Now when was the last time you admired the looks of your thermostat at home or the office? Let us guess…. how does NEVER sound?
The GLAS Smart Thermostat, by Johnson Controls is about to change that! Now this is by far the niftiest and coolest looking thermostat we’ve had a chance to play with in a long time. Featuring an attractive 5.9-inch, translucent OLED touchscreen – the GLAS Smart Thermostat definitely stands out and begs another take when you look at it.
GLAS Smart Thermostat Review | Aesthetics
Now as far as looks go – the GLAS Smart Thermostat is definitely a looker. Featuring clean design lines and a unique see-through glass – it’s a smart thermostat that definitely stands out on your wall. It’s 5.9 inch, OLED touchscreen provides more information about your home’s climate than a Nest or Ecobee. Also, it looks so darn cool!
The GLAS’s translucent OLED touchscreen is the defining feature of the smart thermostat, and it’s very well-thought of and designed. Though it has a far lower resolution than a smartphone (it’s just 480 x 272 pixels), it’s bright and easy to read. It also, surprisingly, doesn’t get covered in fingerprints when you use it – which is a big plus compared to other smart thermostat touchscreens.
The downside of the GLAS display though, is that it turns off quickly and doesn’t turn back on unless you’re right in front of it. Unlike the Ecobee or the Nest, both of which have always-on display features, you can’t read the GLAS from across the room. That might prove to be annoying depending on where you intend to install the thermostat.
The GLAS Smart Thermostat also has the best touch interface of any smart thermostat we’ve encountered, including our current top pick, the Ecobee4. The current temperature and the target temperatures for heating and cooling are displayed on the main screen. You swipe left to view the air-quality monitor, and swipe right to see the status of your HVAC system (on, off, heat, cool, auto, and so on). Tap the tab at the top of the screen and the options menu appears. Where most smart thermostats are easiest to control via their mobile app, you never really need to use anything other than the GLAS’s own display; in fact, we actually found the device easier to use that way. For that reason the GLAS’s touch interface and display screen, is a clear winner in our opinion.
GLAS Smart Thermostat Review| Installation
The GLAS Smart Thermostat by Johnson Controls, is roughly the same as installing any other smart thermostat we’ve tested — with one notable exception. Since it’s see-through, you’ll have to patch more of the wall behind it.
This means that any holes from previous thermostats or weird patches with old paint, will definitely show up when you install the GLAS!
To fix this, Johnson Controls includes a large back plate (which we used), but it somewhat defeats the purpose of having a see-through thermostat to begin with. If you’re willing to put in the extra time patching and painting, though, the GLAS will look really neat in your living room. The unfortunate downside is that you’d have to spend some time to make sure that the drywall you’re installing the GLAS on is neat and nicely painted and patched beforehand for it to truly stand out.
The other thing to note is that the GLAS requires a C-wire. Not sure what that is? You can read more about it here, but definitely consult a professional if you have questions or need help with this (or any) installation.
If your current system doesn’t currently have a C-wire, fret not, Johnson Controls includes a C-wire adapter in the box with your purchase.
GLAS Smart Thermostat | Quick Installation Guide
We’ve compiled a list of basic steps we did when we installed and tested our unit below for your quick review:
- Turn off the power to your current thermostat
- Remove its faceplate and take a picture of your current wiring as they are
- Disconnect the wires and unscrew (and remove) the old thermostat’s baseplate from the drywall
- Route the wires through the GLAS’ baseplate (or the back plate first, if using)
- Screw down the baseplate with the included hardware
- Connect the wires to the correct terminals
- Attach the faceplate/wire cover and turn power back on to your thermostat
And VOILA – you’re done!
The GLAS should then power on almost immediately and walk you through the setup. It will begin by asking you certain questions to understand your thermostat usage, such as, “What time do you usually wake up?” and “What’s a comfortable range for when you’re at home?” to get a sense of your preferences.
