Ever since that historic product, not only have most smartphones integrated touchscreen technology into their user interfaces but so did many appliances that we use on a daily basis, like thermostats.
It’s about time that our appliances got an upgrade, as they are crucial technologies that support our happiness and comfort. Thermostats also influence our energy efficiency, allowing us to save money on our energy bill each month.
In this article, we discuss one modern thermostat from the company Emerson, specifically the Emerson Sensi Touch. First, we give a brief overview of this product, emphasizing its benefits and drawbacks. Then, we compare this thermostat to similar products on the market.
Finally, we offer our thoughts on whether the Emerson Sensi Touch is worthy of purchase.
An Overview of the Emerson Sensi Touch
These prices reflect the device without professional installation included. In order to have the thermostat professionally installed, customers would have to pay additional.
Despite this professional installation option, the Emerson Sensi Touch is advertised as easily able to be installed by the owner, as it relies on the Sensi mobile application to guide owners. This app also allows you to control various settings on the thermostat from remote locations.
This thermostat has a 6.6-inch color touchscreen that can connect with your devices via wireless technology. This means you can manage each Emerson Sensi Touch thermostat you install using your smartphone, tablet, or computer, even adjusting the temperature settings from remote locations if you wish.
This thermostat is compatible with many HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems but not all. A common wire (c-wire) is required for compatibility, though this is not the only requirement. More information about compatibility can be found on Emerson’s website.
Each device is about 3.6 inches by 5.6 inches with a 1-inch depth. This translates to a very square device with a significant bezel.
Additionally, the Emerson Sensi Touch pairs well with other smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa, The Google Assistant, and Apple’s HomeKit.
The Benefits of the Emerson Sensi Touch
- Named the ‘Best Overall’ smart thermostat of 2017, 2018 and 2019 by USA Today’s Reviewed.com.
- COMPATIBILITY REQUIRES C-WIRE: Extensive compatibility*** with HVAC equipment found in most homes. ALL system types...
- SAVE ABOUT 23% ON HVAC ENERGY*: The ENERGY STAR certified Sensi thermostat helps you save on your HVAC energy costs,...
On a superficial level, this is a very sleek, aesthetically pleasing device. Many thermostats are an eyesore and cause homeowners to dread inviting over guests. You don’t have to worry about this with the Emerson Sensi Touch, as it dovetails well with any modern interior design.
This is especially the case since customers can choose between white and black color options, which is a rare choice when it comes to thermostats. Most traditional thermostats come in one standard, uninspiring color scheme that somehow always conflicts overtly with your house’s wallpaper. The white or black options on the Emerson Sensi Touch go well with any wallpaper design.
This is also the case with the soft blue colors on the illuminated touchscreen, which are neither too flashy nor to mellow. Instead, they are sharp enough to provide immediate information without being too noticeable. This means you never have to compromise the aesthetics of your house ever again in order to reap the benefits of a thermostat.
Many customers claim that merely having a touchscreen thermostat in their house enhances the interior aesthetic. In this sense, many customers buy this product not because it’s efficient or effective but simply because of its cutting-edge technology.
While we don’t recommend this approach, it’s still a testament to how elegant and sexy this device is. In a society that is increasingly valorizing electronics as pieces of art and extensions of our personality, these visual qualities of the Emerson Sensi Touch are quite relevant.
The Benefits of the Remote Management
Perhaps the main benefit of the Emerson Sensi Touch is the ability to control each thermostat away from the device.
This means you can control your thermostat from extremely remote locations like the airport or your office. Alternatively, this also means you could control your thermostat from the comfort of your bed instead of having to get up and tinker with the device manually.
This makes this thermostat ideal for anyone that lives in a larger house and frequently operates multiple thermostats. These users can upgrade their entire system with the Emerson Sensi Touch thermostats and then control them all through Emerson’s software. Alternatively, since these thermostats work well with your current system, some homeowners only upgrade one of their units.
Regardless, this ability to remotely control the thermostat is an unprecedented feature within the thermostat industry. Just imagine how much time you spend walking to and from your thermostat as well as tinkering with its settings. This exerted energy could be minimized if you simply made your adjustments using your smartphone, which is possible with the Emerson Sensi Touch.
There’s nothing worse than having to wake up in the middle of the night to adjust your thermostat because the temperature of your room in not amenable to sleeping. This is especially common if you are a sensitive sleeper or if you live somewhere where there are temperature fluctuations throughout the night. In these situations, homeowners with the Emerson Sensi Touch can make any adjustments on their phone without hardly moving an inch.
Homeowners without the Emerson Sensi Touch, on the other hand, might experience disrupted sleep from having to get out of bed to adjust their thermostat. This could lead to fatigue throughout the day as well as other health complications over time. In this sense, the Emerson Sensi Touch is not only cutting-edge but also health-promoting.
