Staying connected with Nexia's water sensor, smart thermostat and garage door controller

Trane Thermostat
By Adam Zeis on 3 Oct 2014 01:47 pm

I have been using a Nexia Home system in my house for quite some time. It was actually way back in 2011 (Nexia was then Schlage Link) that I first started up my system with a connected door lock, camera and smart thermostat — and I haven't looked back since. To date I've added window sensors, motion sensors, indoor & outdoor cameras, and connected lighting. Now, thanks to some great new devices in the Nexia line, I've also upgraded my thermostat, added a water/temperature sensor, and a new garage door controller to my current system.

What I like about the Nexia system is that it allows me to monitor my home where I need to, when I need to.

Fortrezz Water & Temperature Sensor

Water Sensor

One of the fears I've had for a while now is that my water heater will bust while I'm traveling, leaving me with a flooded basement and more issues that I'd like to manage when return home. The arrival of Nexia's Water and Temperature Sensor solves just that issue — and gives me peace of mind when I'm out of the house for long periods of time.

Should the unthinkable happen, the sensor will alert me if water is detected so I can take action accordingly

The sensor is a small wireless box that sits anywhere you need to keep track of temperature or monitor for water. For me, it sits quietly on the floor beside my outdate hot water heater, reporting back to my Nexia system that everything is warm and dry. Should the unthinkable happen, the sensor will alert me if water is detected so I can take action accordingly. It does so thanks to two small contacts on the bottom of the unit. When the two come in contact with water, completing the circuit, will sound an alarm and alert me via my Nexia dashboard.

The sensor also monitors temperature, so you can keep and eye on water pipes over the winter for example. If you're going to be traveling, you can monitor the temperature to know if your pipes are in danger of freezing, then adjust your thermostat accordingly to keep things where they need to be. The sensor allows you to set top and bottom thresholds as well, so you can receive alerts should the temperate go over or under your set number.

The sensor works off of two AA batteries so you can leave it for months at a time without having to worry about it, and since it's wireless, it can go just about anywhere you need it to. I actually picked up another unit to put near my washing machine as well — just in case.

Linear Garage Door Controller

Linear Controller

As a parent of a near-teenager, another issue I have is that my garage door seems to be left open more times than not. When my son ventures out to school or to ride his bike and the garage door should be closed, I find out hours later that it isn't. For this the new Linear Garage Door Controller comes in to save the day.

Not only does the garage door controller monitor the open/close status of your door, but it also allows you to open or close the door from your smartphone (or the web) regardless of where you are. That means I can now get an alert that my garage door was left open, and I can close it right from my smartphone — even if I'm not at home.

The controller works with most newer garage door openers (except for these models) — simply mounting the device, connecting the wires to the terminals on your opener, plugging it and adding it to your system. From there you can monitor your door from your Nexia dashboard and open/close it as needed.

In case you're worried about someone actually in the garage getting crushed while you're closing it from 500 miles away, the controller flashes a strobe and sounds an annoying audible alert for a few seconds before actually closing the door.

Trane XL824 Smart Thermostat

Smart Thermostat

Perhaps the coolest (or hottest, take your pick) addition to my new setup is the Trane XL824 Smart Thermostat. I had previously been using an older Trane thermostat connected to my Nexia system, but the newest model is the Cadillac of thermostats. Full color 4.3" touchscreen, built-in Nexia bridge, Wi-Fi connected, upgradeable software — this thing has it all.

Nexia recommends that you have a professional install this thermostat for you, but I took my chances and luckily had no issues getting it installed properly. If you have enough DIY know-how you shouldn't have any issues doing it yourself. Once it was all wired up, a quick setup process ensured everything was running as it should.

The XL824 packs in everything you could possibly need when it comes to controlling the climate in your home

Where my old thermostat had a few menus and controls for things like monitoring my filter, setting the heat or AC, and turning the fan on, the XL824 packs in everything you could possibly need when it comes to controlling the climate in your home. Not only can you toggle your heat/AC, turn on your fan, or set schedules, you can also see the indoor humidity, check the 5-day weather forecast & radar, and much more. It's like a climate command center, right in your home.

Of course it connects to your Nexia dashboard so you can monitor and control it all right from your PC or smartphone, no matter where you are. You can set schedules for your heat or AC, or threshold alerts for specific temperatures (like freezing alerts if you're going to be away).

The Trane XL824 is a huge upgrade over previous models. One of the biggest advantages is that you can actually use this device as your Nexia bridge — eliminating the need for a standalone bridge. If you already have a bridge on your system, the thermostat works as a repeater as well. It's extremely easy to use, has a ton of options — literally at your fingertips — and it just and awesome connected device.


Stay Connected

I'm extremely happy with these next devices from Nexia. I'm all-in with their system and service, so it's great to see them continue to add new devices to the lineup. I'd still like to see some more down the road, along with additional features like full-time recording from cameras and even IFTTT integration, but hopefully those things will come with time. It does carry a $10/month service fee as well (for things like saving videos) so that may be a turn off for some users. If you haven't explored Nexia yet, it's definitely worth looking into — especially with these great new devices now in the lineup.

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Staying connected with Nexia's water sensor, smart thermostat and garage door controller

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