The GLAS has internal sensors designed to determine if you’re home or away automatically, but giving it an idea of your preferred settings helps it balance comfort and energy savings – so that you can derive the maximum benefit of utilising a smart thermostat at home to save on your energy bills.
GLAS Smart Thermostat Review | Features & Functionalities
For home or office temperature control, the GLAS Smart Thermostat by Johnson Controls, blends it’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered brains with the hand programming of a more traditional smart thermostat. You can use the touchscreen to establish your preferred temperature ranges for the times you expect to be awake and asleep. You can also create special “away” schedules. Apart from that, it’s a fairly hands-free device that you can pretty much ‘set’ and ‘forget’.
The GLAS Smart Thermostat is also outfitted with a motion sensor that can help the thermostat determine when the home is occupied and when it’s empty. Like the Nest, the GLAS logs this activity and looks for distinguishable patterns. It can also take into account how long it takes your system heat or cool to reach your temperature targets. It then uses this data so that your home will be comfortable when you wake up or arrive home.
Once the GLAS Smart Thermostat is fully configured, you can also download the GLAS app and create an account, as well as a Microsoft account to use the Cortana speaker. The GLAS app in our opinion is straightforward, if not a little sparse. But it’s easy enough to adjust settings — or simply check in to see what the current temperature is set to. Everything you can see on the thermostat itself is also available through the app, including settings schedules, air quality reports and energy usage stats.
One of the features that sets the GLAS apart, is it’s ability to measure indoor air quality. It’s built-in sensors can assess the level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon dioxide in the air, in addition to standard humidity.
And by hooking up to the Internet, the GLAS smart thermostat also displays outdoor air quality and pollen counts, which is exceedingly helpful for folks with allergy or other respiratory issues.
If the GLAS grades indoor air quality as Fair or Lower, it will warn you and, if your system supports it, turn on its fan to circulate the air. If your system supports it, it will also pull in air from outside to freshen it. This is a terrific feature with the potential to improve the quality of your home’s air.
Using Cortana (Microsoft’s version of a home virtual asssitant), Alexa and Google Assistant with the GLAS is easy, too. Let’s start with Cortana. Since Microsoft’s voice AI is built into the GLAS thermostat, you don’t need a separate Cortana speaker. Say, “Hey Cortana, set my temperature to 70 degrees.” You can also ask Cortana to change the mode (from heat to cool, or from auto to off, etc.), change the settings from home to away, tell you the current temperature and give you the latest air quality reading.
Beyond thermostat settings, the Cortana speaker can answer other basic questions about the traffic and weather, as well as set alarms, give you directions and more. The speaker worked well and the GLAS could hear me from 25 feet away at a regular volume when there wasn’t other ambient noise in the area.
Using Alexa and Google Assistant with the GLAS requires separate compatible smart speakers, but it was similarly easy to use with an Amazon Echo Dot and a Google Home Max. Ask Alexa or Google Assistant the same things you’d ask Cortana — to turn up the temperature, to set it to a specific temperature and so on. As such the compatibility with all 3 leading contenders of home automation devices inthe market today makes the GLAS stand out apart from the rest too.
GLAS Smart Thermostat Review | Summary
The GLAS is the first smart thermostat we’ve tested with an integrated Cortana speaker. At $218, it’s priced just under the Nest Smart Thermostat, and comes with a number of features that the Ecobee4 and the Nest Learning Thermostat don’t have — Cortana compatibility, a see-through design and air quality readings. Did we also mention it’s sleek, gorgeous 5.9inch OLED screen?
If those things are priorities for you and you’re someone who is big on aesthetics, the GLAS Smart Thermostat is definitely for your home.
|5.9 inch Gorgeous OLED Display Screen - Premium look & feel||Priced at over $200|
|No smudge screen with repetitive use||Requires a C-Wire for installation (Adaptor included)|
|Smart Air Quality sensors built-in|
|Away scheduling, motion sensors and ease of programming|
|Compatibility with Cortana, Alexa & Google Home Assistants|