With a smart thermostat, you can set the desired temperature levels based on weather conditions, daily schedules, heating, and cooling requirements. Because smart thermostats can be controlled via a smartphone, tablet, smart speakers, or other internet-connected devices as well as home automation systems. They are programmable and automatically run to adjust the temperature.
When you wake up feeling a bit cold, you may turn the heating up a bit to make your morning more enjoyable. When you are on your way home, you can program your thermostat with your phone to turn on the heating or cooling system. What if your thermostat could detect when you are near home and determine the best time to heat your home for your arrival?
Although it may seem like a simple feature in your home, a thermostat can make a huge difference to your energy bills. Your thermostat controls almost half of your monthly energy costs. It will never happen that your house is scorching hot or chilly cold when you come back home after a whole day. A smart thermostat can detect the temperature and turn off the system. This can reduce your energy bills.
A smart thermostat can give you detailed information about your power usage and money-saving tips. It can be compatible with your existing heating and cooling system and also fit in with your home’s decor.
Since smart thermostats have so many advantages, how to choose the right model for your home? Read on the following top-rated smart thermostats and considerations to help you make an informed decision.
Best Smart Thermostats
1. Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control
16 used from $129.23
- Consistent temperature and energy use monitoring
- Sleek with built-in speaker
- Handy instructions for installation
- Monitor rooms with sensors via the companion app
- Compatible well with various smart home devices
- Dimensions LxWxH: 4.29 x 4.29 x 1 inches
- Power source: AC/DC
- Require manual password reset after each app update.
- A few failures of controlling fans
2. Google 3-rd Nest Learning Smart Thermostat
22 used from $137.99
- Good looking and easy automation
- Easy to hook up smart devices
- Auto-learn from you and your schedules
- Convenient and Smart Home or Away Assistant
- Nest app offers remote control
- Dimensions LxWxH: 3.3 x 3.3 x 1.21 inches
- Power source: Lithium-Ion battery powered
- It may not last long.
- Cumbersome to program
- Battery replacement may not be convenient after a few years of use.
3. Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat ST75
20 used from $76.93
- Clear and easy to maneuver touchscreen with backlit
- Remote control on temperature systems
- Easy to install and make schedules
- Integrated with smart devices
- Email alerts
- Dimensions LxWxH: 3.4 x 5.63 x 1.17 inches
- Power source: 2 AA batteries required
- A few complaints of false humidity reading.
4. Honeywell Home Wi-Fi Smart Color Thermostat RTH9585WF1004
46 used from $71.00
- Flexible and programmable thermostat with classic design
- Easy to read touchscsreen with adjustable backlight
- Compatible with forced air, hot water and heat pumps with electric backup
- Treat energy reports
- Remote phone control
- Dimensions LxWxH: 3.5 x 4.5 x 0.88 inches
- Power source: 2 AA batteries required
- C-wire needed.
- Maybe a bit difficult to install for some people.
- No over voltage protection
5. Ecobee3 Lite SmartThermostat, Black
8 used from $123.84
- SmartSensor manages the room temperature effectively
- Compatible well with smart home system
- Remote control with Android or iOS devices
- Easy to install
- Dimensions LxWxH: 4.05 x 4.05 x 1 inches
- Power source: AC/DC
- Somewhat complicated in setting for seniors
6. Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat ST55
9 used from $67.87
- Remote access and app control
- Easy to follow instructions for a quick installation
- Integrated perfect with smart home platforms
- Efficient temperature and energy usage reading
- No C wire is required, but better to have one for better control
- Dimensions LxWxH: 3.75 x 5.88 x 1 inches
- Power source: corded electric
- The time scheduling cycle starts from 15 minutes, can’t adjust it granularly by one minute.
- A few complaints about WiFi stability.
What to Consider Before Buying a Smart Thermostat?
Smart thermostats are a great convenience in our busy lives. There are many factors that go into choosing the best smart thermostat.
Smart thermostat types
There are many types of smart thermostats to choose from.
Learning thermostats have the ability to learn the normal behavior and schedules of users. They will determine when the house will be occupied. So they can pre-heat or cool the house to ensure comfort when they arrive. These smart thermostats are able to detect and adapt to changes in lifestyle and unusual times, ensuring comfort and energy savings.
Connected thermostats can be remotely managed and programmed via an internet connection. You can adjust the temperature and cooling settings via other internet-connected smart devices. This smart thermostat does not usually provide any analytic information.
