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Saswell Alpha T18UTW-7-WiFi Thermostat Review

Heating and cooling systems require thermostats to make the temperature optimal as per your needs. While traditional or older thermostats work fine at doing the job, smart thermostats provide additional ease of use to add to your convenience. Smart thermostats are much more expensive than non-smart ones.

However, in the long run, they are more cost-effective. Most smart thermostats have automatic temperature adjustments that help save costs when you are not at home.

You do not even have to worry about switching the system off before leaving or coming to an undesirable temperature when you come home from somewhere.

It is important to be able to identify the features that you look for in a smart thermostat. Many thermostats these days are programmable but do not have any smart capabilities, and yet are sold as smart thermostats.

Programmable, wifi-enabled, and smart thermostats are often used interchangeably but you should be able to differentiate between them before investing in one.

There are many top brands in the market now such as Honeywell, Nest, and Ecobee, but there are also some lesser-known brands such as Johnson Controls, Radio thermostats, and Saswell, which are considered to be equally good.

You should generally not buy one that your friends or family recommends because their HVAC system requirements and smart home capabilities might vary from yours. I fell for my friend’s smart thermostat only to later discover that it wasn’t compatible with my HVAC system. I then came across the Saswell Alpha T18UTW-7-WiFi Thermostat

While it is not as famous as other top brands in the category such as Nest or Ecobee, it is still a reliable thermostat. By the end of this review, you will be able to decide whether you want to buy it or not.  

Who should buy smart thermostats?

Smart thermostats are a good idea if you wish to integrate your smart voice assistant to your thermostat. For many handicapped or visually impaired people, this can be a huge help.

All they would have to do to make the temperature more comfortable would be to command their smart home system to increase or lower the temperature.  Apart from that many thermostats have other smart features that require minimal effort from your end and so if your budget allows it you should go for them.

Many wifi-enabled and smart thermostats offer smartphone apps that allow you to control the temperature no matter where you are. Thus, if you are someone who travels a lot then a smart thermostat would be a good investment.

Many smart thermostats also send alerts for when the temperature is too extreme and thus, you can adjust it without actually being in the house.

The most basic precondition to having a smart thermostat is having an HVAC system installed. Apart from that you also need a high-speed wifi connection for the smart features to work. Other than that, smart thermostats are for anyone who wants their thermostat to automatically make changes in the temperature without the user’s involvement.

Factors to consider before buying Smart Thermostats:

C-wire

If you don’t have a c-wire connection then you will most likely have to get one for a smart thermostat. However, some smart thermostats now don’t come with a c-wire, or if they do then they also provide a c-wire adapter. The c-wire ensures constant connection to the wifi and hence, the smart features. It supplies 24V of electricity to the system.

Compatibility with HVAC system

HVAC systems can be of different types such as air handler, heat pump, gas furnace, air conditioner, etc, and thus you need to ensure that the thermostat you’re getting is compatible with it.

Smart thermostats mostly are low voltage and thus are compatible with HVAC systems that have low or 24V voltage. However, if you have line voltage systems then most thermostats nowadays won’t be compatible with it.

Ease of Installation

Most people that replace their old smart thermostat with a new one only take a picture of the wiring of the old one before they switch the wires.Thus, installation is a breeze, especially with the manual guides. However, some more high-end thermostats often require professional installation.

Voice-control assistant integration

Most popular smart thermostats are compatible with integrated Smart home assistants such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Home. Thus, if you have a smart home device at home, then you should make sure your thermostat is compatible with it for you to be able to make use of the feature.

SASWELL Alpha T18 Smart Thermostat and its Alternatives

The SASWELL Alpha T18 Smart Thermostat is a budget-friendly, touchscreen smart thermostat with a built-in Alexa voice agent already installed into it. What sets it apart from others in its range is its sensor and smartphone capabilities.

You can also adjust the settings from your tablets or Apple watch. It Is compatible with most HVAC systems including 2-stage heating and cooling systems as well as dual fuel systems, and oil, gas, and electric systems.  

It is quite a good-value smart thermostat compared to the competitors. Most models in this price range do not come with sensors or built-in Amazon Voice Assistant.

That being said, it does require a c-wire. So you will need a c-wire connection if you wish to buy this thermostat. However, if you do not want to touch the wiring and would much rather buy another smart thermostat then the Emerson Sensi thermostat, is a good alternative as it does not require a c-wire and much like the T18 is compatible with a wide range of smart home systems including Amazon Alexa. It’s also a few bucks cheaper than the SASWELL Alpha 18.

Another option is the Ecobee3 2nd Generation Thermostat, which also does not need a c-wire. It too is compatible with Amazon Alexa, and also comes with sensors like the SASWELL Alpha T18. It is, however, a more high-end thermostat and so offers a lot more smart features.

The Nest Learning thermostat is also a high-end thermostat, which offers unique learning capabilities rarely found in other thermostats. So, if you are looking for zero involvement with the thermostat and want it to function on its own then you should also check this out.

Pros

  • Compatible with most HVAC systems
  • Budget-friendly
  • Does not require a fifth wire
  • Connects with humidifiers and dehumidifiers easily
  • Room sensor
  • 23% annual saving on electricity costs
  • Built-in Amazon Alexa

Cons

  • It requires the C-wire connection
  • The smartphone app crashes a lot
  • Not compatible with other smart home systems

Features

1. Built-in Alexa

This is one of the features that sets it apart from other smart thermostats in its price range. It comes with a built-in Alexa voice agent . You can command it to set alarms, play music, check weather, adjust the temperatures, set your schedule, and much more.

2. Energy-Saving

This thermostat helps you save energy up to 23% annually on your electricity costs, no matter what kind of an HVAC system you have.

3. Compatible with many types of HVAC systems

The SASWELL Alpha T18 is compatible with a wide range of HVAC systems including gas, oil, electric, dual-fuel, conventional (2-stage), heat pump (4-stage heating, and 2-stage cooling), humidifier, dehumidifier, ventilator, HRV, and ERV.

4. Electric control Module

This feature is quite useful. It does not require you to get a fifth wire, which leads to a reliable and safe power source.This is a good feature especially f you don’t have a c-wire connection installed.

5. Room Sensors

The room sensors ensure uniform cooling/heating in the room. It also works with the local weather, desired settings, schedule, etc.

What users think of the SASWELL Alpha T18 Smart Thermostat

While I was looking for online reviews by users of the SASWELL Alpha T18, I came across a lot of positive feedback. Many users rave about the built-in Alexa feature. It helps them control the settings, play music, and set timers without having to get up. It also can listen to your voice from a greater distance.

Many users also appreciate the fact that the installation is quite easy. You can do it with the help of the SASWELL manual and save money to get it professionally installed.

Moreover, the scheduling is also quite easy and users felt it was easier compared to other smart thermostats.

Final thoughts on the SASWELL Alpha T18 Smart Thermostat

Overall the SASWELL Alpha T18 is a simple, useful, and smart thermostat that offers programmability, voice assistance, and sensor capability in a reasonable amount.

Its requirement of the c-wire is not a must thanks to its electronic control module feature. However, besides the sensor and built-in Alexa, the thermostat is essentially just wifi-enabled. It is cost-efficient but if you want more advanced features then this is not the thermostat for you.

There are other alternatives for the same price and better smartphone apps for controlling the temperature. The SASWELL Alpha T18 is a good investment if you want a simple smart thermostat with voice recognition and assistance. Other alternatives, however, have been mentioned in this review. So if this is not the smart thermostat for you then you should check those out.

Click here to shop for the SASWELL Alpha T18 Smart Thermostat.