Buyers Guide & Information

Best Smart Thermostats

This article will examine the best smart thermostats and give you all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

Thermostats have come a long way since they were first used to control HVAC systems. Now, we have thermostats that are a part of the Internet of Things (IoT) and can control your system even when you aren’t home.

With the use of a smart thermostat, your HVAC system becomes more efficient, easier to maintain, and costs you less each month. This article will examine the best smart thermostats and give you all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

Reasons Why You Should Switch to a Smart Thermostat

There are a lot of reasons you should switch to a smart thermostat. While we could easily list them all in an entire article, here are the top reasons you should make the switch.

  • Energy savings.
    The most significant factor is money savings. Smart thermostats can reduce your annual energy bill by as much as 40%.
  • Rebates.
    Many homeowners get rebates, cash back, or even lower electric bills just by installing a smart thermostat.
  • Ease of use.
    Smart thermostats are simple to use and can control your entire HVAC system from your smart phone, tablet, or voice command assistant.
  • Advanced controls.
    Smart thermostats can connect to the internet, learn your habits, and adjust settings based on current and future weather conditions.
  • Tracking.
    You will have access to full usage reports and will be able to see for yourself where money is saved and what you can do to save even more.

Considerations Before Buying Smart Thermostats

When you start doing your research and looking at smart thermostats, you will find quite a few options. Below you will find the consideration factors that will help you make a better choice before you buy.

Intended Usage

Thermostats have different uses, and you will need to know how you plan to use the thermostat. If it is for a central heating and air system, you can use almost any smart thermostat. However, heat pumps or heat only systems will require a different type.

The biggest factor is the wiring. A heat-only thermostat won’t have the internal connections to start, power, or run an air conditioner. Before you make a purchase, ensure your chosen thermostat has what it needs to run the specific system you have at home.

Compatibility

While it is rare, there are brands and models of thermostats that won’t run specific systems. You can avoid this by staying with larger brands such as Nest, Honeywell, and Ecobee. Other thermostats may only work on certain model numbers or brands of HVAC systems.

If you are unsure, the compatibility list will be listed on the packaging or on the thermostat brand website.

Wiring & Installation Requirements

When it comes time to wire your smart thermostat, you may notice there are different requirements. Most thermostats will be wireless for network connection but require the use of a C-wire for power. If your home already has a C-wire run, then you are set.

However, most older homes and traditional thermostats don’t have a C-wire (more details further below). If this is your situation, you can hire a contractor to run a C-wire or use a power extender kit (PEK). Brands such as Ecobee will include the PEK with the thermostat. Most do not, though.

WiFi Accessibility/Setup

When connecting your smart thermostat to the home network, you have a lot of options. Some models will connect using an Ethernet cable, but most will use wireless technologies. Once connected, you will need to set up and use the thermostat, though.

Nest is among the most difficult to set up, using the ring dial to select usernames and passwords. You can always use the mobile apps, though. Almost every smart thermostat company will have a mobile app, which will locate and configure your thermostat with only a few steps.

You can utilize the thermostat’s display (usually a touch screen) or the mobile app. Many options, though, also include smart home integration. With these, you can use voice commands through Google Assistant, Siri, and Amazon Alexa enabled devices.

Smart-Home Features

Many thermometers will vary in their features and capabilities. While the primary purpose of running your HVAC system will always be there, the secondary features are worth taking a closer look at.

Geofencing is a popular feature that uses the GPS location of your smartphone to know when the system should turn off or on. You may also find a lot of use in mobile alerts, system reporting, time and temperature readings, updates, and other such features.

Aesthetics & Design

Another smaller factor (though important) is to decide how you want the thermostat to appear when placed on your wall. Many modern thermostats are designed to stand out and be noticed. They come with large, bright displays and fantastic colors.

However, if you want your thermostat to fade into the background, you can still opt for this. Muted, neutral colors and control covers to hide the screens and displays are available.

Accuracy & Energy Savings

Smart thermostats are much more accurate than traditional models. Instead of relying on mercury bubbles or dust-encrusted probe sensors, these new models use digital readouts, room sensors, and internet connectivity to get the most accurate data provided.

