In the digital world, smart thermostats are being widely used to control indoor heating, ventilation, and air cooling (HVAC). All you need is the internet to connect to it and you can have the luxury to control it with a mobile app or your laptop. Unlike traditional thermostats, you do not have to manually adjust it, which thus provides you with ease of use.
Programmable thermostats are hence a great investment as you can set a schedule into the system according to different timings and needs. Before diving into this review you should be sure about whether a smart thermostat is what you are looking for. While indoor heating and cooling are a comfort to have in the home, it can still be costly for many especially since you need to clean and do regular maintenance.
I too invested in such a thermostat because despite mine being programmable, it used to be a long and tedious process. This then made me wonder if a programmable thermostat is meant to be programmed then it should at least be offering that particular feature as best as possible.
I started asking my friends about their programmable thermostats and many of them had the same problem with theirs. That was when a friend told me about her touchscreen thermostat, the Emerson Sensei. It was one of the few touchscreen thermostats out there that could be programmed easily on a weekly or a customizable basis.
The Emerson Sensei is one of the most sought after smart thermostats available. This article is for all those people who are looking for an Emerson Sensei Review. So, let’s begin.
Things to consider before buying Wifi Thermostats
Manual thermostats have been in use for many years, but as everything becomes digitized the manual technology for the HVAC system is becoming obsolete. They require you to walk up to the thermostat and rotate it until you get the right temperature. That becomes very inconvenient, especially at night.
Since they used more electricity as well especially when you wouldn’t be home, programmable thermostats started being manufactured in an attempt to save energy. Thus, Wifi thermostats became popular and if you are in search of one then you are on the right page.
Who should buy it?
If you have good wifi, a smartphone, and/or a laptop then Wifi thermostats are a must-have for you. Similarly, if you have a shoddy, unreliable Wifi, then you should reconsider getting a smart thermostat.
As you will constantly hope for your wifi to work so that your thermostat can work. Moreover, programmable thermostats allow you to operate the thermostat even if you’re not home yourself. But say your kids are, then again it is a worthy investment for you.
Factors to consider before buying Wifi Thermostats:
Since thermostats don’t run on battery, they require power that is often low-voltage but that comes from the HVAC system. This requires you to have a C or Common wire and not an R wire as it can backfire and damage your system. Most manufacturers thus recommend using a C wire for power as it is the safest. So, look for a C wire thermostat if you are looking to buy a programmable thermostat.
Even though smart thermostats are fairly easy to install, you should still just in case make sure there is an installation guide with your device.
The wires need to be attached properly, so make sure you understand how to install the system with care.
Even if you have a smart thermostat that you can control with your smartphone, we still recommend that it comes with sensors as well. Sensors detect motion and proximity themselves. So if the house is empty and it doesn’t detect any motion then it will automatically stop cooling or heating the rooms.
4. Smart Home Compatibility:
Most homes that have wifi now also have smart-home systems such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home Assistant, or Apple Homekit.
If you have one of these then you should opt for a smart thermostat that is compatible with your smart-home system. This will allow you to enable voice command. Then, you will be able to turn up the temperature or turn it down with your voice.
Unlike the old thermostats that used to have analog dials to control the temperature, there are now very user-friendly interfaces.
The interface should be able to display all the relevant information that the user needs to be aware of.
With the rise of touch-enabled gadgets, touch screen thermostats are also becoming popular. But you should note that they are the most expensive ones out there.
For your smartphone app to connect with the thermostat geofencing feature allows your HVAC system to know when you are close to it.
Geofencing will also establish if you are within the perimeter. If you’re not then it will assume that you are not home and the HVAC system no longer needs to run.
It is extremely important to know whether your HVAC system has high voltage heaters (mostly fan heaters or radiant ones). If you do then you need a thermostat that is compatible with that high voltage.
Voltage for HVAC systems can be divided into the high voltage (110V/240V), low-voltage (24V power), and gas-based heaters (millivolt power). You need to ensure that your HVAC system is compatible with the smart thermostat you wish to buy.
Presenting the product
The Emerson Sensei Thermostat is a cost-saving, smart thermostat that helps save energy by up to 23%. Not only is it compatible with almost all HVAC systems but is programmable in a way that is a perfect fit for your lifestyle.
