Smart thermostats are becoming popular among HVAC system users. Unlike manual thermostats, smart thermostats have capabilities that reduce energy costs and provide more ease of use to its users.
They have scheduling, remote access, and smart home compatibility that help users control the temperature easily. Many smart thermostats automatically adjust temperatures when they detect an empty room.
If a smart thermostat is compatible with your smart home system, then you can also control the temperature by giving it voice commands. Smart thermostats nowadays have a touchscreen interface and have sleek and stylish designs that add to any house’s aesthetic.
However, smart thermostats differ in their features, functions, and price, which is why they are made for a variety of users. Some thermostats are smarter than others, and so before you buy one you should decide what are your priorities.
Similarly, you need to take other factors into consideration before you invest in one. Generally, the higher-end smart thermostats are also equipped with advanced technology that requires minimal effort from the user.
Smart thermostats can be a blessing for the home as they add more to your comfort. Having the right temperature at all times can make or break anyone’s day and if you have already invested in an HVAC system, then why not get a thermostat that helps save energy costs.
However, you must be cautious before buying one and not get one solely because someone recommended it. I made the mistake of doing that and ended up with a thermostat that was not compatible with my HVAC system.
During my research, I came across the Aprilaire 8620W smart thermostat that seemed promising. This review will be a guide for you if you are considering buying the Aprilaire 8620W.
Who Should Buy Smart Thermostats?
Smart thermostats are for people who are looking to cut down on their energy costs. They help save about 23% annually on average, which is why many choose them nowadays.
Moreover, they come with special features that optimize the use of the HVAC system in the least costly way possible. If you are someone who likes using their smart home system for everyday tasks, then a smart thermostat is ideal for you.
Smart thermostats support voice assistants that can be given commands to control the temperature.
Almost all smart thermostats have programmability and scheduling features. You can create your schedules instead of changing the temperature constantly. Besides that, if you are someone who wants the right temperature before you get back home then a smart thermostat is great for you.
They also add to the aesthetic of your home as most have modern interfaces that look good in any home. Last but not least, smart thermostats give alerts and reminders to help you keep track of the usage.
Thus, a smart thermostat is anyone who has working wifi and an HVAC system. They are also useful for people who travel frequently since you can control the temperature from anywhere in the world.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Smart Thermostats:
HVAC System Type
Before you invest in a smart thermostat you need to know what kind of HVAC system you have. While most thermostats are compatible with a variety of systems, others not so much. Many companies now also offer compatibility checks online so you know before you purchase it.
Most smart thermostats have detailed installation manuals that make them very easy to install. However, sometimes you need to get the rewiring done for a c-wire connection and that can make it more complicated.
At times because the thermostat is more advanced it has a more complicated setup as well. Thus, you should go for a thermostat that suits the method that you prefer.
Geofencing helps the thermostat know whether your smartphone is within the predefined radius or not. If it doesn’t detect the GPS signals, then it sets the temperature to an energy-saving one. Most thermostats have this feature known as the “Away Mode”. Similarly, once it detects you are in the radius, the thermostats adjust the temperature to what you left it at.
Some smart thermostats are also equipped with sensing capabilities. They can detect motion, proximity, or even humidity, and use those as indicators to adjust the temperature. Some thermostats may not have built-in sensors, but they have the technology so sensors can be purchased separately as well.
Newer thermostats that are a bit more expensive than others now also feature learning capabilities. The thermostat learns your habits for a few days and then automatically makes changes once it has learned your patterns.
It is similar to geofencing too because it also changes the temperature if no one is detected in the room.
Smart Home Integration
Most smart thermostats now connect with voice assistants like Alexa, Google Home Assistant, and the Apple HomeKit. While there are other smart home systems, all smart thermostats have support for different ones and vary for each thermostat.
Aprilaire 8620W Smart Thermostat and Its Alternatives
The Aprilaire 8620W is a touchscreen thermostat that features humidity control, continuous cleaning, and energy-saving features. It has a 10.3 sq inch touchscreen that allows you to easily adjust the settings.
It also has a Smart IAQ feature, so not only does it control humidity, but helps save money as well. Additionally, it can pair with an Aprilaire air purifier and dehumidifier for maximum control.
