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Emerson Sensi 1F86U-42WF Review

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PROS / The Emerson Sensi supports four-stage heating systems.

CONS / It doesn’t have energy-management features like geofencing and motion sensor technology.

 VERDICT / With a three-year warranty and impressive temperature-control features, the Emerson Sensi is a great option for people looking for an affordable programmable thermostat.

The Emerson Sensi supports four-stage heating, so it is more flexible than higher-ranked programmable thermostats in our review. It also has two-stage cooling and a programmable fan to keep your home comfortable throughout the year. This unit has a temperature swing of 1 degree, which is comparable to the industry average.

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It doesn't have a very large selection of energy-management features. The unit is missing advanced tools other programmable thermostats have such as geofencing, auto-scheduling and motion sensors. However, it has seven-day scheduling, away settings, an onscreen weather conditions display, a humidity sensor and equipment status alerts.

  1. This is the number of heating stages a thermostat supports.
    Higher is Better.
  2. 9 Emerson Sensi
    4 Stages
  3. 3 Stages
  4. 4 Stages
  5. 3 Stages
  6. Category Average
    3.20 Stages

This Wi-Fi thermostat connects with your home's wireless network, so you can control the system with a mobile app. The mobile app works on Android and iOS smartphones, and you can control your home's temperature from anywhere. This is especially helpful when you forget to set the thermostat to away mode. You can also control the Emerson Sensi through an online portal. It is compatible with the Amazon Echo and Wink app, so if you own one, you can control this thermostat with your voice.

This is an affordable thermostat, and you can install it by yourself with relative ease. The unit has a built-in level, and you can check for system compatibility online. This ensures it is installed properly and works with your HVAC system. The thermostat has a basic black and white interface, but it doesn’t look dated. Its simple design makes it easy to use. The menu is very basic, with buttons that access Mode, Fan and Schedule settings.

The app has more functions than the thermostat's physical interface, but it is equally easy to use. You can scroll through the menu options and program up to nine daily schedules. For instance, you can create different schedules for winter and summer. If you have one thermostat for your home and another for your vacation home, you can set each thermostat individually through your smartphone. With programmed daytime, nighttime and seasonal temperature settings, you can conserve energy and see noticeable savings on your utility bills.

Emerson's technical support is average. The unit includes a three-year warranty, which puts it on par with the best devices in our thermostat review. If you choose professional installation, Emerson boosts the Sensi's warranty to five years. You can contact Emerson technical support by phone and email. The company does not have online forums or live chat support.


The Emerson Sensi is an affordable thermostat with nice temperature-control features, and it is easy to program temperature settings that align with your lifestyle. The unit is missing some of the advanced tools other programmable thermostats have such as geofencing, auto-scheduling and motion sensors. One of the thermostat’s main advantages is its compatibility with the Amazon Echo, which allows you to control the system with your voice. It also includes an easy-to-use phone app that lets you adjust settings from wherever you are.

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