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It has been quite some time since Nest changed the way thermostats work. Smart thermostats give you a lot of savings on your energy bills, but they’re usually very expensive. Thankfully, there are now options that are friendly for your pocket.
One of these budget-smart thermostats that help keep you comfortable while also saving you money is the Vine Smart Thermostat.
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Features of the Vine Smart Thermostat
Comfort and convenience. The Vine Smart Thermostat comes with a full-color 3.5-inch LED touch screen that makes it easier for you to read even from afar. It also has the big dial that you see on traditional thermostats, making it very familiar to users.
The user interface is also very familiar and user-friendly. While you can program it, you can still adjust the temperature easily. The Vine Smart Thermostat also has a mobile app that you can use to remotely adjust the room temperature.
That gives you three different methods of adjusting the temperature: using the mobile app, using the touch screen display, or through the physical adjustment dial. On top of these, you also have an online web control portal that gives you another way to control your smart thermostat.
Savings. Vine promises to deliver around 23% of savings off your yearly energy bill. You also get a very informative usage report that tells you about your usage as well as gives you insights on how to save more.
Extensive support. The Vine Smart Thermostat has a range of support materials available, such as video libraries, wiring diagrams, manuals, and others. You can also ask questions via live chat, phone chat or even onsite assistance.
Never outdated. The company gives users a three-year limited warranty, longer than what other smart thermostats offer. The thermostat also has over-the-air updates that could add more features automatically.
What’s in the box?
The Vine Smart Thermostat package has everything you need to mount and install the thermostat. Here are the components you would find inside the box:
- Vine Smart Thermostat
- User manual
- Installation guide
- Registration card
- Mounting screws
- Wiring labels
- Jumping cable
What you would like about the Vine Smart Thermostat
Vine Smart Thermostat combines modern design with the traditional look of older thermostats. This way, everything is familiar and you can easily adjust the temperature to make things perfectly comfortable.
It is also very friendly to the budget, with a list price of only $199 on Amazon. You can, however, get it lower at $100. Check out the latest prices here.
You can use Vine to remind you when to change the filters or when to maintain your air conditioning unit and other service reminders.
However, what makes it more attractive is the fact that it is very easy to program the thermostat using the web portal, the mobile app, or the unit itself. You can set up different schedules for each day. You can also schedule up to eight temperature changes in a day.
And at any point, you can just twist the physical dial or use the touch screen to adjust the temperature if you feel too hot or too cold. Vine gives you the latest weather reports, too, as well as hourly or five-day forecasts.
Vine also comes with a nightlight that makes it easier to find in the dark. You can also schedule when the nightlight can automatically turn itself on or off. Plus, it uses your smartphone to know your location with geofencing technology.
So, it will be able to know when you are leaving the house and therefore turn down your HVAC system or it will know when you are arriving so that it could turn on the heat to make your house comfortable.
What could be better about the Vine Smart Thermostat
The Vine Smart Thermostat needs a common wire to power itself. If your current heating and cooling system does not have a c-wire, Vine suggests using the g-wire instead, but that might mean robbing your HVAC system’s fan of power, and the fan will only run when your air conditioning or your heating is on.
It would have been a lot better if the thermostat came with a power extender or be able to work with batteries.
Also, the touch screen is not capacitive. The resistive touch screen needs more pressure, so you might find yourself having to press it a bit harder and repeatedly, especially if you are used to the capacitive touch screens of your smartphone.
Furthermore, for a smart device, the Vine Smart Thermostat does not play well with other connected devices as it does not have home automation integrations. You cannot use voice commands to control it via Siri or Alexa, and it does not work with HomeKit.
Alternatives to the Vine Smart Thermostat
Considering its price point, there are a lot of smart thermostats that could compete with the Vine Smart Thermostat.
There is the Emerson Sensi Smart Thermostat, which has a discounted price tag of around $130. Emerson Sensi works with Amazon Alexa, making it possible for you to use your voice to operate the thermostat. It is also programmable and has a mobile app that allows you to remotely control it.
Similar to Vine, Emerson Sensi is very easy to use, is easy to set up, and has clear instructions for everything, from wiring to installing to pairing it with your smartphone.
One area where Sensi wins is its ability to be very accurate as far as temperatures go. It can be very precise and can keep the temperature within one degree Fahrenheit of the set temperature, instead of the three-degree range most thermostats have.
It is also compatible with home automation platforms such as Wink.
However, it does not have the color touch screen that Vine has. Instead, it makes use of physical buttons on the unit itself to make it possible for you to adjust the temperature without the smartphone. Emerson Sensi also does not have geofencing capabilities.
Another budget smart thermostat that you could consider is the Lux Geo.
Lux Geo sells for $116 on Amazon. As with both the Emerson Sensi and the Vine Smart Thermostat, Lux Geo promises easy installation and ease of use. You can program the thermostat on the unit itself. Check out the latest prices here.
The Lux Geo has geofencing features, making it easier to have home and away settings. It does not require a c-wire and can run on two AA lithium batteries, or via a micro USB connection. If you have an HVAC system that has a c-wire, then the Lux Geo can work with that as well. It is also compatible with Amazon Alexa.
However, like the Emerson Sensi, the Lux Geo does not have a touch screen and color display; instead, it has a wheel control to help you adjust the temperature without your smartphone.
Here is how the Lux Geo and the Emerson Sensi compare with the Vine Smart Thermostat.
|Lux Geo||Vine||Emerson Sensi|
|Color Finish||Black, white||White||White|
|Batteries||2 AA lithium batteries||û||2 AA batteries|
|Integrations||û||û||Amazon Alexa, Wink|
Vine Smart Thermostatis a basic smart thermostat that you can control with your smartphone, allowing you to monitor and manage your home’s heating and cooling system even when you are not at home.
It provides you with a simple way to save on your energy costs, as well as provide you with some advanced features such as geofencing and usage reports. But most importantly, Vine works as it promised.
There are similarly priced alternatives, but Vine remains to be one of the most affordable smart thermostats available in the market today. It also excels in its use of a color touch screen display that makes it comparable to more expensive smart thermostats.
However, if these are not important for you or if your current heating and cooling systems do not have a c-wire, you might find a better feature set with either Lux Geo or Emerson Sensi.
And if you have other smart home devices that you would want to connect with your thermostat but you do not want to spend the amount you pay for Nest or Ecobee3, then Emerson Sensi would be a good choice.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!