Are you looking for a buying a guide that will actually help you choose the perfect smart thermostat in 2022? This will help. We've made a list of the 5 top smart thermostats that we think you should recommend in addition to some tips on how to go about picking one that's right for you.
The original Nest Learning Thermostat was launched in 2011. It offered Wi-Fi connectivity in a puck-shaped device. The Nest could also learn your daily habits and adjust heating and cooling times accordingly. Although the Nest was not the first connected thermostat on the market, Ecobee from Canada beat it by two years.
Nest and Ecobee are still in business, but they now face stiff competition from HVAC industry giants like Honeywell, Trane, and Carrier. A smart thermostat can be a great place to start if you are looking to upgrade your home. It can also help you save money on your cooling and heating costs.
There are many smart thermostats available. Some are suitable for heating and cooling systems, with basic programming and scheduling options. Others are better suited for multi-stage systems that control heating, cooling, and ventilation. Prices vary depending on the features and capabilities, as is the case for most smart thermostats. Here are our top picks for smart thermostats and what you should look for in a smart thermostat.
What you should look for in a Smart Thermostat?
Smart thermostats can provide a range of features that can not only keep your home comfortable but also reduce heating and cooling costs. Even though the most basic models can be quite affordable, they still have Wi-Fi circuitry which allows you to connect to your home network and the internet. You can control them from your smartphone or tablet via a free mobile app. Some models let you also use a web browser to access the internet.
You can adjust the temperature, set a heating and cooling schedule for seven days, turn on or off the system, and override it if you or your family members are returning home earlier than scheduled. The Google Nest Learning Thermostat goes one step further in scheduling. It can monitor your daily activities, heating trends, and create heating and cooling schedules based on when and where you like to be.
You'll pay more for more functions, as is often the case. Brightly colored touch displays make it easy to program and configure the thermostat. They also add a style touch and can be seen from anywhere in a room. The thermostats that are moderately priced display current temperature and time until you tap on the screen. At that point, they will display temperature settings and temperature. More expensive thermostats have motion sensors that light up the display when the user enters the room.
The latest smart thermostats have humidity sensors. These sensors will alert you if it detects high humidity levels. Some models can also display the local weather forecast. The Ecobee Smart Thermostat With Voice Control has a remote room sensor to help maintain consistent temperatures throughout your home, even in rooms far from the thermostat.
You can set your thermostat to automatically lower your temperature when you leave the house, and then turn it up when you return home. This is possible with a thermostat that supports geofencing technology such as the Nest Thermostat. Geofencing lets the thermostat know when you enter or leave a virtual perimeter around your house using your phone's location service. The mobile app allows you to set your Home and Away temperature preferences. The thermostat will then be activated when you enter or leave the perimeter. Make sure to have your phone handy when you leave the home.
Another useful feature is usage reporting. This allows you to see historical data about how often your system runs and how long it takes for it to reach its target temperature. You can even see what the temperature outside was at that time, so you can track how your HVAC system affected it. You should also look out for reminders to replace or maintain your air filters, vacation scheduling, and power cycle alerts, which will let you know if the system is acting strangely.
Choosing the right smart thermostat then comes down to what your budget permits, and what thermostats can get you the best bang for your buck.
What Other Things Do Thermostats Do?
Look for a thermostat that can work with other smart devices in your home. Nest Learning thermostats can be used with many third-party devices such as smart fans, smart switches, and lighting systems. IFTTT support (If This Then That), is a popular feature that allows the thermostat to trigger or be triggered by other IFTTT enabled devices and services. You can, for example, create an applet to turn on a smart AC once your thermostat reaches a specific temperature.
The latest smart thermostats are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, or Google Assistant voice assistants. You can change the temperature and check the current temperature by simply speaking to your device. Most high-end smart thermostats are Alexa enabled and can play music, receive the latest news and scores, change the temperature settings, and more with the help of other connected Alexa devices.
Having smart home products compatible with the same voice assistant - having all Alexa enabled smart home gadgets for example - makes it really easy and seamless to control the various gadgets in your smart home, including your smart thermostat.
Can I install a Smart Thermostat by myself?
Although smart thermostats can be very simple to install, it is important to understand how your system wires before you start. Before you take down your thermostat, make sure to note the wiring. If possible, take a photo. Pre-printed labels are included with most new devices. These labels can be attached to wires to identify them as you go along. It is important to know the type of system that you have, as you will be required to provide this information during setup. There are many types of HVAC systems that can be supported, including electric, gas, propane, forced, and radiant.
Smart thermostats can work with multi-stage cooling and heating systems. However, if you plan to control other components like heat pumps, whole-house dehumidifiers, or heat pumps, you should make sure that the thermostat supports these devices. To avoid any damage to your complex HVAC system, it is a good idea for a professional HVAC technician to install the thermostat.
A-C (common wire) is another factor that you should consider. This is the common wire that supplies constant power to your thermostat. Most smart thermostats need a C-wire to function. However, older homes with older heating systems don't usually have one because they didn't require it. You can also purchase a power extender kit to power your smart thermostat. Nest thermostats are one example of a device that can be used without a C-wire.
