Heat Pump Thermostat – Guide to Buy The Right Thermostat

One of the common appliances found in US homes is the air-conditioner. They provide cooling during the hot summers. However, during winters when you need warm and cosy indoors, heaters are installed. This means, you need two different appliances for heating and cooling purpose. There is an alternative to all of these, the heat pump. Its versatile nature can be used for cooling, heating and dehumidifying. The working principle of a heat pump is same as that of the refrigerator. In simple words, it makes the cool place cooler and hot place hotter, by pumping out the heat from the colder area to hotter area. Therefore, during winters when it is cold outside and warm inside, it pumps out the heat from cool outdoors to warm indoors, making your place cosy and warm. Similarly, during summers, when it is warm outside and cold inside, it will pump out the heat from cool indoors to warm outdoors making your place nice and cooler.

These heat pumps use air, water or ground as a medium to pump out the heat. According to this they are classified as air source, water source and geothermal heat pumps. Out of these, most common is the air source heat pump.

Compared to electric baseboard and furnaces, these heat pumps offer better efficiency in terms of electricity use, as they don’t use resistance heating. Also, with new advancements, high efficiency heat pumps are available that provide better dehumidifying feature than the air conditioners.

The use of thermostat with a heat pump is always recommended as it adds to its efficiency. The thermostats used for furnaces and electric heaters are completely different than those used for heat pumps. This is so because, heat pumps not only provide heating but also can be used as air conditioners and dehumidifiers.

Since thermostats add efficiency to your heat pumps and also offer a lower energy usage, choosing the right thermostat for your heat pump is always important.

Here in this article, we will help you to choose the right thermostat for your heat pump.

Let’s first look at what are some of the criteria you should have in mind while selecting a thermostat.

How to choose the right thermostat for your HEAT PUMP?

As already mentioned heat pump thermostats are a bit different from the baseboard and furnace thermostats. The difference lies in their operation. While the baseboard/furnace thermostat have to control the temperature of a heating device, the heat pump thermostats switch from heating mode to cooling mode according to the seasonal variations. This should be kept in mind while choosing a thermostat for your heat pump. Typically, all thermostats come with clear labels as to what devices they are compatible with. Look for thermostats compatible with a heat pump.

Also, there are heat pumps with auxiliary or emergency heat, like a multi level furnace. Check your heat pump if it has that feature or not. Choose thermostat accordingly, that is select a thermostat that is compatible with your kind of heat pump.

Next is choosing the models for thermostat. This completely depends on your range of budget. You have programmable and non programmable thermostats as well as manual and digital thermostats available in the market. The programmable ones are more efficient and provide cool features like auto turn off/on, wi-fi support etc. while the manual thermostats are old school ones, simple, easy to use, pocket friendly yet not as efficient as their digital counterparts.

Let’s have a look at some of the heat pump thermostats available in market.

Smart Thermostat for Heat Pumps

#1 – Nest – 3rd Generation Smart Thermostat


Nest Smart Thermostat

Our first pick in this category is the third generation Nest Learning thermostat. It is beautifully designed to give it a sleek and thin look. Far-sight feature on its big and bright display lets you read the temperature or time from across the room, by lighting up the display once it detects you in the room. Other than this, the nest thermostat helps reducing the figures on your energy bill with its various other distinctive features. Some of them have been mentioned below:

  1. It works with Amazon Alexa voice control,this means you can control the device with your voice.
  2. This is called a smart thermostat for a reason; after a few manual adjustments for 2-3 days, it learns your habit and then programs accordingly with its auto schedule feature.  
  3. It is compatible with heat pumps having an auxiliary and emergency heating System (O/B , AUX, E).
  4. Nest Secure feature helps it to communicate not only with other nest devices in your home but also other smart appliances such as smart LEDs, smart dryers etc. in your home. For example, in case of an emergency your Nest thermostat can communicate with your smart LED to alert you about the same.   

#2 – Ecobee 4 – Smart Thermostat for Heat Pump

Ecobee 4 – Smart Thermostat for Heat Pump

This thermostat from Ecobee is an upgraded model of Ecobee 3. Eco bee 4 comes with more smart features, making your home a bit smarter. It keeps the energy usage low when you are not at home, helps manage hot and cold conditions to reduce the overall energy usage of your home utilities.  

