Best Smart Thermostats - A Comprehensive Comparison

Comparison of Best Smart Thermostats: Best overall, best budget, best looking, best energy efficiency, best for multiple zones
A selection of the best smart thermostats
Updated: 17th Sep 2020
Published: 16th Sep 2020
Author Image

By SHN Team

We are the SMARTHOME news team, with over 30 years of combined experience in publishing, tech and no Read More..

A quick look at the category winners:

Best Overall

Ecobee Smart Thermostat

Price at time of review: $237.65

4.7 out of 5 rating

Pros

  • Full Amazon Alexa support through the integrated speaker
  • Good quality speaker
  • Comes with an upgraded room sensor
  • Compatible with most smart home systems
  • Simple installation
  • Supports dual-band Wi-Fi connections

Cons

  • More expensive than the competition
  • Usability of Amazon Alexa may suffer depending on the thermostat’s location

Best Budget Smart Thermostat

Honeywell Lyric T5 Smart Thermostat

Price on review: $108.68

4.1 out of 5 rating

Pros

  • A lot cheaper than the competition
  • Packed with features
  • Geofencing works like a charm
  • Works great with Alexa and Apple HomeKit
  • You can install it on your own

Cons

  • Interface is a bit dated
  • Lack of support for Google Home, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings
  • Doesn’t have a motion sensor to light up the display when you enter the room
  • No weather information or humidity control

Best-looking Smart Thermostat

GLAS Smart Thermostat

Price at time of review: $249.00

4.0 out of 5 rating

Pros

  • By far the best-looking smart thermostat
  • Smudge-free transparent glass display
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Indoor air quality sensors and outdoor air quality reporting

Cons

  • One of the more expensive smart thermostats
  • Lacks certain features its competition offers, especially at this price level
  • Microsoft’s Cortana still can’t compete with Alexa or Google Assistant
  • Doesn’t work with remote room sensors (yet)

Best for Energy Efficiency

Ecobee3 Lite

Price at time of review: $166.00

4.0 out of 5

Pros

  • Reasonable price compared to competition
  • Works with remote room sensors
  • Supports Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT, and Wink smart home systems
  • Super-slick design

Cons

  • Doesn’t support geofencing
  • No real learning capabilities for your daily routines

1. Comparison of Best Smart Thermostats

2. Best Overall Smart Thermostat

    a) The WINNER

    b) The Runner Up

3. Best Budget Smart Thermostat

    a) The WINNER

    b) The Runner Up

4. Best Looking Smart Thermostat

    a) The WINNER

    b) The Runner Up

5. Best Smart Thermostat for Energy Efficiency

    a) The WINNER

    b) The Runner Up

6. Best Smart Thermostat for Multiple Zones

    a) The WINNER

    b) The Runner Up

7. FAQ

 

Nowadays it’s simpler than ever to equip your home with a host of smart devices that can make your life easier and more comfortable. The possibilities range from voice-controlled personal assistants, like Alexa or Google Assistant, all the way up to super-smart home security systems. You can even connect your fridge to an app!

And when it comes to making your home as comfortable as possible, smart thermostats are the way to go. First, they allow you to automate the temperature levels around your house. Not only that, but they’ll also save you money by preventing your air conditioning from working when it's not needed.

A smart thermostat can determine whether there’s someone at home. It can also learn when you’re coming home from work and when you go to sleep. Using this information, a smart thermostat can control both your heating and cooling units to maintain your preferred home temperature.

More importantly, they’ll do all that exactly when you need it done. In this way, you'll save a lot of energy that would otherwise go to waste. Aside from convenience, that alone should be reason enough to get a smart thermostat.

Comparison of Best Smart Thermostats

 

Best overall smart thermostat (price does not matter)

Best budget smart thermostat

Best looking smart thermostat

Best smart thermostat for energy efficiency

Best smart thermostat for multiple zones

Name

Ecobee Smart Thermostat

Honeywell Lyric T5 smart thermostat

GLAS Smart Thermostat

Ecobee 3 Lite

Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat

Quick Summary

Packed with many useful features, you can even use it as an Alexa speaker.

A very capable device for its price, exceptional at geofencing.

With its see-through glass display and well-designed interface, it brings loads of features and compatibility with other systems.

By fully utilizing proximity sensors, it ensures no energy will ever go to waste.

With a free remote room sensor, this smart thermostat allows you to control the temperature for each room separately.

