My girlfriend always complained when we’d go up to our cabin at Tahoe during the winter because it was so cold inside. So I thought I’d install a wifi thermostat. Where we could adjust the temperature before we got there, so it’d be nice and warm on arrival.
The thermostat I chose was the Intwine IECT-210. The installation instructions for the unit was fairly good. Having installed a thermostat before it wasn’t new to me. Setting up the WiFi was a little tricky, you need to download a utility from their website to do it. The GUI for this utility is very rudimentary, even for an software engineer like myself, I found it hard to use. The error messages were difficult to understand. Connecting the wifi module to my laptop was easy. I was unable to get the WEP-64 to work with my AT&T wifi router. The utilitiy kept forcing me to enter the WEP password in all 4 entry fields before it would setup the module (connected via USB). After switching my router to a different Encryption method (WPA) I was able to get it to work.
Installing the unit on the wall was really easy. The instructions helped a lot. However, after about 12 hours the batteries in the unit when completely flat. After more carefully reading the installation guide, it turns out the the thermostat needs to be connected to power when using the wifi module. Since the wall heater I had it connected to didn’t have a “C” power output, I had to go and buy a 12V transformer. Now the fun part begins. To connect the transformer I had to cut off the end of the transformers cable, strip the ends then in connect them into the C and RH inputs on the thermostat. I had to temporarily rig up an extension cable to the thermostat to power the transformer. I need to make a trip to the hardware store to get some more cable so that I can route it to the closest powerpoint. Not to happy about that but, at least the thermostat is working now.
To access the thermostat remotely you have two options. An iPhone app and the website. I found the website to be fully featured, but it seemed to be buggy as programming the temp times of day didn’t quite work right. But all in all it was ok. The iPhone app was a let down, it isn’t fully featured. So you can’t fully control the thermostat using it. But it does satisfy our original requirement. You can change the temp of the themostat remotely.
All in all I’m happy with the thermostat. I’m not sure how the lay person would have a chance of setting it up.