Here are some important features that eco bee 4 possess:

  1. It comes with embedded microphones that recognise far-field voices and also it has speakers that have been engineered for clear voice and full sound.
  2. It has built-in Amazon Alexa voice control using which you can ask the thermostat to read the latest news, adjust the temperature and time and many more things.
  3. Even if you are away from home, you can always use your smart phone to control the thermostat. Ecobee 4 mobile app works with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings etc.
  4. These thermostats are compatible with heat pumps (4H/2C) and also support auxiliary heat.

How is it different from Ecobee 3?

Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 have almost the same features except that the latter does not support amazon alexa voice control while the former does. Also Ecobee 4 comes with a room sensor, while for Ecobee 3 you will have to buy one separately.

Honeywell Smart Thermostat

Honeywell – Smart Thermostat for Heatpumps

The next product we have selected is from Honeywell. This smart thermostat lets you distinctively program your device as a home or business thermostat. It comes with various control features that can be accessed by you anywhere and anytime. Here is a list of some of the important feature of this thermostat:

  1. Your i-phone or android phone and even your i-pad and computer can be used to control the thermostat whenever you wish to.
  2. It has a customisable and easy to read color touchscreen display.
  3. It comes with in built smart response technology that learns your heating and cooling habits and programs accordingly.
  4. The inbuilt indoor humidity sensor displays the room humidity on its screen.
  5. Enjoy proper air-circulation that regulates your home temperature with its advanced fan control feature.
  6. This thermostat is compatible with heat pumps.

Sensi Smart Thermostat

Emerson Sensi – Smart Thermostat for Heat Pump

The next in smart thermostat category for heat pumps is the Sensi smart thermostat. This thermostat is a product from Emerson thermostats and is designed to work with your existing wires. Therefore it has an easy and quick DIY installation procedure. It does not require a common wire(c-wire) and hence is compatible with most of the heating and cooling systems.

Here’s a list of other features it posses:

  1. Choose the geo-fencing feature and your thermostat will automatically set the temperature according to the local climate.
  2. Reduce the unnecessary energy usage by creating a 7- day programming schedule.
  3. Remote control feature helps you control the temperature and time settings from your smart phones, tablets and computer.
  4. It is not compatible with electric baseboard heaters.
  5. It is compatible with almost all HVAC systems, although a c wire would be required for heat-only , cool-only and heat pump systems without aux.

WiFi Heat Pump Thermostat

All the above listed smart thermostats come with a wi-fi feature. The ones listed below are economical and pocket friendly when compared to the smart thermostats mentioned in the section above but still has the useful WiFi feature inbuilt

Honeywell RET97E5D1005/U Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat

Honeywell – Heat pump thermostat with WiFi

This thermostat from Honeywell gives you remote access to control the temperature and time.   It comes with a push button interface and can be configured to almost any scheduling environment. Some of its features have been listed below:

  1. It comes with Wi-Fi remote access so that you can use your iOS or android device to control its settings from anywhere. You can mange one or more thermostats using this feature.
  2. It comes with smart response technology that learns to pre-heat or cool your home at pre-programmed times.
  3. It is pre-programmed with schedules that aim at reducing your energy usage.
  4. It is compatible with heating and cooling and heat pumps, but does not work with heat pumps with electric baseboard heat (120-240V).

Honeywell TH6320WF1005

Honeywell: WiFi Thermostat with Amazon Alexa feature

The Honeywell TH6320WF1005 Wi-Fi FocusPRO 6000 thermostat comes with a 7-day programmable memory. It has a large, backlit display with push buttons for easy control interface. Apart from this it also has the following features:

  1. The installation process is easy thanks to its browser interface/smartphone app interface, that guides you through the installation process.
  2. You can set the settings even without a Wi-Fi, as it has all the functions of a conventional programmable thermostat.
  3. Apart from giving you remote access to the temperature settings through your iOS or Android devices, this Wi-Fithermostat sends you updates via email, when asked to do so.
  4. It requires a c-wire, hence is compatible with 3Heat/2 Cool heat pumps and 2 Heat/2 Cool conventional systems.

