Smart thermostats can completely change the way you work with your home. For example, one can automate your temperature completely, while another gives you more control. We have compiled a list of our smart smart thermostats and why they may be right for you.
What to look for in a smart thermostat
You can not just buy the coolest smart thermostat and call it a day. Each smart thermostat has its strengths and is best adapted to your needs. After all, what̵7;s the point of buying a $ 200 thermostat if you have to struggle with it all the time?
Here are some features and properties that you should consider before buying a smart thermostat:
- AI and learning: Smart thermostats are supported by AI and learning algorithms that can automatically adjust your home temperature and save money. These features are great for practical people who want lots of control. They are also great for people who want to save money without programming a thermostat.
- Geofencing: Some smart thermostats track your location and adjust the temperature automatically so you save money while out. All thermostats in this article contain optional geofencing features.
- remote sensors: Some smart thermostats come with (or work with) remote temperature and motion sensors. When you put these in a bedroom or a hallway, they help ensure that the temperature in your home stays even. They also detect if people are at home and adjust the temperature accordingly.
- Smart-home support: Make sure your smart thermostat plays well with your other devices. Most thermostats support Google Assistant and Alexa, but only a few support Apple HomeKit. If this is it (IFTTT) or SmartThings.
- HVAC support: Most HVAC systems (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) are compatible with smart thermostats, but there are some rare exceptions. Before buying a smart thermostat, make sure it is compatible with your HVAC system.
- Your home is wiring: Smart thermostats are fairly easy to install, as long as you have a low voltage system. If you have a high voltage system (or are not sure what it means) you may want to hire an electrician or ask a practical friend to help you. The trademarks in this article, ecobee, Nest and Honeywell, all have installation and compatibility guides on their websites.
Now that you have an idea of what you’re looking for, let’s jump in!
Best for full control: ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control
Smart thermostats offer more control and “tweakability” than their usual counterparts. If more control is your first priority, the ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control is probably the best choice for you.
Unlike other smart thermostats, ecobee is sold with a remote sensor, which makes automatic temperature adjustments and “off” positions more accurate. In addition, everything on the ecobee can be adjusted and the thermostat is compatible with virtually all smart home platforms (Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, HomeKit and SmartThings). It even has a built-in Alexa speaker so you can control the thermostat (and other smart home equipment) without a smart speaker.
Ekobee SmartThermostat also includes a new eco + AI, which automates some of the thermostat’s temperature-adjusting and money-saving functions. Unlike the Google Nest Learning Thermostat, though (we’ll get to that a bit), you can fine-tune the ecobee’s automation features in excessive order, and it’s never going to force you out of the driver’s seat.
If you turn off ecobee’s price tag, you may want to check out the older models: ecobee3 and ecobee4. They lack some of the newer features, such as Alexa drop-in and Spotify connect, and they do not yet have eco + AI. But they are still packed with enough controls and features to make any control freak happy.
Best for full control
Easiest: Google Nest Learning Thermostat
Not interested in micromanaging a thermostat? Google Nest Learning Thermostat is built to teach you your preferences and manage all the work for you. Its powerful AI automates temperature adjustments and its scheduling features are fairly easy to manage. The Nest also places great emphasis on “away” features, which use Nest’s motion sensing and geofencing features to help you save on electricity. You can also buy remote sensors to expand the nest’s functions.
Nest Learning Thermostat is not programmable, but it is built to teach you your preferences and runs on autopilot. After using the nest for a few weeks, just as if you were using a regular thermostat, you will notice that it can run your home’s temperature settings (and lower your electricity bill) on its own.
The only serious downside to the Google Nest Learning Thermostat is its lack of broad smart home compatibility. It works with Google Assistant, Alexa and IFTTT, but not with Apple HomeKit or SmartThings.
If the Google Nest Learning Thermostat price tag does not fit into your budget, check out the cheaper Google Nest Thermostat E. It is not compatible with as many plumbing systems as the Learning Thermostat. It still has the same software and automation features.
Best budget option: Honeywell Lyric T5
Honeywell is best known for regular “stupid” thermostats, but it also sells some of the best smart thermostats on the market, such as the Honeywell Lyric T5. At about half the price of Google Nest or ecobee thermostats, the Lyric T5 is packed with scheduling controls, geofencing features and smart home compatibility for voice control and automation.
However, the Lyric T5 does not have the more advanced AI features. There is no automatic learning, automatic adjustment or motion detection. This model is a step above your average “stupid” thermostat, which will be perfect for some people, but not enough for others.
Of course, the simplicity (and price) of the Lyric T5 can appeal to you if you are not super-technical or obsessed with the thermostat. You can still build routines with Google Assistant, Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT or SmartThings if you want to expand T5’s controls.
Or you can just control the thing from your phone and keep things as simple as possible.
Best budget options