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Best Home Thermostat – Find the Best Smart Home Thermostat

We’ve published lots of useful guides on thermostats, all of them helping to find the best thermostat for your home. Ideally, the best home thermostat is the one that keeps your home temperatures comfortable (evenly distributed among all rooms) and saves energy usage at the same time.

Every homeowner prefers a smart home thermostat these days, as a smart thermostat brings lots of convenient features like WiFi connectivity, Geo-fencing, self-learning of lifestyle patterns, and auto programming.

The Best Home Thermostat – Features to Look

As you may already know, there are different variants of home thermostats. As I wrote above, a smart thermostat is the most preferred choice these days by any homeowner. But smart thermostats come with a high price tag which many people may find out of their budget. If not a smart thermostat, the next best home thermostat choice is a WiFi thermostat model – which has most of the essential features of a new-generation smart home gadget. The difference is that a WiFi thermostat (non-smart) will not have “self-learning” or auto-programming feature.

If you’re still out of budget for a wireless/wifi home thermostat, I would advise you to choose a normal digital programmable thermostat (7-day or 5 -2 day programmable) – which essentially serves all the basic purposes of a thermostat. Let’s skim through the important features required in a home thermostat.

#1 Energy Savings – A good thermostat should be able to provide a good rate of energy savings – say in the range of 10% or higher. Thermostat makers claim different energy savings percentages for their models, say Ecobee claims up to 23% energy savings, whereas Nest claims nearly 13% energy savings. Honeywell and Emerson usually claim near 10% energy savings on annual energy utilization.

#2 WiFi/Wireless Connectivity – this is a very useful feature for home thermostats. You’ll be able to connect the thermostat to your home WiFi and control the device from anywhere using mobile apps. You can turn ON/OFF, change temperature settings, read energy reports, set schedules and a lot more can be performed using your smartphone. We have a guide featuring WiFi thermostats – helping you find the best home thermostat with WiFi connectivity.

#3 Scheduling/Programming – this is a must for any home thermostat model. The best smart home thermostat models like Ecobee and Nest are “self-learning” and they create a schedule themselves (auto programming) by learning your home habits. Most WiFi-enabled thermostats (non-smart variants) comes with the preset schedule for weekdays and weekends. These schedules can also be programmed based on your preferences. The budget-friendly digital programmable thermostat usually doesn’t have preset schedules but you can program them manually for 7 days or 5 – 2 days (based on the model).

#4 Voice Control – this is a nice to-have feature in home thermostats. You can control your thermostat using your voice from anywhere in the home – like turning ON/OFF, changing temperature, and more. These days thermostats are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit – where you can control the thermostat using your voice.

#5 Geo-fencing  – is another nice to-have feature in any home thermostat. Geo-fencing feature identifies the location of the homeowner and detects when he/she is away from home. The thermostat will automatically move to “away settings” when the homeowner is out of the home. On a similar note, the thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature in your rooms (to the set/preferred temperature) whenever the homeowner is nearing home from an away location.

Top 7 – Best Home Thermostats

We’ve seen those essential features required in the best smart home thermostat. Now let’s see which all models offer those crucial features. Before we start, let’s classify thermostat models into 3 variants – 1) Smart Thermostats 2) WiFi Thermostats and 3) Digital Programmable Thermostats.

  1. Smart Thermostats – Self Learning/Programming, WiFi Enabled, Voice Control, Geo fencing, and Smartphone app
  2. WiFi Thermostat – All the features of a smart thermostat except “self-learning/programming”
  3. Digital Programmable – No WiFi, No Self-learning, or any such features. The device will be programmable on the screen.

The Best Smart Home Thermostats

Let’s begin with the best smart home thermostat models and then move on to WiFi-enabled models (non-smart variants).

#1 Ecobee Home Thermostats

Ecobee has two thermostat models – Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite – both are smart home thermostats. Ecobee 4 is the full-featured model and Ecobee 3 Lite is the budget version.

What is in common(features) for all?

