Sensi Smart Thermostat Review

The Sensi Thermostat Front ViewIntroduction

Welcome to my review on the Sensi Smart Thermostat. Hopefully, this review is one of the most helpful detailed guides that you have come across.

Would you like to buy a smart thermostat from a company that has been making thermostats for decades?

What about a thermostat that has won a coveted award for it’s high levels of customer satisfaction?

If that is the case then the Sensi Smart Thermostat might be the device of your dreams.

Made by Emerson who have been making thermostats for 75 years, the Sensi has been on sale since the end of 2013.

Contents

I have tried to write one of the most detailed reviews on this device that is available.

In order to help you, I have split it into sections. And so, just click on the section that you want to know more about.

(1) Editors' Pros & Cons
(2) Basic Specifications
(3) Smart Heating Features 1
(4) Smart Heating Features 2
(5) Software & Apps
(6) Home Automation
(7) Design & Power
(8) What's in the Box?
(9) Installation Guide
(10) Set Up Guide
(11) Buyer Pros and Cons
(12) Popular Questions
(13) Helpful Resources

Editor’s Pros and Cons

OK, if you are in a rush let me just cut to the chase and show you a list of pros and cons.

I created these after spending many  hours reviewing lots of smart thermostats.

Pros
Cons
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Made by a Trusted Company
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Relatively Expensive
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Well Built
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Only 1 PIN code
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Anti Tamper & Anti Fire Alarm
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Not Compatible With Home Automation Systems
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2 Emergency Back Up Systems
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Not Smartphone Compatible
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Very Stylish
The Sensi Has Won an Award
The thermostat can be controlled via an app

Basic Specifications

Manufacturer
Emerson Thermostats
First Sold
December 2013
Weight
1.5lb
Dimensions
5.9 x 0.9 x 3.8 inches
Warranty
1 Year
Price
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Smart Heating Features 1

In the following two charts, I look at the features for this device that directly relate to heating and cooling.

Room Sensors
Geofencing
Remote Access
Energy Saving
Weather Forecast
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Room Sensors

Some smart thermostats come with room sensors. These are placed in different rooms around the house and linked to the thermostat and help to monitor the temperature around the house, not just in one room.

Unfortunately, the doesn’t use room sensors.

GeoFencing

Geofencing is the ability of a smart thermostat to detect  your location via your smartphone.

Systems that use geofencing can switch off as a person leaves the house and can switch on as you come home.

This unit doesn’t use geofencing.

Remote Access

However the Sensi thermostat does allow remote access via the app on smartphones and tablets and compatible browsers on your PC or Mac.

This access allows you to control your Heating, Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) system from a different part of the house or a different part of the world.

Energy Saving

The Sensi thermostat will say you up to 30% off your energy bills.

However, it doesn’t send you any energy reports.

Weather Forecast

This device provides you with a local weather forecast, which is shown in the top right hand of the screen on the thermostat.

The Sensi App Controls The Thermostat
The app comes with a built in installation guide

Smart Heating Features 2

Programming
Compatibility
Hot Water
Humidifier
Auto Programming, 7 Day
Majority
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Programming

The Sensi has to be programmed manually but it has a custom 7 day scheduling function. This gives the thermostat the flexibility to have individual schedules created for each day.

You can also set up heat only or cool only schedules.

It also has an Auto Mode function that allows the thermostat to automatically switch between heating and cooling depending on a temperature range that you select.

So for instance if you set a high point of 75 °F, then if the temperature goes above this, your cooling system will start. If you then set a low point as 65 °F then if the temperature falls below that your heating with start.

If the temperature stays between 65 °F and 75 °F then neither your cooling system or your heating system will be in use!

All of these features can be controlled by the app on your phone.

Compatibility

The Sensi is the smart thermostat that is the most compatible with heating and cooling systems than any other smart thermostat on the market.

To check that it is compatible with your own system use the tool on this page.

But as a brief overview, it is compatible with;

  1. Four stage heating systems
  2. Two stage cooling systems
  3. Heat only systems*
  4. Cool only systems*
  5. Heat pumps*

*Although the Sensi can run without a “c” wire, these types of systems require a “c” wire in order to function.

Humidifier

This unit does not control humidifiers or dehumidifiers but it does work with them.

Software and Apps

In this section, I explain about all the software and apps that are available for this thermostat. The ease and control with which a thermostat can be controlled by software or apps is incredibly important to customers.

iOS App
Android App
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iOS

In order to run the free Sensi app on your iPhone, you will need to be running iOS 6 or later.

In my experience, most smart devices require an iPhone or iPad to run iOS 8 or later and so this app can be used successfully on older iPhones and iPads

Android

In order to run the free Sensi app on your Android phone or tablet you will need to be running version 4 (this version is named Ice Cream Sandwich for some strange reason) or higher.

The good news is that you can also control your Sensi thermostat via most modern web browsers. This is great because it means that you can access the control from your Mac, PC or Chromebook as long as the browser is fairly up to date.