Price

$237.65 on Amazon

£178.43 on Amazon 

$149.99 on Amazon

£112.61 on Amazon 

$249.00 on Amazon

£ 187.36 on Amazon 

$169.00 on Amazon

£ 127.28 on Amazon 

$169.00 on Amazon

£ 127.28 on Amazon 

SMARTHOME news

rating

 4.7

4.1

4.0

 4.0

 4.2

Amazon rating

 4.5

 4.1

 4.0

 4.5

4.3

Average rating on Google

4.5

3.8

3.6

3.8

 4.0

Smart learning thermostat

 No

 Yes

 No

Semi-smart

Yes

Alexa voice

 Yes

 Yes

 Yes

 Yes

 Yes

Google Assistant

 Yes

 Yes

 Yes

 Yes

Yes

Geofencing

 Yes

 Yes

 No

 No

Yes

Pros

Upgraded support for multiple sensors

Acceptable speaker

Full Alexa support

Affordable

Geofencing

Display provides a fair amount of information

The best-looking smart thermostat

Large display

Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant

Indoor air quality sensors

Compatible with remote room sensors

Reasonably priced

Supports most smart home systems

Slick design

Uses multiple remote sensors to create separate temperature zones.

Geofencing

User-friendly interface

Comes with a free remote sensor.

Cons

Fairly large

Lacks learning features

No multi-zone support

No motion activation

Expensive

Cortana isn’t the best for smart home management

Lacks certain features at this price.

No geofencing

No real learning capabilities.

Can't integrate with other Honeywell smart devices.

Doesn't support Apple HomeKit

Best Overall Smart Thermostat

WINNER: Ecobee Smart Thermostat

Ecobee Smart Thermostat

Out of all the competition, Ecobee Smart Thermostat takes the top spot for the best overall smart thermostat you can buy today. Although it may be expensive, the list of features you get is impressive. You also receive one remote room sensor and an integrated speaker for full Amazon Alexa support.

Specs Overview

  • Quad-core processor
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi support for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks
  • C wire installation
  • Integrated speaker with full Alexa support
  • Display with a quality glossy glass finish

Features

  • Multi-zone support using remote room sensors
  • Far-reaching microphone for better voice control
  • Works with Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant
  • Smart home integration over Apple HomeKit and IFTTT
  • You can install it by yourself

Pros

  • Full Amazon Alexa support through the integrated speaker
  • A good quality speaker
  • Comes with an upgraded room sensor
  • Compatible with most smart home systems
  • Simple installation
  • Supports dual-band Wi-Fi connections

Cons

  • More expensive than competition
  • Usability of Amazon Alexa may suffer depending on the thermostat’s location

Ratings

  • SMARTHOME news rating: 4.7/5
  • Amazon rating: 4.5/5
  • Average rating from other sites: 4.5/5

Buy If You

  • want the best smart thermostat regardless of price
  • want an Alexa smart speaker
  • need to control multiple rooms

Don’t Buy If You

  • are looking for a budget option
  • already have an Alexa speaker and just need a smart thermostat

Cost

Runner Up: Google Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation)

Google Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation)

When it comes to the best smart thermostats overall, Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat is near the top of the group. It not only looks good but performs great as well. With built-in advanced learning ability, it will quickly figure out your daily routine. By reducing heating or cooling when you’re not at home, Google’s thermostat will help your budget, too.

Specs Overview

  • Supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi connections
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • 512 MB of internal memory.10 temperature sensors
  • Additional sensors for ambient light and humidity
  • Motion detection sensor
  • Energy-saving indicator

Features

  • Learns your habits to schedule the temperatures you commonly use in your home
  • Saves energy by minimizing heating or cooling when you’re not at home
  • Home temperature can be adjusted remotely from a mobile device or computer
  • Display turns on when you walk into the room

Pros

  • Learning capabilities
  • Integration with Google Nest and many other compatible devices
  • Stylish design
  • Simple installation

Cons

  • Remote room sensors sold separately
  • Almost as expensive as Ecobee Smart Thermostat

Ratings

  • SMARTHOME news rating: 4.5/5
  • Amazon rating: 4.4/5
  • Average rating from other sites: 4.3/5

Buy If You

  • want your smart thermostat to learn your heating and cooling preferences
  • value a good user interface

Don’t Buy If You

  • don’t mind the cost of an Ecobee Smart Thermostat
  • plan to use more than one remote room sensor

