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Mathew Kevin

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Google Home – is a smart home automation hub which can interconnect different smart gadgets like your smart TV, smart Lights, smart Thermostats and other devices. Once paired, you can control any smart gadget using your voice through Google Home hub. You can initiate many actions with your voice, say play Youtube videos on your smart TV, change temperature setting on your smart thermostat, turn ON/OFF your smart lights, well the possibilities are endless. In this article, we feature Google Home Thermostats – which are nothing but the popular smart/WiFi thermostats compatible with Google Home hub.

Google Home is powered by Google Assistant – which is an AI (artificial intelligence) based smart personal assistant program from Google. If you’ve ever used an android phone, you should be familiar with Google Assistant already. Analyzing your voice and deciding the correct action to take based on your voice is the prime duty of Google Assistant.

If you’ve read our article on Homekit compatible thermostats and Alexa compatible thermostats, you already know how smart home hubs are useful in managing thermostats. You can turn ON/OFF, you can set/change temperatures and do a lot more with your voice, if you pair your smart/wifi thermostat with a smart hub like Google Home or Apple Homekit. A thermostat should have compatibility with the smart home hub (that you’re planning to use) for making use of voice control and other features.

Now that you’ve learned a bit about Google home and its intelligent personal assistant, let’s see the best Google home thermostat models available – their features, their good and bad!  Let’s begin with smart thermostat models having Google home support.

Smart Google Home Thermostats

You may already know Nest – the pioneer in smart thermostats is now owned by Google. When it comes to smart thermostats , there are only 2 choices literally – The Nest thermostat models and Ecobee thermostat models. Both Nest and Ecobee has two smart thermostat models each – a full featured version (Nest T3 and Ecobee 4), and a budget version (Nest E and Ecobee 3 Lite). All the 4 variants are Google home compatible and syncs well with the smart hub. In addition, they are compatible with other smart home hubs like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Wink and more.

Nest thermostat models (Nest T3 and Nest E) goes well with Google Home hub than Ecobee models. Nest (as it is owned by Google) has optimised its thermostats to go well synced with Google home. On the other hand, Ecobee is also equally compatible with Google home but the perfect sync can be found only in Nest model. If you’re giving high priority for a thermostat that syncs well with Google home hub, then you should definitely go for Nest models. If you don’t have any such specific demands, you’re free to choose any one of the thermostats listed below.

#1 Nest 3rd Generation and Nest E

As we wrote above, Nest has two thermostat models – Nest 3rd Gen (the full featured model) and Nest E (the budget model) – both of which are optimised for Google Home smart hub. You can read our detailed review of Nest thermostats to know more about features, compatibility and other essentials.

#2 Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite

Ecobee has two models – Ecobee 4 (the high end model) and Ecobee 3 Lite (the budget version) – both of them are compatible with Google Home hub. You can read our complete review of Ecobee smart thermostats to know in detail about its features, pros, cons, compatibility and more.

WiFi Google Home Thermostats

If you don’t have budget for a high end smart thermostat, your next best option is to go for a wireless/WiFi thermostat. These days, all popular WiFi thermostat models have support for smart home hubs like Google Home, Apple Homekit, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings. Let’s see the best WiFi enabled thermostats compatible with Google home.

#1 Honeywell RTH9585WF

Our #1 choice is Honeywell RTH9585WF – which is one of the best selling WiFi thermostats from Honeywell. You may read our full review of Honeywell RTH9585WF to know in depth about its features, highlights, compatibility and more.

#2 Emerson Sensi ST75

Our #2 choice in Google home compatible WiFI thermostats is Emerson Sensi ST75 – which is a best selling model from the automation expert Emerson. We’ve covered every detail about Emerson Sensi ST75 in our review – where we outline its best features, pros, cons and compatibility with different HVAC systems.

 

“Honeywell” – is a name synonymous with every household in USA, as they have a wide range of home automation products for different purposes. If you recall correctly, Honeywell was the #1 market leader in “thermostats” 10 years ago (for a very long period), until the arrival of Nest and Ecobee. Unlike new generation companies like Nest & Ecobee, Honeywell has a very wide range of thermostat models – serving line voltage heating systems and low voltage systems alike. They also have thermostat models suitable for different budget, starting from as low as 30 USD (basic programmable thermostat). In this guide, we are reviewing “Honeywell RTH9585WF” – which is one of the best selling WiFi thermostat model suitable for low voltage (24 volts) systems like central furnace, boilers or heat pumps.

A little background story!

Honeywell RTH9585WF is actually a newer version of its best selling predecessor Honeywell RTH9580WF, with some added features & a better display. The old version RTH9580WF is still available in the market for purchase, but we believe it would be wise to choose the new version RTH9585WF  (Honeywell might withdraw the old version in future). Lets go deep into the features of Honeywell RTH9585WF.

Honeywell RTH9585WF Thermostat – Review

The key highlight of Honeywell RTH9585WF is its big sized touchscreen display – where you can see the weather data quiet visibly. The big display also facilitates easy on-device programming. Apart from this highlight feature, RTH9585WF incorporates all essential features of a smart thermostat except “self learning” or “auto programming”.

Check Price & View Details

This best selling model has all essential features like #energy savings – where you can expect an annual savings in the range of 10% (on energy usage bills), #WiFi enabled control – where you can control this thermostat from anywhere in the world using mobile app (you can change temperature, programs, create new schedule, get energy reports and more), #voice control  – where you can control the device with your voice through smart hubs like Apple Homekit, Amazon Alexa, Google Home and other popular smart home devices.

Honeywell RTH9585WF has an inbuilt learning technology named “Smart Response” – which controls energy usage very well and keeps your home in a comfortable atmosphere. This algorithm learns from heating/cooling cycles and adjusts itself. This technology also ensures pet safe temperature & operation of the thermostat.

The Design

Popular thermostat models like Nest (T3 and E) and Ecobee (4 and 3 Lite) follows an intuitive design – where they just blend into your room interiors. They are sleek, minimal in size – where one can easily catch the modern, trendy gadget design principles in Nest & Ecobee models. However, our model Honeywell RTH9585WF follows a very conventional design approach – with a box style design, big in size and has a big touchscreen display. The big touchscreen is a plus as it helps people with vision problems to program the device easily. The display background color can also be changed (choose from preset colors ) to match your interiors.

The Touchscreen Display

The display home screen has temperature and humidity (indoor & outdoor separate),  time, and temperature change option (up & down arrows). You can change the temperature setting by touching the up/down arrow. The display has other screens (tabs) namely Fan, Mode & Settings – all of which can be accessed using touch. The display also has an option to see full day weather forecast (5 day forecast is available on mobile app).

Its really a matter of individual preference when it comes to choosing the design. I personally know homeowners who switched from Nest to Honeywell RTH9585WF just because of the bigger display (his wife had vision problems and she preferred a bigger display). If you prefer sleek, minimal design go for the Nest or Ecobee models, whereas if you prefer bigger screen – go for RTH9585WF.

Compatibility of RTH9585WF Thermostat

The golden rule one should keep in mind while shopping a thermostat is ” Check compatibility with your home HVAC system before you add to cart” Any thermostat model, be it Nest or Ecobee or Honeywell is not compatible with all types of HVAC systems. There are different types of HVAC systems in use, where the most common ones are single stage or double stage central furnaces, boilers or heat pumps ( generally known as 24 volt systems or low voltage systems). Read our comprehensive guide on Single stage and Multi stage HVAC systems to gain better understanding.

