A thermostat helps ensure that the temperature at home is comfortable at all times. Heating and cooling systems alone are not sufficient, you need a thermostat to make adjustments to the temperature setting. Technology has led to the development of thermostats that can be connected to the wifi and other devices, as well as programmable ones.
Program thermostats are made so that you can pre-set schedules on your thermostat for the upcoming days or weeks. They save you the hassle of constantly adjusting the thermostat according to the time of the day etc. Wifi thermostats help you to connect to the internet and make your navigation of the thermostat more accessible and convenient.
Smart thermostats essentially go a step further and connect you to other devices that can help you adjust the temperature. They have intelligent features that help them know when the temperature needs to be changed without requiring your actual presence. Thus, they are equipped to help you save energy costs annually.
Many smart thermostats are also energy-star certified. They also usually have modern display screens that add to the aesthetic and décor of the house. Essentially, they add convenience to your life by helping you operate the thermostat with the help of other devices. Almost all smart thermostats can connect to smart home systems which allow you to give voice commands to the thermostat.
Some however have more “smart” features than others. They sometimes also come with advanced features and sensors which allow you to have different temperatures in different parts of the house. That being said, they vary greatly in terms of their prices, features, and smart home compatibility.
Moreover, there are certain preconditions to investing in a smart thermostat such as making sure the thermostat is compatible with the HVAC system. Thus, it is usually not a good idea to buy a smart thermostat that has been recommended by someone. I also did that and regretted buying one that was not compatible with my HVAC system.
While I was reconsidering my options I discovered The Simple Thermostat. In this review we will discuss why it is a good thermostat and if you should buy it. We also give a list of alternatives in case this is not the thermostat for you.
Who should buy smart thermostats?
Smart thermostats are a great investment for anyone looking to cut down on their energy costs. They help you save up on your electric bills because of the smart features that help them know when the house is empty. Furthermore, they add to the aesthetics of the home and modernize the place because of their touchscreens and impressive displays.
Anyone who travels frequently will benefit from smart thermostats. You can be anywhere in the world and still be able to control the thermostat, as long as you have working wifi. Smart thermostats are also great if you have handicapped people in the house. They can use both their smartphone or voice assistant to set the temperature as per their liking.
Moreover, smart thermostats that are more advanced than others, know just when to have the right temperature because of their capabilities. So, if you are tired of constantly adjusting your temperature at home, getting one can minimize your involvement.
Thus, if you have wifi, an HVAC system, and a smart home system, then a smart thermostat is perfect for you. You will also be able to install sensors depending on the thermostat you buy, for each room so you can have different temperatures.
Factors to consider before buying Smart Thermostats:
1. Compatibility with HVAC system
Smart thermostats need to be compatible with the type of system you have, be it low-voltage, line, or others such as heat pumps and ventilators. Not all smart thermostats are made for each kind of HVAC system and thus, needs to match the power requirement and wiring of the system.
2. Ease of installation
You can choose to get a professional installation but most people opt for DIY installation. You must get a thermostat that is easy to install especially if you don’t want to spend additional money on this. Some systems are indeed more complicated than others and require professional installation.
This is a feature that comes in most smart thermostats since it uses your smartphone’s GPS signals to detect whether you are home. It is not, however, found in all smart thermostats and so if you want it, make sure the thermostat comes with it.
4. Smart home compatibility
Smart thermostats usually support other smart home systems such as Google Home Assistant, Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit, etc. They allow you to control the thermostat with voice commands instead of having to do it manually or even on the phone.
Smart thermostats usually also come with sensors or if not then they can be purchased separately as long as the technology is supported. They usually detect humidity, temperature, motion, and proximity and uses those to make automatic adjustments. They also allow you to have different temperatures in different rooms of the house.
6. Monthly reports and alerts
Some also help you track your energy usage by sending you monthly reports. These can further help you optimize your settings. Smart thermostats usually also send alerts when the temperature hits an unusual number or it is time for the filter to be changed.
