This may be the single most important smart device for controlling your level of comfort. We are creatures of comfort, and there’s nothing like temperature to mess with that.
All of the top end models use algorithms that learn you and your family’s temperature preferences as well as your daily routines. Based on that information the smart thermostat will adjust the temperature for you, having it at your optimal temperature at all times when you are home.
The Smart Thermostat that I recommend and personally use myself is the Ecobee Smart Thermostat (click here to see it on Amazon). There are a handful of quality smart thermostats on the market today (which I list below), but this thermostat provides the best features, as well as providing the most useful features. They also provide the longest warrant, at 3-years. I’ve been extremely happy with the quality, value and ongoing support of the Ecobee.
The Ecobee has a great user interface, both on the thermostat and in the Ecobee app. Ecobee is also the only thermostat that has a sensor you can place in a different room that detects temperature as well as presence, allowing for optimal temperature control.
I personally use the Ecobee Thermostat, but there are a lot of smart thermostats on the market today. I’ll walk you through some of the best options and help you to pick the right one.
Top Smart Thermostats to Consider (The Runner Ups)
Here are the best smart thermostats that will intelligently heat and cool your house while saving you money at the same time.
- Nest Learning Thermostat
Google recently bought Nest, so you know its going to be a solid option. The nest thermostat does have remote temperature sensors you can connect to the thermostat, but they don’t detect if a person is present like the Ecobee does.
- Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat
The Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat is a dual-band Wi-Fi thermostat that uses long-range sensors. It has the best sensors, but does have learning like Ecobee or Nest.
What Will it Cost to Get a Smart Thermostat?
The cost to get a quality smart thermostats range from $100 all the way up to $249. There are some that you can find for less than a $100, but those are not anything I would use in my house.
What to Look for In a Smart Thermostat
Let’s face it, Looks Matter. And Thermostats are predominately displayed at eye-level in most homes. It makes sense that they are placed how they are placed, because people need frequent, easy access, but that is also the reason why you want something that looks good or is at least discrete.
I think Nest actually does the best job as far as aesthetics go. They actually give you the option to buy in a variety of colors, instead of forcing you to use a single color.
That said, most of the name brand smart thermostats are decently aesthetically pleasing, and they all look better than the old “dumb” thermostats.
Remote Access & Geofencing
Remote access enables you to control your thermostat while you’re not home. You can check and change the temperature whenever you want.
Geofencing uses the thermostat’s app on your smartphone to track your location. You can set a certain size perimeter around your house and when you leave the perimeter you can have the thermostat change its temperature settings. Save money and electricity by not running your HVAC system unnecessarily.
On your way back home, when you cross back over the perimeter, your HVAC system can kick back on so your house is right at your perfect temperature when you walk through the door.
Also, have you ever forget to turn the thermostat off before you left home? Now you won’t have to worry about that.
HVAC System Compatibility
Smart Thermostats will work in most homes, but of course there are a few exceptions. Most homes with a thermostat use a central HVAC system, and a smart thermostat will work just fine.
The most common problem is when your heating system is high voltage. If your home is heated by baseboard, radiant, fan-forced convector or some similar type of heating system you will need a more specialized thermostat.
The statistics I read said one in three Canadian homes, and one in 10 homes in the US, use a high voltage heating system.
If you have a high voltage system, I recommend the Mysa smart thermostat. You can find out more by looking at the Mysa website.
If you are not sure about compatibility, you can head over to any website out of the leading brands, and go through their compatibility checker. They will ask you to look at the wires connected to your current thermostat and input that information. If the automated system can’t figure it out, they provide ways to send a picture that they can then examine.
Is there a room in your house he doesn’t heat or cool as fast as the other rooms? This is a common problem that almost every home owner deals with at some point. In fact, most rooms in a house are not the same temperature.
That is where sensors come in to play. These wireless sensors are placed in a remote room in your house, or at least a different room from where the thermostat is located. The thermostat can be set to keep the HVAC system on until that room arrives at the desired temperature.
Also, the sensors can be used to detect motion, which means there is a person’s presence. A smart thermostat can be set so it won’t use that room’s temperature reading if no one is present when heating or cooling the rest of the house.
The Ecobee Smartsensor and Honeywell T5 sensor are the only remote sensors that can do both measure temperature and sense a person’s presence. The Nest and a few others have remote sensors that measure the temperature of wherever they are placed.
The days of pushing a physical button are over, but you are still going to want something where you can set the temperature fast and with ease directly at the thermostat as well as from your smart phone.
A smart thermostat should convey important information at a glance, as well as be easily configurable to your specific needs and preferences.
Why Use a Smart Thermostat?
Saves Money by Saving Energy
In addition to always being comfortable in your house, smart thermostats save you money while doing it, and there is research to back it up.
Nest touts that independent studies showed that it saved people an average of 10% to 12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills.
You can read more about it on the Nest website.
Considering how much we spend on electricity, that amount of savings will ten balance out the cost of buying the smart thermostat in less than a year.
On top of that, many utility companies offer rebates for buying energy efficient items for your house, smart thermostats being one of them.
HVAC Maintenance and Monitoring
A Smart Thermostat is just one part of your heating and cooling system, but it can help keep an eye on the rest of it. Many of them are capable of sending an alert to your phone if there’s something wrong. Things like temperatures being so low your pipes could burst, or if it looks like your furnace is acting up.
There are also maintenance reminders.
Finally, you have some help remembering filter changes, furnace maintenance, or servicing your system because your smart thermostat has your back!
Reminders let you know if you need to service your heating and cooling system and when to perform periodic maintenance.