Note: We’ve crafted a Thermostat compatibility guide – where we cover detailed compatibility data of different popular thermostat models.

Apart from the popular low voltage systems, there are also line voltage systems (running on 120 volts/240 volts). Our model Honeywell RTH9585WF is not compatible for line voltage systems.

The Features of RTH9585WF

As we’ve seen the most important points about Honeywell RTH9585WF, let’s dig deep into all the features of RTH9585WF quickly.

#1 WiFi Enabled – You can control this thermostat using your home WiFi and mobile app (from anywhere in the world). The thermostat should be connected to your home WiFi network or a smart home hub (like Apple Homekit or Amazon Alexa) to facilitate mobile app based control.

#2 Smart Response Technology – is an inbuilt learning algorithm in RTH9585WF, which learns heating/cooling cycles and adjusts itself to serve the right temperature to home inmates.

#3 Voice Control – works well with voice based smart home hubs like Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple Homekit. Voice based control of RTH9585WF is possible, if you interface the thermostat to any of of the smart home hubs.

#4 Weather Forecast – Daily weather forecast is available on thermostat display screen and 5 Day forecast is available on mobile app.

#5 Auto Alerts – for extreme temperatures, replacement of filters and other essentials.

#6 Password Lock – enable partial/full lock to protect your schedule settings from accidental changes by children or guests in your home. A “Full Lock” ensures nothing changes and a “Partial Lock” allows change of temperature only.

#7 Energy Savings – we’ve already mentioned this above. You can expect an annual savings of 10% or more on energy bills (for heating/cooling).

#8 Auto Updates – for day light savings, 12/24 hour time format and multi language supports.

#9 On Screen Help – The help button on screen helps you solve your problems without surfing over Google.

#10 ENERGYSTAR Certified – which means RTH9585WF is designed on energy saving principles documented by Energystar – the US government backed agency for energy certification.

Comparing RTH9585WF vs RTH9580WF

As I wrote above, Honeywell RTH9585WF is the successor of its best selling WiFi thermostat model Honeywell RTH9580WF (which is still available for purchase). The predecessor is more bulky, follows a conventional boxed design (not sleek, curves are not smoothed); whereas the newer model RTH9585WF is sleek, with smooth design on edges. The key highlight is pricing – where the newer model (RTH9585WF) is available for a better price (with discount offers), where as the older model has no discounts available. Apart from design part, and pricing, all other features are same for both RTH9585WF and the older model RTH9580WF.

Emerson Sensi ST75 vs Honeywell RTH9585WF

Emerson Sensi ST75 – is a great WiFi thermostat model, comparable to Honeywell RTH9585WF by all means. Sensi ST75 follows a much better design approach compared to RTH9585WF, as the model is trendy, stylish, more minimal and sleek than RTH9585WF. The pricing (list price) is almost same for both models, where the discounts offered may vary from time to time.

When it comes to features, Sensi ST75 is the clear winner as it provides “geo-fencing” feature. RTH9585WF has no “geo-fencing” feature. Also, Sensi ST75 claims to provide energy savings in the range of 13% to 23%; whereas RTH9585WF claims nearly 10% energy savings. Sensi ST75 has an HD touchscreen display, whereas RTH9585WF comes with a normal touchscreen display.

Though Sensi ST75 seems to win over Honeywell RTH9585WF, we consider both thermostats are equally good. Honeywell has a high reputation as one of the market leader in thermostats. They make different models of thermostats and serve different types of heating/cooling systems. Emerson, on the other hand has no wide range of thermostat models like Honeywell. Sensi ST75 is their best seller and they keeps on going with it.

If you’ve read our article on “Homekit Thermostats“, you should already know the innovations happening in the home automation industry. The “Big 3” tech giantsApple, Amazon and Google compete each other with its own flagship home automation hubs – Homekit, Alexa and Google Home respectively. If you’re still wondering what is a home automation hub – this is simply a smart device which interconnects different smart gadgets together into a single hub. You can then control each device using your voice or internet (using mobile apps/browser) as you like. In this article we write about Alexa Thermostats – which are basically thermostats compatible with Amazon Alexa.

Nowadays different companies release smart home products compatible with different home automation hubs like Homekit, Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, IFTTT and  more. The most popular thermostat manufacturers like Honeywell, Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Emerson and all others release their new thermostat models compatible with home automation hubs, equipped with voice control and WiFi connectivity. Thermostats are basically two types – low voltage thermostats and line voltage thermostats. In America, about 90% of homes uses HVAC systems that require low voltage thermostats to control them. Only about 10% of homes uses heating systems that require line voltage thermostats. Both types (line voltage and low voltage) has Alexa compatible thermostat models available. Let’s see them in detail.

Let’s first see “Low voltage thermostats” – which are used for heating/cooling systems like central furnace systems, boiler based systems and heat pump based systems. Line voltage thermostats are used for heating systems that use direct electricity like a baseboard heater system.

Alexa compatible Smart Thermostats

“Smart Thermostats” were the pioneer smart home gadgets that came to market from as early as 2011. Nest released the first smart thermostat in 2011. Later companies like Ecobee joined the party. Smart thermostats come packed with smart features that sets them apart from other smart gadgets.

Smart Thermostats are “self learning” – which means you don’t need to program them manually. They learn your habits and lifestyle patterns using artificial intelligence and finally creates a program/schedule (for thermostat) that best suits your lifestyle. The next important smart feature is “high energy savings” – where smart thermostats save energy like no other thermostat models. Another smart thing is “geo-fencing” – where they track homeowners location and act accordingly. If you’re starting to home from office, “geo-fencing” feature in your thermostat will sense this and sets your thermostat to the most comfortable temperature setting. A feature common to all smart thermostat variants is “WiFi connectivity” and mobile app based control from anywhere in the world via internet. You can do things like turn thermostat ON/OFF, change schedule/program, read energy usage reports, get alerts etc on your mobile app.

#1 Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite

As a “smart thermostat“, both Ecobee & Nest deserves to be #1 by all standards. In this guide about “Amazon Alexa Thermostats” – we choose Ecobee models as #1 for the reason that it goes well with the “Amazon Alexa” device. Both Ecobee models (Ecobee  4 and Ecobee 3 Lite) are well optimized to work in sync with Alexa. Nest thermostats are compatible with Alexa but the performance is not in tune compared to Ecobee devices. Nest thermostats are better optimized for Google Home and Apple Homekit. If you’re looking for a good smart thermostat that works perfectly with Amazon Alexa, you can choose Ecobee with blind eyes.

Ecobee has two models – Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite; where Ecobee 4 – is the full featured model which comes with integrated Amazon Alexa device and an extra room sensor (to manage any hot/cold spots in your home). Ecobee 3 Lite – is the budget model thermostat, which is basically a trimmed version of Ecobee 4. We’ve compared both models in our detailed review of Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite.

#2 Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E

Nest Labs were the pioneer in “smart thermostats” and you can read the full review about Nest thermostats in our article. As I wrote above, both Nest and Ecobee make excellent smart thermostats. In the context of this article (on Amazon Alexa compatible thermostats), we consider Nest #2 because Nest thermostat models (Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E ) are not perfectly optimized for Amazon Alexa. They both (Nest models) are compatible with Amazon Alexa but not as optimized as Ecobee models. Nest thermostats are better optimized for Google Home and Apple Homekit.

