Kessil

Smart Thermostats safe for your reef?

Rostato

Supporting Member
Who has a smart thermostat?

My thermostat broke today and I need to replace it. But I’m worried it’ll shut off the AC and cook my tank in the summer or turn off the heat and allow my tank to cool too much.

Thoughts?

I’m kinda just thinking I need a dumb thermostat so I can set it to temps that won’t kill my tanks.
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
It's hard to trust a thermostat.
I control heaters and chillers using apex and GHL controllers via their own temp probs.. I feel this was the safest.

I also have a nest temp sensor inside my cabinet so I can track ambient temp next ti my tank and can 3ven have nest thermostats follow that sensor with its climate regulation..lol



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sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
There is no reason to get a "smart" thermostat. Get a dumb one, they're digital and programmable, you set the maximum high and low temp you want your house at, and even at what times, and call it a day. You know you'll be at work from 9to5 set the program up to be a little warmer during that time before AC comes on 82 instead of 72 or whatever the value is.

What's a smart thermostat going to do? Detect no one in the house so let it get hotter? Dumb ones can do that for known times you're not there. Smart one allows you to control the temp remotely? Sorry if your tank heat sticks on all the AC in the world isn't bringing your tank temp down
 

rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
There are really TWO separate questions here:
1) Should I get a smart thermostat?
2) Should I trust any thermostat?

I would say no to #2. Any thermostat can fail. Actually, AC probably fails as often.
Thus, you really should have a heater/chiller as backup on your tank if you rely heavily on the AC.

So once you have a backup, you can decide on smart or not separately.
It is cheaper to chill your tank in a hot house than to chill the whole house, so it might make sense.
 

Rostato

Supporting Member
Yeah I keep my house at 78-79 in the summer. So it’s right on the borderline of being too hot for the tank. A fan in the sump keeps it cool.

In the winter my house stays at 69. So I need heaters for sure in the tank.

I just don’t want to let the house get hotter or colder than it currently does.
 

JVU

BOD
Staff member
My main concern with a smart thermostat isn’t that it will fail, but that it will do its job as described. Which is to change the house temp settings and tolerances based on what it thinks I might want, rather than what know I want and set it to. I wouldn’t mind being able to see temps and change setting remotely, that might be convenient. I just don’t want it trying to guess what I want because in my experience these things never guess very well for me in particular.
 

Mozby

Supporting Member
I just recently installed a new furnace and AC over the summer and decided that I might as well add a Nest Thermostat as well. While I am no expert on whether it’s best for houses with aquariums, my personal opinion and experience so far is that it works like a regular thermostat but has modern conveniences and ease of use that the traditional one might not have. i.e You can control it via phone app or through Alexa/Echo. As for the “learning” feature, it doesnt actually guess what you like, rather it remembers what you set it at previously at certain times of the day and repeats it automatically. If that is not desired, it’s easy to erase “learned setting” from the app or disable learning feature entirely. My two cents: I think the ease of use is nice and can’t imagine that it would be detrimental to the tank.


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sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
Modern programable thermostats are not "smart" thermostats, however they are leaps and bounds beyond old school mercury switch thermostats.

The Honeywell one I have, which wasnt that high end of a model allows me to set time 4 separate time zones, and weekday, saturday and sunday differences. I set it to a relatively high 68 at about 6am, then down to 65 at around 10:30am since dont need the heat as much, back up to 67 around 5pm then down to 63 at 11pm. These are heat cycles only and it's comfortable enough for me. The only time I get up, lazy, to chang the temp is when it gets really cold for some reason or it starts to get warm again in which case I just turn the thermostat off.

If I had A/C I could set that up as well, no need for my thermostat to think about how warm I want it, I tell it what I want.
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
Just to be clear, it is very inefficient to control aquaroum temp using house ac compared to heater/chiller..
I have a nest temp sensor next to my aquarium mainly for data collection, I rarely have made my home ac setting to control aquaroum ac
I do operate my aquarium on 2 temp points one for winter and one for summer where its closer to my avrage home ambient temp.
Summer I do 78~77, winter i do 76~75.

My 2 cents

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Flagg37

Supporting Member
My main concern with a smart thermostat isn’t that it will fail, but that it will do its job as described. Which is to change the house temp settings and tolerances based on what it thinks I might want, rather than what know I want and set it to. I wouldn’t mind being able to see temps and change setting remotely, that might be convenient. I just don’t want it trying to guess what I want because in my experience these things never guess very well for me in particular.
I got a nest for our new house. Honestly it was mostly because of the form factor. It just looks cool. If I had it to do over though, I may not pick it again. It’s “learning” was all over the place. When I found out you can adjust its program there was no consistency. Probably because we aren’t like most homes. Our kids are homeschooled and so we’re home at different times all the time. There’s no real consistency to our schedule. I had to look up how to completely turn off the learning part. Now we just set the low temp before the heat turns on and the high temp for the AC to kick on.
image.jpg
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
I got a nest for our new house. Honestly it was mostly because of the form factor. It just looks cool. If I had it to do over though, I may not pick it again. It’s “learning” was all over the place. When I found out you can adjust its program there was no consistency. Probably because we aren’t like most homes. Our kids are homeschooled and so we’re home at different times all the time. There’s no real consistency to our schedule. I had to look up how to completely turn off the learning part. Now we just set the low temp before the heat turns on and the high temp for the AC to kick on.
View attachment 12963
Same experience here. I have the learning function disabled cause its horrible.
I found the away function very useful. Besides that, only useful thing is the phone app that u can remotely access and control the device...

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Rostato

Supporting Member
Just to be clear, it is very inefficient to control aquaroum temp using house ac compared to heater/chiller..
I have a nest temp sensor next to my aquarium mainly for data collection, I rarely have made my home ac setting to control aquaroum ac
I do operate my aquarium on 2 temp points one for winter and one for summer where its closer to my avrage home ambient temp.
Summer I do 78~77, winter i do 76~75.

My 2 cents

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I definitely don’t use ac or heat to control temps. Just to help each other. It’s a cohesive relationship.

I still use my apex to control heat and fan.
 

Flagg37

Supporting Member
Same experience here. I have the learning function disabled cause its horrible.
I found the away function very useful. Besides that, only useful thing is the phone app that u can remotely access and control the device...

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That’s right, I left out the best part. Being able to check the temp and adjust it without having to get out of bed makes up for so much.
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
That’s right, I left out the best part. Being able to check the temp and adjust it without having to get out of bed makes up for so much.
Oh the other useful thing is using the nest temp sensor. I have sensor in each room, some times I instruct the nest to take its temp from specific room instead of the room at which the thermostats is in.
Example: i like to keep ambient temp at 74~72. my bedroom usually is colder than my living room(nest in the living room) at night. So while living room showing temp 74, my bedroom is like 69. So some times I ask the nest to use bedroom temp so it regulate it when am there...

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