Firefox

Your computer needs to be running version 18 or later

Internet Explorer

Your computer needs to be running version 10 or later

Chrome

Your computer needs to be running version 24 or later

Safari

Your computer needs to be running version 5 or later

 

The app schedules the thermostat
The App Displays Lots of Information

Creating a Schedule in the App

 

Home Automation

This section is all about how compatible this device is with other products as part of the smart home revolution.

Every smart device can connect with one or more different smart “systems” and the main ones are listed below.

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Apple Home Kit
Z Wave
Zigbee
Amazon Alexa
Wink
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This unit only works with two “smart systems”; Amazon Alexa and Wink

Alexa

The Sensi thermostat works on a basic level with Alexa.

Using your voice you will be able to set, lower or raise the temperature on your thermostat.

In order to do this you will need to own an Amazon Echo.

Wink

Wink is system that allows different smart devices to be control via one app, the Wink app.

In order for your Sensi to work on the Wink system you need to have a Wink hub and then you can just add your thermostat in the free Wink app.

Design & Power

Different Colors
Material
Power
Touch Screen
Easy Install
Plastic
x2 AA batteries
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Power
This unit can be powered by x2 AA batteries but it will only provide limited functionality by doing so.

For instance, it will not connect to your wi-fi if it is powered by batteries.

Also, some types of systems require the device to be powered by a “c” wire. Systems that only provided heat or cooling would need the thermostat to be powered by a “c” wire.

Easy Install

Package Contents- What’s in the Box?

When you buy this device, the following items should be included in the box.

  1. Sensi Thermostat
  2. Thermostat back cover
  3. Installation Guide
  4. x2 AA batteries
  5. x2 screws and wall plugs
  6. Sensi Security Code
The Thermostat is about 6 inches long by 4 inches wide
The Sensi Has Quite A Few Control Buttons

Installation Guide

There are 11 steps to installing your Sensi thermostat.

The manufacturers believe that it should take you no more than 15 minutes to install it.

However, there is something that you need to do first and that is to check that your system is compatible.

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Before you start the installation process, download the Sensi app as it has a step by step installation guide as part of it.

Step 1 Turn off the power to your heating and air conditioning.

Step 2 Remove your old thermostat cover

Step 3 Photograph your wires

Step 4 Throw away any jump wires

Step 5 Select your wires

Step 6  Select your equipment

Step 7 Label your wires

Step 8 Remove old thermostat base

Step 9  Install new thermostat base

Step 10 Connect the wires

Step 11 Remove battery tag and remove wires.

Setup Guide

There are a further 7 steps to setting up your thermostat.

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Step 1 Connect to “Sensi”- You will need your Sensi security card for this

Step 2 Press menu then “connect” on the thermostat

Step 3 If your have an Android phone, choose the second step “Tap here to select Sensi and enter your Sensi password.”

or

Step 3a On an iPhone or iPad, press the devices home button on the phone. At your home screen, find “Settings” and then select “Wi-Fi.” You will see Sensi in the “Available Networks” list.

Step 4 Select your wi-fi network

or

Step 4a Enter the details of your wi-fi network manually

Step 5  Type in your wi-fi password

Step 6. If your thermostat does not connect you will see a “check wi-fi status” notice.

Step 7 If  your Sensi thermostat connects successfully, you can now register your device. There are several fields to fill in.

Sensi Package Contents
The Sensi Is Illuminated at Night

Buyer Pros and Cons

I have created these pros and cons after spending time reading lots of reviews written by people who have bought the Sensi thermostat.

At the time of writing (February 2017), this thermostat has a rating of 4.3 out of 5 with over 2,300 written reviews. Over 1,800 of these reviews are positive!

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It ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Smart Thermostat” in a survey by J.D. Power.

Pros
Cons
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Easy To Install
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Wi-fi Connection Intermittent
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Great Customer Support
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Heat Only & Cool Only Systems Need a "C" Wire
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Remote Controlling
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Not Apple Home Kit Compatible
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Flexible Scheduling
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Alexa Compatibility
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Customer Service

Popular Questions

At the time of writing this review (February 2017), well over 1000 questions had been asked about the this product and 996 have been asked. This is a very popular product with an active support community.

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The most frequently asked questions about this product are;

Q: What is the difference between the Pro and DIY version of this thermostat?

A: The only difference is that Pro model comes with the option for a company to add their logo onto the unit. It is essentially the same product with different licensing options.

Q: Does the thermostat use an internal web server or does it use the manufacturer’s server?

A: This question is a popular one as people are concerned about the security of any wi-fi enabled product that they have in their home.

The Sensi uses the manufacturer’s web server.

Q: Can upper and lower temperature limits be set that cannot be altered?

A: This question was asked by someone who rents out a house and wants to have more control over the heating and cooling systems.

Although the temperature can be controlled remotely, upper and lower limits cannot be set.

Q: Will this product work with Amazon Echo?

A: From March or April 2016, this device has been compatible with Amazon Alexa. Using your voice you can ask Alexa to change the temperature.

The Sensi is compatible with Amazon Echo
The Sensi is Compatible With Wink

Helpful Resources

You might want some more information to help you choose.

I have included some official video and written guides that you can find below.

Video FileInstallation & Connection
Video FileProgramming
Video FileCreating Multiple Schedules
Operating Guide
Installation Guide
Scheduling Guide