Best Smart Thermostat for Ducted Heating

Best Smart Thermostat for Ducted Heating

Smart thermostats are an ideal investment for those who are looking to save money on their heating bills. However, most of the popular smart thermostats aren’t compatible with electric underfloor heating systems.

The good is that there are some excellent smart thermostats available that rival those big-name brands and are compatible with heated floors. Let’s explore your best options.

Quick Recommendations

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NEST THERMOSTAT E

NEST THERMOSTAT E

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3.2

NEST LEARNING THERMOSTAT

NEST LEARNING THERMOSTAT

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TADO SMART THERMOSTAT

TADO SMART THERMOSTAT

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Best Smart Thermostat for Ducted Heating

Nest Thermostat E


3.1

The Thermostat E is one of the more affordable Nests. The first thing you’re likely to notice is the screen isn’t quite as bright or sharp as other models offered by the company. 

Upon handling the Thermostat E, it becomes clear that it is made using lesser materials. Furthermore, the screen is limited in how much information it can display at one time.

Aside from that, the Thermostat E is a pretty good balance of savings and functionality. After all, it’s the core functions that we are most interested in anyway. 

If you something a bit more premium, we recommend that you explore some higher-end Nest models (which we will discuss in a moment). That being said, most consumers are bound to be pleased with what the Thermostat E has to offer.

Nest has developed a really solid learning algorithm, and it is present and effective on the Thermostat E. What does this algorithm do? 

Behind the scenes, it continually learns your heating preferences and works to limit heating to only when you want it. The idea is that this saves you time and money.

We really like the temperature sensors that you place throughout your home, as these help you stay apprised of multiple areas in your home. 

And since Nests are synced up with Google Assistant, the user experience is smooth as butter. If you have a Google Home speaker, you can simply say the command and the Nest will take care of it.

Prefer Amazon Alexa, instead? No problem. The Thermostat E is compatible with “her”, as well. Sadly, fans of Apple’s HomeKit and Samsung’s SmartThings are left out in the cold.

Pros

  • Compatible with a wide range of heating systems
  • Excellent value
  • User-friendly

Cons

  • Limited voice compatibility


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Nest Learning Thermostat


3.2

As thermostats designed by former Apple employees, Nests are rightfully popular and well-made. As such, they are often very sleek and stylish, with excellent user interfaces, to boot. 

If you want a rock-solid thermostat that will look great in any setting, Nest is the way to go.

Like the Thermostat E above, the Nest Learning Thermostat is capable of monitoring and learning your habits, where it controls the heat according to what it’s learned over time. If you usually kick the heat off before bed at a certain time every night, the Nest thermostat will automatically do it for you. 

This will certainly save you some time, and hopefully, money, as well.

Another slick feature that we really like is the Nest’s ability to guess whether anyone’s home and adjust the head accordingly. Thanks to a built-in sensor, the system can tell if your house is empty and make the necessary adjustments. 

Again, it’s another great way to try and save you money.

With the Nest Learning Thermostat, you download an app that gives you full manual control over settings and changes. It’s a really easy way to make adjustments to your liking. 

Controlling the actual thermostat is an absolute breeze, too.

The interface is a simple yet elegant piece of rounded glass that glides around like a jog dial. It’s accurate, precise, and really well designed. Our only real gripe is the challenging installation. 

Even those on our team who are well-versed in this stuff had a particularly difficult time getting everything set up.

Our advice? Hire a professional to do it for you. You will save time and a lot of aggravation this way (and probably money, too). 

Since installation is included with the total price of the Learning Thermostat, why not let someone else do it?

The bottom line is that this is easily one of the nicest smart thermostats on the market. And since the Thermostat E does mostly the same things that the Learning Thermostat does, it all comes down to whether you want a nicer-looking unit.

Pros

  • Beautiful presentation
  • High compatibility
  • Self-learning

Cons

  • Difficult installation


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Tado Smart Thermostat


3.3

Tado’s Smart Thermostat is compatible with a whole host of heating systems, making it a solid choice for homeowners who don’t want to worry about running into compatibility issues. Similarly to Nest’s Learning Thermostat, you’re likely going to want to hire a professional to install this gadget for you.

Also similar to Nest’s thermostats, Tado’s Smart Thermostat is able to learn your heating preferences and heat up your home accordingly. If you like having plenty of heat when you get up in the morning, the Smart Thermostat will ensure that you wake up to a warm house.

What’s more, thanks to Tado’s clever geofencing abilities, the Smart Thermostat can tell when you’re getting close to home and preheat the house ahead of time so it’s warm upon your return. This serves to keep your heating bill lower by using less heat when you’re not home.

The included smartphone app allows you to change and adjust all kinds of manual settings to your liking, as well. Equally as cool is the information that it displays to you. 

From your smartphone, you can see invaluable data, like energy use and other money-saving statistics.

Looking for robust voice recognition? Tado’s Smart Thermostat is compatible with the likes of Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa. 

All of this is delivered in an affordable package that makes it fierce competition for Nest.

Pros

  • Superb compatibility
  • Slick user interface
  • Built-in geofencing

Cons

  • Challenging installation


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Buying Guide

Interested in a smart thermostat but don’t know where to start? We have you covered. Join us as we dig into the most important factors you want to consider before making an investment.

HVAC System

Not all smart thermostats work with HVAC systems, so it’s important to check each brand and model to ensure that it is indeed compatible with your home’s heating system. In the event that you have separate systems for both heating and cooling, you may be required to install independent thermostats for each system.

Consider Your Wiring

Begin by exposing your current thermostat to see what kind of wiring setup you’re working with. We found that most of the older programmable thermostats work with just a couple of low-voltage wires. 

However, newer thermostats are typically equipped with a C-wire, also known as a common wire.

This is responsible for providing the necessary power to screens and Wi-Fi, for example. Don’t know if your thermostat has a C-wire? 

Simply contact a licensed HVAC professional and have them check this for you. If it turns out that you don’t have a C-wire but you still want a smart thermostat, you aren’t out of options.

Some models come with power adapters that give you the option to add the necessary C-wire. You can also purchase third-party adapter kits. 

Alternatively, you can just buy a smart thermostat that doesn’t require a C-wire to operate. If all else fails, you can always have a C-wire installed by a professional.

Think About Compatibility

If you have a smart home kit and are predominately using Amazon Alexa, for example, it makes sense to invest in a smart thermostat that is compatible with Amazon Alexa. This will ensure a seamless transition to your new smart thermostat and allow you to acclimate yourself much more easily.

Why do smart thermostats need a C-wire?

Unlike traditional thermostat wiring, C-wires provide a lot more electricity; 24 volts, to be exact. This kind of power is needed for thermostats that have a lot more going on, such as Wi-Fi, color screens, etc.

I’m trying to find the C-wire. What color is it?

Believe it or not, there isn’t a standard color for C-wires. That being said, they are more often than not going to be black or blue.

Where can I get help with installation?

Smart thermostats that are made by reputable companies will come with wiring assistance. This is often found via their website or over the phone. 

If you really want to avoid the hassle of installation, however, we recommend investing in a brand that includes this service with the total price.

Wrap Up

Most people invest in smart thermostats to save money. The convenience aspect is usually secondary. Knowing this, you should consider your investment carefully to ensure that you choose a unit that is going to provide you with the best service and savings.

Remember to check compatibility and make sure that it will integrate with other your current smart system. And lastly, let a professional handle the installation for you. 

Soon, you will find yourself enjoying the many benefits that come with smart thermostats.