Nest is a very popular name in the smart thermostat market and for many it is the “go to” name if you want a high-quality smart thermostat that will function properly, save you money and add the convenience many people look for.
However, believe it or not, there are other makes and models that have begun to make their mark in the smart thermostat market and can compete or even in some cases exceed the value that Nest offers. One of these is the Emerson Sensi Smart Thermostat.
While the Sensi Smart Thermostat might not be near as well-known as Nest, if you take a close look at what it has to offer you will be pleasantly surprised. Let’s have a closer look at the Sensi and see what it do, what it cannot do and how it just might be a better choice than most of the other options available right now.
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The Sensi Smart Thermostat Design
The dimensions of the unit are just 5.9 inches by 1.1 inch by 3.8 inches which makes it small enough to not be obtrusive but large enough to easily control. The overall look is modern and sleek making it a unit that will fit in well with almost any type of décor but it certainly looks appealing when matched with a modern looking room design. On the front of the unit, it has a full digital display that is lit up in a light blue color and offers easy navigation.
The readout features the current room temperature, system function (either heating or cooling) and time. It also provides three on-screen buttons for full navigation of all the menu choices and provides on-screen icons that show off, on and auto settings as well. The way the on-screen menu and navigation are designed to make them user-friendly and it is easy for even those who are not “technology savvy” to find all the basic options available.
Sensi Features and Controls
When it comes to controlling and customizing settings on theSensi you can do this in one of two ways. You can make adjustments and change functions through the digital display on the front of the unit or you can also use the free app to change settings. Using the free app for the Sensi is the preferred choice as it gives you an amount of control and convenience that provides a very nice experience.
The app is compatible with either iOS and Android phones or tablets and connects via Wi-Fi. You can take complete control of the Sensi and customize any number of settings directly from your phone or internet capable device via the free app. In fact, you don’t have to in your house or just outside your house either. You can use the app to control the Sensi from anywhere in the world where you are connected to Wi-Fi.
The Sensi comes with a long list of programmable features which offer a world of convenience, especially if you are someone on the go or you happen to do a fair amount of traveling. The unit offers seven day per week scheduling which goes a step further than many other smart thermostats. To begin, it allows you to set the desired temperature and function for any time of day such as raising the temperature around the time you leave for work and lowering it automatically thirty minutes before you get home.
Not only that, but it also allows you to choose specific days for certain functions. For example, if you happen to be at home every Tuesday for lunch and want the air conditioning to come on before you arrive, simply enter desired settings. It’s really that easy and the ability to choose specific days of the week for certain functions and settings is very convenient.
You can still control the unit directly from the interface on the front but the app offers the convenience of being able to do it from the couch, your office or from the other side of the world. In addition, the seven-day scheduling can also have multiple different schedules if you need it, which is another advantage over similar units offered on the market.
Battery life can sometimes be a concern with smart thermostats as depending on what model you have some eat batteries very quickly. However, theSensi is surprisingly efficient in this category. The unit requires two AA batteries which come with the unit in the box when you first purchase it. The battery life is twelve to twenty-four months and C Wire connectivity is not required unless your system only offers just heat or just cooling.
Energy efficiency is the main reason besides convenience to get a smart thermostat in the first place. There are many estimates on how much money you can save by having a smart thermostat but I have found this varies widely from one household to the next. However, even under conservative estimates, it is pretty safe to say even a small home would save in the ballpark of $150-180 annually, if not more. The fact that the Sensi sells for under $130 (at the time of this writing,) means it will pay for itself in the first year alone.
There are claims the Sensi can save you as much as thirty percent on your electric bill but, of course, that is under ideal conditions with ideal settings that are probably difficult to replicate on a regular basis. For me, it is the mix of some cost savings and the additional convenience factor that make a smart thermostat like the Sensi a great overall value.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is a big plus with the Sensi. You either install the unit (or units) yourself or you can hire someone to do it for you. For most people, there is no need to hire a contractor or a third-party installer as it only takes fifteen to twenty minutes to install a unit by yourself. The unit does include a user manual but the easiest way to do the install is via the free app. Once you have the app downloaded to your phone or tablet, simply open the app and follow the step-by-step instructions.
In fact, Emerson even provides videos that show you each step along the way if you happen to need extra clarification. However, if you have installed thermostats before and struggled, do not fear. The Sensi is much easier to install even when compared to the Nest. It is important to note, not all systems are compatible with the Sensi. This is particularly true with older systems.
If you visit the Emerson website they have a complete compatibility table to make sure you don’t purchase the unit without knowing if it will fit well with your HVAC system.
For some unknown reason getting many smart thermostats to connect to your Wi-Fi can be a big pain. However, the Sensi did not present these issues and it easily connects within just a few minutes of the initial setup. All you have to do is open the app and click on the “connect to Wi-Fi” and follow the prompts. It is not glitchy and prone to a lot of errors like many other units. In fact, it connected the first time around for us without any issues at all.
The Sensi Smart Thermostat is easy to use, affordably priced and offers a world of convenience to all types of homeowners. We especially like the fact it is much easier to set up and install compared to many other models on the market. Priced at under $130 (at the time of this writing,) we feel not only does it give Nest a good run for its money but it far exceeds the offerings of many other smart thermostats currently available.