  1. WiFi-enabled– All these thermostats can be connected to your home wifi so that you can control it from various parts of the world
  2. Smartphone/gadget controllable- All these 3 thermostats do have ios/android apps which allow you to manage your heater/ac via your thermostat from anywhere around the world or any place in your home
  3. Touch Panel– The panels are touch-enabled for all the three

Well, these WiFi smart thermostats are different in many manners but they do have some bunch of common features which will be very interesting for you from the perspective of a buyer.

Rank 1. Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest wifi smart Thermostat
Nest WiFi Smart Thermostat

So why do we give rank 1 to Nest learning thermostat? Let’s have a look.

Advantages of Nest WiFi learning thermostats.

  1. Learning Capability– The best and unique feature of Nest thermostats. It does have the ability to learn your behaviors and to respond with respect to it. Nest takes 1 week to analyze your common behaviors. For example, if you are setting 23 degrees Celsius or 73 degrees Fahrenheit at 10 pm every day(before sleep) and turning it up to 82 degrees F when you wake up at 7 am, Nest will learn and store it. No matter if you do something unusual(like turning the temperature down/up drastically). Nest is very intelligent that it doesn’t record such kind of unusual activity. Nest adapts itself to your preferred settings. In short, the nest makes your life damn easy, it acts as a personal assistant for you. It acts according to your wish automatically, neither you program it nor you remember to modify the settings.
nest learning
nest learning
  • Sleeky Design– Very much like the apple products , nest also focus highly on their designs. To be frank, they’ve came up with a super sexy design. Unlike the conventional designs of the other thermostats, Nest, with a round and shiny look, appears like a super cool gadget for your house. It will be a decoration for your house.
  • Easy Installation – The nest claims that you can install the thermostat within 30 minutes. Well, it depends on how much expert you are in the installation and for sure you can definitely install it in 30 minutes. It doesn’t need the C wire , you can leave it free(according to Nest). The detailed pdf/video installation guide can be found in the nest website. Also you can hire certified processionals from their website for installation.
  • No need of batteries – You can save some bucks, replacing the batteries every year.
  • Ease of use – The usage is pretty easy and convenient. You will find Nest very easy and user friendly to program and change settings
  • Airwave algorithm– Nest only have the airwave algorithm which gives you more savings. As far as an AC is concerned, the majority of the energy is consumed by fan and compressor. Of which, compressor eats most of the energy. Even if the compressor is turned off, the compressor coils will stay cool for 5-9 more minutes. Nest’s airwave algorithm uses this logic save more energy for you. It turns off the compressor 5-6 minutes before the ac achieves your targeted temperature. In short, you save the energy running the compressor for 5 minutes
  • Unlimited time Periods – You can have unlimited time periods for nest thermostats while it is just 4 for honeywell and ecobee.
  • Awesome monthly report and the leaf badge– The monthly reports of nest are simply incredible, it will also give you a leaf badge if your savings were above the benchmark. This leaf badge is very interesting, it will show you how much leaves you earned comparing to previous months as well as all the nest thermostat users around the world. You can compare your savings amount comparing to the other Nesters. nest leaf
  • Google’s acquisition of Nest -It was a big news recently that Google acquired Nest. With this acquisition, it is sure that more exciting features would be implemented to Nest. This should also increase the resale value of Nest thermostats.
  • Biggest Disadvantage

    • The biggest disadvantage of Nest is its temperature swing of +/- 3 degrees. Well, the company does say a temperature swing of 1 degree, but it is generally said that Nest does have a swing of 3 degrees.

    Video Demo

    Check Price

    #2 – Honeywell WiFi Home Thermostat

    WiFi Home Thermostat
    Honeywell RTH9585WF – Smart Home Thermostat

    Honeywell RTH9585WF – is a budget-friendly, WiFi-enabled smart home thermostat with all the desired features. Voice control is possible with the help of smart home hubs like Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit, or Google Home. This model also supports other hubs like Wink, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT protocols.