Touch Screen Heat Pump Thermostats with WiFi

Bosch Connected Control Wi-Fi Thermostat (Alexa-Enabled)

Bosch Touchscreen Thermostat for Heat Pump

This  Wi-Fi thermostat from  Bosch, allows easy scheduling to make your home cosy and comfortable during chilly days. Like all the Wi-Fi thermostats mentioned above, this one also provides remote access (through mobile App) to control its temperature and time settings. Some other key features of this thermostat are:

  1. 5-inch colour touch-screen display.
  2. Alexa-Voice enabled, this means you can control the thermostat with your voice when you are at home.
  3. You can manage schedules of up to 4 thermostats using the BCC100 mobile app.
  4. It is compatible with Heat Pump (4 Heat, 2 Cool) or Conventional (2 Heat, 2 Cool) systems, any 1-wire internally powered humidifier or dehumidifier, and most 24 VAC HVAC systems. 

Honeywell TH9320WF5003 WiFi 9000

Honeywell – Heat pump thermostat with touchscreen

This product from Honeywell is aimed to increase your energy savings. It comes with a 7-day programmable memory that can be used to reduce your energy consumption. Also, you can change the color of its customisable touchscreen to suit your wall decors. Some other features include:

  1. Connect to an existing Wi-Fi network at your home, and remotely program the schedule over the app or browser on your device.
  2. Control the thermostat using your voice, as it is enabled with Alexa voice recognition technology.
  3. The 7 day programming is simple and selectable. This means if you are not inclined towards programming the schedule, you have the option to use this thermostat as a non programmable one.
  4. It comes with energy savings mode feature.

Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Thermostat

Emerson Sensi: Heat pump thermostat with Touchscreen

Emerson sensi touch thermostat has been named the ‘Best Overall’ smart thermostat of 2017 by USA Today’s Reviewed.com. It has HD touch screen that displays the room temperature and has intuitive menus and back glow. It is designed for hassle free DIY installation, with step by step guide given in its app.

The other features include:

  1. Download the Sensi app on your mobile and enjoy the remote accessibility of the control features of this thermostat.
  2. It will alert you in case of extreme temperature and humidity levels in your home.
  3. It has geo fencing feature that can be used for location based temperature control.
  4. 7-Day flexible  scheduling helps to reduce the HVAC related energy consumption.
    1. It has a 7 day programmable schedule with four periods for each day.
    2. Setting the schedule is easier with its large, easy-to read backlit display.
    3. The easy install wizard guides you through each step of installation.
    4. It has compatibility with heating, cooling and heat pump systems. Heat pump systems – Up to four stages of heating and two stages of cooling (with or without auxiliary).
    5. Also compatible with gas, electric, oil systems, as well as millivolt applications.It is compatible with the gas, oil, geothermal, heat pump and radiant heat systems – up to 4 stages of heating and 2 stages of cooling.

Heat Pump Programmable Thermostat

These thermostats although programmable do not have Wi-Fi and smart learning features. If you are looking for a simple digital thermostat that has a programmable memory, this category of thermostat will suit you. Here we have listed some of the heat pump programmable thermostat:

Emerson UP310



This programmable thermostat for heat pump with auxiliary heat, gives you temperature accuracy of about 1 degree that means you have got the option to maintain the temperature of your home within one degree of where you set it. It has some other features too, like:

  1. It has a 7 day programmable schedule with four periods for each day.
  2. Setting the schedule is easier with its large, easy-to read backlit display.
  3. The easy install wizard guides you through each step of installation.
  4. It has compatibility with heating, cooling and heat pump systems. Heat pump systems – Up to four stages of heating and two stages of cooling (with or without auxiliary).
  5. Also compatible with gas, electric, oil systems, as well as millivolt applications.



Honeywell RTH6450D1009

Honeywell has a wide range of thermostats; this programmable thermostat is one of them. If you are looking for a replacement for your old Honeywell thermostat, the installation for this newer version is super easy. Apart from its easy installation here are some of its other features:

  1. Easy to set up the schedule, with customisable control for a cosy home.
  2. It automatically changes from heat to cool, depending on the program set up.
  3. It gives a precise temperature of 1 degree.
  4. It is compatible with heating and cooling system plus single stage heat pump systems


Honeywell RTH2300B1012



The Honeywell RTH2300B1012 heat pump thermostat is one of those thermostats with lots of features. It is 5-2 day programmable thermostat, this means that you can schedule a program for the weekdays and the weekends separately. Some other features include:

  1. You can program a schedule for four different intervals a day.
  2. It has a temperature precision of 1 degree farehenheit.
  3. The push button display interface is extremely user friendly and so is its installation.
  4. It is compatible with heating, cooling and heat pumps without auxiliary heat, but does not work with electric baseboard heat (120-240V) OR multistage HVAC systems. 