Cost

Best Budget Smart Thermostat

WINNER: Honeywell Lyric T5 Smart Thermostat

Honeywell Lyric T5 Smart Thermostat

At a base price of about $150, the Honeywell Lyric T5 is one of the most capable inexpensive smart thermostats. With geofencing, good integration capabilities with other home systems, and flexible 7-day scheduling, you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

Specs Overview

  • 2x2-inch display
  • Works with C wire
  • Connects over a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network only
  • Can work as a basic thermostat without Wi-Fi

Features

  • Works with Amazon Alexa, but requires an Alexa device to do so
  • Supports Apple HomeKit and works with Siri
  • Controls your home temperature based on your location using geofencing
  • Allows flexible scheduling for a 7-day period
  • Automated switching from heating to cooling mode based on home temperature
  • Easy control over a mobile app (available for iOS and Android devices)

Pros

  • A lot cheaper than the competition
  • Packed with features
  • Geofencing works like a charm
  • Works great with Alexa and Apple HomeKit
  • You can install it on your own

Cons

  • Interface is a bit dated
  • Lack of support for Google Home, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings
  • Doesn’t have a motion sensor to light up the display when you enter the room
  • No weather information or humidity control

Ratings

  • SMARTHOME news rating: 4.1/5
  • Amazon rating: 4.1/5
  • Average sites on Google rating: 3.8/5

Buy If You

  • already have Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit in your home
  • want your home to achieve the desired temperature before you arrive
  • don’t mind the design.

Don’t Buy If You

  • want to upgrade your existing Google Home or IFTTT system
  • mind that you have to manually tap your thermostat to see the temperature

Cost

Runner Up: Google Nest Thermostat E

Google Nest Thermostat E

Although it’s in the budget category, Google’s Nest Thermostat E is not exactly cheap. But when you consider all its features, the price becomes quite reasonable. It’s capable of learning your habits, saving energy through geofencing, and integrates seamlessly with almost every smart home system out there.

Specs Overview

  • Smart self-learning thermostat
  • Doesn’t require a C wire for installation
  • Includes a humidity sensor
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi connection for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks
  • Also works with Low Energy Bluetooth

Features

  • Learns your daily habits and adjusts the home temperature automatically
  • Eco Temperature feature reduces heating and cooling when you’re not at home
  • Using geofencing, it controls when the Eco Temperature feature is enabled or disabled
  • Remote control over a mobile and computer app
  • Energy History allows you to learn how much energy you've saved and how to save even more in the future
  • Works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and other smart home systems

Pros

  • Budget-friendly, due to it being made out of plastic materials
  • Self-learning thermostat that adjusts to your routine
  • Reliable with plenty of features
  • Works with additional remote room sensors

Cons

  • Could provide more information on its display
  • Won’t work with Apple HomeKit
  • Doesn’t support some more advanced HVAC systems

Ratings

  • SMARTHOME news rating: 4.2/5
  • Amazon rating: 4.5/5
  • Average rating from other sites: 3.9/5

Buy If You

  • want to save some money but don’t want to sacrifice the features
  • want the benefit of having a self-learning thermostat
  • want to increase energy savings in your home

Don’t Buy If You

  • use Apple’s HomeKit
  • …find out it doesn’t support your HVAC system

Cost

Best Looking Smart Thermostat

WINNER: GLAS Smart Thermostat

GLAS Smart Thermostat

GLAS Smart Thermostat is by far the best-looking device of its type. With a large transparent display and a great user interface, this device could end up being a talking point among your guests. Throw in the indoor air quality monitoring and reporting on outdoor air pollution, and you get a handy smart thermostat.

Specs Overview

  • Beautiful transparent 6-inch OLED with a 16:9 ratio
  • Built-in speaker and microphone for Microsoft’s Cortana assistant
  • Works only on 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks
  • Integrated Bluetooth 4.1
  • Integrated indoor air quality sensor

Features

  • Seven-day scheduling
  • Three event modes: home, away, and sleep
  • Pre-Start feature heats or cools your home based on the upcoming event mode
  • Measures carbon-dioxide (CO2) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) levels in the air
  • Outdoor air quality reporting in real-time for allergens, UV index, and air pollution index (API)

Pros

  • By far the best-looking smart thermostat
  • Smudge-free transparent glass display
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Indoor air quality sensors and outdoor air quality reporting

Cons

  • One of the more expensive smart thermostats
  • Lacks certain features its competition offers, especially at this price level
  • Microsoft’s Cortana still can’t compete with Alexa or Google Assistant
  • Doesn’t work with remote room sensors (yet)

Ratings

  • SMARTHOME news rating: 4.0/5
  • Amazon rating: 4.0/5
  • Average rating from other sites: 3.6/5

Buy If You

  • want a cool-looking thermostat for your living room
  • care about air quality throughout your house and outside

Don’t Buy If You

  • don’t want to fork out the extra dollars for its good looks

Cost

Runner Up: Ecobee 4

Ecobee 4

With its minimalist design and an excellent user interface, this is one of the slickest looking smart thermostats you can find. Although it may not seem too important how these devices look, keep in mind it will probably end up on your living room wall.

