermostats were a new and quickly-changing market several years ago, but things are stabilizing now in 2018. If you haven’t gotten your smart thermostat yet, 2018 is a great time to buy. Here’s why. 1. The smart thermostat…
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Is your wiring compatible with a smart thermostat? Our guide to low voltage, line voltage, and more

You’ve probably heard the term “low voltage” or “24v” while researching smart thermostats – but if you’re early in your research, you might not yet know the difference. The difference is critical: today’s best-known smart thermostats (from manufacturers like ecobee, Nest, and Honeywell) are designed only for low voltage systems. You’ll need to be sure…
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Which smart thermostats are compatible with Alexa?

Once you’ve adjusted the temperature just by talking to your Amazon Echo, it’s hard to go back to the barbaric old ways of using an app or a dial. Look for the words “Works With Alexa” to find smart thermostats that you can control through a separate Alexa-enabled device, such as an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, on the same…
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What if I don’t have a C-Wire?

The C-Wire, or “common wire” enables the continuous flow of 24 VAC power to the thermostat. It’s a wire that (if you have one) runs all the way from your furnace to your thermostat. Questions about the C-wire are by far the biggest drivers of traffic to this site, so I’ve written this article to help you…
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How much money can you save with a smart thermostat?

The big smart thermostat manufacturers claim you can recoup the cost of a smart thermostat in as little as under 2 years. Coupled with rebates from your local utility company, that “break even” wait could be even shorter. Show me some numbers! Nest Labs actually did a study and released a white paper on their findings. It’s an…
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Thermostat C Wire: Everything you need to know about the “common” wire

Back in the olden days, thermostats were simple on/off devices that didn’t need their own continuous power supply.  Modern thermostats with Wi-Fi and backlit display, by contrast, need a steady supply of juice. The C wire, or “common wire” enables the continuous flow of 24 VAC power to the thermostat. Technically speaking, power flows from…
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A Quick Look at Apple’s HomeKit and What it Means for You and Your Home

On June 2nd, 2014 Apple announced (among other things) a new home automation platform dubbed HomeKit! HomeKit is brand new. As such, some things aren’t yet known, like how popular it will be with accessory makers or whether it will take off with homeowners. The next major event concerning HomeKit is Apple’s annual MFi summit in China this November,…
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Shrink your Heating Bill with the “Heat Savings Pyramid”

There’s a good chance you’re reading this after getting a whopper of a heating bill. If so, the last thing you’re in the mood for is spending more money. Good news for you: some of the best ways to lower your heating bill are also the cheapest! Free Ways to Shrink Your Heating Bill Lowering your…
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