The Ultimate Guide To The Best Smart Thermostats

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Smart Thermostats

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Smart Thermostats

Best Smart Thermostats

One of the cornerstones of smart home automation is the ability to intelligently control the temperature in every room of the house. Whether you’re totally new to the smart home technology scene or have already been bitten by the home automation bug, if you don’t yet own a smart thermostat but are considering taking the plunge, there can be a lot to decipher when it comes to finding the best smart heating controller for your home and your specific heating needs.

    RATING FEATURES  
Nest Learning Thermostat 9.2/10
  • • Learning/Auto-Scheduling
  • • Home/Away Assist
  • • Remote Control
  • • Alexa and Google Home Compatible

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Ecobee4 9.0/10
  • • Alexa Built In
  • • Individual Room Sensors for Occupancy/Temp Detection
  • • Remote Control
  • • HomeKit and SmartThings Compatible

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Sensi Touch 8.0/10
  • • Geofencing and Scheduling
  • • HD Touchscreen Display
  • • Remote Control
  • • Integrates with Alexa, HomeKit, and Wink

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Honeywell RTH9580WF 8.4/10
  • • Flexible Scheduling
  • • Smart Response Temperature Timing
  • • Remote Control
  • • Works with Alexa

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Perhaps more than any other connected devices in your home ecosystem, the best smart thermostats can make a serious difference to your life, both in terms of comfort and convenience, as well as through financial cost savings of heating your home efficiently.

Take full command of the climate in your home with our comprehensive guide to the very best smart thermostats for the interconnected interior space.

What are Smart Thermostats?

The best smart thermostats offer a wide range of features that move the realm of home heating away from traditional temperature controllers and into the world of connected smart home technology and the internet of things.

You’re probably all too familiar with the standard ‘non-smart’ thermostat of old – white, plain, non-descript.

The basic premise of this kind of heating controller was for you to manually set the desired temperature on the device which the system would then heat up to reach, before switching off and maintaining at the new level.

There was the ability to manually program in a couple of timed temperature settings and preferred heating ranges, but that’s about as far as things went in terms of technical abilities.

Some of the best smart thermostats on the market today are looking to fundamentally change the way that your home is kept warm and dare we say it, they’re actively looking to make home heating cool again.

The defining characteristics of smart thermostats include the ability to control the temperature in your home remotely using a smartphone, tablet, remote control, or your voice, in order to integrate the process of heating your internal space with other connected smart devices in your home. The result of this is to offer the ability to program both time-based and ‘reactive’ settings into your thermostat, allowing the temperature of your home to react to the way you actually live day by day.

More than this though, the best smart thermostats are able to ‘learn’ from your behaviors and regular heating habits, meaning that your home heat controller can actually begin to anticipate the rhythms of your home life and determine the most appropriate temperature for the whole house (or on a room by room basis) given the time of day, time of year, and based upon who in your household is currently home.

Many of the best smart thermostats offer an amazing level of integration with other smart devices in your home allowing your heat controllers to ‘react’ to the actions of another device or to operate as part of a wider range of devices when allocated to a group or ‘scene’ which allows the batch operation of your smart tech either autonomously or when you issue a command. If you’re looking for a true home automation experience, then this is definitely the way to go and brands like Nest are among the best offering this level of extensive cross-brand compatibility and integration.

Integration with services such as IFTTT allows you to take the functionality of a smart thermostat even further, using what IFTTT call ‘Recipes’ to effectively program your thermostat to react in a certain way in response to external actions. These can range from telling the thermometer to turn on if the forecast has cold weather in store,

Smart thermostats not only offer the awesome ability to radically alter the way you heat your home – both directly or through the device learning and automating the task by itself – but also represent a turning point in energy efficiency and financial cost savings, optimizing the temperature of your home in a way which is beneficial both economically and environmentally.

Smart Thermostat Benefits and Features

All thermostats offer the baseline ability to program at least one timing and temperature setting into your home heating schedule that will be activated and maintained by the device based on what you input into the system.