As we noted above, Nest has two thermostat models – Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E. Out of these two, Nest 3rd Gen is the full featured model with all functionalities of a smart thermostat (including higher compatibility with different type of HVAC systems). Nest E is the budget model – which is basically a trimmed version of Nest 3rd Gen. Read our full review and comparison of Nest 3rd Gen vs Nest E.

WiFi Enabled Alexa Thermostats

If you don’t have the budget for a high end “smart thermostat” but prefer a model that has WiFi based control and voice control through smart home hubs like Homekit or Amazon Alexa, go for a WiFi enabled thermostat with smart hub compatibility. We’ve found Honeywell RTH9585WF and Emerson Sensi ST75 two great choices as a Homekit compatible WiFi thermostat.

#1 Honeywell RTH9585WF

Honeywell RTH9585WF – is one of the best selling WiFi thermostat out there currently. This model is an upgraded version of Honeywell RTH9580WF – which was #1 best seller for a long period of time. This model is compatible with a lot of HVAC system types and you can check the compatibility in our guide.

#2 Emerson Sensi ST75

Emerson Sensi ST75 – is the next best choice in Homekit compatible WiFi thermostats. We’ve covered the model very detailed in our review of Emerson Sensi ST75 – which you should read if you’re considering this thermostat.

HomeKit” – the smart home hub from Apple, is one of the most popular home automation hubs in USA.  The “Big 3” tech giants – Apple, Google and Amazon compete each other in the “smart home” space. Amazon has “Alexa and Echo”, Google has “Google Home” and Apple has “HomeKit”. All of them are equally popular among the folks in USA.

Apple HomeKit is – #1 in popularity among all the 3 models, as it goes well with people owning the “Apple Ecosystem” – with iPhone, iPad, Mac, iTunes and the Apple watch. If you use more than one Apple product, “HomeKit” should be your obvious smart home hub choice. In this article, we write about HomeKit thermostat models – where we list out different thermostats compatible with the Apple HomeKit.  Let’s see the best homekit thermostats for your smart home.

If you read our article – “Types of Thermostats” – you will understand there are different types of thermostats, say low voltage thermostats (like Ecobee, Nest, Emerson Sensi ST75, Honeywell RTH9585WF) and line voltage thermostats (like MySa, Honeywell and more). Thermostats are also classified based on features, say – Smart thermostats, WiFi thermostats, Programmable thermostats and more. Let’s see which of these thermostat models goes well with Apple HomeKit.

Smart Thermostats for HomeKit

In our opinion, there are only two companies that make truly smart thermostats – Ecobee and Nest. Both companies have two variants each; for Nest – Nest 3rd Generation and Nest E, and for Ecobee – Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite. Nest and Ecobee models are basically low voltage thermostats suitable for low voltage heating/cooling systems like central furnace, heat pumps and central boilers. They are not suitable for line voltage heating systems like baseboard heaters, forced-fan heaters etc. Currently there is only one company, named MySa – that makes smart thermostat for line voltage systems. All these smart thermostat models works well as “Homekit thermostats” – which means they syncs well with Apple Homekit. Let’s quickly brief through the highlight features of each smart thermostat models for Homekit.

#1 Ecobee 4 & Ecobee 3 Lite

We consider both Nest and Ecobee thermostats equally good by all standards. We’ve reviewed both of them in detail, and you can read them here – Ecobee smart thermostat review and Nest smart thermostat review! We chose Ecobee as #1 because its full featured model (Ecobee 4) comes packed with an extra room sensor (you’ve to buy this room sensor separately for Nest) and Ecobee models don’t require a C-wire (as they have PEN – power extender kit – which can be used if you don’t have C-wire in your home).

Ecobee 4 - View Details

As a smart thermostat, Ecobee thermostats has all necessary features like self learning, high energy savings (Ecobee claims 23% annual energy savings), geo-fencing, WiFi and internet based control, voice control and integration with smart hubs like Apple Homekit, Amazon Alexa, Google Home and more. Ecobee 4 – is the full featured model with built in Amazon Alexa and comes packed with an extra room sensor to manage any hot/cold spots in your home. Ecobee 3 Lite – is the budget model (which is basically a features trimmed version of Ecobee 4) which has all essential features of a smart thermostat but not as good as Ecobee 4.

Ecobee 3 Lite - View Details

The prime difference between Ecobee 4 & Ecobee 3 Lite is compatibility, room sensor and Alexa. Ecobee 4 is compatible with most of the commonly used HVAC systems and supports accessories like humidifiers, ventilators etc. Ecobee 3 Lite does not support accessories and has lesser compatibility compared to Ecobee 4. There is no built in Amazon Alexa for Ecobee 3 Lite and room sensors have to be purchased separately.

#2 Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E

As we wrote above, Nest thermostats are equally good as Ecobee when counted as a smart thermostat. However, the full featured Nest thermostat – “Nest 3rd Generation” – is compatible with higher number of HVAC system types than Ecobee 4 (the full featured model of Ecobee). Nest 3rd Gen – is compatible even with 4H/2C (4 stages of heating and 2 stages of cooling) type multi stage HVAC systems. You may read our thermostat compatibility guide – where we comprehensively cover compatibility of different popular thermostat models.  Both Nest & Ecobee models are compatible with the most commonly used HVAC system types in America – which is either single stage (furnace/boiler) or heat pump based systems. If you’ve a multi stage system, you will have to check compatibility before deciding on your thermostat model.

Note: As we’ve figured out, Nest thermostats goes well with Homekit and Google Home than Amazon Alexa. Nest is owned by Google and they have better tuned their product for Google Home. Nest is also best suited for Homekit and syncs so easily with Homekit (Nest founders are former Apple employees). Nest thermostats are also compatible with Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT and they work well with them. What I speak about is perfect optimisation – and Nest has done that optimization for Google Home and Homekit compared to other home automation hubs.

#3 MySa – Smart Line Voltage Thermostat

MySa – is a smart line voltage thermostat with essential features like energy savings, remote location control via WiFi & internet, mobile app based programming/scheduling , energy reports, geo-fencing and a lot more features. Line voltage systems are basically heating/cooling systems that operate on direct electricity, say 110 volts or 220 volts. They convert electricity directly to heat energy; hence they are usually used in states where electricity costs are comparatively low.

WiFi Enabled Homekit Thermostats

If you don’t have the budget for a high end “smart thermostat” but prefer a model that has WiFi based control and voice control through smart home hubs like Homekit or Amazon Alexa, go for a WiFi enabled thermostat with smart hub compatibility. We’ve found Honeywell RTH9585WF and Emerson Sensi ST75 two great choices as a Homekit compatible WiFi thermostat.

#1 Honeywell RTH9585WF

Honeywell RTH9585WF – is one of the best selling WiFi thermostat out there currently. This model is an upgraded version of Honeywell RTH9580WF – which was #1 best seller for a long period of time. This model is compatible with a lot of HVAC system types and you can check the compatibility in our guide. Read our review of Honeywell RTH9585WF – if you’re interested in this model.

#2 Emerson Sensi ST75

Emerson Sensi ST75 – is the next best choice in Homekit compatible WiFi thermostats. We’ve covered the model very detailed in our review of Emerson Sensi ST75 – which you should read if you’re considering this thermostat.

