It was finally time to replace the dinosaur. Our furnace was first installed in the mid nineties and it wasn’t the correct size BTU that we needed for our house. The fact that the previous owners used a wood stove in order to supplement the heat as well as the fact that we keep our house at 60 most of the time probably added to its longevity. However, it was terribly inefficient according to our HVAC contractor.
Once it was decided we were going to go ahead with a new furnace the conversation quickly turned to adding a WiFi thermostat. Our old turn dial thermostat was likely original and it served its purpose (It’s not hard when you leave the arrow pointed to “60” almost all of the time) We had been putting this upgrade off for years but it was finally time for a new one.
Note: If you’re interested in seeing the LUX Products GEO thermostat in action, be sure to check out the bottom of the page where I’ve included a short video.
Where to Buy the LUX GEO
My HVAC contractor was adamant that we not install a Nest since he refuses to work on houses with these installed, something about his aversion to technology. There is something to be said about installing the same types of devices over and over, making it easier and more efficient to serve your customers. This means we had two options, either a Honeywell WiFi thermostat or a LUX Products Geo and since our furnace was to be installed shortly there wasn’t time to order online – it had to be purchased locally. While we didn’t have much choice, I was ultimately swayed as the technician read to me on the box of the LUX Products GEO that it supported Google assistant. It also appeared to have a relatively simple interface which ended up being true. We paid $145 locally although it can be purchased much cheaper on Amazon. At time of writing the LUX Geo sells for $95 and you can purchase it from Amazon here.
Setting up your LUX GEO and Mobile App
While I didn’t have to worry about wiring it looked simple enough with the installation guide. We used the “C” wire installation guide. Once the Geo was wired up I went right to downloading the app and creating my account. The trickiest part of the process is getting the LUX Geo connected to your home WiFi network. The provided instructions were sufficient, although I did have to try it twice before it worked.
Here is a pdf of the LUX GEO installation manual for those who are curious
There is one thing to make sure you understand about the GEO that is easy to overlook in the instructions. The GEO should only be used with lithium batteries and there is a setting on the GEO to set your “energy profile”. Setting this up also effects the delay in the GEO responding from changes in the app as well as smart home devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa. This is in order to save battery life.
Review of the LUX Products App
The “Geo” stands for geofencing, meaning that you can set a radius of your choosing around your house. Once you leave the specified area, the Geo will automatically set your temperature to a predetermined setting also called “away”. You can also override the away setting in the app. Below are a few screenshots from the LUX app on my phone. The first image is the screen where you can modify the temperature and settings. What I like most about this is the simplicity in being able to modify the target temperature. Digging into the settings you have the ability to set “Away Heat”, “Away Cool” and there is a separate section to modify the schedules at the bottom of the app. You’ll notice that my heat schedule is set to 60 degrees all of the time. This is typically what we keep our house at and then we override it if necessary. You’ll also notice the back button which allows you to access the geolocation settings. We have set a .5 mile radius around our house when our away settings will kick in.
Once the above settings are set there isn’t much else you have to do. If you like to look at your furnace runtime LUX Products has created a nice interface to do so. It is linked off of the main page at the bottom of the app (see above). It’s interesting to look at the differences of run time as it relates to the outdoor temperature and to see how long the furnace needs to run in order to achieve a target temperature.
If you don’t have your phone handy, all of these settings can be accessed and changed through the LUX Products login page. It also allows you to download additional data to dig into furnace runtime further.
LUX GEO Review Wrap Up
What I really like about the LUX Geo is the simplicity of the functions on the unit and the app. This is something that is definitely user friendly for those who are less tech savvy but still want the capabilities of a WiFi thermostat. It’s not going to ‘wow’ your friends with its capabilities or sleek styling and the quality of the LCD screen leaves a bit to be desired, but the value for the price and ease of use still make this a great choice. I view the LUX GEO as a minimalistic WiFi thermostat which has all of the features that most people would want. The wheel navigation works well and will be familiar for those with older thermostats. Check it out for yourself on Amazon.