Because of their accuracy and complete system control, you will save money on your energy bill. How much savings and how accurate they are will vary by brand, model, and design. You will find that you need to pay more upfront for this accuracy, but it pays for itself in the savings.

Warranty

Warranties for these devices will also vary greatly. The average is about 2-years, though some will have 1-year or less in coverage, and others will have longer coverage periods. You may also find that the warranties can be extended.

Some brands will offer an extra year or two if you register your purchase or answer a survey. You can also find extended warranties where you make your purchase with a paid extension if needed.

Price

Finally, there is the purchase price. While some of these thermostats can get pricey, it is well worth it. Even when compared to a traditional thermostat that can sell for about $10, it may be hard to justify the much higher costs.

However, when you see your energy bill get lower and lower every month, the savings alone will pay for the additional purchase fees. When you factor in the usage, ease, and control that they offer, it is a much better deal than the price tag will admit.

8 Smart Thermostats Reviewed

1. Ecobee

Best Smart Thermostat For Alexa
Programmable Yes
Climate Capabilities Heating & Cooling
Compatibility Humidifier, dehumidifier, ventilator, HRV, or ERV
Wiring Type 5-wire with optional PEK
Dimensions 4.29 x 4.29 x 1 inches

Ecobee is one of the few non-branded smart thermostats. This makes it viable for all smart home integration systems. Ecobee is compatible with Google, Amazon, and Apple HomeKit.

What makes Ecobee the best smart thermostat for Alexa, or whichever system you employ, is that it will run any HVAC component you have installed. That list includes humidifiers, dehumidifiers, HRVs, and ERVs.

On top of the impressive compatibility list, Ecobee also includes connectivity for the C-wire as well as a PEK for those homes that don’t have a preexisting C-wire. This means the Ecobee can be installed and used in any home with any system.

The thermostat itself is simple to install, and the kit includes everything you need, including a backplate to cover any larger holes in the wall from previous thermostats. The thin, sleek design stands out enough that you notice it, but isn’t so flashy it detracts from the rest of the room.

You also are not required to have an Alexa enabled device as Alexa connectivity is built-in. Once connected to your home network, you can start using Alexa voice commands to raise or lower the temperature, turn the system on or off or even crate operational schedules.

This model also comes with a single room sensor (Ecobee calls them “SmartSensor”) to use in the room you frequent the most.

If you want to save a little money, you can opt for the Ecobee 3 Lite, which is essentially the exact same thermostat, minus the Alexa integration and SmartSensor. Note, though, that the Ecobee 3 Lite is still compatible with Amazon Alexa devices; it just isn’t built-in.

What We Like
  • Compatible with all smart home systems
  • Alexa built-in
  • Easy to install and set up through mobile app
What We didn’t Like
  • Ecobee Haven subscription required for all features unlocked
  • Larger than many other models

2. Emerson Sensi

Best Budget Smart Thermostat
Programmable Yes
Climate Capabilities Heat Only/Cool Only/Heating & Cooling
Compatibility heating, cooling, ventilation, humidifier, dehumidifier
Wiring Type 4-wire/5-wire compatible.
Dimensions 3.75 x 5.88 x 1 inches

If you need the best WiFi thermostat without C-wire, look no further. The Emerson Sensi isn’t going to win any awards for the most sleek and stylish thermostat, but it gets the job done and doesn’t require a lot of knowledge on your part to do so.

This programmable model doesn’t offer a touch screen, but the bright backlit LCD is easy to read, and the push buttons on the control panel are clearly labeled and easy to use. And it is true that you don’t need a C-wire to use this thermostat, as long as your system is compatible.

You will be required to use a C-wire for heat-only or cool-only systems (heat pump, cooling only AC system, boiler, etc.). But this thermostat runs on battery power, so it doesn’t need the constant power source to stay connected.

Of course, you do need to replace the battery more often than with a non-programmable digital thermostat, but that is because the WiFi connection will drain the battery faster.

It also integrates with all major smart home systems, including Google, Amazon, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple HomeKit. Note that you will need a C-wire for Apple HomeKit connectivity.

The app itself is relatively basic but will take you through the 30-minute set up (faster if you already know about wiring). Once set up, you will be able to use geofencing, 7-day scheduling, view usage reports and “from anywhere” control of the system.