Specs Overview

  • 3.5” full-color LCD with touchscreen
  • Quad-core processor, 512 MB DDR4 RAM
  • Includes sensors for temperature, humidity, occupancy, and proximity
  • Integrated speaker and microphones
  • Wi-Fi for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks
  • Includes Bluetooth 5.0

Features

  • Built-in Amazon Alexa voice service
  • Works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings, etc
  • The “Follow Me” feature uses occupancy sensors to adjust the temperature in rooms you’re using
  • Eco+ feature helps you optimize the electricity usage, saving you money in the process

Pros

  • Well-thought-out design
  • Includes an integrated Amazon Alexa voice control
  • Comes with a remote room sensor
  • Supports geofencing to determine when you leave and return home
  • Simple DIY installation
  • Compatible with many other smart devices you might have in your home

Cons

  • In the upper price tier when compared to competition
  • Integrated speaker is not among the best

Ratings

  • SMARTHOME news rating: 4.5/5
  • Amazon rating: 4.4/5
  • Average sites on Google rating: 4.5/5

Buy If You

  • need to control the temperature in other rooms as well
  • …want to use Alexa, but don’t want to buy Amazon’s hardware
  • want to have a stylish thermostat in your living room

Don’t Buy If You…

  • ... need just a smart thermostat. There are cheaper options than this

Cost

Best Smart Thermostat for Energy Efficiency

WINNER: Ecobee3 Lite

Ecobee3 Lite

Thanks to its proximity sensors, Ecobee3 Lite optimizes your in-house temperature when you’re not at home. Although it has modest learning capabilities, it will make sure no energy goes to waste while keeping your house at comfortable temperature whenever you walk in.

Specs Overview

  • 3.5-inch LCD
  • Comes with integrated temperature and humidity sensors
  • You can add additional stand-alone proximity sensors for room-by-room temperature control
  • Uses a C wire to power its features, but if you don’t have one, you can use an external power adapter

Features

  • Its “Follow Me” feature automatically turns off heating or cooling in empty rooms
  • The “Smart Home & Away” feature improves energy efficiency when you’re not at home
  • Works with almost any home system
  • Easy to use mobile app

Pros

  • Reasonable price compared to competition
  • Works with remote room sensors
  • Supports Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT, and Wink smart home systems
  • Super-slick design

Cons

  • Doesn’t support geofencing
  • No real learning capabilities for your daily routines

Ratings

  • SMARTHOME news rating: 4.0/5
  • Amazon rating: 4.5/5
  • Average sites on Google rating: 3.8/5

Buy If You

  • want great energy efficiency at a reasonable price
  • need to control each room in your house separately

Don’t Buy If You

  • don’t plan to purchase separate room sensors
  • really need geofencing
  • …want your smart thermostat to learn all your daily routines on its own

Cost

Runner Up: Mysa Smart Thermostat

 Mysa Smart Thermostat

Although the Mysa Smart Thermostat is dedicated to controlling your electric baseboard heater only, it does that job pretty well. Thanks to the energy optimization you get with this thermostat, you may cut your monthly electricity bill by over 25%.

Specs Overview

  • Works with high voltage electric heaters
  • Supports heaters of up to 3800 watts
  • Incompatible with low voltage systems
  • Onboard temperature and humidity sensors
  • Works with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks only

Features

  • Supports geofencing over a mobile app
  • Seamless integration with most smart home systems
  • Includes a vacation mode to save even more power
  • Tracks your energy consumption to further optimize electricity costs

Pros

  • Uses geofencing for improved energy efficiency
  • Multi-zone support to customize your in-home heating
  • Compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple’s HomeKit
  • Cool industrial look of the main unit

Cons

  • The minimalist design of its display limits the information you can get from the smart thermostat
  • Installation and setup instructions can be confusing
  • To be in complete control of your home's temperature you’ll need additional Mysa thermostats dedicated for in-floor heating and air conditioning

