Smart devices are changing the way we live, especially at home. Smart thermostats in particular are revolutionizing how homeowners manage temperature and humidity, often making energy bills more affordable by boosting the efficiency of home heating and cooling.
Smart thermostats adapt to your habits and lifestyle to consistently put your home at the optimum temperature. Learn more about which smart thermostat you need in your home with the information provided in this guide.
The ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control has a sleek look and an innovative mobile app. This thermostat has built-in Alexa technology and integration with other smart home systems, including Google Assistant, Apple Home Kit, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT. It also can help cut your energy usage by as much as 23% and doesn’t require professional installation.
A high-end smart thermostat option, the Rheem EcoNet Gen 3 Smart Thermostat offers a selection of singular features. Homeowners may use this device to control not only room temperature, but also water heating equipment. This boosts its ability to reduce energy consumption costs, along with the ability to schedule temperature shifts. This Rheem device provides convenient extras including a display of local weather forecasts, air filter monitoring, motion-sensored display, and control over airflow noise.
An affordable option of smart thermostat that still provides top features, the Emerson Sensi Wi-Fo Thermostat may be a fitting choice for budget-conscious homeowners. It has the capacity to help you cut down on energy costs, and the Emerson Sensi company provides a rebate finder tool to help you maximize savings. This thermostat is compatible with numerous smart home systems, including Alexa, and offers a mobile app for home control on the go. It also sends and displays smart alerts so that you’ll quickly know about extreme humidity and temperature levels at home.
What Should I Look For In a Smart Thermostat?
Smart thermostats offer a selection of features that aren’t found in traditional thermostats. Below, we’ve listed the main elements to look for in the top smart thermostats on the market. While not every smart thermostat model will include all of these features, you may consider how each one could benefit your home to determine the thermostat that you need.
Capacity to Lower Your Energy Bill
Most smart thermostats function by learning from your temperature preferences over a few days. Once it’s had time to detect a pattern of when and how you adjust the temperature, it will develop an automatic schedule to fit your needs.
We’re all human, and there may be times when you forget to turn the heat or air conditioning off when you leave the house. The automatic schedule will eliminate the need for you to do so; the thermostat will do it on its own. So, the risk of money being wasted on energy the next time you forget to adjust the thermostat as you leave the house will be gone.
Smart thermostats may even help you save money on energy when you’re asleep. You may set your preferences to keep a controlled temperature when you fall asleep, but then allow the thermostat to shift settings for minimum energy consumption in the middle of the night.
Energy providers in your area may offer rebates to customers with energy-efficient smart thermostats. These rebates may be valued at as much as $100. So, when considering the cost of a smart thermostat, you may want to research potential rebates from your energy provider and, if one exists, factor its value into your purchasing decision.
Voice Control Integration
Home voice control systems such as Amazon Alexa enable you to make calls, turn on music, play podcasts, get the weather, and search the Internet by using your voice. This may be a convenient tool for many homeowners because it’s hands-free – you don’t even have to get off of the couch.
Many smart thermostats integrate voice control technology. So, you can use Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Home Kit, and Samsung SmartThings within the same device that you use to adjust the temperature. Streamlining the technology in your home may save you time and make home maintenance simpler.
Some smart thermostats feature remote sensors that are placed in multiple rooms throughout the house. These monitors send information to the thermostat about the conditions of a specific room. This features enables you to keep an eye on the exact temperature and humidity in multiple rooms. Information sent from the monitors will also allow the smart thermostat to make adjustments according to real-time conditions.
Remote sensors often use motion-activated functionality to adjust the settings of a room automatically when it becomes occupied. For example, when you move from the bedroom to the kitchen, the sensors may turn down the air or heat in the bedroom to preserve energy.
Corresponding Mobile App
Mobile apps for smart thermostats enable you to control the temperature and humidity in your home when you’re out and about. Smart thermostats with compatibility to smart home systems, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, may even enable you control lighting and music in your home from the app.
The ability to control your thermostat from an app on your phone enables you to correct the issue of forgetting to turn the heat off when you leave, for example, or to adjust settings according to the weather. The app may also be a faster, simpler way to stay up-to-date on alerts for your HVAC system than checking the thermostat itself.
Smart thermostats often feature clear, easy-to-read digital displays. On these displays, the temperature is shown in large print so that you may easily keep an eye on it, even from across the room.
Additionally, many smart thermostats have touch-screen displays. A touch screen may be quicker and more intuitive to operate than a typical push-button setup. Smart thermostats typically have several settings and features, from the basic HVAC setup to local weather and voice control systems. An intuitive touch display may make controlling these settings more straightforward.
How Do I Install a Smart Thermostat?
While some smart thermostats are designed in such a way that you can install them yourself, others require a professional service for installation.
It’s recommended to install your smart thermostat at a time when heating and cooling aren’t crucial. This will generally be at a time when the weather is mild, and earlier in the day so that the process is complete well before you go to bed.
Below you’ll find an outline for installing a smart thermostat. Keep in mind that you should always follow the installation directions provided by the device manufacturer.