Overall it isn’t the prettiest thermostat or the most feature-rich model available, but it is budget-friendly and will save you up to 23% on home energy costs.

What We Like
  • No C-wire needed for most standard installs
  • Step-by-step set up through mobile app
  • Standard thermostat design and size
What We didn’t Like
  • Not as feature-rich as most other models
  • No touch screen

3. Google T3007ES Nest

Best WiFi Thermostat For Home Use
Programmable Yes
Climate Capabilities Heating & Cooling
Compatibility Humidifier, dehumidifier, ventilator, HRV, or ERV
Wiring Type 5-wire plus additional compatibility ports
Dimensions 3.3 x 3.3 x 1.21 inches

Google’s Nest thermostat is the model that started the entire smart thermostat trend. The Nest 3, then, is the original model, only better. Because it is made by Google, it is the best smart thermostat with Google Home. It is also compatible with Amazon Alexa devices, but you won’t find Apple HomeKit compatibility here.

The first thermostat to learn your routine, the Google Nest will help you save up to 33% on your home’s heating and cooling costs. It will begin to program itself and use motion sensors to detect when you are or are not home, shutting the system off (or on) to maintain the desired temperature when you are present.

You can use the Nest app to take more control over the thermostat, too. With a simple 30-minute setup and step-by-step guide, you will be active and saving money in no time. However, the setup can be a pain.

The Nest dial is used to connect, raise, or lower the desired temperature, which is great. However, it is also used for selecting all other menu items on the thermostat. When connecting to your WiFi network, you must use the turn dial to select each character in your password, which can be tedious.

Once connected, though, you can use the dial for programming and settings or use the mobile app, which is much easier.

The Nest 3 also has the Nest Leaf, which is an indicator on the display that you are using energy-saving settings. Innovative, beautifully designed, and easy to use, you will find more features and settings with this thermostat than almost every other brand or model.

What We Like
  • Nest Leaf energy saving indicator
  • Full history reports
  • Home and Away geofencing technologies
  • Farsight allows you to see the display from long distances
What We didn’t Like
  • Turn dial use is cumbersome
  • Not compatible with all smart home integration solutions

4. Honeywell Home T9 WIFI Smart Thermostat with 1 Smart Room Sensor

Best Smart Thermostat For Multiple Zones
Programmable Yes
Climate Capabilities Heating & Cooling
Compatibility Humidifier, dehumidifier, ventilator, HRV, or ERV
Wiring Type 5-wire compatible
Dimensions 3.7 x 4.92 x 0.94 inches

The Honeywell T9 is a smart thermostat worth noting. It has all the features you need without bombarding you with useless aspects. The set up is simple and guided step by step right on the touch screen display.

The T9 also ships with a room sensor (you can purchase more, as needed), which allows you to control multiple zones. Through the mobile app, you can see the actual temperature in each room (with a sensor) and select active rooms, rooms by temp or location.

The thermostat will take the selected room readings and use them as the average temp for the entire house. This will not only conserve energy but will also maintain a more level temp reading throughout your home.

The Room sensors are also motion-sensitive, which means you can program the system to follow your movements, adjusting the usage, temperature, and fan speeds to keep the programmed temperature for the room you are currently using.

The simple touch screen has colored backlighting and a sleek, slim white face, which blends in with surrounding décor. If you are looking for a thermostat that works well, has the voice mobile app and touch controls you need, and doesn’t stand out from your wall, this is it.

Honeywell’s T5 (Home RCHT8610WF2006/W) is slightly less expensive if you are on a tight budget but want the functionality of the T9. It is compatible with the Honeywell room sensors but doesn’t come with any, so you can add more as your budget allows.

What We Like
  • Simple touch interface
  • Compatible with Google and Amazon devices
  • Room sensor included
What We didn’t Like
  • Set up can be long and tedious based on system
  • Geofencing isn’t as accurate as other brands

5. Mysa

For Electric Baseboard Heaters
Programmable Yes
Climate Capabilities Heat Only
Compatibility High/Line heat
Wiring Type 4-wire 240v heater connections
Dimensions 5.91 x 4.02 x 2.68 inches

For those of you that have baseboard heat, radiant heating, or forced air heating, then you need to look closely at the Mysa smart thermostat. This model has everything you need to save money on energy costs, keep your home warm all winter long and program your heating system to be more efficient.