It is a moderately priced smart thermostat that is compatible with the Amazon Alexa for voice maximum smart integration (Although the Alexa device is sold separately). It is famous for its air cleaning and humidity control in addition to easy scheduling.
You can also download its smartphone app on both iOS and Android smartphones for remote access. However, apart from these, it does not have any other smart capabilities.
Other alternatives in the price range such as the Ecobee 3 Lite are equipped with more. The Ecobee 3 Lite has eco modes that use intelligence to detect whether the user is at home.
It also comes with smart sensor technology that allows more automation and less involvement from the user. Although you have to buy the sensors separately. Also, it is compatible with Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit, Google Home Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT, and Wink.
The Honeywell Home T5 is a cheaper smart thermostat that features scheduling, geofencing, adaptive recovery, and smart alerts. It is compatible with Apple HomeKit in addition to Alexa, unlike the Aprilaire smart thermostat. It is also energy star-certified, which is why it is quite popular.
However, if you want a thermostat that has greater advanced features that simplify your life then the Nest Learning thermostat is a good alternative. It is about $100 more expensive than Aprilaire but has smart learning technology. It is a good thermostat if you want your thermostat to be smart enough to automatically change the temperature.
The Lux GEO thermostat is a budget-friendly option that has support for Alexa, is programmable, and has geofencing capabilities. It is also cheaper than Aprilaire but offers basic features that one expects from a smart thermostat.
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa
- 3 sq. inch touchscreen interface
- Adjustable backlight
- Programmable up to 4 events per day
- Compatible with 2 stages heating and cooling or 4 stages heating and 2 stages cooling
- Dehumidifier capability
- IAQ mode
- Not compatible with any other smart home system
- Frequent glitches
Features of the Aprilaire Smart Thermostat
1. Humidity Control
The Aprilaire thermostat can allow you to connect to its air purifier, humidifier, and ventilation system. Thus it can be an all-in-one solution to maintain the right temperature, moisture, and ventilation in the house.
2. Continuous Cleaning
The purchase of the air purifier allows your home to be clean and fresh at all times. The air cleaner runs for 3 hours before it comes back to normal mode.
3. Display Screen
The 10.3 square inch touchscreen is quite large in comparison to other smart thermostats. It makes it extremely easy to control the thermostat and humidity levels along with its modes. It also shows the outdoor weather, date and time, and temperature modes.
When this mode is on it detects whether you are home are not and if it doesn’t detect your GPS signals then, it turns to a more optimal temperature.
5. Smartphone App
The smartphone app allows you to control the thermostat on your smartphone by simply downloading the app.
6. Compatibility with HVAC Systems
The Aprilaire smart thermostat is compatible with a variety of systems. These include 2 stage heating and cooling or 4 stages heating and 2 stage cooling.
What users think of the Aprilaire 8620W Smart Thermostat
The best way to find what the product is really like is to look for user reviews. According to users, I found that many users like its simple installation, and a useful smartphone app that helped to control the temperature from anywhere.
Apart from that, they appreciate that it automatically changes from heating to cooling as long as they set the perimeters for each. This way you do not have to especially change it from heating to cooling yourself.
Besides that, some users appreciate its large touchscreen display as it makes navigation a breeze. Other than that the feedback was limited.
Final thoughts on the Aprilaire 8620W Smart Thermostat
Overall, the Aprilaire 8620W is a smart, programmable, and simple thermostat. It’s not as expensive as other thermostats like Nest but has lower abilities than it as well.
While it functions well it is compatible with Amazon Alexa and can pair with other Aprilaire products for maximum comfort and efficiency. It is in short a basic wifi thermostat with a few smart abilities but apart from that, it isn’t popular for much.
It does have a few glitches while running though. A few users complain about random temperature changes that they never schedule. Thus, it may not be as reliable as other smart thermostats but for the basic function, it is reasonable.
Although there are cheaper alternatives available that offer more or less the same features. So if you do not like this thermostat you should consider other alternatives from above. Moreover, if you have a smart home system not supported by Aprilaire then you should opt for another smart thermostat. Click here to shop for the Aprilaire 8620W Smart thermostat.