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on July 14, 2014
My review is mosty "versus the Nest" because I've had three different Nests and know that one well, and I like this one better.

When my Nest died last month, I decided I was going to buy a thermostat from a company with a history of making thermostats work reliably.
I would have installed this myself, but my A/C guy who installed my system and troubleshot my Nest two years ago ... and then came back and troubleshot the replacement Nest last month said he would remove his loaner 'stat and install whatever I decided to buy.

The one feature of the Nest I knew was hooked on was the ability to change the temp from my phone. Sensi and several others do that now, so I had a few to choose from. In my research I learned that my primary complaint the Nest - that the temperature swing was too wide - was addressed by Sensi's "cycle rate" setting.

I like that the Sensi wall unit operates like a traditional thermostat. Nest's no-button design is cool, but using a thermostat is not a lecture in UX minimalism, and black-and-chrome doesn't really disappear into the background of my home (white trim and all).

The Sensi is actually an easier DIY install than Nest (screw-down terminals vs. push in notwithstanding), and the main thing I would tell other folks is: install the app on your phone first and let it walk you through the installation.

This, Sensi, is what I want in a thermostat. Convenient, reliable, programmable, understandable. I am okay with a modest premium for being Internet enabled. It's half the price of Nest and doesn't intimidate non-technical users. You can keep your auto-programming feature - I always fought with the schedule it created and with two young children we're home most of the time anyway. You can keep your monthly energy usage report - it didn't include enough detail to be useful anyway. And you can keep the space-odyssey design - it might be alright in the stainless-and-black kitchen, or media room, but it doesn't work upstairs.

Granted, we didn't also install a second Nest to have more temperature sensors, and we didn't buy their $200 talking smoke detectors which also report environmental statistics back to the thermostat. But I've got what I need from my thermostat now.

P.S. It took the last Nest two years to go kaput, but I'll update here if that happens to my Sensi.

Update: After about a month I'm still very happy with Sensi. Most people won't care about this but being a network security engineer, I'm impressed that the thermostat has exactly 0 open TCP ports, outbound communication is with one IP, and total traffic is very modest. Nest communicated with a whole bunch of different IPs and was much more "noisy" on the network. Good work, Sensi dev team.
1,689 helpful votes
1,690 helpful votes
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on December 3, 2015
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UPDATE: 3/22/2017:
I just noticed that Keypad Lockout is now an option on the app, so if you have kids or roommates that you need to prevent from messing with the air, you will be happy about this option! (Original review below).
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UPDATE: 3/4/2016:
Now works with Amazon Echo! So you can control your thermostat with your voice by speaking to your Echo device! Very glad to see this addition. However, still lacking more features for the app (see original review below).
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I had been wanting to get a WiFi Thermostat for a long time now, but I held off because I was worried that I would buy one that wouldn't be compatible with my home or that I wouldn't be able to figure out how to install it. I finally gave in and purchased this Sensi thermostat, and I am extremely happy with the purchase.

Set up could not have been easier. The app walks you through the installation. You select the wires that your current thermostat has, and then the app tells you what to label them and where they will go in the new thermostat. I had never replaced a thermostat before, and it took me under 30 minutes (which includes unboxing, looking for screwdriver, looking for AC unit shut off switch, watching how-to videos included with the app, etc).

The actual operation is simple and efficient. Within minutes, I was able to set up a generic schedule based on when we are usually home. I love being able to change the home's temperature from my bed, office, or anywhere in the world with an Internet connect. The first few days I played with it a lot, but now that I have tweaked the preset schedule, I don't even have to worry about it anymore. If I am out or home at unusual times, you just adjust the temperature manually, and it will temporarily suspend the preset schedule.

The thermostat looks nice, aesthetically, on the wall, and since I apparently had this magical "common wire" I have the option to keep the LED light on at all times, which acts as a night light in the dark, and makes it look even better.

The app is handy because it also tells you your local Hi and Low temps from the forecast as well as the humidity in your home, upcoming schedule, set temp, actual temp, and the background is either blue, red, or grey depending on if your system is on Cool, Heat, or off at the moment. There are also more advanced options that I do not yet understand.

The only thing this is missing is a few more advanced options for the app, such as specific alerts (like if the temperature is changed manually, I would like to be able to get an instant alert on my phone) and an air filter change reminder that can be set for a certain amount of time (like 1, 2, or 3 months). I think it does alert you if your house reaches an extreme temperature, but I have not had that happen yet. Also, I have not been able to figure out how to switch between "Cool" and "Heat" modes within a schedule (without using the "Auto" setting).

I also purchased and installed the wall plate: Emerson F61-2663 Wallplate for Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat, White, White (was approximately an extra $10). I think it should have been included, but I imagine not everyone wants one. It isn't much bigger than the thermostat, but I think it makes it look nice. I included some photos so you can see for yourself.

Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments and I will do my best to answer them.
review imagereview imagereview image
290 helpful votes
291 helpful votes
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1515 comments|Report abuse
on December 3, 2016
Love the remote thermostat. App is simple to use and easy to access.

Installation:
Step by step instructions in the app were great. Easy for a first timer as well as a diy'er. The app even has you take a picture of the old thermostat wiring before you remove anything, very smart. I had it swapped out and running in 30 minutes, however there was a problem. I have a water source heat pump and the old thermostat did not have a C wire. The sensi thermostat does not require a C wire, however my compressor was short cycling, it would run for 30 seconds or so and then kick off while the fan was still running, because the set point was not reached. After 2 to 3 minutes the compressor would come on again for another 30 seconds and the kick off. I called the help line and received very good help. The technician asked me to email the picture of the old thermostat wiring and a picture of the new wiring. After several minutes the technician determined that with my unit (McQuay) was not supplying enough power to run the wifi radio on the sinsi without a C wire. While trying to come up with a solution, i decided to see if I actually had a C wire available that was not used by the old thermostat. As with most installations, the unused thermostat wires were wrapped up behind the thermostat, Including the blue wire which is most often used as the C wire. With the power off I opened the area on the heat pump where the thermostat wires were connected and the other end of the extra wires were there, including the blue wire. The thermostat wire connections on the heat pump had a C terminal that had nothing attached. I connected the blue wire to the C terminal on the heat pump and the C terminal in the sinsi thermostat, and the problem was resolved.

I did not buy the optional back cover plate, but should have, and now have it ordered. If you have not have a small hole for the wires, then the thermostat will cover it, however I have a single gang (switch) box mounted vertically and the thermostat will not cover the hole. The back plate will correct that.

Thermostat has now been the service for several days and have had no other issues.

UPDATE:
The entire reason to get the Wi-Fi enabled thermostat was to be able to check and adjust the thermostat when not present. The Sensi is off-line at least 50% of the time. When I check it with the app, it will say the thermostat is off-line. If I check again in a few minutes, it may (or may not) be back on line. It may not be back on-line for a da or more. When it is on line I feel that I have to quickly make any adjustments before it goes back off-line. The issue is not the home Wi-Fi, but with the Emerson server. This if totally useless as a Wi-Fi thermostat and I am replacing it with a Honeywell Wi-Fi. If I could return it I would. As a non Wi-Fi thermostat it works fine, but I could have saved $50 for a non Wi-Fi model, but I wanted the Wi-Fi function.
71 helpful votes
72 helpful votes
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33 comments|Report abuse
VINE VOICEon June 29, 2015
I have a cottage rental and I wanted a way to be able to lower the heat when renters left. I didn't want anything fancy - just a simple way to wirelessly raise and lower the temperature. This device was very easy to install and seems to work fine - most of the time. The app is super simple to use and it is really easy to control the temp remotely. I would say it took me less than 30 minutes to install and get up and running. Periodically it will drop the connection and then I will be unable to access the thermostat from away. One time I even had to get customer support to walk me through a hard reset which seemed to help. Initially I thought it might be the battery and bought some super expensive lithium ion batteries. After I installed them and it didn't work the tech told me that the device was not compatible with lithium ion batteries - bummer. I would say that if this device worked more consistently it would be perfect. The fact that it occasionally seems to drop connection docks it a star easily.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on December 28, 2016
I have installed two Sensi Smart Thermostats in the past month. I love them. They work well with Alexa. Installation and setup were very easy using the intuitive, self guided app. This app driven approach to instruction opened my eyes to the ability to guide DIY buyers like me who eschew "professional installation" as an option. With a well designed App like the Sensi it is like having a coach standing over your shoulder helping with the installation. I have three HVAC systems in my house and one has two zones which Sensi cannot serve. The app's wiring evaluation quickly determined that my 2 zone system was problematic and recommended I call the 800 number for Technical Service. Reluctantly I dialed and was pleasantly surprised when my call was answered very quickly and a knowledgeable technician diagnosed my system and confirmed that my 2 zone system was not compatible. Quick, definitive and helpful. The Sensi was compatible to my two Trane single zone gas units which are about 15 years old. Guided by the app I installed both wall units and connected them to my wifi for control on my iPhone with the app and by voice, with Alexa. They work great. Love the much larger lighted screens on the units which are a BIG improvement from my OEM thermostats. Setting up schedules is simple and easy and provides infinite variety for each thermostat.
1 helpful vote
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on November 22, 2016
After moving into a new home last year, this was the first product I bought. This is the first time I had bought one that was wifi enabled. I looked at many different ones including Nest and some others but decided to go with something a little cheaper. Very glad I bought this one instead of spending the money on a Nest. It has worked great. The scheduling is super easy from the app and loved this summer coming home from vacation we were able to get on the app when we were about 2 hours away and lower the temp back down in the house so it was cool when we got there. Already this winter I have woken up cold in the middle of the night and reached over and turned up the temp in the house from bed without having to get up.

