Trane Zwave Thermostat

23 Feb

Today I installed our new Trane TZEMT400 Z-wave enabled thermostat. You may recall that this is a replacement for the 2Gig CT-30 we originally installed.

One of the big additional features that this thermostat has (or that the CT-30 lacks) is that it reports the set point back to the Z-wave controller. This way you can tell what the heat is set at remotely, even if it has been manually changed at the thermostat. Installation was a little more straightforward than with the CT-30, due to the more logical method of mounting a plate with wire terminals and then snapping the control on to that. This thermostat did require the installation of a “C” wire, which required replacing the original 18-2 thermostat wire with an 18-3 to gain the extra conductor. I’ll probably cover this in a separate post.
This thermostat was the easiest device to pair with Z-wave I’ve used so far, there was no button holding or mystery sequences to enter, you just scroll to “Join Z-wave network” and press OK and then it’s up to the Z-wave controller. It worked instantly, and I did a remote enrollment at full power from about 15 feet away instead of bringing the controller right next to the thermostat. It also fetched the time from the Network as well, which was a nice touch.
The thermostat has only been installed for a few hours so I can’t really comment on durability ad user friendliness but I won’t be afraid to point out quirks and shortcomings as they are discovered.

5 Responses to “Trane Zwave Thermostat”

  1. donavan February 24, 2012 at 2:35 AM #

    Hey, things are looking good.
    And I have to admit i was totally confused about this whole zwave thing.
    But then i read some of the older posts and caught up.

    I know its late But did you look into the nest?

    My friends wife did their photography and it looks pretty sexy as far as thermostats go.
    will it work on your system?
    Anyway Im sure you got it all working by now?

    • Jerry February 26, 2012 at 6:01 PM #

      Thanks, yeah I’ve heard of the nest and looked into it a little. I do think it’s a beautiful device. My problem with the nest is that it tries to predict what you want, but if I’m going to interact with my thermostat anyway, why don’t I just TELL IT what I want? The Z wave thermostat allows me to set a program based on our expected use and then modify that while we are home or away via the thermostat or iPhone/ website.
      I have experienced heating and air conditioning systems that tout themselves as “automatic” in various vehicles I’ve owned or driven, and instead of it being a convenience, I find myself trying to trick the computer into doing what I want. For instance, I can not get cool air to come out the foot vents of my BMW if the ambient temperature is below a certain threshold unless I turn it all the way down to 59°, the lowest setting. So because someone at BMW could not conceive of someone having sweaty feet when it’s cool out, it’s nearly impossible for me to get what I want.
      So I have found that any time a machine tries to guess what you want it is usually wrong, so I decided to decide for myself what I want the temperature of our house to be instead of having to consult with my thermostat.
      I’d actually be very interested to see what your long term experiences are with the Nest.

      • Donavan March 1, 2012 at 3:29 PM #

        Copy that.

  2. Jim December 22, 2013 at 5:14 PM #

    Has the Trane thermostat been reliable? The CT-30’s are awful.

    • Jerry December 23, 2013 at 7:50 AM #

      Hi Jim,
      Thanks for writing. Yes, as you saw we tried the CT-30 and unfortunately it did not live up to the expectations. If I recall correctly, one if the biggest shortcomings was its lack of ability to report the current state of the system.
      The Trane, however, has been rock solid with no hiccups at all. We now have it running both our heat and AC systems. The AC was only installed this summer and it did take a little diligence on the part of the installer to carefully determine which unit should be providing power to the thermostat and to not cause a conflict. If you have any installation or “C wire” issues please feel free to write back and i’ll do my best to help you out. If I have one complaint about the Trane it is that, physically, it is not the best feeling when you actually interact with the buttons, there’s a lot of flex to the housing and the fact that the buttons have a good deal of resistance makes it a little noisy to use. I do like the indiglo style backlight on the unit. Corinne has often been tempted by the seductive looks of the Nest, but I still prefer the operation and compatibility of the Trane. That being said, if the Nest supports Z-wave at some point you will probably see one our wall because it is cool looking. In summary, I would not hesitate to recommend the Trane Z-wave thermostat. It has been completely reliable for over a year now and I think it will serve you well.

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