The stylish minimalist design will blend into your white walls, and the display is elegant. It will show you the temperature and offers a simple up/down temperature selection touch panel.

Most of the controls and settings will utilize the mobile app, where you can perform the 15-minute setup and have your system connected easily. The install is also rather expedited, and since there isn’t a need for AC controls, fewer wires to worry about.

This smart system integrates with any smart home system, including Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, Apple HomeKit, and IFTTT. You get geofencing capabilities and can program heat by room, temp, or occupancy.

Through the app, you also get history reports to see when the heat was used most, where you can make further cuts to save even more, and how much you have saved compared by months.

While there is an 80% compatibility rating, you still need to check that your specific system is compatible. Before you buy, check out the compatibility index on the Mysa website.

What We Like
  • Works with all smart home integration systems
  • Geofencing accurate for 2 miles
  • Quick install and setup
What We didn’t Like
  • Not compatible with 2-wire heating systems
  • Thick body stands out from wall over 2 inches

6. Sensibo Sky

Best Smart Thermostat For AC Only
Programmable Yes/No
Climate Capabilities Cooling only
Compatibility Infrared Remote
Wiring Type None
Dimensions 3.23 x 2.17 x 0.67 inches

If you have a window or through-the-wall air conditioner, or almost any other AC type that uses an infrared remote control for programming and operation, then the Sensibo Sky is an ideal thermostat for you.

Now you can mount the thermostat and control your system right from your smartphone. It uses infrared technology, just like the remote, so there is no need to run wires or install anything.

The set up works much like a universal TV remote, where you can program brand specific IR codes. Once you have the right connection to your brand of AC, the rest is controlled by the mobile app.

The app works on any Android or iOS phone, Windows PC or  Mac computer, or tablet. You can set temperatures, select modes, and even turn the unit on or off, from anywhere, at any time.

There is a major downside, though. As of the mobile app 3.0 update, Sensibo has switched to a monthly subscription plan. The app and basic controls of the system are still free and do not require a subscription.

However, updates, advanced features, new controls, and some of the alternative reports, controls, and settings will be blocked without a plan.

Still, even the free version will help you lower your energy bills and keep your home cool while you are home or away.

What We Like
  • Easy to set up and install
  • Works with any IR remote-operated AC unit
  • No need to use or run wiring
What We didn’t Like
  • Subscription plan is almost required
  • Finding the right IR code can be a challenge

7. Honeywell Home RTH9585WF1004 WiFi Smart Color Thermostat

Great for Scheduling & Tracking Usage
Programmable Yes
Climate Capabilities Heating & Cooling
Compatibility Humidifier, dehumidifier, ventilator, HRV, or ERV
Wiring Type 5-wire+ compatible
Dimensions 3.5 x 4.5 x 0.88 inches

Honeywell makes the list again with their full touch, color screened thermostat. This is the best smart thermostat for scheduling and usage tracking. Plus, you can select multiple colors to help match your décor, either to blend in or stand out.

Note that the color is only the display, not the faceplate. The plate is a muted silver and looks great on any wall, but the touch display color can change to over 20 different shades.

This thermostat is not compatible with Apple HomeKit. While you can use IFTTT and a few recipes to make it work, it isn’t ideal. However, the Honeywell thermostat does work with Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings.

Installation is simple, and the thermostat or the mobile app will take you through the initial setup and control options. Once you have done that, you can fine-tune any feature, set up geofencing, or even let the thermostat learn your habits on its own.

If you need a schedule, this thermostat will do that. You can create a daily or weekly schedule and run it at any time. If you need to override the schedule, cancel or track usage, a simple click in the mobile app will have you sorted in seconds.

This Honeywell thermostat also has one of the most detailed and exhaustive usage and history reports available. Not only will you see daily, weekly, and monthly usage statistics, but you can compare them to settings and usage reports up to a year prior.

With all the smart functionality and control abilities, you can save up to 40% on your energy bills each year. It doesn’t get much better than that.

