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Smart Home

This pricey smart thermostat promises 'perfect' indoor temps

You don't need a Lennox HVAC system to use its new iComfort E30 Smart Thermostat.

The Lennox iComfort E30 Smart Thermostat works with Amazon's Alexa voice control platform.

Lennox

HVAC manufacturer Lennox also sells a variety of air quality and heating and cooling accessories through its list of approved dealers. Their newest product, the iComfort E30, is a $360 touchscreen thermostat touting a variety of smart features. This model is currently only available in the US; $360 converts to roughly £275 and AU$455 at the current exchange rate.  

First, and perhaps most importantly, you don't need a Lennox-brand HVAC system to operate the iComfort E30. The official press release says this thermostat will work with "any brand of HVAC system," although it is also compatible with the Lennox iHarmony Zoning System. 

The iComfort E30 also works with Amazon's Alexa-powered voice control speakers. While that shows Lennox understands the growing demand for smart home partnerships in everyday devices, many of today's connected thermostats work with more than one platform. 

Honeywell on Wednesday added Google Home integration to its Lyric thermostats (prices start at $150), which already integrate with Alexa and Apple's Siri-based HomeKit software (Apple is expected to debut its own standalone smart speaker, the $349 HomePod, in December). 

Nest's $249 Learning thermostat works with Alexa and Google Home and the Editors' Choice Award-winning $249 Ecobee4 thermostat integrates with a long list of platforms, including functioning as an Alexa speaker itself. 

So why should anyone spend $360 on the iComfort E30, in addition to paying a dealer-assigned electrician for the installation? 

The thermostat's "Perfect Temp" and "Feels Like" features sound intriguing. Essentially, they are supposed to consider the indoor and outdoor temperatures, as well as the indoor humidity to determine ideal heating and cooling settings for that particular day. Lennox can also supposedly track your home and away status using your phone's GPS and auto-adjust your heat and A/C accordingly. The iComfort E30 tracks outdoor air quality levels, too, and will turn on the fan automatically when pollen and other allergen levels are high. 

I'm still not convinced this thermostat is worth its $360 price, but am curious if its "Feels Like" feature really can account for regular day-to-day temperature and humidity changes. We've requested a review unit, so stay tuned for our hands-on impressions. 

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