How To Install Nest/Ecobee With Electric Baseboard Heaters
Brad Pretty, 2 years ago   |    42   |    6 min read   |    87773

In the world of smart home technology, smart thermostats are the perfect combination of easy to install and instantly beneficial. If you’re ready to swap your old thermostats for smart devices, be aware that not all smart thermostats are compatible with all heating systems.

For instance, Nest and Ecobee both make very popular smart thermostats, but are they a fit with your electric baseboard heating?

Unfortunately, No.

The reality is: Virtually all smart thermostat manufacturers advise against installing Nest and Ecobee thermostats with electric baseboard heating.

Why? Simply put, they are not compatible. It’s also overly complex and dangerous. Nest and Ecobee thermostats were made to control low voltage (24V) heating systems and electric baseboard heating is high (or line) voltage (120V or 240V). 

Installing a compatible smart thermostat is quick and easy. But, installing a smart thermostat that is not designed for compatibility with baseboard heating requires added hardware (a relay in this case). Instead of doing the extra (and quite dangerous) work, consider an option that’s already designed for baseboard heating.

Nest, Ecobee, and a number of other manufacturers of low voltage smart thermostats warn against using their products with electric heaters. 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. More on that in just a minute. 

But for now, just think about it. The hardware isn’t built for electric baseboard heating. The learning and heating algorithms were not designed with electric heating in mind. And it requires extra wiring that has to be set-up by a professional. Wiring that is at best, complicated, and at worst, dangerous. 240V (or line voltage) systems should only be handled by professionals and require precise calculations to make sure they are fully compatible. 

If you’re looking to get rid of your old thermostats and replace them with smart devices, there are options made specifically for electric heat. Upgrading from a traditional or programmable thermostat to a smart thermostat is a great idea. But it’s important to first understand what type of heating system you have, so you can choose a compatible device.

Ecobee smart thermostat in a sleek kitchen

Please Let Me Relay This To You.

Remember, electric heaters are exactly that – electric. 

High voltage appliances, like baseboard heaters, are coursing with a potentially dangerous current. They require a lot more electricity to pass through the thermostat than one designed for a low voltage system, such as a furnace. 

To install a thermostat made for a low voltage (24V) system with a line voltage (240V) system, you’d have 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 acts as a heatsink.

This also has some negative side-effects. 

Do 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 mainline, 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 do 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. Ultimately, you lose the ability to increase the efficiency of your baseboard heaters and save.

It Comes at the Cost of 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 thermostat will pay for itself in only a couple of years, which is a small fraction of the typical lifespan of a thermostat.

The average price 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 to install low voltage thermostats on line voltage heaters will cost you more. This is because you have to have a thermostat and relay system for each heater in your home. So that amounts to at least $250 + $30 per heater, and you lose any smart benefits.

Installing a low voltage smart thermostat like Nest or Ecobee with electric heating completely negates one of the major benefits of smart thermostats. It essentially transforms sophisticated technology into a primitive version of itself. It’s like expecting the power and features of a sports car, but getting a horse and carriage instead. You simply aren’t going to get the performance you want.

Thankfully, there’s a much better way to control your baseboard heaters with your smart home setup. And it saves you money too.

Mysa Smart Thermostat in a modren designed room

Meet Mysa.

Mysa smart thermostats do what Nest and Ecobee smart thermostats do – but specifically for electric heaters. 

There’s been a major lack of real smart home solutions available for line voltage heating and Mysa changes that. 

Not only do Mysa smart thermostats share virtually all the same smart features as Nest and Ecobee, they actually have a wider range of compatibility with smart home systems. Our thermostats are a full-fledged, money-saving option. Heating can eat up to 60% of your power bill, so it’s a great place to save. 

On average, people experience 26% savings on their electricity bills using Mysa. Ultimately, a Mysa smart thermostat setup will pay for itself in just 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. Or, buy smart home hardware specifically built to handle and regulate line voltage loads.

It can be dangerous and costly to install a smart thermostat that isn’t compatible with your home’s heating system. While Nest and Ecobee are two great options for low voltage heating, Mysa was specifically designed to control line voltage heating. We’re making a huge difference in the lives of people who use electric heat. 

Are you one of them? Check to see if you’re compatible!

Sleek. Subtle. Smart.
They say that less is more. We agree completely. Beige and boring is over. It's time to let your style shine — with a smile.
Shop Now

42 Comments

  1. Bob Burt

    Help. I have 4 electric heaters in the ceiling of a parking garage to prevent pipes from freezing. I would like to have them on a thermostat to be controlled by smartphone. would 1 thermostat be able to control all 4 units,

    1. Rebecca Collins

      Hi Bob,

      In theory 1 Mysa could possibly control all 4 units; however, unfortunately Mysa is not compatible with in-ceiling heating at this time. My apologies for the inconvenience!

