The reality is: virtually all smart thermostat makers advise against it. Why? Because it’s complex and dangerous, it requires extra hardware (a relay), and there are options out there that make a lot more sense.
That’s right: Nest, Ecobee, and a number of other manufacturers of 24V smart thermostats warn against using their products with electric heaters.
I mean, technically, you can – you may have seen smart home bloggers and YouTubers who managed to “achieve” this complicated setup. But the truth is that the physical setup required negates virtually all the smart technology that helps you save energy and money – we’ll get into that in just a minute.
Just think about it: The hardware isn’t built for it, the learning and heating algorithms weren’t designed with it in mind, and it requires extra wiring that should be done by a professional. Wiring that is at best, complicated, and at worst, dangerous. 240V lines should only be handled by professionals and require precise calculations to make sure there’s compatibility.
Please Let Me Relay This To You.
Remember, electric heaters are exactly that – electric. High Voltage appliances coursing with a potentially dangerous current. They require a lot more electricity to pass through the thermostat than one designed for a furnace. In order to hook up a thermostat made for 24V to a 240V line you’ll need to install an electrical relay alongside the thermostat. This does a couple of things – it acts as a buffer between the thermostat and electrical current, and also acts as a heatsink.
It also has negative side-effects. You know all that money-saving and comfort-making technology built into smart thermostats? Advanced control, heating algorithms, etc? Throw those out the window. By installing a relay between your thermostat and main-line, you’re taking all that advanced technology and reverting it to a simple ON/OFF setup. This is COMPLETELY counter-intuitive.
Simply adding an extra piece of hardware won’t give you the control you crave. In fact, it might be the complete opposite. Smart home technology is only smart when you use it the right way. Compromising that (especially when dealing with high voltage electricity) can have a ton of negative consequences.
It Comes at the Cost of Savings.
Smart control is one feature people expect out of their thermostats. But with new technology comes new benefits – and one of those is energy savings. Saving energy is a huge goal for some people and a smart thermostat is one of the very best ways to reduce your energy usage and carbon footprint. On a more practical level, using less energy translates to lower energy bills and more money in your pocket every month. One of the biggest barriers to outfitting a home with smart thermostats is the upfront cost. But here’s the thing: if you do the math, virtually any smart thermostats will pay for themselves in only a couple of years, which is a small fraction of the average life of a thermostat.
The average MSRP of a low voltage thermostat is quite reasonable. You pay anywhere from $250-$500, (depending on your setup and need for extra sensors) and you get full control of your heat through advanced algorithms and technology. These are designed to use less energy and help you save money.
But there’s a problem: using a relay-based workaround for 24V thermostats on line-voltage heaters will cost you more. It completely negates one of the major benefits of smart thermostats by transforming sophisticated technology into a primitive version of itself. This is because you have to have a thermostat and relay system for each heater in your home. This means at least $250 + $30 per heater, with none of the bells and whistles.
It’s like expecting a sportscar but getting a horse and carriage. You just aren’t going to get the performance you want.
No – there’s a much better way to control your baseboard heaters with your smart home setup.
And it saves you money too.
Mysa does what Nest and Ecobee do – but for electric heaters. There’s been a big lack of real smart solutions available for High Voltage heating in the smart home space, and Mysa’s ready to change that. Not only does it share virtually all the same smart features as Nest or Ecobee, it actually has a wider range of compatibility with smart home systems. It’s a full-fledged, money saving option for something that can eat up to 60% of your power bill. Savings range from between 13-30% on average, and at $125 per thermostat, it more than halves the $280 entry to inefficiency that you’d get with a 24V thermostat + a relay. A Mysa setup will pay for itself in only a couple of years.
So You Have a Couple of Options:
Install an expensive piece of smart home hardware to do something it was never designed to do.
Buy smart home hardware specifically built to handle and regulate Line Voltage loads.
Nest and Ecobee both make great hardware – but so do we. And we make it specifically for the homes that they can’t serve: 1 in 3 Canadian and 10% of American households use baseboard heating as their primary method of home heating. Even more have a couple of electric heaters in their house as secondary or backup heating.
We’re making a huge difference in the lives of people who use electric heat. Are you one of them?