The Benefits of Control for Businesses
Emerson also advertises its Sensi Multiple Thermostat Manager software as being ideal for managing many thermostats. This software is best used on a computer where users can benefit from the larger screen.
This software is best for businesses that have many thermostats to manage, making the mobile app not ideal for usage. While the mobile app is free, this software costs money per month, though the amount of control it offers makes up for this cost.
This software is highly lauded by many building managers due to its simple dashboard, which allows you to view the settings of every paired thermostat in the building at a glance. If you want, you can also view more details about each thermostat and make modifications.
The Emerson Sensi Touch would be ideal for businesses that are trying to become more energy efficient, as managers can make sure that unused rooms in their building are employing appropriate temperatures.
For example, many managers will anticipate some kind of office party by programming the building’s thermostats ahead of time. This allows managers to distribute how the building’s resources are being used in order to save money. It doesn’t make sense to heat every office in the depth of winter when most of the employees are enjoying the annual Christmas Party in the break room. Instead, it makes sense to focus the building’s energy on this concentrated room.
Yet, this doesn’t mean that your employees have to return to their offices afterwards only to experience inappropriate temperatures. The Emerson Sensi Touch software allows you to program your thermostat to change at certain times. Thus, you could program your employee’s offices to return to normal heating towards the end of the party to ensure the satisfaction of your employees.
All of this is to say that the wireless connectivity of this Emerson thermostat allows your HVAC to be more efficient. This is because you have more control over how and when it works, allowing you to adjust it based on the usage of your space and the season of the year.
The Benefits of Geofencing
Another feature on the Emerson Sensi Touch that makes it worthwhile is geofencing. This allows users to program their thermostat based on their GPS location, which is ideal for users whose schedules are often unpredictable.
Many inferior smart thermostats allow you to program settings but then stubbornly adhere to these settings regardless of where the user is. This is inefficient and can result in a higher energy bill, especially if the user is unexpectedly away from home for a while.
Imagine, for example, that you anticipate being home from work by 7 p.m., though you are not sure what the approximate time will be. Instead of programming your thermostat to increase the temperature at 7 p.m., perhaps because it’s cold at night, you can enable the geofencing feature. This allows you to set the temperature you want at night before you leave in the morning without worrying about inefficiently heating the house all day.
This is because with geofencing enabled, your thermostat will lower the temperature by 3 degrees when you drive 3 miles away from your house (as long as it’s in heat mode), saving energy throughout the day. Then, when you are within 3 miles of arriving at your house at night, the thermostat will automatically increase the temperature by 3 degrees, making sure the house is warm and comfortable the second you step inside.
Geofencing also facilitates efficient maintenance of your HVAC system in the summer. In these months, geofencing raises the temperature (as long as the thermostat is in cool mode) by 3 degrees when you are away from the house and lowers it when you are almost home.
All in all, this results in a more comfortable experience of your house as well as less time spent predicting your departure and arrival times.
The Drawbacks of the Emerson Sensi Touch
Even though Emerson advertises this thermostat as easily installable in under 15 minutes, this is an understatement.
While this thermostat is certainly simpler to install than traditional thermostats, it’s by no means a walk in the park. Some technologically savvy users will be able to figure it out in no time. But, most homeowners might have more trouble, requiring them to purchase a professional installation package. Yet, because these are so expensive, this would not be an ideal option.
Some critics have claimed that touchscreen technology is not ready to be integrated into thermostats, as even the most diligent users are bound to accidentally program a setting. This is less likely on thermostats that require adjustments using a mechanism on the actual device.
Some critics claim that the temperature of your house is not something that should be taken lightly, especially when there are babies or pets around. If you accidentally initiate a temperature change of even 5 degrees, for example, this could have dire consequences in certain seasons or locations.
Thus, these critics claim that the Emerson Sensi Touch can lead to costly mistakes if the interface is improperly used. This could happen with less technologically savvy users, like children or older adults.
How Does the Emerson Sensi Touch Compare to Similar Products?
What makes Nest so unique is that it’s considered a learning thermostat, meaning you no longer have to program it to meet your preferences. Instead, it’s able to learn from you after adjusting it manually for several days, remembering these settings in the future.
At the end of the day, both products offer users significant control over their thermostats. Nest thermostats are notable for pairing well with other smart appliances, like lights, making it preferred by some users.
If you don’t like adjusting the settings of your thermostat, then we recommend Nest.
Our Final Thoughts on the Emerson Sensi Touch
We think any smart thermostat is desirable in today’s world considering how ubiquitous touchscreen technology is.
While we think the Emerson Sensi Touch has many attractive features, we think some customers might prefer the unique design of the Nest thermostat in addition to its learning abilities.
Ultimately, we think either product is worthwhile and will make your energy usage more efficient.