This remains true for all smart thermostats as well, but even for the entry-level and budget offerings, you can also expect the ability to activate, control and adjust your heating via an app or using your voice through a controller like the Amazon Echo or Google Home.

The best smart thermostats take this a step further of course, allowing additional functionality that leaves the old school of home heating controllers in the dust with features such as the ability to ‘learn’ your heating preferences and even to adjust the temperature by room, automatically through the use of external sensors placed around the home.

As mentioned, one of the key differences between the best smart thermostats and the systems of old is the ‘intelligence’ designed into the new breed of smart devices. By interfacing with other smart devices in your home ecosystem, the best smart heating controllers are able to ‘know’ when you’re home or have left for work in the morning and will react accordingly.

This level of smart communication can also be utilized with services such as IFTTT allowing you to do things like have your heating automatically adjust based upon temperature changes outside.

In short, all of this means that the best smart thermostats on the market today are looking to make the way you control the temperature in your home easier, more efficient, more cost-effective than ever before.

The age of the smart thermostat has arrived.

The Best Smart Thermostats

We’ve turned up the heat on some the best smart thermostats out there to bring you what’s hot in the world of smart temperature control.

Ecobee4 Alexa Enabled Thermostat


The Ecobee4 is quite possibly the best smart thermostat on the market today, offering everything you’d expect from the brand that brought you the excellent Ecobee3.

This smart heating controller intuitively knows when to heat or cool your home based upon factors including the unique energy profile of your house, the current weather outside as well as allowing multiple options for controlling the temperature yourself.

The Ecobee3 has been shown to save the average homeowner around 23% annually and the intelligence of the system means it knows if and when anyone is home (and in which rooms), keeping you comfortable when the home is occupied, and saving you money when it’s not.

Features:

Utilizing the same responsive touchscreen design and cross-device compatibility as its other siblings in the Ecobee range, the Ecobee4 also brings a whole lot of new tech to the party, improving on the older models in a number of ways.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the biggest addition to the Ecobee4 is the inclusion of Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant which is now built into the device itself (rather than simply offering the ability to work with Alexa as is the case with older models).

The immediate advantages of this feature are that you can request anything you usually would from a dedicated Alexa device directly through the thermostat itself, wherever it’s located in your home. Small house, and no Amazon Echo or Dot device? Just replace your existing thermostat with the Ecobee4 and you’ll have all of the advantages of a smart thermostat alongside an intelligent voice-activated smart device controller.

The Ecobee4 comes with a room sensor included in the box as standard as well as allowing the addition of extras around your home if required. When in place, these sensors allow the system to monitor and regulate hot and cold spots throughout your home, helping you maintain the most comfortable (and most energy efficient) temperature profile across the entirety of your interior space.

Once set up, the Ecobee4 works with Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT, and of course, Alexa right out of the box, meaning you can integrate your heating with any other smart devices and systems you’ve already installed throughout your home (or are planning in the future) making this smart thermostat perfect as the environment control element of a full home automation setup.

Technical Specifications:

Dimensions 1″ x 4″ x 4″
Power Options Battery
Display Type / Size Touchscreen
Connectivity WiFi
Additional Features Individual Room Sensors, Alexa built-in, Remote Control, HomeKit and SmartThings compatible


Learn More About the Ecobee4 Here

 

Nest Learning Thermostat


A well-known face in the field of smart home technology, Nest’s 3rd generation Learning Thermostat is as beautiful to look at and use as it is intelligent when it’s doing its thing.

With a whole host of automated features, the Nest Learning Thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature of your home when you’re away and learns your heating habits, meaning that after a while it will eventually program itself based upon your usage.

Among the host of amazing features on the Nest device is the option for reaching an optimal energy efficiency temperature which the thermostat displays as the ‘Nest Leaf’ on the display, helping to let you know when your heat controller is acting green.

Easy to set up and use, you can install and activate the thermostat in around 30 minutes from getting it out of the box – perfect.