A “central heating thermostat” – is just the same normal thermostat that is used to control a central heating system. In USA, the two most commonly used type of central heating systems are a boiler or a furnace. A central heating system produces heat at one point (usually setup in the basement area or a furnace room) and distributes heat to the whole building by forced air through duct works (in the case of a furnace), or as hot water/steam through pipes (in the case of a boiler). A thermostat that is compatible with a central heating system can be called – a central heating thermostat; that is a thermostat compatible for a boiler system or a central furnace.

As we’ve mentioned in our other guides, about 90% of homes in USA is using heating systems like a boiler or a furnace or a heat pump. When a central heating system is combined with other systems (like ducts/pipes for heat distribution, thermostats for temperature control, cooling coils) – it forms a complete HVAC system. We’ve published guides featuring Central Furnace Thermostats and Central Boiler Thermostats – both guides covering smart, WiFi and programmable thermostats compatible for central heating systems.

Thermostats for Central Heating Furnace

A furnace based central heating system mainly involves a central furnace setup in one point, and the heat produced in the furnace is distributed through ducts as warm air. Natural gas is the commonly used energy source in a central furnace. In USA, around 49% of homes are powered by natural gas based central heating systems (source). Other than natural gas, Electricity based heating systems (nearly 33% of households), fuel oils (6%) , propane/LPG (5%), wood (2%) are also used as energy source in a central furnace.

The heat produced in a furnace is used to heat the air in a heat exchanger. The warm air is then distributed with help of blowers (forced air), through ducts which are passing through each and every room. A central furnace is relatively cost effective heating system, compared to boiler or other systems.

Thermostats for Boiler Heating Systems

Boilers – as the name implies, uses hot water distribution through pipes installed in different rooms. A boiler unit is setup in one point (usually in the basement) and water is heated to a desired temperature (not really till the boiling point). The hot water is then passed through radiators and pipes installed through out different rooms, where they release heat from hot water while passing. Most commonly, boilers use “natural gas” as fuel source. However, heating oils, electricity, propane/LPG, wood are also used as fuel sources to produce heat.

Boilers are costly to install compared to central furnace heating systems. The reason for high cost is pipes & radiators which have high material cost compared to setting up air ducts. The key advantage of a boiler is the ease of setting up “zoned systems” where each individual rooms can be set as unique zones – which can be controlled using thermostats installed in each rooms.  Central furnace based heating systems are not ideal for setting up zoned systems.

Central Heating Thermostat Types

A handful of choices are available as central heating thermostats – which can be WiFi/Wireless heating thermostats, or smart thermostats, or digital programmable thermostats for central heating systems. Out of these 3 models, smart thermostats are the most modern type with advanced features like self learning, energy savings, internet based control using smartphones, geo-fencing and a lot more. If you’re price conscious, go for a normal digital programmable heating thermostat, which would be budget friendly.

WiFi/Wireless Central Heating Thermostats

We’re living in an “internet connected” era and most people prefer connected smart devices these days. Internet connected devices often provide us with great convenience as they can be controlled from anywhere using smart phone apps. Most of the new generation thermostats like Nest, Ecobee, Emerson Sensi, Honeywell RTH9585WF  – are all WiFi enabled thermostats suitable for any central heating systems (be it a boiler or a furnace). All these wireless central heating thermostats can be connected to your home WiFi and they can controlled from anywhere using the respective mobile apps.

Out of the 4 models listed above, Nest, Ecobee and Sensit ST75 are “smart thermostats” with high end features like energy savings, auto programming, geo-fencing and other useful features. Let’s go through all of them in a nutshell.

#1 Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite

We’ve covered full review of Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite – where we have detailed features, compatibility, comparison between the two models and a lot other useful information. Ecobee 4 is the full featured model with built in Amazon Alexa, and comes with an extra room sensor to setup zoned system (to manage any hot/cold spots in your home). Ecobee 3 Lite – is the budget model central heating thermostat, which is basically a trimmed down version of ECobee 4. There is no built in Amazon Alexa and no room sensor is provided with Ecobee 3 Lite.

Compatibility

For Boiler – Both ecobee models are compatible with central heating boilers. They support 2H/2C – Two stages of heating and Two stages of forced air cooling.

For Furnace – Both ecobee models support central furnace heating systems. They are compatible with single stage systems and multi stage systems (upto 2H/2C – Two stages of heating/cooling)

Note: We’ve covered compatibility of all popular thermostat models in our guide.

#2 Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E

Nest 3rd Gen is the full featured model with “self learning”, energy savings, geo fencing and a lot other smart features. Nest E is the budget model with differences in build quality. The key difference between Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E is in compatibility. Nest 3rd Gen is compatible with 90% of HVAC systems, where as Nest E is compatible with only about 80% of HVAC systems in use.

We’ve reviewed Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E – in our comprehensive guide covering all aspects & comparisons. Read through our guide, if you’ve Nest models in your mind.

Compatibility

For Boilers – Nest 3rd Gen supports upto 2H/2C (two stages of heating/cooling). Nest 3rd Gen also supports dual transformer configuration. Nest E supports upto 2H/1C only (two stages of heating and one stage of cooling). Nest E doesn’t support dual transformer configuration.

For Furnaces – Nest 3rd Gen supports upto 2H/3C (two stages of heating and three stages of cooling). Nest E supports only upto 2H/1C (two stages of heating and one stage of cooling)

#3 Emerson Sensi ST75

Emerson Sensi ST75 is a value for money WiFi central heating thermostat with lots of useful features like energy savings, voice control, geo-fencing, internet control and more. The only feature Sensi ST75 lacks is “self learning” which is commonly found in smart thermostats like Nest and Ecobee.

Compatibility

For Boilers & Furnaces – Sensi ST75 supports upto 2H/2C – two stages of heating and two stages of cooling for both boilers and furnaces.

#4 Honeywell RTH9585WF

Honeywell is still one of the market leader in thermostats, as they have models covering different budgets and different types of HVAC systems. “Honeywell RTH9585WF” – is one of the best selling WiFi central heating thermostat model suitable for central furnace and boiler based HVAC systems. This model comes with a big, color, touch screen display – where the color of touchscreen interface can be changed to suit your room interiors. The model also has voice control enabled – and is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home and other smart home hubs.

Compatibility

For Boilers & Furnace – Honeywell RTH9585WF supports upto 2H/2C – that is 2 stages of heating and 2 stages of cooling. Fan is supported for electric furnace models. Other accessories like humidifiers and ventilators are not supported.

In USA, about 90% of homes is powered by a central heating/cooling system like a central furnace or a boiler or a heat pump based system. We write about boiler thermostats in this guide, which are thermostats for controlling central boiler units. A boiler is basically a specially designed water heater – which distributes heat through hot water, while systems like a central furnace distribute heat through warm air. Water is heated in a special chamber of the boiler (which is usually powered by gas or fuel oil) and is then distributed to different rooms of the home via radiators or other heat distribution systems installed. A boiler thermostat helps in controlling the boiler operation, thus maintaining a proper set temperature inside the home.

As I noted above, there are different types of boiler systems like gas-fired boiler, steam boiler, and fuel oil based boiler. Out of these 3 types, gas-fired boiler is the most common one in USA, just like the central furnace based heating systems. You may find steam boilers in some older home constructions, but they are being replaced eventually. Fuel oil based boilers are not used in US homes due to many reasons like foul smell, and efficiency problems. All thermostat models reviewed below are suited to use as a gas boiler thermostat – be it a smart thermostat or a WiFi/Wireless boiler thermostat model or just a normal programmable thermostat variant.