  2. Allen

    Hi,

    I live in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment where I have a baseboard heater in every single room and in living room (total 5!). Every single baseboard heater is controlled by its own thermostat. Is there anyway I can control all of them with a single Mysa thermostat? For my situation it seems I need to buy 5 of them and would be overkill and very costly as each is priced at $125 at the moment.

    1. Rebecca Collins

      Hi Allen,

      You would need 5 Mysas as 1 Mysa cannot act as the sole controller for all 5 baseboards. However at this time, we do have free shipping and a 10% off discount code, TAKE10, which can help with the cost. I hope that helps!

  3. Paolo

    I’m wondering what to do when I have a mixed-use system: I’ve got my HVac running both heating and cooling for my entire condo [until things here in Montreal get “Canadian-Cold”] along with a series of baseboard heaters. Why can’t I find a system that lets me connect both an HVAC AND Baseboard heaters to the same system so that everything can communicate together?

    1. Brad Pretty

      Hey Paolo,

      Unfortunately nothing exists yet that can do that, but once we integrate with other smart home systems that may be possible. Until then you’ll need separate systems.

  4. Jacob

    i need 5 mysa thermostats, can they be controlled by an app and used as zones? can i set timers or specific on times for them?

    1. Brad Pretty

      Hey Jacob!

      Yes to all of the above. You can set schedules instead of using a timer, however.

  5. Rohan

    I have old style baseboard heaters and some newer ones put in by the previous owners. In all cases the control module is not on the wall it’s attached to the baseboard heater. Only difference is the newer ones are digital and the old ones uses a control knob. Does Mysa manage these, or only if the controller is on the wall by the lightswitch.

    1. Simon Mac odemba

      Hello Rohan, the Mysa is a replacement for wall mounted thermostats only, unfortunately, this retrofit wouldn’t work.

  6. Steve

    Can mysa be controlled by bluetooth or wifi with Alexa

    1. Brad Pretty

      Mysa uses WiFi as a standard, and can be controlled through alexa as well.

  7. Jon

    I use electric baseboard as the second stage of heat in my home, primary is a heat pump. Can the Mysa be integrated with the Ecobee to stage heating during the winter and swing months?

    1. Brad Pretty

      Hey Jon,

      You can use a proprietary system like IFTTT to do something like that, but no, there is no native functionality as of right now.

  8. Hoss

    Hi there. I have a two bedroom + loft townhouse. I believe I will need 5 thermostats. Sounds like Mysa is a great way to control them even when I am out of town using wifi. I wanted to also get a smart lock to give access to cleaners remotely. Do I need to consider an integrated system that is compatible with both Mysa and the smart lock or can I choose any smart lock and just treat the two systems separately?

    1. Brad Pretty

      You could do either, depending on what you are more comfortable with. Integrations are always a great way to keep everything in one place.

  9. Nick Goulet

    Do you have any plans for any other colour options other than white? Black or stainless perhaps, similar to the higher end look of the Nest vs Nest E?

    Just checking before I buy a bunch of white ones and kick myself that I didn’t wait!

    1. Brad Pretty

      As of right now there are no plans for other colours, as we’re just keeping up with demand for the white ones. Never say never in the future, but it’s not an immediate thing.

  10. joe

    do you ship to the USA ??? and do the work with both Celsius and Fahrenheit??

    1. Brad Pretty

      Yes and Yes!

  11. Ilene

    I’m looking for a smart thermostat that will work in my condo. It’s 3 hydronic baseboard heaters that are currently controlled by one old school sliding switch. Will it work?

    1. Brad Pretty

      Hmmm, it’s impossible to know based on the description. Some hydronic systems work with us, some don’t. Your best bet is to remove the thermostat and contact our support team with a picture of your wiring. They’ll be able to determine compatibility.

  12. Gavin

    For newest news you have to go to see internet and on internet I found this web
    page as a best website for most recent updates.

    1. Brad Pretty

      We’re a pretty good website, we’d like to think!

  13. Gaurang Bhatt

    So, I am moving into a home with 5 thermostats that control each room. And, another thermostat on the 2nd floor that controls all heating and air conditioning. Would I be able to get Ecobee and 5 Mysa and connect them? Is there a discount code if I need to buy all 5?