Ratings

  • SMARTHOME news rating: 4.3/5
  • Amazon rating: 4.5/5
  • Average rating from other sites: 4.2/5

Buy If You

  • want to add energy efficiency to your high voltage electric heating system
  • want a wide variety of features

Don’t Buy If You

  • need a smart thermostat that controls your entire home’s heating and cooling
  • don’t plan to add other Mysa thermostats to your setup

Cost

Best Smart Thermostat for Multiple Zones           

WINNER: Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat

Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat

When it comes to a multi-zone temperature control, Honeywell’s Home T9 Smart Thermostat gets the job done better than anything else. With one sensor included in the pack and others available for purchase, you’re getting a room-by-room customization of the highest level.

Specs Overview

  • Connects to the Internet using both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks
  • Integrated sensors for temperature, humidity, and proximity
  • Can work without a C wire by connecting to an external charger

Features

  • Remote room sensors detect if the room is unoccupied and adjust the temperature accordingly
  • Geofencing allows it to start heating or cooling your home before you come home from work
  • Its integrated dehumidifier ensures you feel comfortable while saving power at the same time

Pros

  • Supports multiple remote room sensors that are very precise
  • You can create custom zones around your house to keep them at different temperature levels
  • Minimizes energy consumption when not at home using the geofencing technology
  • Learning capabilities keep your home at the right temperature whenever you need it
  • Excellent user-friendly interface design
  • Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, and IFTTT

Cons

  • Lack of direct integration with other Honeywell smart home devices
  • Doesn’t support Apple HomeKit

Ratings

  • SMARTHOME news rating: 4.2/5
  • Amazon rating: 4.3/5
  • Average rating on Google sites: 4.0/5

Buy If You

  • need a reasonably priced multi-zone smart thermostat
  • want to install class-leading remote room sensors
  • …have a random daily schedule that only geofencing can address

Don’t Buy If You

  • prefer a smart thermostat with all the bells and whistles that pricier products offer
  • run your home Wi-Fi at 5 GHz

Cost

Runner Up: Tado Smart Thermostat

Tado Smart Thermostat

Zoning your house is easier than ever with the Tado Smart Thermostat. Although you need to buy additional radiator smart valves, you’re getting one of the most precise ways to customize each room’s temperature. Add to that geofencing and multi-language support, and it’s clear why this thermostat came close to winning.

Specs Overview

  • Sensors for measuring temperature and humidity
  • Alternate power using AAA batteries if you don’t have a C wire
  • Free app for iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as for desktop and laptop computers
  • Includes a separate “Internet Bridge” device to connect to your home Wi-Fi

Features

  • Controls each room in your house separately using interconnected radiator valves that communicate with the main unit over the Internet
  • Uses geofencing to track the location of your mobile phone to know when you’re not at home to optimize the temperature accordingly
  • Interface supports multiple languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch
  • Support for popular smart home systems

Pros

  • Multi-zone support that works on a per room basis
  • Geofencing for optimized heating and cooling when not at home
  • Easily integrates with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and IFTTT

Cons

  • Doesn’t have occupancy sensors
  • You have to purchase additional radiator valves to use its multi-zone functions
  • Not capable of self-learning to automatically adjust to your daily routine
  • User interface could be better
  • Requires its “Internet Bridge” to be able to connect to Wi-Fi

Ratings

  • SMARTHOME news rating: 4.5/5
  • Amazon rating: 4.4/5
  • Average rating from other sites: 4.4/5

Buy If You

  • want to heat or cool each room separately
  • plan to set up multiple heating and cooling zones around your house

Don’t Buy If You

  • don’t want to have to purchase smart radiator valves
  • don’t want an additional device to be able to use your smart thermostat with Wi-Fi

Cost

 

FAQ:

Do smart thermostats save you money?

Yes, smart thermostats can definitely save you money. And if you live in areas with both extremely hot and cold weather, the savings will be more significant. This is how they work.

The basic function of a thermostat is to keep the temperature in your home at the level you set. With manual thermostats, besides setting the temperature, you also have to turn them on and off. This means that during cold winters you can expect to return to an uncomfortably cold house if you've turned the thermostat down to save on heating costs. The only way to prevent this is to leave the thermostat set to a comfortable temperature while you’re away.

Needless to say, this involves a lot of wasted energy, as you're heating your home when there’s no one there. It would be magical if you could tell your heating unit to turn on an hour or two before you come home. Well, that’s exactly what smart thermostats do.