We are here to help you learn more about boiler thermostat models, to find the right one that best fits your boiler heating system.

Smart Boiler Thermostats

Smart Thermostats” are technologically superior, modern, internet connected thermostats which can save energy like no other thermostats. A smart thermostat can save energy in the range of 10% to a max of 23% (under ideal conditions) annually. Apart from energy savings, smart thermostats are built with high end features like control from anywhere using smartphones, self learning (auto scheduling and auto programming), voice control, geo fencing (turning your boiler ON/OFF based on homeowner’s location). Let’s see the best smart boiler thermostats available.

#1 Ecobee 4 & Ecobee 3 Lite

Ecobee smart thermostats are our #1 choice as boiler thermostat. Ecobee has two models in the market, Ecobee 4 – the full featured model and Ecobee 3 Lite – the budget model. Both Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite supports 2 stages of heating and cooling (2H/2C) for boilers. They also support 2 stages of forced air cooling (which is known as 2 transformer configuration in boilers). Ecobee thermostats works well with gas boilers and they are a good choice as gas boiler thermostat.

Out of the 2 models, Ecobee 4 – is the full featured model with high end features like built in Amazon Alexa (for voice control) , self learning (auto programming/scheduling), geo-fencing, smart phone based control via internet, and above all energy savings upto 23% (as claimed by Ecobee company). Ecobee 4 also comes with an extra room sensor to setup zoned heating/cooling and manage any hot/cold spots in your home.

You may read our full review of Ecobee Smart Thermostat – comparing Ecobee 4 vs Ecobee 3 Lite. You will get to know complete features and compatibility with your HVAC system.

Ecobee 3 Lite – is the budget model, which is basically a trimmed down version of Ecobee 4. The budget model has all important features of Ecobee 4, except that it has no built in Alexa (you’ve to purchase Alexa device separately to enable voice control in Ecobee 3 Lite), and there is no extra room sensor provided (you can buy room sensors separately). Finally, take note that the full featured model Ecobee 4 is compatible with more types of heating/cooling (HVAC) systems. Ecobee 3 Lite may not be compatible with central heating systems having 3 or 4 stages. Also, Ecobee 3 Lite doesn’t support any accessories like humidifier or dehumdifiers.

Note: We’ve created a guide featuring compatibility of different thermostat models – where we detail compatibility with different stages, accessories, aux systems etc.

#2 Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E

Our #2 choice is Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E. In our opinion, Nest smart thermostats are equally good as Ecobee models. They both can be #1 choice alike. But we chose Ecobee as #1 for the extra room sensor (that comes with Ecobee 4) and the alternative option for a C wire/common wire (if you don’t have c-wire, Ecobee provides a PEN – power extender kit which can be used to solve the C – wire requirement).  Just like Ecobee, Nest has two models namely Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E. The full featured model Nest 3rd Gen thermostat has more features, higher compatibility and better build quality compared to the budget model Nest E. Nest thermostats also goes well as a gas boiler thermostat, and can be used perfectly for your gas boilers.

Nest 3rd Gen – “Learning Thermostat” – as Nest calls it officially is a self learning thermostat which programs itself by learning lifestyle patterns of homeowner. It also has advanced features like “geo-fencing”, internet connected control using smartphones, vacation schedules, energy reports, and many other features. The key highlight is “energy savings” – where Nest claims upto 13% of annual savings with their thermostats.

If you’re interested in Nest thermostat, you should read our review of Nest 3rd Gen vs Nest E – where we compare both models with features and compatibility.

Nest E – the budget model thermostat is a trimmed down version of full featured model. The primary difference being lesser compatibility (Nest E is not compatible beyond 2H/1C – 2 stages of heating and 1 stage of cooling) and build quality (Nest E is built of plastic materials). Apart from this difference, all high end features of a smart thermostat like “self learning”, controlling via smartphones, energy savings, geo-fencing and other features are common for both Nest models.

Nest – Compatibility as a boiler thermostat

Nest 3rd Gen is compatible upto 2H/2C – Two stages of heating and Two stages of cooling for boilers. As a boiler thermostat, Nest 3rd Gen model supports “dual transformer configuration” – where there is more than one R wire.

Nest E is compatible only upto 2H/1C – Two stages if heating and One stage if cooling as a boiler thermostat. Nest E does not support dual transformer configuration.

You may read through our thermostat compatibility checking guide to learn more Nest Thermostat compatibility with different systems.

Wireless/WiFi – Boiler Thermostats

As we’ve seen, “smart boiler thermostats” come packed with a lot of high end features like “self learning”, geo-fencing, high energy savings, WiFi and internet based control and more. All these features are really useful but they come with high price tag as well. If you’re looking for an affordable modern thermostat, then WiFi enabled boiler thermostats are a good choice. Just like smart thermostats for boilers, these WiFi enabled models are good to use as a gas boiler thermostat or as an oil boiler thermostat.

These models will have all those “essential new generation features” like voice control, WiFi connectivity, touch screen, smart home hub integrations, programming/scheduling via mobile apps and a lot other useful features, except high end ones like “self learning” or “auto programming”. The energy saving rate wouldn’t be as high as a smart thermostat but you can expect anything in between 5% and 10%. The key highlight is affordable price compared to a smart thermostat model.

#3 Honeywell RTH9585WF – WiFi Boiler Thermostat

When it comes to WiFi thermostat models, “Honeywell RTH9585WF” is the #1 choice anyone should consider. This model from Honeywell is an upgraded version its best seller – “Honeywell RTH9580WF” – which once ruled as the #1 WiFi thermostat for boilers or other central heating systems.

Honeywell RTH9585WF – is a WiFi enabled, programmable thermostat with color touch screen. One highlight of this model is “different color choices ” available on touchscreen interface, which you can select to match your room interiors. The bigger display & touch screen interface makes it appealing to people who don’t prefer the “minimal display size” of Nest & Ecobee thermostat models.

The key highlight of the model is WiFi based control over internet. You can control this thermostat via internet from anywhere in the world using the mobile app (provided by Honeywell). You can set new schedules or change the existing ones, turn ON/OFF, read current room temperature etc from anywhere. Apart from WiFi based control, this model also supports voice control via Amazon Alexa or other smart home hubs like Apple Homekit, Google Home or another supported smart home device.

Boiler Compatibility

Honeywell RTH9585WF supports boilers upto 2H/2C – that is 2 stages of heating and 2 stages of cooling. This model support boilers with gas, oil or electricity as fuel source. Take note that accessories (like humidifiers, or ventilators) are not supported. Also keep in mind, this model requires a “C-wire” in your home wiring setup.

#4 Emerson Sensi ST75

The next best choice in WiFi enabled boiler thermostat models is “Emerson Sensi ST75” – which is a wireless/WiFi thermostat from home automation giant Emerson. We’ve reviewed Emerson Sensi ST75 in detail, and we believe this thermostat is a great choice for any of the common boiler types used in US households.

You’ve to check compatibility of a thermostat with your homes HVAC system, before you buy the thermostat. We believe checking thermostat compatibility is very important for anyone buying a new thermostat or replacing an old model. If you don’t check thermostat compatibility, you might end up purchasing the wrong model. We’ve created a comprehensive thermostat compatibility guide covering almost all the current best selling thermostat models.