Features:

The ability to auto-schedule based on the temperatures you set is what makes the Nest smart thermostat unique and it’s this ‘learning’ characteristic that makes it such an effective smart home heat controller, picking up your routine and programming itself within a week of setup.

Home/Away assist is a feature that allows the Nest Thermostat to reduce the temperature when it knows nobody’s home, an excellent automation feature for saving energy and money on unnecessary heating.

Both Google Home and Amazon Alexa work with Nest meaning you can effortlessly connect either of these voice control systems to your smart thermostat and ask the system to set the perfect temperature for your needs.

Similarly and as with almost all of the best smart thermostats, the Nest Learning Thermostat can also be remotely operated directly from your phone, tablet, or online to adjust the temperature without ever touching the thermostat itself.

On the design front, the latest Nest Thermostat is undeniably good-looking, featuring a slimmer design, larger and sharper color LCD display (480 x 480 at 229 PPI), and what Nest call ‘Farsight’, where the device automatically lights up when it detects you’re nearby.

Technical Specifications:

Dimensions 1.2″ x 3.3″ x 3.3″
Power Options Battery/Wired
Display Type / Size Digital
Connectivity WiFi + Bluetooth LE
Additional Features Schedule Learning, Smartphone Control, Home/Away Assist Works with Alexa


Learn More About the Nest Learning Thermostat Here

 

Sensi Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat


The Sensi is a particularly strong contender for the prize of ‘smartest thermostat’ due to the sheer number of heating systems it’s able to work with.

Designed to operate with most gas, oil, geothermal, heat pump and radiant heat systems, the Sensi thermostat has almost all heating eventualities covered.

Once installed, simply connect the device to your smartphone using the companion app and you have a fully connected remote controller for your smart home heating system – set, change and schedule heating wherever you are from the convenience of your phone.

Oh, and the Sensi Thermostat works with Alexa for voice control, so hands-free heating, coming up.

Features:

The Sensi runs off of 2 AA batteries and connects to your home network via WiFi to provide you with connected and remotely controllable home temperature control, either through an iOS or Android device or by using your voice through Amazon Alexa integration.

As well as working with Alexa, the Sensi Smart Thermostat also integrates directly with the Wink smart home platform and can pair up with Google Assistant and Google Home through the free Wink app.

With the ability to program 7-day scheduling into the device, the Sensi allows you to optimize when your home heating is in operation based on who’s home and when. This economic flexibility is further expanded with the inclusion of geofencing for location-based temperature control.

Installation and compatibility were top of the list when it came to functionality considerations with the Sensi Smart Thermostat and the device has been designed to install like a regular thermostat before being easily hooked up to an existing home WiFi network as part of your wider smart home device ecosystem.

Technical Specifications:

Dimensions 0.94″ x 5.88″ x 3.75″
Power Options Battery
Display Type / Size Digital
Connectivity WiFi
Additional Features Scheduling, Geofencing, Remote Control, Integrates with Alexa, Google and Wink Systems


Learn More About the Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat Here

 

Honeywell Wi-Fi 9000 Smart Touchscreen Thermostat

Honeywell are well known in the traditional thermostat field and their latest entry into the smart thermostat arena is no exception.

This thermostat allows remote access via a computer, smartphone or tablet to control the temperature from anywhere.

The device not only controls the indoor temperature but also displays humidity levels and allows for a programmable mode to maximize energy savings.

Features:

Simple to set up and allowing all of the main connectivity and control features you’d expect from a smart thermostat, the Honeywell 9000 is a good choice if you’re looking for a smart temperature controller from an established home heating brand.

The 9000 is fully programmable as well as offering app-based control from your smartphone using the Honeywell Connect Comfort app which allows full oversight and monitoring of your home temperature and energy use wherever you’ve got access to an internet connection.

While the exterior design of the Honeywell 9000 is arguably more in line with the more traditional style of thermostat, a full-color touchscreen display which can be customized to match the interior color scheme of your home makes this thermostat a great visual addition to any home while offering a clear and easy to use physical control interface.

