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Looking for a smart thermostat to reduce your energy bills? We’ve got you covered with the best on the market.
It’s a dilemma.
How can we keep our homes cozy and comfortable without paying out huge amounts of money on heating bills?
Running an efficient home can be difficult, but thanks to new smart thermostat technology it is possible to save money, always keep your home at optimal temperature, and be more environmentally friendly all at the same time.
We’ve compiled this huge guide to everything you need to know about the smart thermostats — including where to find the best ones.
Let’s get right into it…
- 1 What is a Smart Thermostat?
- 2 How Do They Work?
- 3 Best Smart Thermostats of 2018
- 3.1 Nest Learning Thermostat (Third Generation)
- 3.2 Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Thermostat
- 3.3 Honeywell RCHT8610WF2006 Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Smart 7 Day Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat
- 3.4 ecobee4 Thermostat
- 3.5 ecobee3 Thermostat, 2nd Generation
- 3.6 ecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat
- 3.7 Kono Smart Wi-Fi Thermostat
What is a Smart Thermostat?
Smart thermostats are creating a big buzz right now.
With a regular programmable thermostat you can manually set the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system in your home — but how do you know things are running at their utmost efficiency?
What if there’s a change in weather when you’re out at work and you come home to a freezing — or sweltering — home?
What if you’re unexpectedly staying out and don’t need the heating on for as long as you’ve programmed it?
When you’re not at home, your ordinary thermostat follows the program you have given it, and cannot be changed, so it won’t allow for any changes in weather conditions, or any changes to your schedule.
Smart thermostats, on the other hand, have revolutionized home climate control.
They actually learn your behaviors, and adapt their programming accordingly.
Not only that, but certain smart thermostats are able to detect temperature and humidity levels in multiple rooms in the home and adjust themselves automatically to provide the perfect ambient temperature throughout.
Plus, they can be controlled remotely via a smartphone app, so if you have a change of plans you needn’t worry that you’re wasting money on inefficient climate control.
Most smart thermostats will even compile various forms of data and give you readouts letting you know how much energy you are using and how much money you are saving, as well as prompting you when system maintenance is necessary.
How Do They Work?
In addition to offering all the same basic controls as a regular thermostat, smart thermostats have an internet connection via WiFi.
This means that you can use your smartphone or laptop to control your heating even when you’re not at home — or even if you’re comfortable and don’t want to move from the room you are in!
Some smart thermostats can even be operated with the sound of your voice from across the room.
When you’re at home, motion sensors in different rooms will detect when you enter and exit, and the smart thermostat will adjust the climate settings accordingly (for example only turning up the heat in rooms where there are people when the weather gets cold), as well as learning your daily routines to better automize climate settings.
The best smart thermostat will also use information from local weather reports to anticipate changes in environmental conditions and compensate accordingly within the home.
Some will even track family members via GPS, thereby knowing when you are going out and when you are on your way home, turning climate control on and off as needed.
Smart thermostats can be used with most existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems provided that the thermostat being replaced has the correct wiring — it will need a ‘C’ wire.
It is important to consider what product will work best with your particular home heating system before buying, as not all models are compatible with all systems (for example some work better with low voltage heating, and others work best for high voltage heating systems).
Taking this into account, installation can be a quick and simple process, after which the smart thermostat can be setup via the device screen, and connected to your chosen WiFi account, ready for immediate use.
Take a look at this video on how to best install:
Prices for smart thermostats vary depending on features and capabilities.
Best Smart Thermostats of 2018
Want to make the switch and start making some smart savings? Here are the best smart thermostats available now…
The third generation Nest Smart Thermostat features a stylish design with a special ‘Farsight’ LCD screen which can be seen clearly even across the other side of the room, and which displays useful information such as current weather conditions, internal temperature, and what time it is.
Created to work seamlessly with other Nest Smart devices, this thermostat can also be used in conjunction with Amazon Alexa for additional voice control, and is capable of quickly learning the habits of yourself and other family members in order to program itself in accordance with your schedule.
WiFi, smartphones, tablets, and computers can all be connected to Nest Smart thermostat enabling you to have total control from wherever you are. It also provides energy efficiency information to show you how your home is using energy, and how efficiency can be improved.
- Attractive design available in 4 different colors
- Works with Amazon Alexa
- Uses a Smart sensor for better energy saving
- Monitors humidity, temperature, light and movement
- Quick to install and set up
- Programs itself automatically
- Easy to read display
- Learns quickly and effectively
- No additional remote temperature sensors included — you’ll have to buy these separately if you want a smart thermostat for multiple zones
Complete with an app for Android and iOS devices, the Emerson Sensi Touch WiFi Smart thermostat can be managed remotely via your smartphone, laptop, or tablet whatever your location, and is also compatible with other smart devices including Amazon Alexa, Wink home, and Apple HomeKit.
The intuitive 4.3 inch touchscreen interface is designed to be easy to read and easy to use, and color coded depending on whether it is cooling or heating the home.
