All the right smart thermostats can guarantee that it’s cool indoors and can also help to reduce the energy bill. That’s because these tools can track temperature and humidity inside and outside your house, your comings and goings, and adjust the cycles of heating and cooling. And because they are attached to your home Wi-Fi network, you can use your smartphone to track, schedule, and manage them.
Upon reviewing a dozen versions, the best smart thermostat is the 5th generation Ecobee ($249) for one main reason: it comes with a wireless sensor that you can put in a remote space in your home — such as one that doesn’t heat or cool as fast — and lets you configure the Ecobee to keep the system on until the room hits the temperature you want. Plus, Alexa is built into the Ecobee, so you can interact with Amazon’s voice assistant without buying an Echo or an Echo Dot.
If you’re looking for something less than $100, then we choose the 7-Day Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat from Honeywell RTH6580WF. It’s not as sophisticated as the Ecobee, but still one of the best smart thermostats.
1. Programmable Thermostats
With no internet connection, these versions allow you to adjust the temperature on the unit itself, as well as pick the heating or cooling process of your HVAC system. Many feature a computer interface with the possibility of programming or automatically changing the temperature of your home based on the periods you choose.
- Many models allow you to set different temperatures for multiple days and/or weekdays.
- Lack of automation
- remote control
- voice control convenience
These models allow you to monitor your thermostat remotely from your smartphone or your device. Many employ multiple sensors to track temperatures for more efficient heating or cooling in different parts of the home. Some models track your temperature preferences and use those data to optimize your schedule for heating and cooling.
- Efficient and convenient in terms of energy.
- Provide finer control of your HVAC system to reduce your carbon footprint, lower energy use in your home and save money.
- Able to automate your heating and cooling with little to no manual input.
- Not every intelligent thermostat fits with the current HVAC network of a home.
Some of the best thermostats are :
It’s regularly racked up Editor’s Choice awards as the best smart thermostat from outlets including CNET and PC Mag since the Ecobee 4 was launched in 2017. Ecobee estimates that with average temperatures at 72 degrees, it can reduce the energy bill by up to 23 per cent in a year.
It accomplishes this through the compatible room sensors that monitor the temperature and occupancy in rooms and automatically adjust the temperature accordingly (one is included, more can be bought separately). Its 3.5-inch touchscreen is responsive, and its simple app is easy to use too.
- Remote sensors
- built-in Amazon Alexa
- Quick DIY
- Quite expensive
You may expect the fifth-generation update to the Ecobee 4 to offer even better performance and cost-saving features, but the company has concentrated mostly on improving its compatibility and surface-level changes like the glass finish.
For updated Smart Sensors, Ecobee says they have greater broad-angle tracking and longer battery life, although the analysis by CNET did not notice huge differences in detecting the presence of people.
The biggest difference might be its quieter speaker, which allows you to download Amazon Music or Spotify directly (or via a Bluetooth speaker).
- Further integration-Sensor
- speaker enhanced
- Most expensive amongst all
Although the Nest does not have remote motion sensors such as the Ecobee, its excellent capabilities include auto-scheduling that knows the temperatures you like, and home / away modes that use the main unit’s motion sensor to sense your presence to switch mode.
Because it doesn’t have remote sensors, it might assume you’re not home when you’re at home and switch to Eco mode, but its geofencing feature means that if you’re home with your phone, it’s going to stay in Home mode.
- Various finishes
- No room sensor
Nest Thermostat E
Nest’s Thermostat E is basically a more basic version of the Learning platform that retains the auto-schedule and home / away modes but gets rid of other components for a much cheaper price.
The architecture, for example, is plastic rather than metal, and the monitor is slightly smaller at a lower resolution. Because there are no remote sensors to temperature, it may be better suited for smaller open-concept apartments than big, spacious houses.
- More costly
- auto plan
- No remote sensors
- Show lower resolution
The Honeywell Lyric T5 compares the simple smart features to the Nest Thermostat E— though it’s even less costly. Although it has a seven-day cycle like most other inexpensive smart thermostats, it can also change the temperatures of your home based on whether you are home or away from home by geofencing, which usually has more expensive products.
One customer on Amazon even said that their household’s geofencing feature worked better than Nest’s Learning Schedule because they didn’t maintain a regular schedule.
- Quite affordable
- Accuracy in geofencing
Like the Honeywell, Emerson’s Sensi smart thermostat offers similar features such as seven-day scheduling and geofencing to change the temperatures automatically. It will be integrated into all the most popular smart home platforms such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
The wide touchscreen fits well although it looks slightly more ancient than the budget models of the Nest and Ecobee. The geofencing and other practical features don’t work significantly better than the Honeywell and other under $200 options.
- Touch screen
- less expensive
- No extra feature
Frequently asked questions
How to Install a Smart Thermostat
To a large extent, installing a thermostat, smart or not, is a fairly easy procedure that usually involves nothing more than a screwdriver and about half an hour of your time. Here’s our video guide for installing a Nest thermostat but for almost every thermostat the process is identical.
How We Test Smart Thermostats
We install each thermostat in a home or apartment and live with it for at least one week, to see how it handles different conditions. This includes not just changing the temperature, but also evaluating its accompanying app and web portal, if available. If the thermostat works with other smart home devices or Web-connected services
Most unconnected thermostats can be easily wired into your heating and refrigeration system. Just take a photo of the wired connection on your current thermostat so you know which wires are going where and connect those wires on your new thermostat to the corresponding ports. In fact, many smart thermostats will include comprehensive installation instructions or video walkthroughs to promote operation.