Compatibility Guide for Smart Thermostats

Let’s begin with smart thermostats as they’re the best selling models currently. Most people prefer to use smart thermostats these days as they are self learning, saves energy and can be controlled from anywhere via internet.

Ecobee 4 & Ecobee 3 Lite

We’ve published a dedicated review of Ecobee 4 & Ecobee 3 Lite covering all aspects including compatibility. If you’re considering Ecobee thermostat, please go through our guide and get informed.

Ecobee Thermostat Compatibility

The table below explains compatibility of Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite with a wide variety of heating/cooling systems out there.

Nest 3rd Gen & Nest E

Nest thermostats are compatible with a wide range of HVAC systems, especially the Nest 3rd Generation Learning Thermostat. The table below explains Nest thermostat compatibility (Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E) with different types of heating/cooling systems. We’ve covered Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E thermostats in our complete review and comparison guide.

Emerson Sensi ST75

We’ve covered Emerson Sensi ST75 in a detailed review. The table below explains compatibility of Emerson Sensi ST75 with different types of HVAC systems.

Honeywell RTH9585WF

This model from Honeywell, RTH9585WF is one of the best selling WiFi thermostat models out there. We’ve listed the complete compatibility of Honeywell RTH9585 thermostat model in the table below.

Compatibility for Line Voltage Thermostats

Thermostats are basically for two types of systems – low voltage and line voltage. Thermostats designed for line voltage systems (like baseboard heater, convectors etc) are not compatible to be used with low voltage systems (like central furnace, heat pumps, boilers etc). Similarly, thermostats designed for low voltage systems can not be used with line voltage systems as well. You’ve to identify your home heating system first (if it’s a low voltage or line voltage system) before choosing your thermostat.

In USA, 90% of homes are using low voltage systems like a central furnace or a heat pump or a boiler as their heating/cooling system. Only about 10% of homes are using line voltage systems like a baseboard heater or a forced fan heater or a convector or a radiant ceiling heater.

MySa – Smart Line Voltage Thermostat

MySa is a smart line voltage thermostat compatible with all commonly used high voltage systems. Complete compatibility is explained in the table below.

Winding up!

We’ve covered almost all best selling thermostat models in our comprehensive thermostat compatibility guide. We will be adding newer models in coming days. If we’ve missed an important model, please comment here. We shall add them shortly.

When you hear “smart thermostat” the first names that comes to mind is either Nest or Ecobee.  Nest enjoyed an unrivaled market leadership in smart thermostats for a long period as they were the pioneers. After a few years, Ecobee came with a couple of outstanding smart thermostat models to take share from Nest. Now Emerson has released a really good smart thermostat model – ST75 under its “sensi” series of thermostats.  Emerson is a very reputed company manufacturing automation products for years and has a legacy of 128 years in business. Let’s go deep to know more about Emerson Sensi – ST75 – Smart Thermostat.

Emerson Sensi – ST75 Smart Thermostat 

The key highlight about Emerson Sensi ST75 is that it offers all essential features of a smart thermostat on a budget price. Sensi ST75 offers all major features of a smart thermostat like #energy savings – where energy & money is saved by running  the hvac system at max efficiency, #geo-fencing – where the location of homeowners are tracked and rooms are preheated when the homeowner nears home from office or far away places, #voice control enabled and works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant. Apart from this 7 day scheduling and smartphone app based control (using WiFi and internet) are provided just as good as Nest & Ecobee.

The main drawback is lack of “self learning” unlike a Nest or Ecobee model. You’ve to program the thermostat yourself based on your preferences (Nest & Ecobee are self learning and they program themselves automatically). Another key point is size of thermostat and display – which is definitely bigger & bulky than Nest & Ecobee (which are sleek and round). But bigger display has its own advantages (easy to setup and program) and some homeowners really prefer thermostats with bigger display.

Sensi ST75 Compatibility Guide

The key fact to check before buying any thermostat is compatibility with your home HVAC system. You should be informed that some thermostats do not support certain HVAC system types. Let’s see the compatibility guide for Emerson Sensi ST75 thermostat.

Central Furnace/Boilers – Supports upto 2 stages of Heating (W/E, W2) and 2 stage of Cooling (Y, Y2)

Heat Pumps – Supports heat pumps and heat pumps with auxiliary/emergency heating (O/B, W/E, W2)

Fan – (G) and Power – (C, RH, RC)

C-Wire Requirement – “C Wire” or common wire is required for this thermostat. If your home wiring doesn’t have c-wire, Sensi ST75 can not be used in your home.

Note: Sensi has a compatibility checker tool in their website. Please make use of it and check compatibility.


Highlight Features

Energy Savings – is the key highlight feature of Sensi ST75, just like Nest and Ecobee. Though Nest and Ecobee declared their energy savings to be 13% and 23% respectively, Sensi has not made any official number based claims. We can assume it to less than Nest (13%) for the time being.

Geofencing – is a smart feature in Nest and Ecobee. Now Sensi also adds the same! Geofencing is nothing but tracking a homeowner using his mobile phone and adjusting the home temperature after he leaves and before he arrives.

Voice Control & Smart Hub Integrations – Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Wink, Apple Homekit

Flexible Scheduling – Set the program using the thermostat touch screen or using the mobile app. 7 day programmable and set a unique schedule for each day that fits your lifestyle.

Wrap Up!

Sensi ST75 is a budget friendly, value for money thermostat that suits any homeowner. Two key points against this models is lack of “self learning” and the inability to interface extra room sensors. Both Nest and Ecobee can be interfaced with extra room sensors to mange any cold spots in your home. Apart from that, Sensi ST75 is a great choice.

We used to live in a “wired” world before and now we are moving towards a “wireless” world. The internet has changed our world like none has ever dreamed some 15 years ago. We live in a “highly connected” world now, that you can control your home in Washington DC sitting in Miami beach! The first internet connected wireless thermostat was Nest smart thermostat which was released in 2011. Later Ecobee and Honeywell came up with WiFi thermostat models in market. In this guide, we review wireless thermostats or WiFi enabled thermostats which could be controlled over internet using mobile apps.

Why Go for a WiFi Thermostat?

WiFi Thermostat benefits
Benefits of WiFi Thermostat

#Control from anywhere – A WiFi thermostat can be controlled through internet from anywhere in the world.  Set/change temperature, turn ON/OFF, set new program/schedule – you can do it all while you’re away.

#Accurate Weather Prediction – They fetch local weather conditions from internet and sets program/gives alerts.

#Everything on Mobile Apps – Get temperature/humidity levels, energy usage reports, alert messages all on your mobile app.

#Geo-fencing – Smart wifi thermostat models have geo-fencing feature which tracks a home owner and automatically adjust temperature when owner nears home (from office or an away place)

Wireless/WiFi enabled models are available for all the different types of thermostats – be it for a furnace thermostat or a heat pump thermostat or a boiler thermostat or even the electricity powered line voltage or baseboard heater thermostat has WiFi enabled variants available. Let’s see the best wireless/wifi thermostat models in each category!

