Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat - 3M Radio Thermostat

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: 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!

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Can post one to you if you pre-pay. Purchase via online, ship to me, and I will forward to you.
This sounds so cool! Just what everyone needs. :) Where can I get one?
Does anybody know the C wire connection option for the (3m50 ) I have two cable with 5 wires each. One for gas burner heat ! I use W wire & Rh wire and the other Cable for Hvac using the Rc wire, G wire and Y wire. What option do I have for the C wire connection for 3M50 ?
I just installed 2 3M50's (The Home Depot version of this thermostat). Every furnace has a "C" or common wire. It's the other side of the transformer that is used to control the heat. The real question is whether or not you had a wire for your old thermostat, or if you have an extra wire in your wall. If you don't, the site has some information on ways you can still power the thermostat. Other than that, installation was a breeze. I've done this many times, so it only took me about 10 minutes. Things that I like about the 3M50 - I can program the stat from the web, the iPhone app is simple to use, and I can control the thermostat from anywhere (and make sure my Wife doesn't turn the heat up too high) :) As for heating history, it looks like that feature is coming - at least that was posted on the online forums.
Right, it's just that many people may run into trouble on an otherwise "simple" install if there's not a C wire at the wall. I don't know how common it is to bring it up ... Looking in my old Weil Mclain, there's an existing harness w/ spade connectors for the C wire, none of which are easily accessible to add a wire. I can do it, but many people in my situation would probably return the device rather than open up the furnace and muck around with parts from radio shack. (or trail a wire down the wall to a 24VAC transformer...) I'm sure it's not unique to this device, as anything beyond bog-simple is going to require more than 2 AAA batteries.
Hi Richard, Did you finally find a 3M50 Wifi thermostat in Europe?
Looks very interesting. One possible concern is that it would allow my sweetie to turn up the heat from her iPhone - rather than hinting to me to walk over to the thermostat - so the heat will be turned up a little earlier than it would otherwise have been - so my bills might go up, rather than down with this level of control :-)
ckmapawatt's picture
Just don't tell your sweetie about the iPhone app!
If you want a little nicer display on a more capable unit, the CT80 ($199) thermostat direct from RadioThermostat might fit the bill; it has a programmable text display which could in theory present whatever information you send it, a larger touch screen, a humidistat, etc. As far as heating history, etc, I agree that this would be nice - I haven't yet seen what the web interface looks like. However, the support forums are discovering APIs to talk directly to the device (and RTCOA promises a formal/stable API soon) so I think new, exciting applications could spring up around these devices. I plan to get one, and the first thing I'll probably do is graph out furnace run time, inside/outside temperature, etc. Later on I think heat anticipation etc could be built into external control. It is baffling that there is no explicit information on wifi setup with the unit, though. The requirement for a C wire is also a bit unique, and may result in a lot of returns. How is the Ecobee unit powered?


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