It comes with a guide, mounting screws, wire labels, a security code card for the app, and 2 AA batteries. It has many models but the most popular ones are the Emerson Touch Smart Thermostat and the Emerson Sensei Wifi Smart Thermostat.
Additionally, it comes with geofencing, customizable scheduling, interactive display, and remote access. While the Nest learning thermostat offers automatic features and is regarded as the leading smart thermostat, the Emerson Sensei is the most affordable yet value-adding one. By the end of this Emerson Sensei review, you will know all that you know if you are considering buying the smart thermostat.
Who is it for?
The product is a must-have for anyone who has a smart home device such as Amazon Echo or Apple Homekit etc. However, if you are someone who wants a smart thermostat that consists of a motion sensor or automatic-scheduling feature then the Emerson Sensei is not a good fit for you. This is especially a concern for people who have older or handicapped persons living in the home.
That being said, you will have to invest in new wifi if your old one is slow or has frequent connectivity issues if you decide to buy this wifi-enabled thermostat.
Features & Benefits
Let’s see what the Emerson Sensei has to offer in terms of its features and functions:
1. 7 Day Scheduling
As a programmable thermostat is expected to be able to create schedules, this smart thermostat does that efficiently and with ease. You can set a weekday, weekend, or customizable schedule for every day with this thermostat.
Not only that, but it also allows you to create multiple schedules. For instance, if you need to alternatively enable schedules each day then you don’t have to create a new schedule every day.
2. Cycle Rate Adjustability
The cycle rate is the time that it takes for the temperature to change before the heating or cooling is turned on. It provides the user with a slow, medium, or fast option. So you can choose whichever mode suits you at that particular time. The slow rate is usually for people who have the boiler systems.
Whereas, we recommend a fast rate for people who want a consistent temperature. One thing to keep in mind is that with the slow one, the temperature fluctuates more. However, the system does not turn off and on as much as in the case of the fast one.
3. HVAC Compatibility
The Sensei thermostat works well with a water boiler, forced air (gas, electric, and oil), heat pumps, and radiant heat systems. However, it will not work with millivolt heating, proprietary, or line voltage systems.
4. C Wire
The company states that the thermostat does not require a C wire. Many reviews left by users suggest having a c wire connection as it enhances the connectivity and is more optimal. Otherwise, you will be replacing the batteries much more frequently.
5. One App for all thermostats
The Sensei mobile app helps connect to multiple thermostats that you might have in your home, office, etc. You do not necessarily need the remote every time you want to adjust the temperature.
6. Keypad lockout
You might have a young child in your house who loves to press buttons. Then this feature prevents the thermostat from changing the settings. The screen is locked and no changes are made, all the while having full control through the Sensei app.
7. Connectivity to other Home Assistant Systems
You can control your Sensei Emerson Thermostat now with voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Wink. Instead of locating your phone, you can simply give voice commands to adjust the temperature according to your liking.
8. Energy Star certification
This feature is especially for those people who are tired of paying so much for energy costs and just want a more efficient and cost-saving alternative.
9. Multiple Modes
Sensei Emerson thermostat features a fan mode, temperature hold mode, and a temporary hold mode. Fan mode is great for pollen season especially if you have allergies. The fan has a MERV-12 filter that prevents you from having watery eyes and nose. The hold modes allow you to keep the temperature constant especially when you don’t want it to be fluctuating.
Once the thermostat has been installed (which takes hardly a few minutes, watch this video for how to install the Emerson Sensei), then comes programming it according to your needs.
Scheduling the thermostat is one of the most popular features of the Emerson Sensei. You can set schedules with the smartphone app or manually from its interface. All you need to do is set the times and what temperature you want for each of the slots.
Geofencing allows you to adjust the perimeter around your house and the system pings you with notifications for when you exit or enter the perimeter.
After my thorough research about the Emerson Sensei, I concluded that most users felt content with the product. Also, they appreciate the easy installation and compatibility with Amazon Echo. Many users were appreciating the help they received from the customer support if they did face difficulty. furthermore, they gave positive feedback for their services. The reviews also suggest that even though they had researched other fancier units, the Emerson Sensei had all the features that were relevant to them and the features worked to their full potential. So overall the reviews were quite positive.
