What is the best smart thermostat out there in 2019? Well, it’s not like a few years ago where Nest completely owned the game. The game has changed, and I’m here to tell you all about it.
There are a lot of new options. If you are trying to figure out what the best smart thermostat is, then that really depends upon your personal situation. How many zones you have in your home, etc.
Hopefully, this guide will help you make your decision. I will update it regularly to ensure that you have the latest information.
What Is A Smart Thermostat?
Some people refer to them as wi-fi thermostats and some people refer to them as smart thermostats. A smart thermostat controls your home’s temperature no matter where you are on the planet all while giving you significant energy savings as well.
Ours comes in most handy when we are on a family vacation. But can be just as useful when you are out picking up some groceries and want to turn up the heat before you get home.
Whether you are on the beach on vacation or just at work and want to check the temperature of your home. Smartphone thermostats are something that you may want to consider.
Why Should You Buy A Smart Thermostat?
There are lots of reasons to get a wifi thermostat. It makes sense for just about anyone. Primarily from a cost savings standpoint, which I’ll delve into a bit more later in this article.
If that isn’t enough reason to get one though, then just think of the convenience factor. You can check and change the temperature in your home from anywhere in the world when you aren’t home or from the comfort of your couch.
Smartphone controlled thermostats can learn your schedule and can drop and raise the temperature which makes them extremely energy efficient on a day to day basis.
If you are like me then I’m sure that you have left the AC running all day while you were gone. The best part is that you can set up geofencing and it will automatically turn off when you leave the house.
Although wifi thermostats are easy to install. There are many different heating companies that will install smart thermostats for you (for free in some cases) or even give you a better rate because you have one installed. So you may want to check with your local provider to find out what kind of deals they are running.
Are Smart Thermostats Worth The Cost?
The simple answer is yes, they are absolutely worth it. Especially when you consider that the average home saves quite a bit according to a report by Nest.
When you consider that they are collecting a 10-12% savings on heating and 15% savings on cooling, that’s about $131-145 savings per year.
According to the readers on Nest’s forum they are saving between $10 and $20 a month on average.
Ecobee claims that they are saving their customers an average of 23% annually!
Those are pretty big numbers when you think about the big picture. Absolutely worth every penny in my opinion as well! We installed Ecobee 3 Lite thermostats last year and over the winter we saw a $200 savings in our heating bill!
So when you ask if smart home thermostats will save you money? The resounding answer is yes based on all of the statistical data.
Are Smart Thermostats Secure?
Smart home security for a connected home, whether we are talking about learning thermostats, cameras, or your Amazon Echo, are all linked to your router. Which in turn can cause security risks if you don’t know what you are doing.
There are virtually a ton of articles on the internet talking about how your smart home is hackable. Well, personally I’m tired of it. There’s no reason that you can’t have a secure network at home that keeps out hackers.
The fact of that matter is most people wouldn’t want to try and hack your home network unless they thought there was something very valuable on the back end of it. So, hacking your smart home network is nothing more than a way to drive you crazy.
With that being said, there are ways to make sure that your smart home network is secure. I would suggest that you start by reading my article on securing your smart home network and following the suggestions there.
Will A Smart Thermostat Work With My Furnace?
Of course, everyone’s home is slightly different and the heating and air conditioning set up differently. Luckily there is a smart thermostat for just about every scenario.
Have you installed either a four- or five-wire thermostat in the past? Well, this process should be roughly the same. Making it easy for the average homeowner to install. Be careful though, most smart thermostats do require a C wire.
I have been walking through a local big box hardware store before and seen signs that tell you that none of them require a C-wire. But most of them will.
If you aren’t sure on what to buy, you may want to check with a local electrician or other professional. In most cases, you can get a smart thermostat connected with very little trouble.
One workaround for getting power to your smartphone controlled thermostat if you do not have a C-wire is to use a standard 24-volt adapter. You can read more about it in my article called How To Install An Ecobee Thermostat With No C-Wire.