What We Like
  • Full control over the entire system
  • Step-by-step guide for each feature
  • Choose your color and change any time
What We didn’t Like
  • WiFi connectivity isn’t the strongest
  • May need to reset and reprogram often

8. Hive

Best Smart Thermostat For Boiler
Programmable Yes
Climate Capabilities Heating & Cooling
Compatibility Humidifier, dehumidifier, ventilator,
Wiring Type 4-wire/5-wire systems
Dimensions  3.25 x 3.25 x 1.8 inches

The Hive thermostat is a part of the Hive ecosystem of smart products. This includes smart lighting, sensors, outlets, security cameras, and more. All of the Hive products are controlled and configured by the Hive Hub.

When you purchase this model of the Hive smart thermostat, you get a Hive Hub for free. If you already have other Hive products, they will all seamlessly integrate with the hub, and you can control set up and usage for all of them.

The thermostat, though, is the real king of the show here, and it has a lot of features to go through. While installation is straight-forward, the initial setup can be tricky. Some users complain that the mobile app (required for set up) freezes or closes, forcing you to start over.

However, as updates have been released, these types of complaints have dwindled. Once it is set up, though, you have full control over your HVAC system.

It also features a quick cool or quick heat feature that will get your home cooler or warmer faster, at the cost of a slightly higher performance slump. Once the temperature is reached, though, the system levels out and regains the lost energy consumption to maintain the savings.

The Hive is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices, but has trouble connecting to other 3rd party systems like IFTTT or Samsung SmartThings. Your best bet is to use Alexa or Google Assistant for minimal voice commands and use the Hive mobile app for everything else.

What We Like
  • Quick heat/Cool for reaching set temp faster
  • Home and Away features
  • Hive Hub included
What We didn’t Like
  • Setup can become tedious
  • Doesn’t work well with other smart home integration solutions

Understanding How Smart Thermostats Work

Smart thermostats are not difficult to install, set up or use. Understanding how they work and how everything is controlled, though, is another story. Let’s try to clear it up for you.

Running the HVAC System

When the thermostat is installed and set up, it works just like any other thermostat. When the ambient temperature is lower than what is set (in heating mode) or higher than the set temp (in cooling mode), the system is turned on.

Thermometers and room sensors relay information to the thermostat, such as room temperature, humidity level, and even weather conditions. This is then used to determine the average home temperature instead of the temperature at the thermostat alone.

Based on programming, you can have the thermostat control the system to your liking, changing temperatures based on the time of day, the temperature outside, or even your location inside the home.

Smart Features Enabled

The “follow me” feature is a standard option that uses room sensors to detect motion. This is how the system knows where you are. If you prefer to have the temperature be 75 degrees, for example, the smart thermostat will turn the system on until the temperature is 75 degrees in the room you are in.

This may mean that other rooms are warmer or colder, though. If you move to a different room, the sensor in that room becomes the temperature control.

You also have features like geofencing. This uses the cell phone as a GPS locator. When you are within a specific range (usually 2 miles), the system will automatically come on to warm or cool the house to your desired temp. When the cell phone leaves the radius, the system will shut off to conserve energy.

All of these features, sensors, and settings are designed to allow the thermostat to learn your routine, control the various settings and keep your home at the desired temperature in the most efficient and economical way possible.

Smart Thermostats Compared with Other Types

Including smart thermostats, there are four primary types. How do the other three compare to a smart thermostat? Let’s take a look.

Analog or Mechanical (Mercury) Thermostats

Mechanical thermostats use a mercury tube to turn the system on or off. There is a simple installation with only 3 or 4 wires needed for install since they don’t require much power.

Once you slide the temperature switch to the approximate desired setting, the mercury in the tube will fall to one end or the other. On the power side, two electrodes are separated, waiting for a connection. When the thermometer falls below the set temp, the mercury moves to the other end of the tube, completing the electrical circuit. This will turn the system on.

Mechanical thermostats have no other settings, controls, or options. They are either on or off, though you can select cooling, heating, or fan-only modes. They are cheap and easy to use but are the least efficient of any type.

Digital Thermostats (non-programmable)

Digital thermostats are slightly better than mechanical ones. They have a digital readout and are far more accurate as you can select exactly the temperature you wish the home to stay.

Instead of a mercury tube, digital thermostats use an electrical connection, using a small computer chip to connect or break the circuit. While they are more precise, they don’t offer any more control or energy-saving options.