Now that the Emerson Sensei review is out of the way, let’s consider some other options that are similar to the Emerson Sensei and how they differ from it.
- Trane Thermostat
- Nest Thermostat
- Carrier Thermostat
The Trane thermostats come with cooling and heating columns which allow for the heating to be spread over more than one component. Generally, their cooling stages are lesser than the heating ones. Similar to the Emerson Sensei models almost all of the Trane models are programmable, which makes scheduling extremely easy.
Unlike Emerson Sensei, Trane’s wifi thermostat is compatible with Nexia Smart System in addition to Alexa. What’s more, is that it offers a live weather report on its display screen.
However, this feature is not available in all models as of now. Moreover, Emerson Sensei only had the touch screen in one of the models whereas almost all the Trane thermostats come with a touchscreen display. This feature makes it very easy to operate.
Additionally, newer models of Trane thermostats now have a removable screen which Trane refers to as “armchair programming”. This essentially makes the screen act as a remote. While the Emerson Sensei models are around $70 to $200, Trane thermostats are considerably pricier than that, going from $100 to $600. Click here to see the full features offered by the Trane Nexia Control thermostat.
Nest Thermostats are the most popular smart thermostats. This is because of the many features they provide in addition to the most basic ones. They have amazing controls and have a more aesthetically pleasing look. Also, they are compatible with Google Home, much like the Emerson Sensei.
Even though Nest has lower-priced models as well, and thus their prices range from $100 to $500. But Emerson Sensei is still much cheaper than Nest ($70 to $200). Even though the functions are pretty much the same for both. Nest has a more sophisticated design as well, unlike the Emerson Sensei thermostat.
Nest offers more compatibility with a wide range of HVAC systems, you will be able to find a thermostat from Nest that is fully compatible with your HVAC system. These include gas, electric, heat pump, oil, radiant, hot water, forced air, and solar. We can not say the same about the Emerson Sensei. What’s more, is that Nest now has models that incorporate humidifiers and dehumidifiers but Emerson Sensei has not come up with a model that has these as yet.
Additionally, most Nest thermostats come with a wide range of sensors such as temperature, humidity, and proximity. Click here to see the full features offered by the Google Learning thermostat.
Carrier happens to be one of the most popular HVAC systems and equipment manufacturers. It still produces non-wifi thermostats though which is not the case with Emerson Sensei. The newer models have started featuring touch screens for ease of use, similar to Emerson Sensei. Carrier thermostats mostly come with their routers which makes their infinity series unique.
Much like the home systems compatibility with Amazon Alexa for Emerson Sensei, Carrier is also compatible with COR home systems. Carrier thermostats range from $475 to $1350 and are not in the same budget as Emerson Sensei thermostats, Carrier is much more high end.
Unlike the Sensei, Carrier thermostats have a humidity control function. This helps draw in the humid air while the AC is on. None of the Emerson Sensei models have a humidity feature as of now. Furthermore, Carrier also updates on the weather and has 4 or 5-day weather forecast predictions. None of the Sensei models have this. What sets Carrier thermostats apart from others available in the market is its hybrid heat (or dual fuel) feature. The heat pump connects to a backup furnace that runs on gas. It turns on when the temperature goes below the freezing point. This kind of technology is still new for many thermostats. And it is certainly not available in any of the Emerson Sensei models.
Click here to see full features offered by the Carrier Performance thermostat.
Thus, the Emerson Sensei allows for easy scheduling and comes with different modes for your mood and convenience. It is the best-value smart thermostat out there and is quite reasonable compared to other smart thermostats that are available. Its geofencing feature and usage reports are quite valuable for anyone who takes interest in features like those. If you are someone who is looking for a smart thermostat that offers most of the functions that you look for in wifi thermostats, then the Emerson Sensei is ideal. However, if you want something more sophisticated and a thermostat that features a humidifier as well, then you should consider other alternatives that are mentioned in this review.
Additionally, it is aesthetically pleasing and will compliment your home while adding to your comfort. While other brands like Carrier or Nest are offering more features and functions, they still do not fall in the same price range that the Emerson Sensei gives for the value it provides. It can be concluded that it is a more budget-friendly smart thermostat that can provide comfort in your home with the touch of your smartphone. We hope that this Emerson Sensei review helps you decide whether you want to buy it or not.
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