Which Smart Thermostat Should I Get?
Obviously, there are a lot of different brands of smart thermostats out on the market right now. Nest, Ecobee, and Honeywell just to name a few. If you are trying to figure out which one is the best fit for your home then this is the part of the article that you came to read.
When it comes to choosing which one is best for you, then you need to consider what you might be using as a smart home hub. Are you using a Samsung SmartThings? Are you planning on just using Alexa or Google Home to control your thermostats?
Do you have an entire house that you are heating or are you looking for the best thermostat for a small apartment?
All of these things need to be taken into consideration when you are shopping for smart thermostats. I have put together my top three smart thermostats on the market today. The wifi thermostats featured in this article are all thermostats you can buy over here on Amazon.
So let’s begin!
Ecobee 3 Lite – The Best Smart Thermostat Hands Down
Not for nothing. This smart thermostat has changed my life in so many ways. I have four of them in my house which shows my devotion to the Ecobee brand. These will save you up to 23%* on your heating and cooling costs.
You can control from anywhere and adjust the temperature and comfort settings easily from your Android and iOS devices. They work very well with Ecobee room sensors which are sold separately. Something that comes inherently with the Ecobee 4.
But the price point for these is bordering on the budget value smart thermostats that are out there now.
It installed very quickly and easily. Everything you are going to need is right in the box. The other nice feature about these thermostats is that they tell you what the current weather is like outside right on the thermostat.
- Easy to set up and use
- Lower cost
- Does not come with remote sensors
- No built-in geofencing features
I think that the Ecobee 3 is a great entry level thermostat, that is not by any means near a “bottom of the line” type of thermostat. If you think this might be a fit for your home, then make sure you check out the reviews on Amazon before buying.
Ecobee 4 – Best Smart Thermostat For Multiple Zones
The Ecobee 4 is the big brother of the Ecobee 3 Lite. It comes with a few more features which are actually a pretty big deal. One of those features which may mean a lot to you is that they have Alexa built right in.
So instead of having to add an echo or an echo dot into a room, you can just talk to Alexa right through your thermostat.
One of the nicest and newest features with this thermostat is that it has room sensors that you can put throughout your house if you have a heating system that supports it. These sensors pick up on cold spots or hot spots in your home and adjust it as necessary to ensure comfort throughout.
They can also sense when a room is occupied and you can set the heat to go off when you leave that room.
Here again, the strongest features are the long-term cost savings of having one of these in your home. These are also just as easy to install. Although configuration might take a bit longer due to the added learning features that the Ecobee 4 brings.
- Built-in Alexa
- Has “follow me” mode and comes with sensors that allow you to set the temperature for whatever rooms are actually occupied
- Home / Away feature allows you to use geofencing capabilities to let it know when you are home or not
- The cost is a bit higher than the Ecobee 3 Lite
Personally, we have had great luck with the entire Ecobee line of thermostats and I can honestly say that this is one of my favorites, although I didn’t find having the Alexa add-in particularly helpful. If you want to check out more about the Ecobee4, then make sure you look over the reviews over here on Amazon.
Nest – Best Smart Thermostat Compatible With Google Home
Nests learning thermostats have been around in the smart thermostat market since 2010 and is one of the top dogs. They recently introduced the 3rd generation in its Nest Learning Thermostat line. It has four vibrant colors that you can change the display to, and the display is easy to read.
This smart controlled thermostat spends it’s time learning your routine and can save you money by automatically adjusting the temperature in any room. It does take it a couple of days to learn your patterns. But once nest learns it works flawlessly.
With it’s new Farsight feature, it can light up and show you the temperature and the time when you are approximately 10 feet away or less. Farsight brings a big beautiful display that you can see across the room and allows you to choose either a digital or analog clock face. The Nest thermostat comes in four colors Copper, Stainless Steel, Black, and White.