Wireless/WiFi Smart Thermostats

Let’s begin with smart thermostats – which are self learning and programs itself automatically. Smart thermostats are the innovative & high end thermostat models available in market today. All smart thermostat models have wireless feature and they can be controlled via your home WiFi. We’ve shortlisted 3 best WiFi smart thermostat models for you to choose from.

#1 Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite

Ecobee is a new generation home automation company (just like Nest), and they have two flasgship smart thermostat models – Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite. Out of these 2 best selling models, Ecobee 4 is the full featured version with complete features of a smart thermostat. Ecobee 3 Lite is a budget model (priced affordably) and is basically a trimmed down version of Ecobee 4. We’ve reviewed both thermostats detailed in our article – Ecobee Smart Thermostat Review.

Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite – both models are wireless and home WiFi compatible. You can connect them to your home WiFi network and control them using the Ecobee mobile app. Ecobee4 is a wireless room sensor thermostat, as it comes with an extra room sensor (which is interfaced wireless to thermostat).

A quick review of important technical specs about wireless/internet connectivity of Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 lite is furnished below. If you’ve Ecobee WiFi thermostat in mind, you’d get detailed tech spec from our review of Ecobee thermostats.

#2 Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E

Nest is the pioneer in smart thermostat models and they have Nest 3rd Gen (the full featured model) and Nest E (the budget friendly model). Nest & Ecobee are equally competent thermostat models, and you can choose any one after reading through individual reviews. We’ve covered Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E in detail – where we cover full features of both Nest thermostat models, compatibility and comparison between Nest E and Nest 3rd Gen.

Both Nest models – Nest E and Nest 3rd Gen are wireless/WiFi smart thermostats. Unlike Ecobee4, the full featured Nest 3rd Gen doesn’t come with a wireless room sensor. However, you can purchase additional wireless room sensors from Nest and interface it with your thermostat. You can read such technical details by following our individual reviews of Nest and Ecobee.

A quick nutshell of important tech specs regarding WiFi and wireless connectivity of Nest E and Nest 3rd Gen is furnished below. If you’re seriously considering Nest wifi thermostats, we encourage you to go through our detailed review of Nest thermostats.

#3 Emerson Sensi – ST75

Sensi ST75 is an affordable smart thermostat with all essential features except “self learning” or the auto programming feature. We’ve covered review of Sensi ST75 in detail – where you can find full details about its features, HVAC compatibility and much more.

Sensi ST75 is a WiFi thermostat which houses all the necessary and essential features of a modern day thermostat but it lacks the supreme “self learning” of smart thermostats. We’ve put together a table showing all the important tech spec regarding wireless/internet connectivity of sensi ST75.  If you’ve Sensi ST75 in mind, we recommend you read our full review of Emerson Sensi ST75 and make your mind.

Wireless/ WiFi Digital Programmable Thermostats

Smart thermostats makes our life so easier with its high end features & functions, but they are high priced. If you don’t have the budget for a smart wireless thermostat, choose an affordable wireless/WiFi digital programmable thermostat. These are basically the popular 7 Day or 5 Day programmable digital thermostats equipped with wireless and WiFi capability. You can control these thermostats via internet using your mobile phones (using the apps installed) – like you can turn ON/OFF, change temperature settings, change program schedule etc.

We’ve shortlisted 3 best wireless/WiFi enabled digital programmable thermostats for you ti choose from. Read through our list and see the highlights of each model.

#1 Honeywell RTH9585WF – WiFi 7 Day Programmable Thermostat

Honeywell is still a leader in thermostat market (they enjoyed unchallenged position until the arrival of Nest and Ecobee), though they are only 3rd or 4th in smart thermostat rankings (Honeywell has a smart thermostat model named Lyric – which is not very popular compared to Nest and Ecobee). RTH9585WF – is a WiFi 7 Day programmable thermostat from Honeywell with color touch screen display and Alexa enabled voice control.

#2 Honeywell RTH6580WF – Budget Friendly WiFi Programmable Thermostat

RTH6580WF is an economical, budget friendly wireless programmable thermostat from Honeywell. This is one of the best selling and popular thermostat models out there with almost all essential features. The key features include Alexa enabled voice control, 7 Day programmable, 4 programming modes, and can be interfaced with smart hubs like Apple Homekit, Google Assistant and Samsung SmartThings.

#3 Emerson Sensi – ST55 – DIY Wireless Thermostat

Sensi ST55 from Emerson is an affordable DIY WiFi thermostat with all essential features. If you can pay a few more bucks, we would advise you to choose the newer version Seni ST75 instead of ST55

Line Voltage- Wireless Thermostat

Line voltage thermostats are used for heating/cooling systems running on line voltage (120 or 240 volts). An example would be baseboard heaters – where direct electricity is converted to heat energy. Only about 10% of homes in America uses line voltage based systems. A majority (that is about 90%) of homes uses low voltage systems like a central furnace or a boiler or heat pump based systems. The key info here is that a line voltage heating/cooling system requires a thermostat that runs on line voltage. You can not use a low voltage thermostat (like Nest or Ecobee or Sensi) with a line voltage heating system. You may read our complete guide on Line Voltage Thermostats to see different wireless/WiFi high voltage thermostat models.

Heat Pump – WiFi Thermostat Models

Heat pumps are common in most of the homes in USA. Some of the homes use heat pumps with auxiliary/emergency heating. If you’ve a heat pump with aux/emergency heating, make sure the thermostat you choose supports the same (be informed some thermostat models doesn’t support auxiliary heating).

Furnace & Boiler – WiFi Thermostat

As we’ve written before, 90% of Americas runs on central furnace or boiler based systems or heat pump based HVAC systems. All these 3 systems are low voltage HVAC systems. We’ve reviewed right thermostat models for each of these systems individually in our guides – say Guide to Choose Furnace Thermostat or our Guide to Choose Boiler Thermostat. We’re listing handpicked wireless thermostat models for furnace & boiler based systems here.

#1 Ecobee 4 & Ecobee 3 Lite – are excellent choice as WiFi thermostat for central furnace based or boiler based systems. They are compatible upto 2 stages of heating.

#2 Nest 3rd Gen & Nest E – are the next best (or as equally best as Ecobee models) choice as WiFi thermostat for furnace/boiler based systems.

Wireless/WiFi Underfloor/Radial Heating Thermostat

If you’re a little curious here, “underfloor heating” is used in homes to heat the floor surface. A heating system (either insulated electric wire based or hydronic/hot water based) is installed under the floor to heat the floors evenly during winter. Underfloor heating systems are common in homes located in places with extreme winter conditions. We’ve reviewed different models of underfloor heating thermostats – and we’ve covered some wireless underfloor heating thermostats as well. We’re listing one of the best wireless thermostat model for underfloor heating below.

Wrap Up!

We believe, you’ve been benefited by reading through our wireless thermostat reviews. Choosing the right thermostat for your home requires intense research, like identifying your current HVAC system, your current wiring type, which type of new thermostat you need and so on. We crafted our website ThermostatGuide – as an authentic resource on thermostats helping people buy the right thermostat. We intend to help you choose the best wireless/WiFi thermostat with this article and we believed we’ve been of help for you in your research.

FAQ - Frequent Questions!

Is my heating/cooling system (HVAC) compatible with WiFi thermostat?

Compatibility of a thermostat varies with different models. Compatibility of Nest is not the same as that of Ecobee or Honeywell. You should read the compatibility specification of the wifi thermostat model you prefer. We’ve clearly written about compatibility in the individual review of each thermostat.

