I just found out that 3M has partnered with Radio Thermostat to release a Wi-Fi programmable thermostat called the 3M-50 under the Filtrete brand (I was reading a reader's blog post on it here: Sandeen.net 3M wi-fi thermostat).
Currently, the 3M thermostat is selling at Home Depot for $99, which is way cheaper than the Ecobee unit that I have installed at my house ( the Ecobee product is selling for $469 on their website. Read our review on the Ecobee internet programmable thermostat).
From the product website, you can find nice installation and operation instructions. However, I don't see anything in the operation instructions on accessing the thermostat over the web? Seeming to re-iterate this point, is one of the reviews on the Home Depot website:
This thermostat requires special HVAC wiring (needs an extra wire) It is confusing on how to get the WiFi to work. Took over an hour to install and program. There are no instructions in the package to tell you how to connect to the internet. he thermostat manuals that come with the unit do not even guide you to connecting the thermostat online. This makes no sense. When I eventually found a website that I could use, I found the instructions (why not in the package???).
And those same points were reiterated by another reviewer, although they had some good advice:
Ok, so the instructions aren't included in the package. If you're interested in the WiFi or iPhone capability of the thermostat, you're web savvy and shouldn't have any issues finding the directions or videos online, The videos are better than printed instructions because you can actually see what's going on. Take your time, review the videos if you need to, and the install isn't bad at all.
I was just informed that once you install your 3M thermostat, you can activate it at the Radio Thermostat remote web page. I did find these PDF instructions for setting up the 3M radio thermostat over wi-fi on your home's wireless network. Here are some screen-shots I took from iTunes on the Radio Thermostat iPhone app. I really like the fact that you can control two thermostats (upstairs and downstairs) from one app:
I'd be very interested to see more information on the web programming capabilities of this thermostat. The Ecobee unit is fully programmable over the web and I can set the temperature with the Ecobee iPhone app. I can also see reports on the history of the thermostat (how long the furnace was on, the temps throughout the day, the humidity levels, etc.). The Ecobee unit also has a pretty neat display touch screen that looks a little nicer than the 3M Radio Thermostat.
But for all of the advantages that I've experienced with Ecobee, if the 3M Radio Thermostat is a little under 1/5 of the Ecobee cost, that could mean all the difference to many thermostat controllers!