To start the process of installing your smart thermostat, you’ll want to turn off your home’s HVAC system. Then, you’ll need to uninstall your current thermostat. This involves removing the faceplate, noting the wires connecting to the existing baseplate (you can take a picture for reference), then remove the wires from the backplate.
After removing the backplate itself, you can reconnect the wires through the new thermostat backplate. Then, attach the new face plate. At this point, you can turn the HVAC system back on and connect the thermostat to your home’s WiFi network.
If you choose to go the more affordable route and install a smart thermostat yourself, watch a few YouTube videos on the topic before getting started.
How Can I Make My Smart Thermostat Pay For Itself?
Hold off until you’re in a long-term housing situation
Smart thermostats are pricier than other types of thermostats. So, it pays to plan to use one smart thermostat for many years to come. When you use the thermostat over a number of years, your home’s energy savings will add up, making the initially high price of the device a sensible home investment.
If you’re a short-term renter, consider waiting until you move into a long-term living space to install a smart thermostat. Or, you could purchase and install a smart thermostat in your rental home, but simply plan for the uninstallation and reinstallation of it when you move. It takes time for a smart thermostat to pay for itself in energy savings, so owning a single device over several years is a cost-efficient choice.
Pay attention to the information it provides on energy costs
Most smart thermostats display data on the cost of your cooling/heating habits. This is one of the main features that makes them more advanced than basic thermostats. Take advantage of this information to boost the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Smart thermostats often allow you to check energy usage and cost information at any time, in real time, on a corresponding mobile app. This may be a convenient way to stay updated while you’re on a trip.
Adjust automatic settings thoughtfully
Most smart thermostats take a few days after installation to observe your habits of adjusting the temperature. The device will note the changes that you make, and at what times, to develop a personalized schedule. Once these automatic settings take effect, you won’t have to remember to make temperature adjustments.
Smart thermostats may also make use of motion sensors to use heating/cooling efficiently. If no one is in a room, the room adjustments may go neutral until the sensor is triggered, or until a set time before you return home (the thermostat will kick in a bit before you get back, giving the system time to fully heat or cool the room. This way, when you walk in the door, your home may likely already be at your preferred temperature.
Our Review on Best Smart Thermostat
The ecobee Smart Thermostat features a 3.5” full-color LCD touch screen with a 320 x 480 pixel display. It’s intuitive, sleek, and easy to read. However, with the way that the web interface is designed, users may find it simpler to adjust certain settings on the thermostat itself, rather than using the app. Also, installing this smart thermostat model is easy; the WiFi network that you want to connect the thermostat to may be selected within the app.
Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri are two of the most widely used voice assistants around. The ecobee Smart Thermostat enables users to utilize these systems easily at home through the thermostat, which may streamline the devices that you use around the house.
With ecobee remote monitors in multiple rooms, owners of large homes may be able to control temperatures throughout the house to reduce energy consumption, and, therefore, the price of their energy bill. That being said, homeowners with pets may become wary of the sensitivity of the ecobee thermostat’s motion sensors. Pets may trigger the sensor when they walk into a room, potentially causing an unwanted shift in room conditions.
The Rheem Smart Thermostat gives you complete control over its automatic schedule. You can enter one day’s schedule and copy it to the other days that will be the same. The thermostat will automatically begin to adjust your home settings before the scheduled time so that the home conditions are comfortable when you arrive. Additionally, alerts for your HVAC systems will be displayed both in the mobile app and on the thermostat itself. With the 4.3-inch LCD touch screen, you may be able to easily view the temperature from across the room.
One downfall of this thermostat is that it only works with HVAC units from the Rheem brand. Also, the app may only be used to adjust temperature and Home/Away settings – competing thermostat models offer apps with more advanced capabilities, such as turning the lights on and off. The Home/Away setting must also be adjusted by hand either on the app or on the thermostat; it won’t be changed automatically.
The already affordable price of this Emerson thermostat may be easily compensated for by your local utility company. Rebates on this thermostat are often offered, so the device may pay for itself quickly. Users can further cut down on energy spending by reading over the usage charts that Emerson sends out. You’ll be able to see the cost of your AC and furnace for each month so that you may make adjustments if needed.
While the temperature of this smart thermostat may be programmed, the fan can only be set to “On” or “Auto”. Also, when the thermostat screen is locked, if internet connectivity is lost, you may lose the ability to make adjustments on the thermostat itself. You’ll have to enter a specific sequence to manually unlock the thermostat.
This Emerson Wi-Fi Thermostat offers connectivity with Alexa – a notable feature for a budget-friendly product. However, users may find that the Alexa functionality isn’t as streamlined and intuitive as it is with pricier smart thermostat options.
The question of which smart thermostat you need depends largely on your priorities. For consumers with a limited budget, the Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat comes at a modest price. For those seeking a simple-to-use smart thermostat with advanced safety alerts, the Rheem Smart Thermostat may be a fitting choice. But, the ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control may fit the needs of most consumers because of its reasonable price point and leading-edge features.
The inclusion of room sensors, home voice control systems, and a user-friendly app put this thermostat in the leading position. Plus, it’s Energy Star certified – it may help you save over 20% on your energy bill. For those who need an innovative and reliable smart thermostat, the ecobee Smart Thermostat may be the answer.