You are also still stuck with using the single thermometer built into the unit for the temperature readings. Like analog models, they are either on or off, and you can select the operation mode only.

Electronic Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats are more efficient than the previous two models, and they can connect to room sensors (in some cases). You can program these to turn the system on or off like regular, using a set temperature.

However, you can also program them by the hour, day, and week. This is the most efficient thermostat besides a smart thermostat there is. Programming is done on the touch screen or with the control buttons at the thermostat, though, and can be quite challenging to get done.

You need to scroll through each setting, for each hour and for each day of the week. For example, if you want the system to be off on Mondays between 9 am and 6 pm, you still have to program every other day and time slot as well.

For the cost, the hassle almost isn’t worth it. Especially when a smart thermostat is similarly priced and much more advanced, easy to program, and more energy-efficient.

How to Install a Smart WiFi Thermostat

Installing a smart thermostat isn’t much different than a digital or programmable thermostat. There are two basic methods to installing. One uses the preinstalled C-wire, and the second uses a power extender kit.

Using the C-Wire

The “C” in C-wire stands for “common.” This wire is generally blue or black, and unlike the red power wire, it supplies a continuous 24v supply of power to the thermostat. It is required for a constant power source to run the display, maintain settings and network connectivity.

Most newer homes are outfitted with thermostat wires that include a C-wire already installed. Even if the current thermostat doesn’t use it, it may be there. If the C-wire is not there, skip to the next section on using a PEK.

For the rest of you, installation is a lot easier. First, you need to remove the current thermostat’s faceplate and see which wires are there and which ports they are connected to. Usually (though not always), you will have a red wire, a red jumper, a yellow, green and white wire. These connect power, air conditioner, fan, and heat (respectively).

Take a picture to ensure you have to colors and ports recorded. Next, you will remove the wires and unscrew the backplate to remove the old thermostat. If you need to patch the wall or paint to match, now is the time.

Now all you need to do is run the wires through the back of the mounting plate of the new thermostat and secure it to the wall. Using the photo from earlier, reconnect the wires to the same labeled ports. The difference now is that the C-wire will connect to the common terminal.

Once connected, you can attach the face of the thermostat, which will turn it on and allow you to begin the setup process.

Using a Power Extender Kit

Installation using a power extender kit (PEK) is the exact same process with two exceptions. The first exception is that there isn’t a C-wire to connect to the new thermostat. The second is that you need to access the control panel of the HVAC system (with all power off first) to install the PEK.

On the control board, look for the four wires that run to the thermostat (R, W, G, Y) and disconnect them. Use the 5 wires (usually all white with color labels) to the control board of the HVAC unit.

Next, take the 4 wires you removed from the control board and connect them to the color-matched ports on the PEK. Once that is done, you can mount the PEK in the HVAC system and close it up.

Now the 4 wire system connected to the smart thermostat will supply constant power and allow you to run the system as if you had a C-wire. After you put the thermostat together and power the system back on, you are ready for set up and operation.

Smart Thermostats – Wi-fi & Smartphone Integration

Once you have the smart thermostat installed, you need to run the setup and connect the system to the home network. Using WiFi and mobile apps on your phone or tablet, you can easily integrate smart control systems. If you have a Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa device, you can connect those as well.

Most of the setup process for WiFi and smartphone integration will be handled during the setup. You will need to download the respective mobile app from the Google Play Store or Apple Store. Your specific model and brand will have links in the owner’s manual.

Using the Mobile App

Once the app is installed, you will need to create your account or log in to an existing one. Then you need to find the device. When looking at how to connect a Nest thermostat to WiFi, you will need to be at the thermostat itself. Using the outer turn-dial, you can select the SSID of the WiFi network and input the password. The process is tedious but required.

Once the mobile app locates and identifies the new thermostat, it will take you through a setup process. Connecting Honeywell thermostats to WiFi is also done on the control panel, but the buttons and touch screens are more user friendly than the Nest dial.

The mobile app set up will take you through the system set up, adding the thermostat to your smart home devices and syncing connectivity to the app. As long as you follow the specific instructions on the app, the process will only take a few minutes.

Adding Voice Control

Once everything is set up, you are ready to use the mobile app or the thermostat local controls to command the system. However, you also need to set up voice commands. Though this is an optional step, it is wise to get it all done now.