The Simple Thermostat is a moderately priced smart thermostat that requires a c-wire connection and is energy-star certified. A leaf indicator shows when the thermostat is in energy-saving mode. Much like all smart thermostats it too has a smartphone app, compatibility to Amazon Alexa, and a simple yet classy display screen.
It has the learning capabilities and gathers data for about a week regarding your settings and then makes auto-adjustments. It also gathers data about the local weather and makes changes accordingly.
Very easy to install the thermostat and it shows both indoor and outdoor temperatures on its display screen. However, because of its learning algorithm, it makes changes automatically that are not always ideal. Thus, while it is a good thermostat offering value for the price it comes for, it is not as reliable as others in the market.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is another thermostat that has learning capabilities. It is however almost $100 more expensive than Simple. Moreover, the Nest thermostat also has sensor technology that Simple does not have. In comparison to The Simple thermostat, Nest is more popular and reliable and also offers compatibility to more smart home systems. However, the price of Simple is unmatched for a thermostat that comes with learning abilities.
If you are looking for an even cheaper smart thermostat then the Lux Geo Smart Thermostat is a good alternative. While it also requires a c-wire and does not have learning abilities like Simple, it is still a good smart thermostat. It is compatible with Amazon Alexa, comes with geofencing, and is easy to set up and install.
3. Ecobee3 Lite
The Ecobee3 Lite is another alternative in the same price range as Simple. It has a stylish display, also has an eco mode and it comes with sensor technology. Compatible with far more smart home systems than the Simple thermostat. It too adjusts according to the local weather but it does not come with learning abilities like Simple. Ecobee, however, is a more popular and reliable brand compared to Simple.
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa
- Compatible with Conventional systems of up to 2 stage heating and cooling, and also # stage heating and 2 stage cooling for heat pumps
- LCD always lit
- Learning capabilities
- Easy to install
- Alerts and reminders
- Energy-star certified
- C-wire connection needed
- No remote sensors
- Sometimes doesn’t tell the correct temperature
The Simple Thermostat allows for easy and painless scheduling. It has 9 schedule templates that you can choose instead of having to manually create them. It helps you create schedules for the next 7 days.
2. Learning Algorithm
The thermostat learns from the settings you set. Every time you interact with it, it learns the adjustments and then later makes automatic adjustments based on those.
The Smart thermostat is energy-star certified so it will help you save on your energy costs annually. Its leaf indicator lights up when the thermostat is in energy-saving mode.
4. Amazon Alexa
It is also compatible with Amazon Alexa so you no longer have to walk up to the thermostat. You can simply ask Alexa to increase or decrease the temperature.
4. Smartphone App
Its smartphone app allows you to make changes to the temperature, set schedules, and enable certain modes including the “away mode” for when you are not home.
What users think of the simple thermostat
As per my research, The Simple Thermostat is liked by many for the value and price that it offers. It is not as expensive as the Nest Learning thermostat but still offers the learning algorithm. Its eco mode is appreciated by many as it helps save energy and the leaf indicator also shows when the thermostat is running in eco mode. This is liked by many users as they have peace of mind knowing it is energy-saving. Users also like that the installation is very simple and easy and can be done through the smartphone app as well.
The smartphone app is very useful according to users as they can set schedules, change the temperature, and set certain modes for when you’re not home. Its compatibility with Alexa is also great especially for users that already have it at home. You can easily change the temperature just by asking Alexa.
Final thoughts on the simple thermostat
Overall, The Simple Thermostat is a budget-friendly thermostat that offers learning ability to its users. Instead of having to manually enter schedules, it learns your patterns and makes your lives easier. Apart from that, it offers pretty much the same features as that of other reliable thermostats. It is energy-star certified, has a smartphone app, and is compatible with Alexa.
However, its c-wire requirement and compatibility to only Amazon Alexa may not make it ideal for everyone. Some users also find the installation challenging and so if you don’t think this is the thermostat for you then you should consider other alternatives mentioned in this review.
Click here to shop for the simple thermostat.