However, it will steal power from furnace control circuits to charge the internal battery. Although this is usually a good idea, it can cause issues with some HVAC systems. It may even cycle the system to steal power. A professional technician can run a C-wire for $150 if you don't want to risk frying the furnace's circuit boards.
The cost of installing a smart thermostat and purchasing the device can be significantly higher than a traditional model. It can save you money over time on heating and cooling, as well as the flexibility it offers when you are both inside and outside the house.
Our list of the top Smart Thermostats to buy in 2022
1. The Google Nest Learning Thermostat - the best overall
Home/Away assistance adjusts when you leave and checks your energy settings
Some people have complained that the battery isn't long lasting.
Installation is easy with the Google Nest Learning Thermostat since it works with almost all cooling and heating systems. It adapts to your life and doesn't need to be programmed very often. In fact, it automatically schedules itself to your preferences. It won't heat or cool your home while you're away - thanks to the Home/Away assistance feature. It will detect when you're leaving and adjust its settings accordingly, ultimately helping you save money over the long term.
The Nest Leaf (the leaf icon on the display shows up when active) is a great way to save money. It allows you to choose a temperature that conserves energy. You can make these temperatures your default. You can also save more with the Check your Energy History feature. It will show you how much energy have you used in the past. You can use it with the remote control.
2. Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat - best for monitoring usage
Smart home compatible and controllable from anywhere
No dynamic touchscreen on the base model
The Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat has been certified ENERGY STAR and can help you reduce your HVAC expenses. This allows you to schedule your time and plan out your week, helping you save on average 23% on HVAC expenses. You'll be amazed at how simple it is to use features like remote access, geofencing, and the ability to control from anywhere. That's what makes it one of the most popular smart thermostats.
It doesn't take long to install this thermostat. It is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant as well as Apple HomeKit and Samsung SmartThings. It will allow you to view historical data as well as current usage reports to determine how long cooling and fan runs last. All of this information can be accessed via the app.
You can set your temperature from anywhere by using the app or remote control. Sensi smart alerts will let you know when there is dangerously high humidity in your home. It doesn't look as sleek as some of the other contenders on this list, but it's a great thermostat at a decent price point.
3. Ecobee Smart Thermostat - the best for Voice Control
Smart Sensor provides comfort in your most important rooms and automatically pauses if a door or window remains open
The return policy is quite short
The Ecobee Smart Thermostat lets you to tell it what to do. You can use Siri or Alexa to make calls, play music and control the thermostat with additional controls. This can be synced with multiple voice assistants. It can be integrated seamlessly with your smart home system. It's Smart Sensors will make your home more comfortable by extending your comfort to the most important rooms. Installation takes only 45 minutes.
If a window or door is left open, it will automatically stop heating or cooling. This will ensure that you don't lose money. According to reports, this will allow you to save on average 26% annually in heating and cooling costs. Your smartphone will also notify you when a window or door is open. It has presence detection and a speaker built in.
It's important to note that some users have complained about its functionality being a little off when you have solar panels contribute to your home electricity supply.
4. Honeywell Home Smart Color Thermostat - best for customization
Choose colors that match your aesthetic and ENERGY STAR-certified performance
Doesn't feature an auto Home/Away Mode
With the Honeywell Home HTML9585WF1004 Wi-Fi Smart Color Thermostat, your smart thermostat will blend in with your wall. The color can be customized to match your décor. You can change the back panel as you remodel your home. This thermostat provides flexible programming options to suit your needs. You can also change your settings when the utility company raises its rates. It is easy to use and customizable thanks to its bright, easy-to-read display.
This thermostat is ENERGY STAR certified and will monitor your heating and cooling consumption and generate monthly energy reports. This thermostat is compatible with heat pumps, electric back-ups, forced air, hot water, and steam. You can set your schedule using the touchscreen or the Honeywell app. You should be aware that there is no remote sensor.
Both Alexa and Google Assistant will work with this thermostat as well!
5. Amazon Smart Thermostat: Best value for money
Easy, affordable controls with Amazon Alexa
People complained about the installation
The Amazon Smart Thermostat can be purchased at a very affordable price. Amazon will offer rebates to help you save money. This thermostat is ENERGY STAR certified and can save you an average of $50 each year.
This thermostat is designed for DIY installation. This may not be for everyone - we recommend getting an HVAC expert to help install it. On the bright side, it comes in a variant with a C-Wire adapter built in as well.
This thermostat doesn't come with a mic or speaker built in. It depends on an Alexa device for use with the Alexa voice assistant. This could be either the Alexa app or an Alexa smart speaker, like the Echo or Echo Dot. There is also a Smart Thermostat + Echo Dot bundle that you could consider.
Buying a smart thermostat is a big deal. But it can be a huge power and money saver if you make the right choice. Smart homes wouldn't really be smart if they didn't at least save you some money and energy right?