Install was pretty easy. Followed the color wires that came with it and used the sticker tabs to make sure I installed them in the correct place. The app even prompts you to take a picture with your phone so you don't forget where they were plugged in.

Update: I recently bought an amazon echo dot and this was easy to sync with it. Just make sure whatever name you give the thermostat in the thermostat app is the same name that you have to refer to it when speaking to Alexa. So to raise the temperature say Alexa increase "home" temperature to 70 degrees. If you called it home within the Sensi app.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on February 18, 2017
Had initial problem sensing the WIFI, as it would not connect. I called support & they had me remove from wall, remove batteries & hold the menu button for 10 seconds. Reinstall batteries & put back on wall. Then I was able to connect to WIFI. Now comes the tricky part... You have to use your smart phone & link your phone to the thermostat, as if the thermostat were the WIFI. Then you enter your code, WIFI name & password & viola, you'll be good as gold. I already had a "C" wire for my prior thermostat, so the batteries are as backup. App works good, no issues but this is the first day of use. I have a dual zone system for my 2 story house, one main floor & other upstairs, so I'll probably be buying another in the near future.
I'll repost if I run into problems in the future, you can count on that!

Update: I had an issue with the furnace fan running at various times when the furnace wasn't even on. Out of the blue the fan would start running. After discussion with support, I found out I was receiving power thru one of the wires, but was back feeding somehow thru the system & would start the fan. The issue was because I didn't have a "C" wire installed & as soon as I connected the "C" wire to the furnace & to the thermostat, everything worked as supposed to.
1 helpful vote
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on August 3, 2016
This thing is great. It is over 1/2 the price of many of the others. It is very easy to setup. As others mention, you must use the app on your phone as there are no printed directions. You do need to have basic skills with hooking to wireless and such, as the instruction in the app leave out some very basic things, but if you handle that you are good to go.

Some people worry that this is hosted from an external server, as many are. I do not see this as a problem. If the server is down it remembers it's setting,s and you can always change them either manually at the thermostat, or locally from the phone app.

Customer service on over phone is great. I call them at 6 pm Tues night and got someone immediately. They were very skill at PD and worked with me to resolve my issue.

So what was my issue if this is so easy????? You have to make sure that the thermostat wires go directly through the hole back into the wall. There is no room in the body of this thing to have a single wire between the wall plate and the from plat when you put the front face plate back on. So we found that my problem was the unit did not seat 100% and there for did not make 100% proper connection. So turned out to be a silly/easy problem and once i tucked the wires back properly, all worked fine.

Hooked to my phone Sensi app just fine. Hooked to my Alexa Echo just fine.

So you can adjust this manually at thermostat, adjust from Alexa, adjust from Phone app, and I think even from a windows based wev app (have not tried that yet).

Great product for around $100.
1 helpful vote
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on October 27, 2016
what is there not to love!! I bought this to replace an old programmable thermostat in my new place, it has been 3 weeks since I installed it and so far i have totally forgotten it is even on my wall. That is why I give it 5 stars! Once we set the temperatures, I have completely forgotten about it.

What I love about it:

1. Set up: Get the app first, it will walk you through the setup process and it takes about 10 min at the most. The app is very intuitive and explains where your wires go connected to.
2. Programming: Basic programming for on and off times with temperatures which works fantastic.
3. advanced settings allow you to adjust temperature using an offset feature / allows you to lock the keypad so no one can change it except for you.
4. I have not tried it with the amazon echo but i will be soon. not a big deal for me, but it would be cool to change the temp by just speaking the command.

I know it is not as fancy as a Nest or Honeywell, but seriously, I do not need an energy report to see how much my AC is consuming. I can do this with my FPL account and see my energy dashboard. (see total consumption broken down by the hour)

SO if you are looking for a great thermostat, one that you could set and walk away from, this one is for you.

Between this thermostat and the WiOn 50054 water heater timer that I installed basically on the same day, I have seen a significant energy savings on my FPL dashboard.
1 helpful vote
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on January 5, 2016
Thermostat is very easy to read from a distance. I like that you can leave the backlight on all the time, if you have the hardwired power. Not that hard to install to my existing heat pump, although some of the "jumper" instructions were not very straight forward. Temps seem accurate. Programming is easy enough, but what keeps this from being a 5 star rated product is the poor app, and web based monitoring, and the problematic WI-FI/Server connection. The app will randomly say thermostat offline. You reset your modem/router then it is there again. Next time it says its offline you reset, and its still not there...turns out its the server that is very problematic. The web based monitoring is even more unreliable. This morning I watched as my programmed set points changed by itself several times with a variation of 3 degrees, BUT the thermostat never showed this change. When I went to change the temp offset, it kept fluctuating and wouldnt stay set. Also, the app needs to know waaaay to much info on my phone to install.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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