The Nest is a little more pricey, but it does come with a couple of neat features that Ecobee does not. It measures the humidity in the air and will turn on the Air Conditioning when it needs to automatically. Also, it has a neat feature that will remind you when it’s time to change your air filters on your furnace, which it bases on how many times the furnace has turned off and on.
- Integrates easily with your existing system
- Offers some significant energy savings with its smart learning capabilities
- Very stylish and fits with the most modern home decor
- The Nest room sensors are sold separately
- There are known wifi issues with the Nest if it does not have sufficient incoming power
All in all, Nest is probably one of the best thermostats that you can use with Google Home. But in particular, can I say that it’s the best smart thermostat? I think that really depends on the layout of your house and the heating system that you are attaching it to. It is also a bit more money than most people want to pay to enter into the smart thermostat realm.
If you are interested in learning more about the Nest or checking out other reviews. Here is a link to it over on Amazon.
That said, yes, there is a more affordable option and I’ll get into that more next.
Honeywell Lyric – Best Budget Thermostat
What’s your budget? If other options don’t get you excited because they are too pricey then the Honeywell Lyric T5 smart thermostat might do the trick. I’m really impressed with how well Honeywell has adapted to this market and they might even be the leader one day in my opinion.
The Honeywell Lyric T5 is a programmable touchscreen thermostat with geofencing built in. It works with Amazon Alexa and does require a C-wire as most of them do. This smartphone controlled thermostat is compatible with both Alexa and Siri and well worth the money.
It also has a neat feature called “adaptive recovery”, which is where it learns how long it takes to achieve the right temperature at the right time. It automatically turns your system on to get to your desired temperature, and it auto changes from cool to heat when you need it to.
One other nice feature is that it has “smart alerts” which give you push notifications when you need a filter change and extreme temperature warnings.
- Great Customer Service
- Easy To Use
- Offers Geofencing so it recognizes when you are not home
- Nice Design
- It has a mobile app that needs a lot of improvement
- It’s sensing capabilities are sub-par, with no motion sensing or humidity sensor
- It does not offer statistics reports of energy usage
I think this is a great entry-level, budget smart thermostat and I would highly recommend it as such. If you’d like to check out more, then I would suggest reading through the reviews over here on Amazon before making your purchase.
Glas (Johnson Controls) – Best New Smart Thermostat
There’s always a new kid on the block when it comes to smart home devices. The technology changes so fast and with each new product line it seems that there are improvements being made. The new Glas Smart Thermostat by Johnson Controls is no exception.
It offers indoor air quality monitoring, which means that it can sense humidity. That’s a big plus right off the bat!
But that’s not all…
it also offers reporting of allergen levels, air quality index and even UV index. I haven’t seen another smart thermostat that can do that to date.
It offers 7-day scheduling or you can use the occupancy feature to figure out when you are home and what rooms you are in. It works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Microsoft Cortana as well.
- Very high tech looking and has a very modern feel
- Easy user interface
- Monitors air quality. No one else does that
- No one uses Cortana. It just isn’t a useful feature.
- No room sensor support. So you have to have one thermostat per room or zone
- Much more expensive than any of its competitors
I like this smart thermostat. I really do! But the price point along with its lack of room sensors makes it just out of reach for the average consumer at this point. Especially when it’s competitors do more and are more affordable. If you would like to check out user reviews or the current price point you can take a peek over here on Amazon.
I’m very cautious when choosing a smart thermostat. It’s a rather big investment, especially if you plan on buying more than one for your home. Just make sure you pick the best smart thermostat for your lifestyle and your needs. That’s why I’ve listed one here for each type of user or home. I’m hoping I’ve answered your questions and if you find that I missed anything please feel free to reach out to me. I’d be more than happy to try to help you out.
Also please make sure you check out my recommended tools page for other smart home products that I endorse.
Or if you are looking for a smart home gift for someone you could check out our holiday gift guide for all your smart home tech gifts like smart lights, smart locks, voice assistants, smart plugs, and much much more. It’s truly your ultimate gift guide for all kinds of smart home devices and gadgets that the family will love.