Will my WiFi thermostat work without Internet or WiFi ?

Any WiFi thermostat model will serve its core function – that is controlling your HVAC (heating/cooling) system and regulating temperature without any internet connectivity or an active WiFi connection. They use the already set schedule/program to maintain temperature. An active WiFi connection is only needed when you want to control the thermostat (say change temperature setting or schedule) from an away place over internet (using your mobile phone). Also some advanced features like live weather tracking and geo fencing would need an active WiFi/internet connectivity.

Can I connect WiFi thermostat to Smart Hubs like Alexa, Homekit ?

Most of the best wifi thermostat models like Ecobee4, Ecobee 3 Lite, Nest 3rd Gen, Nest E, Emerson Sensi ST75, Honeywell RTH9585 can be integrated with smart hubs like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Homekit, Amazon Echo etc. Some models are compatible with other smart hubs like Samsung SmartThings, Wink. Integrating with a smart hub enables you to control your thermostat using your voice.

A thermostat is one of the most important device in any home – as it has a key role in making your life comfortable (by regulating the room temperatures) and saving your energy bills. You may already know there are different types of thermostats and not all thermostats are alike. In this article, we write about programmable thermostats – which can be programmed to manage your schedules & lifestyle preferences. A programmable thermostat help save more energy compared to non-programmable or manual thermostats. Let’s see in detail.

Programmable Thermostats – The Intro!

A programmable thermostat gives you more comfort & energy savings compared to non-programmable or manual thermostat models. The key highlight is they can be programmed according to your preferences. Some thermostats are 7 day programmable, while some others are 5 day or 2 day programmable. Smart thermostats are self learning and they program itself automatically (after learning your lifestyle and habits) to give you the best possible comfort and energy savings.

Programming gives you a lot of control on how to regulate your heating/cooling system – for example, you are at work on weekdays and at home (full time)  during week ends. In such a scenario, you can program the thermostat to turn OFF your heating/cooling system during your work hours and on weekends you can set the program to run your heating/cooling system full time. This kind of flexible programming helps to run your heating/cooling system at the best possible efficiency. Most of the programmable thermostats has holiday schedule option which allows you to either turn OFF the heating system or run at the minimal setting to prevent freezing. And that’s how programmable thermostats save more energy and save you more money compared to other models.

How they Save Energy & Money

Programmable thermostats, especially smart thermostats are really good at saving energy & thereby saving money on your wallet. They save energy by following the set program (your schedule & preferences) to run your HVAC system at the best possible efficiency. Smart thermostats can save upto 23% of annual energy usage (compared to ordinary thermostats) and the budget friendly 7 day programmable thermostats can save nearly 10 to 12% of annual energy usage.

How to Choose a Programmable Thermostat

As I wrote before, there are different types of thermostats designed for different types of HVAC systems. In America, 90% of the homes runs on low voltage HVAC systems like a central furnace or a boiler or heat pump based systems. Around 10% homes runs on line voltage systems like baseboard heaters or convection heaters which uses direct electricity to heat your homes. The very first thing to understand is that you can’t use a thermostat designed for line voltage systems (like a baseboard heater) with a low voltage HVAC system like a central furnace (and vice versa). So there are low voltage thermostats designed for low voltage systems and line voltage thermostats designed for line voltage systems.

In this article, we deal with low voltage thermostats only! We’ve reviewed programmable line voltage thermostats in our previously published guide.  Let’s see some important things to consider before choosing a programmable thermostat.

  • Low Voltage or Line Voltage – if you’re replacing an old thermostat, first identify if your old thermostat is low voltage or line voltage and buy your new thermostat accordingly. If you’re buying a thermostat for your newly installed HVAC system, first identify which type of thermostat (line voltage or low voltage) is suitable for your new heating/cooling system.
  • Type of HVAC System – The first step is identifying if your system is low voltage or line voltage. The second step is identifying your HVAC (heating/cooling system) type. As I said before, 90% of America is running on central furnace or heat pump based systems. The key point here is that a particular thermostat model may not be compatible with all types of HVAC systems. You’ve to identify your HVAC type and check if the thermostat model you consider is compatible with your HVAC system.
  • Single Stage or Multi Stage – A majority of homes in America is running on single stage HVAC systems. However, there are homes which uses 2 stage or even 3 stage heating/cooling systems. In the case of heat pumps, some homes are using single stage heat pumps only while a majority of homes use an auxiliary heating system along with heat pump. The key here is some thermostats support only single stage systems whereas some other models support 2 stage or 3 stage systems. You’ve to understand your system type and buy the thermostat accordingly.

Best Programmable Thermostat – Our Reviews!

We’ve seen the benefits of programmable thermostats – like how they save energy, how they give you best possible comfort and how they save you money. We’ve also seen how to choose a programmable thermostat wisely that suits your HVAC system. Now lets see some of the best programmable thermostat models in our world right now!

Smart Programmable Thermostats

Smart thermostats are basically programmable thermostats with “smart” capabilities & features built into it. They are really “smart” that you don’t need to program them manually by entering your schedule. Smart thermostats program itself automatically by learning your living habits & patterns. After installation, a smart thermostat starts to learn patterns of your lifestyle like when you come home, when you go to work, do you stay on weekends etc and based on this they program themselves to set your schedule automatically. A smart thermostat may take anywhere from 10 to 15 days (after installation) to learn the patterns and perfect the schedule. They continue to learn lifelong that they change themselves when your living habits change.

The key highlight of a smart thermostat is its high energy savings. Smart thermostats can save up to 23% of annual energy usage compared to an ordinary thermostat in place. In addition, smart thermostats can be controlled via WiFi, smartphone apps, most of them support voice control, they give energy usage reports and so on. Lets see some of the best smart programmable thermostat models.

#1 Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E – Smart Programmable Thermostats

The #1 choice we’ve in smart thermostat is Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E models. Nest 3rd Gen is the full featured smart thermostat model with all features & capabilities of a smart thermostat. Nest E is the budget model – which is basically a trimmed down version of the Nest 3rd Gen thermostat. You can read the comparison and see the difference between Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E in our review.

The prime difference between Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E is in features, compatibility and build quality. Nest E is compatible only upto 2 stage heating/cooling, whereas Nest 3rd Gen model is compatible upto 3 stage heating/cooling systems. Build quality is high for Nest 3rd Gen model and is available on steel or copper builds (Nest E is available only on plastic build). Some key features like Geo fencing is not avilable on Nest E. You can read our full review of Nest 3rd vs Nest E to see the comparison.

#2 Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite – Smart Thermostats

Ecobee currently has two smart thermostat models available in the market – Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite.  Out of these two models, Ecobee 4 is the full featured model with lots of features like self learning, built in Amazon Alexa, remote room sensor, and a lot of useful features. Ecobee 3 Lite is the budget model smart thermostat (a trimmed version of Ecobee 4 in features) which has all essential features needed for a smart thermostat but not as good as Ecobee 4.

The key difference between Ecobee 4 & Ecobee 3 Lite is that – the budget model Ecobee 3 Lite has no builtin Amazon Alexa & no remote room sensors are provided with. Also Ecobee 3 Lite is not compatible with HVAC accessories like dehumidifiers and ventilators. You can read our review of Ecobee 4 vs Ecobee 3 Lite to see the differences.

#3 Emerson Sensi – Smart Thermostat