    Check Price & View Details

    Advantages of Honeywell Wi-Fi Home Thermostat

    1. Very low-temperature swings- This model RTH985WF is well known for its low-temperature swings, which would be +/- 0.5 degrees as claimed by the manufacturer.
    2. Better Price – This model is a budget-friendly smart home thermostat. The price bargain is brought in by avoiding some high-end features like “self-learning” in Nest. If compared to Ecobee, there is no built-in Alexa, and not as many sensors.
    3. Big Size Display Screen – is a unique feature of Honeywell RTH9585WF. Weather data is easily readable, and the bigger display facilitates easy on-device programming. Though this makes the product bulky (when compared to Nest/Ecobee), there are households that prefer bigger display thermostats owing to reasons like easy visibility & device control.
    4. Match your home decor –  Another unique feature of this model is display screen color adjustment.  The display screen can be set to a color that matches your home interior (from a set of available colors)honeywell -smart- thermostat
    5. Alerts – This model will send alerts like an unexpected weather changes, replacement or maintenance alerts for parts, energy usage reports, and more. Alerts will be sent as emails and can be viewed in the mobile app as well.

    Disadvantage

    • Lack of Smart Features – Though this model is a pocket-friendly WiFi home thermostat, the lack of features like “self-learning” makes this not truly a smart thermostat. Also, there are not enough sensors like motion detection and other high-end features.
    • Lack of Geofencing – This is another drawback of the RTH958WF model. If used correctly, geofencing is a very useful feature to save energy and add comfort to homes.

    Video Demo

    I’ve added a demonstration video of the RTH9585WF model below. This video is created by the manufacturer – Honeywell.

    Rank 3. Ecobee EB-SMARTSi-01 Smart Thermostat

    Ecobee wifi smart thermostat
    Ecobee wifi smart thermostat

    Ecobee launched the first smart wifi thermostat in the world in 2009. Even though the Nest overtook the market in wifi thermostats later, Ecobee stands as the builder of the first wifi smart thermostat.

    Advantages of Ecobee Wi-fi smart thermostat

    1. Super Detailed Reports– Reports are the best feature of an Ecobee wifi smart thermostat. Their reports give you a lot more of interesting data compared to Nest and Honeywell. The reports will be comparison with the previous months like this month’s cooling/heating was 75 hours which was 20 hours less than last month. The report comes up an interesting pieces of data like your savings/consumption compared to the state average, the weather changes compared to previous months, etc.
    2. Alerts- Very much like Honeywell, Ecobee sends you email alerts in times of high-temperature changes or other abnormalities
    3. Support for blackberry- Ecobee does have an application for blackberry while Honeywell and Nest do have only for ios/android.

    Biggest Disadvantage

    1. Poor design – Ecobee stands nowhere near to the advanced designs and looks of Nest/Honeywell smart thermostats. The touch screen is an old resistive type that your touch experience will be a nightmare.

    Video Demo

    Check Price

    Comparison table for Nest, Honeywell, and Ecobee smart wifi thermostats

    Let’s check this table for an easy comparison of all these three thermostats

     

    Nest

    Honeywell

    Ecobee

    Design and looksThe best design, the most stylish and good looking – 4.5/5Good looking, but not as good as Nest- 4/5Satisfactory design – 3.5/5
    Temperature Swings+-3 degrees+- 1 degree+- 1 degree
    Savings Percentage19-20 Approximately19-20 Approximately19-20 Approximately
    Filter Change AlertYesYesYes
    Email AlertsNoYesYes
    Supported OS for AppsAndroid/iosAndroid/iosAndroid/ios/Blackberry
    InstallationFine with RSWGNeed C wireAndroid/ios/Blackberry
    Ease of ProgrammingVery EasyVery EasyEasy
    Time periodsNo Limit44
    Password lock protectionYesYesNo
    Number of locations in an account2More than 2More than 2
    Touch Screen TechnologyLatest Capacitive typeLatest Capacitive typeOld Resistive type- This makes your touch experience really hard

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