When looking at top-spec smart thermostats, there are many ways they can do this. First, you can create your own 7-day schedule for heating and cooling, making sure to account for both workdays and weekends. At the next level, some smart thermostats can learn your daily habits on their own. That way you don’t even have to do anything with your thermostat. It will know when to provide the optimal temperature for your entire home base on your routine.

Finally, there’s the geofencing feature. It allows you to set a detection perimeter around your house using a mobile app. Every time you leave for work, the thermostat will receive information that your mobile phone has left the perimeter. Based on that information, the thermostat will automatically reduce the heating or cooling since there’s no one home.

Conversely, when your mobile phone enters this perimeter, it will signal the smart thermostat to adjust the temperature. The perimeter can be set to a couple of yards around your house to ten or even a hundred miles away.

Thanks to all these smart features, modern thermostats save you money by not wasting energy. Some go as far as to know when the electricity rates are low, and use that opportunity to pre-heat or pre-cool your home. By keeping your home at an optimal temperature at all times, you’re going to see a reduction in your heating and cooling costs.

Are smart thermostats easy to install yourself?

Most thermostats are fairly easy to install. Depending on the model and the location where you want to install it, the setup will take from 15 minutes to an hour and a half in most cases. The best way to install a new thermostat is to turn the power off, remove the cover from the old thermostat, and take a picture of its wiring arrangement.

After that, remove the old thermostat completely from the wall and install the new one. Of course, follow the wiring pattern of the old one in the process to connect the smart thermostat.

If you don’t feel comfortable working with wiring on your own, then it’s best to call a professional to set it up for you. That way you can be sure that everything will be working properly.

Are smart thermostats more accurate?

Smart thermostats are digital. They work based on a temperature sensor and software algorithms to detect the room temperature. On the other hand, analog thermostats usually use metal parts to detect the current ambient temperature. When you compare the two, digital thermostats win here, as they are able to detect changes in temperature much more quickly.

When it comes to accuracy, all thermostats exhibit some kind of variation between the room temperature and the moment the system turns on. For example, when you set the temperature to 75 degrees, the system will actually start at 72 or 78 degrees (depending on if it's heating or cooling).

When you compare digital and analog thermostats, analog thermostats suffer from a much higher variation than digital ones. That makes smart thermostats more accurate and more comfortable than their analog counterparts.

Can smart thermostats be used with any boiler?

Unfortunately, not all thermostats are compatible with every boiler type that exists. If you have a boiler in your house, you almost certainly have an analog or digital thermostat already. When you buy your new smart thermostat, the idea is to wire it in place of your old one. And in most cases that’s true.

But, sometimes that just won't be possible to do with your existing setup. There might be several reasons for this. First, your boiler may be too old to provide a safe source of hot water for your system. In that case, you should replace it, ideally with a more modern version. Once you do that, it's almost certain that your thermostat will be compatible with it.

Another case may be that the wiring for your boiler is not compatible with a smart thermostat. This is mainly due to the lack of wiring points in your old system, making it unable to support a smart thermostat. Whichever of the two situations you run into, you'll most likely have to update your boiler before you can use a smart thermostat in your home.

Which smart thermostats use a C wire?

Every smart thermostat you’ve read about in this article works with a C wire. If you're not sure what a C wire is, here’s a short explanation.

C wire stands for “common wire.” One thing to understand about a C wire is that it isn’t the actual source of power for your thermostat’s basic functions. What powers that part are the R wires, commonly known as “hot wires.”

The C wire provides the continuous flow of 24 VAC (Volts AC) power for your thermostat’s additional features that need power 24/7. These include the display, Wi-Fi connection, sensors, microphone, speaker, and other hardware features.

As far as R wires are concerned, there can be one or two such wires leading to your thermostat. When there are two, they will have different labels. Rh is power for heating, while Rc is power for cooling. If there’s only one R wire, it can have the additional label Rh/c, no label at all, or simply be labeled R.

Do all smart thermostats detect room occupancy?

Not every thermostat can detect room occupancy. It all depends on whether it has an integrated room occupancy sensor. In most cases, smart thermostats work with remote room sensors. You can arrange these sensors around your house to monitor if a room is occupied.

Once a sensor detects an empty room, it will immediately relay that information to the main thermostat unit. Based on that, the thermostat will reduce the heating or cooling for that room until someone enters it again.

In this way, a smart thermostat can help reduce your monthly electric bill significantly, especially during extreme summer heat or biting winter cold.

Comments