This smart thermostat uses GPS to determine whether or not you are far from home, and puts the climate control into an energy saving mode accordingly.
- Simple design
- GPS monitoring available
- Straightforward to set up
- Tracks both temperature and humidity levels
- Good programming flexibility
- Good price
- Not capable of automatically learning your habits – needs to be programmed
- No energy efficiency reports
This Wi-Fi and app-connected Honeywell smart thermostat allows you to control temperature settings at home or remotely .
The geofencing capability knows if you are at home or away, and automatically chooses the correct set of climate preferences according to your location.
If paired with Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri, the Honeywell Lyric T5 can also be operated by voice command.
The 4 inch square touchscreen which acts as the control panel for the thermostat has a clear, bright display showing current room temperature and time, and among other features allows you to set maintenance reminders, and create 7 day heating schedules.
- Simple to use and install
- Touchscreen is very responsive
- Good budget choice
- Comes with excellent customer support
- Good programming options
- Useful smart alerts for maintenance or dramatic weather changes
- 7 day programming is very useful
- Works with Amazon Alexa
- Basic Smart thermostat which only controls heating and cooling, not humidity
- Lacks sensors and other features for multiple zone monitoring
For many people, the ecobee4 is the best smart thermostat.
Advanced ‘far field’ voice recognition technology and in-built Amazon Alexa means that the ecobee4 Thermostat can be easily operated from the other side of the room by voice command, and can act as a hub to access other Alexa apps and features.
This stylishly designed smart thermostat comes supplies with an extra climate and motion sensor which can be placed in a different room to help manage temperatures more effectively within the home.
Smartphone compatible, the ecobee app allows climate adjustment from any location, and integrates with a wide range of smart home technology including Apple Homekit, IFTTT, and more.
The 3.5 inch touchscreen is well thought out and intuitive, and the ecobee 4 is easy to set up.
Energy management is made simple thanks to ecobee’s DataRhythm Technology, which analyzes personal preferences, local weather conditions and humidity to build a schedule to fit the unique profile of your home.
- Comes with additional room sensor for multiple zone monitoring
- Built in speaker
- Supports multiple different smart technologies
- Sleek design
- Controls temperature, ventilation, and humidity
- Can be voice operated
- High quality device
- Comparatively quite expensive
The predecessor to the aforementioned ecobee4, the second generation ecobee3 thermostat with sensor is very similar, but with some minor differences.
The interface on the device is almost identical, with the only divergence being the lack of an Amazon Alexa icon — because although compatible with Alexa, the ecobee3 does not have Alexa directly built in.
The device itself is also a little thinner, having a smaller profile when mounted on the wall.
Like the ecobee4, this Smart thermostat comes equipped with an additional room sensor, and performs all the same climate control functions.
Since the launch of the ecobee4, the price of the ecobee3 has dramatically reduced, making it a good option for those who don’t need all the bells and whistles of the newest edition.
- Great value for the price
- Additional external sensors available
- Accurate and easy to use
- Very energy efficient
- Homekit enabled
- Adjusts automatically – no need to program
- Includes useful usage reports
- Amazon Alexa is not built in
- Some users don’t like the slider button for manual temperature adjustment
Our third ecobee option is the second generation ecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat, which also works with Amazon Alexa.
The ecobee3 Lite is a slightly stripped down version of the regular ecobee3 — it still keeps some great features, but with a much lower price tag.
The biggest difference between the two ecobee3 Smart thermostats is that the ecobee3 lite doesn’t support humidifiers, dehumidifiers, or ventilators, so if your home climate control system includes these features, we’d recommend upgrading to the ecobee3 or 4.
Alternatively those with a simpler HVAC system can benefit from the other great ecobee3 features without the higher price tag.
The other main difference between the two is that although the ecobee3 Lite can be used with additional room sensors, it does not come supplied with one.
- Cheapest of the ecobee Smart thermostats
- Great touchscreen control
- Cool design
- Easy to use
- Can be integrated with Amazon Alexa for voice control
- Great quality at an affordable price
- No rooms sensor supplied – must be purchased at additional cost
- Not compatible with all HVAC systems
Adjustable remotely whether you’re at home or out for the day thanks to the Lux Smartphone app, the Lux Kono Smart Wi-Fi thermostat is compatible with multiple platforms including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Home Kit.
Geofencing technology allows the thermostat to know when you are not at home and anticipate when you will be returning, and adjusts climate settings accordingly.
The 4.5 square inch screen features an LCD screen and interface which can be navigated using the aluminum knob on the front of the device — from here you can manually regulate temperature, operate cooling systems and fans, and set schedules.
The ‘away’ mode is ideal for conserving energy when you are not at home, and this smart thermostat produces basic usage reports to keep you informed as to energy efficiency within your home.
- Works with most conventional heating and cooling systems
- Available in a range of five different colors to suit your decor
- Can be voice operated
- Very affordable price
- Uses intelligent geofencing technology
- Easy to install and configure
- Not compatible with other Smart home devices
- No separate room sensors for multiple zone monitoring
Which do you think is the best smart thermostat?