Thermostats used to be basic and bulky. All you had to do was set the dial to your desired temperature, and your HVAC system would respond accordingly.
More recently, programmable thermostats were developed, but those were difficult to program and confusing to use. Enter the world of smart thermostats. These are also programmable, but they’re user-friendly. You can control them with easy-to-use apps that put controls at your fingertips. Many have automated features that make them hassle-free and cost-effective.
While you might be more familiar with brand names like Ecobee, Nest and Honeywell, other manufacturers are catching up to the smart thermostat trend. Most of the big names don’t work with electric baseboard heat or other line voltage systems. The Mysa line voltage Smart Thermostat changes all of that.
The Mysa is one of the only smart thermostats available for electric baseboard heaters. There’s not a lot on the market to choose from, which makes this a product without steep competition. However, we still think it is the best line voltage smart thermostat available.
It looks great, it’s easy to use, and it does what it claims. While it may not be the most advanced smart thermostat out there, it has enough features to make it convenient and versatile. The app works well, you get reports about energy usage and you can set up multiple zones.
One of the biggest downsides is the price, which is expensive for a basic device and adds up if you purchase more than one thermostat. Other than that, this is a reliable product that keeps impressing us.
The Mysa is a streamlined thermostat that stands out from the crowd. Its sleek design follows the less-is-more philosophy. It features a soft white 5.7” tall x 3.8” wide x 1.1” thick rectangular box that displays the temperature with a subtle LED light. There are no separate screens or buttons to detract from the all-white minimalist appeal.
It’s compatible with most electric high-voltage heating systems ranging from 120 to 240 volts, including baseboard heaters, short-cycle convectors, fan-forced long cycle convectors, and radiant ceiling heating. The thermostat can handle up to 3,800 watts of power draw. It’s durable and well-made. In fact, one of the reasons that it’s so large is that it contains a huge heat sink that cools the controller.
Once you install the appliance and set up the app, you can view and adjust the temperature, check the humidity, set schedules, and create different zones for completely customized comfort. While it doesn’t automatically detect whether you’re home or away, if you’re diligent about setting a schedule, the device will learn your routines and adjust itself automatically to keep you comfortable when you’re home and save energy when you’re not.
The Mysa smart thermostat retails for around $129 (as of November 2018).
Works With: Compatible Smart Home Products
The Mysa smart thermostat works with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT. The product is fairly new, and its blog says that it is working on product improvements, such as compatibility with the Nest app and Samsung SmartThings.
This unit contains temperature and humidity sensors. It doesn’t have a motion sensor, which usually allows the display to brighten when someone approaches.
The Mysa smart thermostat doesn’t have remote sensors. It can only determine the temperature and humidity in the room that it’s in, which makes sense since most line-voltage heating systems require a thermostat in each room. The Mysa can use IFTTT to connect with other apps that detect the temperature outdoors, though.
Multi-Zone And Multi-Home
One of the benefits of using electric baseboard heaters is that they can work individually in different zones. You can set the Mysa to control these zones separately. A zone consists of at least two thermostats that work in conjunction to follow the same schedule and respond to manual adjustments made at one thermostat.
You can create a zone through the app by clicking Menu > Create Zones > Start. You’ll be prompted to name your zone, tap the rooms that you want to add to the zone and save your settings. You can also add thermostats from separate zones to control them via the app.
At the time of this writing, it did not appear that you could use the Mysa in multiple homes. However, their blog indicates that that feature will be available soon.
The Mysa website claims that the device will use geolocation to determine whether you’re home or away by the end of 2018. This will allow automatic adjustments when you leave or return home. In the meantime, you can use IFTTT to set a rule to adjust Mysa up, down, on or off when you’re within a certain range.
IFTTT – If This, Then That
You can use IFTTT to designate rules that enhance the automation of the Mysa. We have already discussed the ability to pair geolocation with the Mysa. It also works with Weather Underground to set the temperature based on the weather outside. Some other examples of how to use IFTTT with Mysa include setting a thermostat at sunrise or sunset and setting a thermostat when SmartThings detects that someone has come home.
Be sure to check out the official Mysa IFTTT integrations.
Energy Use Reporting
Mysa tracks and reports on your energy usage in real time. It even estimates the cost associated with your energy usage. This can help you save energy and money on your heating bills and confirm whether the thermostat is truly cost-effective.
Mysa indicates that they are working on reporting improvements so keep an eye on their website for more details.
ENERGY STAR Rating
The Mysa smart thermostat is not ENERGY STAR certified. ENERGY STAR uses certain criteria to determine whether to certify an appliance. Although the Mysa may not be rated by the ENERGY STAR program, its ability to give you feedback about your usage can tell you whether you’re saving energy by using it. You will undoubtedly save money on your heating bills even though the thermostat isn’t certified.
