Nest installation Toronto Condo

Can I use a Nest Thermostat in my Condo

Connected Home Contractors - Toronto and the Durham Region

Can I use a Nest thermostat or other smart thermostat in my condo? Not every situation is the same, and not all situations are compatible, but more often then not a Nest or other smart thermostats can be installed in your condo in Toronto. Here are two major considerations to take into account when assessing your particular situation.

What type of heat and air conditioning does my condo building use?

More often then not Toronto condominiums are heated and cooled using fan coil units or some other unconventional hvac system. If your hvac system employs multiple fan speeds or you hear that your condo management is switching the water from hot to cold or vice versa you are most likely using a fan coil unit. Successful installation of a smart thermostat depends on the brand of fan coil unit and it’s specific control systems. Condo management can give you a definitive answer to what hvac or fan coil system your building uses. The more information you have about your particular hvac system the easier it is to diagnose whether it is wifi thermostat or Nest compatible.

How many wires are attached to my current thermostat?

Your current thermostat will generally employ anywhere from 2 – 7 wires. If you only have the following four wires; R – red wire, W – white wire, Y – yellow wire, G – green wire; chances are good your system is Nest or wifi thermostat compatible. I always recommend an additional C wire for best compatibility. It is also not uncommon to see wires with unconventional colouring codes and letters attached to your condo’s thermostat such as Z wire, G2 wire or a G3 wire. Unconventional wires or colouring codes do not always mean that your system is not compatible with Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell Lyric or other wifi thermostats, but they do usually require professional setup.

At Connected Home Contractors we have successfully installed the following smart thermostats in many condos and apartments in Toronto: Nest Thermostat, Ecobee Thermostat, and Honeywell Lyric Thermostat. Contact us to schedule an appointment here.


August new release dates

August Smart Locks New Release Updates

Connected Home Contractors - Toronto and the Durham Region

The August Smart Lock in my estimation is the best and most versatile smart lock produced to date. August also has a couple of upcoming new releases under the August PRO banner that in my opinion will vastly improve their compatibility and versatility for home automation enthusiasts. As such, I  often get asked by customers regarding the release date for Z-Wave compatibility and the Mortise kit?

August Smart Lock Pro Z-Wave

The August Smart Lock Pro Z-Wave edition will increase the versatility of this smart lock and make it compatible with the widest range of home automation ecosystems, not the least of which is Samsung SmartThings. Reports indicate the August Smart Lock Pro Z-Wave release in the fall of 2017. The following is the official response I received from August.

“We expect that before the end of the year you will see the ZWave compatibility in our distributors!” (words in italics mine)

August Mortise Adaptor Kit

The August Mortise Adaptor Kit was to be released at this time, but August has informed me they are delaying the release so the kit fits more mortise type locks.

“The Mortise Adapter has not been brought to market yet. The major issue that we have found is the limited compatibility with only a small number of Mortise locks (like 2 or 3). Therefore, product team has decided to redesign this product and will announce again at a later date.”

Connected Home Contractors is a Certified August Pro. If you have any questions about the August Smart lock or it’s installation we would be happy to help you here.

Smart Home Connected Home

What is a Smart Home?

Connected Home Contractors - Toronto and the Durham Region

Smart homes promise better security, reduced costs and simpler lives. While the promise of the smart home have made the concept popular, it is not entirely understood.  This ultimately begs the question, what exactly makes a home “smart”?

A Smart Home is about Connectivity

In its most basic form, a smart home is simply a home equipped with network connected (ie. wifi, bluetooth) products or “smart devices”. These “smart” devices (ie. lighting, thermostats, security devices) as opposed to their “dumb” cousins can speak to each other over the network.  When devices can speak to each other and act in concert rather than independently it allows for home automation triggers and simultaneous control. Add these networked devices to the internet and not only can they be controlled  from anywhere in the house but remotely as well.

Essentials of a Smart Home

Does adding one smart device to a home make it a smart home? It is not so simple. A good analogy is the giant leap from ‘dumb’ cellphone to smartphone . While cellphones could call, text and even connect to the internet, smartphones added limitless potential in the form of apps to those basic functions.  In the same way a smart home has limitless potential in the form of connected devices, but must start with a basic foundation. The foundation of a smart home consist of three parts:  a smart home device, a reliable internet connection, and a controller. It is generally thought that a home must have at the very least either a smart security feature or a smart temperature feature in addition to a reliable internet connection to be considered a smart home.

Connected Home Contractors can design your smart home, source and install smart products, program your smart apps and ultimately reduce your energy costs. We also perform an internet assessment to make your internet connection more reliable and cost effective. Schedule a consultation.