Technical Specifications:

Dimensions 0.88″ X 4.5″ X 3.5″
Power Options Wired
Display Type / Size Touchscreen
Connectivity WiFi
Additional Features Remote Control, Scheduling, Works with Alexa


Learn More About the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat Here

 

ZEN Thermostat


The ZEN thermostat allows for perfect connectivity to your smart home setup and is compatible with SmartThings, SwannOne and Almond+ rigs.

With this smart thermostat installed, staying comfortable is super-simple while the beautifully unique and striking LED display makes it crystal clear what temperature the thermostat is currently set to.

Features:

The first thing you notice about the ZEN Thermostat is the striking and attractive modern design that puts it up there with other devices like the Nest and Ecobee thermostats when it comes to good looks. An intuitive and easy to use touchscreen display is the focal point of both the visual design and serves as the primary physical interface for the device (outside of remote control via the app), clearly displaying the details on-screen when you need them and fading away when you’re done.

Technically speaking, the Zen Thermostat utilizes WiFi as well as the ZigBee protocol for communicating with other devices and you’re probably going to want a ZigBee compatible hub to hook the thermostat up to for wider connectivity with other devices and direct control of the temperature from any existing control apps.

The app can be used for remote control of your home temperature as well as scheduling and programming in presets to call on for future use.

Compatibility and usability are the two major selling point of the Zen Thermostat and if you’re looking for a device that breaks away from the traditional ‘look’ of home thermostats and replaces with a modern, intuitive and versatile smart thermostat design, then this is a great choice.

Technical Specifications:

Dimensions 4.3″ x 4.3″ x 0.9″
Power Options Battery
Display Type / Size LED Touch
Connectivity ZigBee
Additional Features Scheduling, Remote Control


Learn More About the ZEN Smart Thermostat Here

 

Ecobee3 Lite

When it comes to understanding your home heating habits, the Ecobee3 is still one of the best smart thermostats on the market.

This smart heating controller intuitively knows when to heat or cool your home based on factors including the unique energy profile of your house, the current weather outside as well as other metrics.

The Ecobee3 has been shown to save the average homeowner around 23% annually and the intelligence of the system means it knows if and when anyone is home (and in which rooms), keeping you comfortable when the home is occupied, and saving you money when it’s not.

Looking to keep things cool with your voice? The Ecobee3 has you covered there too with Alexa integration for voice recognition and interfacing.

Features:

If you’re after one of the most fully-featured yet cost-effective smart thermostats, then the Ecobee3 Lite is an awesome choice, offering everything from remote temperature control through to compatibility with Alexa

As well as offering the hallmark design aesthetic of the Ecobee range of thermostats, The Ecobee3 Lite features a touchscreen display that lights up when you approach – a nice feature if you’re thinking of installing the device in a darker room or want to use the device at night.

Independent room sensors which pair up with the thermostat allow the Ecobee3 to monitor the temperature conditions in specific rooms of the house and adjust the heat as required.

The Ecobee3 Lite uses the weather conditions outside to maintain the perfect temperature inside, offering a major benefit for both energy (and cost) savings, as well as going a long way to making this one of the best smart thermostats for maintaining the optimum temperature within a fully automated home.

Similarly, when the system detects you’re away from the house or on the way back, the thermostat will adjust the temperature accordingly to maximize energy efficiency and save you money when it comes to heating your home.

Technical Specifications:

Dimensions 1″ x 4.05″ x 4.05″
Power Options Wired
Display Type / Size Touchscreen
Connectivity WiFi
Additional Features Works with Alexa, Remote Control, Uses Local Weather, HomeKit Enabled

 

Learn More About the Ecobee3 Lite Here

 

The latest smart thermostats make intelligent home heating a breeze and if you’re thinking of making the switch to an automated heat controller with smart specs, take a look at some of our recommendations to find the coolest solution for all of your smart home temperature needs.

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Source: Smart Home Tech