Emerson 1F83H-21PR

This heat pump thermostat from Emerson comes with a dual fuel option. This means there is no need for additional sensors. Also, it has a large backlit display which has a key lock option so you won’t accidentally reset your programmed schedule. Some other features include:

  1. It can work like a 7 day programmable thermostat as well as a non programmable thermostat, according to the mode you choose.
  2. It has 5-1-1 day programming capability; this means you can set a schedule for 5 weekdays and two different schedules for the other two days of the week.
  3. It has inbuilt advanced features such as keypad lock, temperature limits and backlight button.
  4. It is compatible with  Heat Pump (2H/1C) but not compatible with   electric baseboard heat and some other systems. 



Honeywell TH6220 

This is another product from Honeywell thermostat range. It has the largest backlit display among its kind, making it easy and clear to read the settings on the display. It is dual powered (hardwired/battery). It has other features such as:

  1. It comes with built-in instructions on how to use various features efficiently.
  2. The 5-1-1/5-2 day programming schedule is built in to reduce your energy consumption via HVAC systems.
  3. The adaptive intelligent recovery feature ensures programmed temperature is reached by programmed time.
  4.  It works well with all central heating and cooling systems including heat pumps without auxiliary heat source.
  5. It is designed to provide electronic control of 24 V ac conventional and heat pump systems or 750 mV heating systems.

Lux Products TX9600TS 



This product from LUX is a good choice if you are on a tight budget and yet want to make your home comfortable along with a reduction in u=energy usage by HVAC systems. It has a simple, white frame and a large backlit display. Ome of the other features include:

  1. It has a keypad lock feature that prevents the thermostat from unauthorized users
  2. It has a selectable periods(2 or 4) per day.
  3. You can program different schedules for the weekdays and the weekends.
  4. It is compatible with heating and cooling systems apart from systems with electric baseboard heat (120 or 240 volt) and systems with 2-cooling stages.

 Digital Non Programmable Heat Pump Thermostats

 This one category of thermostats is ideal for those who like the conventional thermostats. It does not have a programmable memory but has digital display and simple control settings.

Some of the thermostats of this kind are listed below:

Honeywell RTH3100C1002/E1


This non programmable thermostat is mercury free and thus the precision is quite good. Also with easy to read, green backlit digital display the control of this thermostat is convenient.You can set the temperature according to your comfort and then let the thermostat do the rest.

It will maintain the room temperature at the set value. It is dual powered (hardwired/battery). It has push button interface that is very convenient to use.This thermostat works well with Multistage Heat Pump Systems (Heat Pumps with and without Auxiliary heat source).

Honeywell TH5110D1006


This is another non programmable digital thermostat from Honeywell. It has a 1.5 square inches, green backlit display and push button interface.It has an easy access battery replacement door and is dual powered(Hardwired/battery powered).

It is designed provide electronic control of 24 V AC conventional and heat pump systems or 750 mV heating systems. It is compatible with 1 heat/1 cool conventional systems and heat pumps with no auxiliary.


Honeywell RTH5100B 1025 Deluxe Manual Thermostat

This one non programmable digital thermostat from honey well features advanced temperature monitoring that is aimed to minimize temperature swings to give you a comfortable and cosy home to live in.

The green backlit display along with the soft key push button interface makes it extremely user friendly. It is very easy to set the temperature with the up/down buttons.The set temperature is maintained even when the thermostat restarts after a power outage.It is compatible with Works on all central heating and cooling systems including heat pumps without auxiliary heat source.

These are some of thermostats that I have picked up to guide you through the process of choosing the best option when it comes to buying heat pump thermostats. As already mentioned, the first thing you should know while shopping for thermostat is the type of heating/cooling system you have at your home. Then comes in the budget and the kind of features you want. The smart thermostats are equipped with ample number of features from setting the schedule for you to even reading out the daily news for you. Most of the Wi-Fi thermostats come with remote access to the control settings. The non-programmable thermostat is the most basic type and all you have to do is set a temperature and it will maintain the temperature with precision of about 1 degree Fahrenheit.

This is all about heat pump thermostats in this article.

Thanks for reading!