Before you start, you need to make sure that you reset the Honeywell WiFi thermostat, so all the previous settings you did in set up are stored and connected. If the settings are stored, you will need to look up how to reconnect the Honeywell thermostat to WiFi. You can use this link for help.

For those with a Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa enabled device, the set up is pretty straight forward. You can ask Alexa or Google to learn the thermostat brand recipe. Or, if you are unsure what it is named, you can use the Amazon app or Google Play Store to find, download and install the voice commands.

Understanding Apple Integration

Apple works a little differently. For those that want to use Siri, you must have a thermostat that is capable of connecting to the Apple Home Kit. The problem is that most thermostats won’t have this capability or will require a separate purchase to enable it.

Note that Nest is owned by Google, a direct competitor of Apple, and it isn’t likely that any Nest thermostat will ever have Apple connectivity. There are ways around this (as seen in this video), but the hassle isn’t generally worth it. You will be better off choosing Honeywell, Ecobee, or another unbranded smart thermostat.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

What makes a thermostat ‘smart’?

The basic idea behind any “smart” device is that it hints at a form of intelligence. In the case of a smart thermostat, they connect to the network and use information from the internet, sensors, and monitors to gather data on temperature, time, date, and weather conditions.

Using this gathered information, the thermostat makes “intelligent” decisions on optimizing the use of the HVAC system, such as when to run, how long to run, which sensors to use for temperature readings, etc.

Do I need a special thermostat for a heat pump?

Heat pumps do have a slightly different wiring system because their compressors and fans run in both directions. Because of this slight wiring variance, you are required to use a smart thermostat that is designed for heat pumps.

Luckily, most smart thermostats can be wired for standard HVAC systems, mini-split systems, and heat pumps. You need to double-check before buying, though, to make sure your model will run a heat pump.

What are some tips for using smart thermostats in the home?

Using a smart thermostat to the best of its abilities takes a little work and practice on your part. During the first 30 days or so, the thermostat will need to be manually controlled, either through the control panel or the mobile app. During this time, you will run your daily routines, change your settings, and set up the sensors.

As you use the system, it will “learn” your routine. For example, if you wake up at 6 in the morning and turn the heater on until the house is 71 degrees, the thermostat will learn this preference and have the system automatically start at 6 am with a setting of 71 degrees.

The more you use your thermostat and set up these routines and schedules, the more accurate it will become, and the more savings you will see in return.

Can I really save on electricity bills with a smart thermostat?

Yes, smart thermostats can and do save you money on your annual energy bills. On average, you can expect to see savings between 23 and 40%, depending on your use, average ambient temperatures, and your system’s age.

By automating your daily routines, controlling the system when you are home, and turning it off when you are away, the savings will begin to add up and grow over time.

What are some common issues that people have found when using WiFi thermostats?

One of the biggest issues with smart thermostats is that they can lose wireless connectivity. Most of the time, to fix this issue, you only need to reset the thermostat. However, in some cases, the problem may be with your wireless router, internet connection, or even the distance between the router and the thermostat. Ensure that all devices are powered on and connected and reposition the router to see if connectivity returns.

Another issue is that the thermostat stops controlling your system. Perhaps the air conditioner or the heater no longer comes on. This could be a problem with the power, so check all breakers first. Most likely it is a wiring issue, such as a thermostat wire has come loose or broke. You will want to inspect the wiring to the thermostat and ensure all wires are connected properly and are not broken underneath the screws.

Where is the best place to buy these smart thermostats?

Smart thermostats are available anywhere IoT devices and home-improvement sections are located. Home Depot and Lowe’s will offer a good selection of the most current models. However, for the best deals in pricing, availability, and savings, your best option is shopping through Amazon.

Conclusion

Choosing to invest in a smart thermostat is one of the best moves you can make to start saving money on your energy bills and utilizing your HVAC system to work properly and efficiently. The trick, though, is knowing which smart thermostat is best for you.

This article covered the best smart thermostats on the market right now. Hopefully, it helped you understand the technology and showed you which brand and models are out there. If you are still undecided, take a second look at our top pick. The Ecobee Smart Thermostat is easy to install, set up and use. For total integration, it is hard to beat.

Josh M
Top