Zoned thermostats can be used to regulate the temperature of individual rooms, rather than the entire house. You can turn on the heating or cooling only in occupied rooms, which can help you save energy and increase customization.
Learning programmable zoned smart thermostats combine the best of both a zoned and learning thermostat to create the most advanced smart thermostats. Learning zoned systems can learn which rooms are occupied most often and schedule heating or cooling according to their preference.
There are many heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. While smart thermostat manufacturers try to cover every possible scenario, there is always the possibility of incompatibility. It is important to make sure that the model you choose works with existing equipment in your home.
All smart thermostats come with an app that allows you to control them with your phone or tablet. Also, they can be compatible with other broader smart-home systems, including Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, IFTTT and Stringify support, Apple HomeKit, smart-vent, and home security systems.
You can adjust the temperature by speaking to an Amazon Echo or Google Home digital assistant. Your smoke detector can also be linked to your thermostat so that your fan turns off automatically when there is a fire alarm. This will prevent smoke from getting circulated in your home.
Each manufacturer claims that their product is easy to install. Their instructions are usually clear and easy to follow, with lots of illustrations or photographs. Some even offer online videos to assist you. Even if you are not very handy, you will have to agree that installing a thermostat is easy as long as you are able to wire a light switch.
You should clearly label the thermostat to indicate which wires are where. Most companies also provide labels that can be attached to wires coming from the wall when you remove and disconnect your old model. It is a good idea to take a photograph of your old thermostat before you remove it.
If the power between your thermostat and furnace fluctuates, which is a very likely possibility, you’ll experience intermittent Wi-Fi problems.
To ensure continuous flow, many systems use a common wire (or “C-wire”) to maintain constant power. Although the instructions might say “easy to put in”, it is best to consult a qualified electrician if you are unsure. An electrician may charge $150 to install a C-wire if you don’t have one. It is important to determine what your system needs and what it has.
Unlike the motion sensor of traditional thermostats, smart thermostats can come with temperature sensors.
Because most smart thermostats only measure the temperature within the room where they are installed. This can make other rooms uncomfortable. Smart thermostats come with multiple sensors that can place in rooms you need to ensure the climate is controlled correctly. These wireless sensors allow your thermostat to monitor temperatures in different rooms and average them together to provide optimal comfort. Smart thermostats can accommodate up to 30 sensors.
Smart thermostats can also be wired to your door and window sensors, as well as motion sensors for your home security system. The thermostat can also trigger the display’s lights to turn on when you pass it by proximity sensors. This makes them useful, even if they are only used as a nighttime light source.
What Is The Difference Between A Traditional Room Thermostat and A Smart Thermostat?
Traditional thermostats rely on motion sensors to determine whether your home is occupied. If no one walks past, it can not detect any movement and it is likely to turn off the heating and cooling system. Otherwise, you need to use a remote or dial to set the temperature.
Smart thermostats use geofencing technology via WiFi to automate the temperature and ventilation systems, as long as people at home have a smartphone and connect to WiFi. You can use your smart device to access the temperature of your whole house whenever you want to maintain the home temperature.
It is more effective, convenient, and easier, especially when you are away. This is because the smart thermostat is controlled by the boiler of the heating system and the app that you have downloaded to your smartphone. Remote access allows you to adjust your thermostat remotely from anywhere with an internet connection.
Smart thermostats with higher-tech features can learn from your habits and schedule. It detects when you are on your way home and adjusts your home temperature accordingly. Smart thermostats are able to adapt to your lifestyle and work schedule so that they provide comfort whenever you’re home. You can have your heating and air conditioning systems turned off automatically by the smart thermostat when you go out of the house.
Why Does the Smart Thermostat Require A C Wire?
Because smart thermostats require more power than traditional thermostats. Smart thermostats often come with a large full-colored touch screen. And they need to receive the signals from WiFi router, smart hub, and sensors. These connections can drain batteries quickly. Hence, using a C wire can provide constant 24VAC power for the smart thermostat from your furnace to the thermostat. The C wire serves as a return path to allow your smart thermostat to be powered without affecting other wires that are used for electrical on/off switches.
What if I don’t have a C wire?
Some smart thermostats can also work without a C wire as long as your HVAC is running. However, if you don’t have a C wire to operate the smart thermostat, it might cause some issues in using, such as your schedules are not properly executed, and always having a WiFi connection problem.
To solve this problem, you can check if there is a hidden C wire under the older thermostat backplate. If you don’t want to bother installing the C wire, you can buy a smart thermostat adapter.