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A modern “connected” home is not complete without a smart thermostat.  Arguably it may be the most important device in your automation arsenal. It will provide the most striking impact on your comfort and energy bill.  If you’re not quite sure what a Z-Wave thermostat is all about this page is for you.

What Exactly Is A Smart Thermostat?

A “smart” thermostat is a thermostat that you can control via your smartphone. These devices provide you with the convenience of controlling them anywhere in the world. Smart thermostats with Z-Wave allow you to do things like ensure your house is the perfect temperature without ever having to physically touch the thermostat. A smart thermostat also allows you to truly control your smart home’s energy usage. If a window is opened, it can shut off making sure not to waste heat or AC. No more worrying about if you left the thermostat on when you went on vacation or to work! You can easily shut it off remotely from your phone saving you even more on your homes’ energy bills.

Z-Wave equipped thermostats allow you to adjust and monitor the temperature of your home for both heating and cooling. Some models (such as the CT80B) are equipped with humidity sensors to monitor the relative humidity in your home as well. It can also communicate with other home devices through your controller/hub to set up advanced “smart” management options.

What’s The Z-Wave Protocol?

Z-Wave is a wireless communications protocol used primarily for home automation. It’s a mesh network using low-energy radio waves to communicate from appliance to appliance allowing for wireless control of residential appliances and other devices, such as lighting control, security systems, thermostats, windows, locks, swimming pools and garage door openers. Like other protocols and systems aimed at the home and office automation market, a Z-Wave automation system can be remotely controlled via the Internet from a wireless keyfob, a wall-mounted keypad or through your smartphones, tablets or computers, with a Z-Wave gateway or central control device serving as both the hub controller and portal to the outside. It provides interoperability between home control systems of different manufacturers that are a part of its alliance. As of May 2017, there are over 1,700 interoperable Z-Wave products.

Do I need a Z-Wave Hub, Gateway, or Controller?

The simple answer to that question is, “yes.” Because these terms all refer to essentially the same thing: a central router-like device that not only communicates with and controls all of your smart devices, but also acts as the point of contact between you and your home automation devices.  All of the panels we sell can act as a Z-Wave hub.  For hardwired panels such as the Honeywell Vista series an external module with just a few connections is required.  For wireless panels its just inserting a Z-Wave expansion card in the side of the unit.  The hub and its corresponding interactive app (example Honeywell Total Connect 2.0 or SecureNet) allows you to manage and monitor devices even when you’re not home. The hub not only allows you to control all of your devices from one interface (be it your smartphone or a dedicated touch screen in the home) they also allow all of your Z-Wave devices to communicate with one another, so you can create automated “scenes” that give your tech a life of its own giving you convenience and comfort without lifting a finger.