    1. Brad Pretty

      You would have to use a smart home platform to make sure that they all work together, but it’s definitely possible! If you buy 5 Mysas at once you get $20 off each one – or $100 total. The discount is automatically applied in our storefront at shop.getmysa.com

  14. Willy Drucker

    How is using a relay with a Nest and 240v electric baseboard heater “COMPLETELY counter-intuitive”? I get all of the benefits of smart integration, scheduling, etc. This seems like bogus statement and makes me not want to buy your product (which I was interested in). Can you elaborate, you didn’t above…

    1. Brad Pretty

      Sure! A relay is an on/off switch, so the Nest is not monitoring the load directly in with its heating algorithms. By having a relay instead of a Triac you’re looking at more fluctuation and heating inaccuracy.

  15. Chris

    great article, and thanks. You just saved me a boatload of money trying to upgrade my home to Nest, and failing.

    A few Questions:
    Closed on a condo Friday, spent the weekend ripping out the 50+ year old baseboards…
    2 BR 880 Sq Ft home. There were a total of 8 baseboard heaters running on 3 thermostats, the 8th having a light switch attached to it to turn it on and off, but this did not work. All 240V. I am replacing them with Stelpro Bella High end baseboard, they are slim and powerful.
    1. How many Watts can each thermostat handle? While I realize I need a separate thermostat for each room – the front room is 18’x18’, and I’d like to put 2 103”, 2500W – one on each side. This is the room that has the broken one with a switch currently. I would have the wiring added by electrician to extend to other side of room.
    2. If I have multiple thermostats, would one act as a master and the other as slaves for control purposes?

    Thanks in advance
    Chris

    1. Brad Pretty

      Hey Chris!

      To start, the maximum wattage for each Mysa is 3800W. So you would not be able to combine 2 2500W heaters on the same thermostat. You would need separate Mysas for those heaters. As long as the combined total of the heaters attached to Mysa remain under 3800W, you can attach multiple heaters to the same thermostat.

      As for Master and Slave, Mysas doesn’t operate in this manner. Each Mysa is identical, but if you want them to follow the same settings, you can group them into zones.

      Any more questions, feel free to ask.

  16. Jean-Laurent

    I have 8 baseboard electric heaters controlled by one old Minivector low voltage thermostat (24 to 30 VAC) in a large room. There are only two wires going to the thermostat. Can Mysa work with such a system which I presume is on some sort of a relay?

    1. Brad Pretty

      By the sound of it, your baseboards are getting power directly and are remotely monitored by a low voltage thermostat (with relays). Mysa would not work with the setup as is – each heater would need their own Mysa.

  17. Felix

    Does the Mysa have a self learning programme like the Nest?

    1. Brad Pretty

      Hey Felix,

      Mysa currently does not support self-learning but it’s an advanced feature that our developers are hard at work on for launch in the future.

  18. Catalin

    I see lots of complaints from customers that bought this thermostat. They complain that the thermostats are not self connecting to WiFi network…. Beyond the design restriction (no display) which is another huge issue, this connectivity issue is a big deal. So, beter for Mysa to communicate this hidden issue if not you might get into other complications…..

    1. Brad Pretty

      Hey there,

      One of our big priorities is connectivity and over the past few updates we’ve drastically improved the overall functionality of the device to the point where it’s not nearly as much of an issue as it once was.

  19. Tim

    I see that your system does work on WiFi. My question is can I use smartphone technology to turn baseboards on from my phone. I have a 2400 sq. ft home with my baseboards set up on 5 zones. Each room has its own thermostat which is low voltage. How many units of yours would I need to make this work.

    1. Alexander Chafe

      Hey Tim. Yes, you would be able to control your baseboard units from your smartphone with a Mysa.

      Please reach out to our support team at support@getmysa.com to see if your heating system is compatible with Mysa.

  20. Mark H

    I have read many reviews that state if there is a power outage the thermostat does not reconnect to wifi. Is this still an issue? Will it continue to work manually once the power comes back on even if it does not reconnect to wifi?

    1. Alexander Chafe

      Hey, Mark! We have made many advancements to ensure that Mysa will reconnect to wifi after a power outage, however, if you do have an issue with this we have a diagnostic test to help resolve things. Our device will continue to work manually even if it doesn’t automatically reconnect to wifi.

  21. kris chambers

    I have baseboard heaters in some rooms and heated floors in others. Could a mysa in each room control both types of heating and look the same throughout the house? Also, if I purchase 6 mysa’s, will there be software updates with improvements or would I need to replace all 6 to get updated features?

    1. Alexander Chafe

      Hey, Kris! You would need Mysa for Baseboard to control your baseboard heating and Mysa for In-Floor to control your in-floor heating. Unfortunately, neither of our products can be wired to control both systems.

      Software updates are sent automatically, so no need to purchase anything to receive those 🙂

Leave a Reply

Related Posts