Setup And Control
Mysa installation is fairly easy. However, it is a medium voltage device that can cause electric shocks. We recommend a professional installation if you are uncomfortable working with electricity. That said, here is our standard warning:
CAUTION: To reduce the risk of electric shock, serious injury, or property damage, make sure you turn the power off at the circuit breaker before removing your old thermostat.
After you turn the power off, you can remove the old thermostat and disconnect the wires. Remove the mounting bracket if one exists. Next, reconnect the wires being careful to follow the installation instructions carefully. Remove the thermostat faceplate and attached the thermostat to the gang box in the wall. Then reattach the faceplate and secure it with the included screw. Now you can turn the power back on.
The Mysa only supports a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network. You’ll need to change your phone from you 5 GHz network to 2.4 GHz before you initiate the pairing process. Be sure to check your Wi-Fi network if you have trouble getting the thermostat online.
You can use more than one phone to control the same thermostat. However, you must share the login information for the app to do so. In other words, you’ll be sharing the same Mysa app account. Multi-user control with different access levels is a planned feature that will be released in the future.
Now it is time to download and set up the Mysa app.
The Mysa app can be downloaded on the Google Play app store or iTunes app store. It features a variety of modes that you can use to customize your schedule. If you’ve already set a schedule, you can choose Follow Schedule to maintain that setting on a day-to-day basis.
The main dashboard inside the app displays your thermostats and groups with current temperatures and humidity measurements. Tapping a thermostat takes you to a detailed view where you can adjust the temperature with up and down arrows. You can also adjust the settings of that thermostat from this screen.
Using the Schedule menu item, you can schedule up to 56 set points for temperature changes in one week. This gives you eight each day if you arrange them evenly. However, you have the flexibility to adjust this within these guidelines as needed.
If you need to change the temperature in a particular zone while you’re home, you can select Hold Indefinitely to override the schedule for that area. This is convenient when you have guests staying in a room that you don’t normally use or are unexpectedly home from work during the day.
Hold Till maintains the temperature in a zone until a time that you specify. This is useful if you have Airbnb guests that are leaving when you’re not around or want to make sure that you don’t forget to reset the schedule after a snow day.
Off mode turns the heaters connected to the thermostat off. This doesn’t turn off the Mysa; it just stops the electrical current between the thermostat and the heater. You can’t override this feature with a schedule. The heaters will stay off until you change the mode back to On.
The duty cycle icon at the top right of the app shows the status of your heater. When it’s off, you won’t see a flame there. One flame indicates that the heater is running between 1 and 32 percent. Two flames indicate that the heater is running between 33 and 66 percent. Three flames indicate that the heater is running between 67 and 100 percent. The heat output will decrease as you reach the target temperature, that way you don’t overheat.
You can also change the brightness of the display with the app. This is convenient if the thermostat is located in a bedroom where you don’t want extra lights on at night. You can turn off the lights completely or set it between 10 and 100 percent brightness.
Pros and Cons
This is one of the first Wi-Fi thermostats for electric baseboard heaters, which is great for people who thought that they couldn’t use this type of device. It is easy to use and offers a variety of functionality. Because the Mysa is relatively new, it lacks some features that could make it more versatile, but the company is consistently adding new features.
- The thermostat can follow the set schedule or be adjusted manually if the internet goes down
- Sleek design
- Shows humidity as well as temperature
- Easy-to-use app
- Compatible with other smart home hubs: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and more
- Features an automatic eco-mode, which cuts back on energy use once the room has reached the target temperature.
This device doesn’t have many cons. However, nothing is perfect, and the Mysa does have a few flaws.
- Does not support cooling
- Expensive, especially if you need to buy one for each room
- Multiple users are not supported, although multiple people can share one user account
Many utility companies offer rebates when homeowners install smart thermostats. Check with your power company to find out whether it offers rebates when you use the Mysa smart thermostat. A rebate can lower the cost of the thermostat by $50 or more.
Security and Privacy
Mysa offers its privacy statement in an easy-to-read format on its website. Like most companies that make smart thermostats, it collects some personal data to give permissions for compatible apps and devices and tracks your geographic location.
The company doesn’t offer information about the type of encryption that it uses, but it also hasn’t been associated with any security or privacy breaches that we are aware of.
About The Manufacturer
According to the Mysa website, Josh Green started Empowered Homes in 2014. The company offered energy audits to homeowners who wanted to conserve power. He was recommending smart thermostats as a way to track use and customize schedules, but the technology wasn’t available for electric baseboard heaters. Mysa was born when Green and his brother, Zach, enlisted the help of technology startups to develop this necessary device. The company is headquartered in St. John’s, Canada.
The Mysa smart thermostat became available in 2017, and the company is hoping to expand its capabilities for the future.