Lennox iComfort E30 Thermostat Review
A Look Inside the Lennox E30 Smart Thermostat and Professional Review
Lennox International is one of the three “premium” brand air conditioning and heating equipment manufacturers in the U.S.
Like the other two, Trane and Carrier; they manufacturer base and mid-tier AC units just like all the other major brands. Unlike the others, they are one of “the big three” constantly trying to “one up” each other with best in classequipment and accessories. Thermostats being one of those accessories – one the manufacturers used to leave to others to build which they are now making themselves.
When I founded my AC Company here in Mesa, AZ., Magic Touch Mechanical, twenty years ago, there were three big players making thermostats; Robert Shaw, White Rodgers, and Honeywell. As is still often the case today, we recommended and installed Honeywell Thermostats over the last two decades mostly. They’ve proven reliable and offer a wide range of options from basic to extremely advanced.
Welcome Nexia, Nest, Sensi, and Other AC Thermostats
In recent years however, we’ve seen many newer companies entering the thermostat game including Nexia, Nest, and Emerson’s Sensi thermostat (to name a few). Each of them all busy one upping the next with the latest in Wi-Fi, Geo-Fencing, Weather Reporting, Humidity Control, Alexa Compatibility, even the ability to display high-definition photos – picture your thermostat as one of the family photo’s hanging in the hallway. Likewise, each of them making some pretty great products in my opinion.
We’ve installed hundreds of each at this point so I can attest to the positive customer reviews people give them all. In fact, I giggle when I read some of the reviews because people always write what makes the brand they chose, better than the others – kind of like the Mac vs. PC, and iPhone vs. Android effect, there are some “proud owners” of each!
For what it’s worth, I personally have mostly Nest thermostats on my properties. Not necessarily because I think Nest thermostats are better than the others – each have things they do better than the others, so choosing yoursdepends on which features best suit yourlifestyle. If you’re interested in reading my Nest Thermostat review – click here
Lennox iComfort E30 Thermostat Works with Other Brand AC Systems
All of the major manufacturers now make certain equipment models that require the use of their own brand’s proprietary thermostat. While I have little doubt that decision was partly made in an effort to increase their own financial bottom line, some of it has to do with the advanced electronics and communications built into modern high-efficiency ac’s, heat pumps, and furnaces. HVAC equipment has gone from being mostly “mechanical”, to being mostly “electronic”, and therefore each brand has their own specific algorithms requiring controls (thermostats) that work in rhythm with the equipment.
It’s out of that proprietary design that the E30 was created in the first place. The E30 gets most of its design and features from its counterpart the iComfort S30. The S30 was designed to work specifically (and only) to work with Lennox “communicating” equipment models like the XP25, XC25, XC21, and XP21, and does not work with other brands or models.
When I first saw the S30, I must say I was blown away, it was different and better than any thermostat I had seen before – and I’ve seen them all. My first reaction was, is that a thermostat or the new iPad? My second reaction was can we get a universal version that will work with other brands? Apparently, I was not alone as per Lennox, the iComfort E30 was created based on feedback and demand from HVAC Contractors all over the country.
iComfort E30 Key Features
- 7″ high definition color capacitive touchscreen that is easy to view and navigate
- 7-Day local weather and air quality forecast displays right on screen
- Screen savers display current local outdoor weather conditions
- Unique magnetic mount lock option allows the display to be easily put removed from the wall and held like a tablet
- Smart Away™ mode utilizes geo-fencing technology pairing with your smartphone for an easy energy savings option
- Schedule IQ™ allows for a 7-day program to be set in three easy steps (works in conjunction with Smart Away mode to override to an energy savings option when you’re away and return to the desired program upon your return home
- Allergen Defender™ mode takes into consideration the local air quality forecast (based on Accuweather.com) and your zip code, to automatically turn on and adjust the indoor fan speed to better filter the air in the home when outdoor air quality is poor
- Feels Like™ mode takes into consideration the indoor temperature, outdoor temperature, and indoor humidity levels and adjusts accordingly to provide the exact desired “feels like” temperature
- Amazon Alexa® and is Apple HomeKit® compatibility enable the iComfort E30 to be controlled via voice commands given to your home automation devices.
- Allows you to give permission-basedaccess to your installing contractor and/or Lennox technical support to provide remote diagnostics of the equipment should there be a problem or fault.
- System usage reports with hourly, daily, and monthly energy reporting.
The iComfort E30 by Lennox Works with Most AC & Heating Systems
As the E30 was designed with the intention of being a universal thermostat, it works with most air conditioners, heat pumps, and gas furnaces that do not require the use of a proprietary thermostat. Regardless if you have a Trane, Carrier, York, Goodman, Rheem or other brand HVAC system, the E30 will most likely work for you.
This includes units with multiple stages of heating and cooling as well as more basic single speed equipment.
How Much Does the Lennox iComfort E30 Cost?
At the time of writing this, I found two online retailers selling the IComfort M30for $450. That was not a typo – the M30and E30are not the same, nor do they have the same features or dimensions. The M30 is a budget version of the E30 – personally, there are a few comparable thermostats I prefer over the M30.
I did find another retailer selling the M30 but the picture shown was an E30, so be careful if you are considering purchasing online or even price shopping.
You will get your best deal on the E30 (or really any upgraded thermostat) by purchasing it as an “upgrade” when you replace your existing ac and heating units. This is because your contractor has already figured in the cost of a new digital programmable thermostat and labor when you buy a new system – so you should only have to pay the difference in the parts cost itself.
With professional installation and a 5-year parts warranty, expect to pay an air conditioning contractor in the $700 – $800 range for the iComfort E30. That may come as a shock to some who remember buying thermostats in the big box stores for under $100, and even having one professionally installed in the $200 – $250 range – but this is not your father’s thermostat.
It’s also not the most expensive thermostat on the market as there are a few that approach almost $1,000 installed! If you just said “WHAT?”, you said the same thing I did when I saw my first supplier invoice for a $700 (contractor wholesale cost) thermostat.
Overall Summary of the Lennox iComfort E30 Smart Thermostat
While there are a number of smart wi-fi thermostats on the market today with some of the same features as the E30 such as wi-fi access, geo-fencing (the thermostat communicates with your smart phone to detect when you are home or not home), and Alexa compatibility, the E30 takes things to a whole new level.
In my opinion, the best feature of the E30 is the Feels Like™ mode. When you think about terms like “wind chill factor” and “heat index” you can relate why the “feels like” feature enables this thermostat to keep your home morecomfortable than any other. In the HVAC industry we refer to temperature without factoring in humidity as “dry bulb temperature” and with humidity as “wet bulb temperature”, we “feel” the humidity as well as the dry bulb temperature so this feature provides the most comfortable home or office as opposed to thermostats without this feature. To my knowledge, Lennox is the first and I believe still only manufacturer to have this feature.
Where Can I Buy a Lennox iComfort E30 Smart Thermostat?
We get a lot of service requests from people who purchased a thermostat online or from a hardware store, tried to install it themselves and couldn’t get it to work. Unfortunately, we’ve also seen people who wired their thermostat wrong and then damage components in their ac or furnace (specifically people burn out a step-down transformer).
In the case of people who burn up a transformer, now they are also paying a couple of hundred dollars for that repair, plus the install of the new thermostat (assuming that wasn’t damaged as well which I have seen).
For those reasons, warranty concerns, etc., naturally I recommend contacting your air conditioning contractor to both supply and install the thermostat. More often than not, you will actually save money this way plus the warranty is on the contractor, not you.
If you live within 30 miles of Mesa, AZ you can just contact Magic Touch Mechanical and get our award-winning customer service!