Skip to Content

Multi-zone Thermostat: Working, Best Picks, and More

Nowadays, almost every homeowner is talking about their new multi-zone thermostats, and although you have a zoned home, you still have a separate thermostat for every zone. Now you are wondering what exactly a multi-zone thermostat is and what the benefits of having one installed are. 

A multi-zone thermostat is a smart thermostat that controls multiple zones in your house with the help of individual smart sensors in every zone. It means that you only have one thermostat which controls all the HVAC zones individually. This is also one of the important benefits of having a multi-level thermostat – you do all the programming on only one thermostat. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how a multi-zone thermostat works and how it differs from a multi-zoned home with more than one thermostat. We’ll also provide a shortlist of four of the best multi-zone thermostats available. And we’ll end with short notes on the setting up of a multi-zone thermostat and the benefits you will have.    

What are multi-zone thermostats, and how do they work?

A multi-zone thermostat is a smart thermostat that can set up and control multiple zones in your house. A multi-zone smart thermostat in your home also allows you to use your smartphone app or remote control to set different temperatures for all the different zones or rooms. 

To understand how a multi-zone thermostat works, let’s look at what a zoned HVAC system entails and how such a system is controlled if you don’t have a multi-zone smart thermostat.

How does a zoned HVAC system without a multi-zone thermostat work?

 A zoned HVAC system splits your home into “zones.” This is done by using motorized dampers. Without a multi-zone thermostat, the dampers are controlled by separate external thermostats, which are placed in the ductwork. 

To regulate the different zones’ temperatures every zone’s controlling thermostat works independently. 

How does a smart multi-zone thermostat change this procedure?

When your home is not equipped with a multi-zone thermostat, you have to set all the different thermostats controlling the various zones in your house, individually. With a multi-zone thermostat, you have only one thermostat which sends “messages” to your HVAC system and thus controls all the zones. You do all the programming on one thermostat. 

The multi-zone thermostat works with sensors in multiple zones or rooms. One multi-zone thermostat can, for instance, control the temperature in 3 zones if every zone has a separate sensor. 

Best multi-zone thermostats

Nowadays, most thermostat brands provide at least one multi-zone model. So, there are quite a few multi-zone thermostats available in the market. To assist you to choose the best thermostat for your circumstances and needs, we’ve looked at some of the very best multi-zone thermostats available and made a shortlist of four thermostats which we recommend you have a look at before purchasing your multi-zone thermostat. 

1. Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat with Whole Home Sensors

Control from Android and iOS mobile devices

The Ecobee3 Lite Smart thermostat offers advanced control from anywhere with your mobile device. It allows you to use either Android or iOS devices. You can change the thermostat’s settings and programs from anywhere via your mobile device.   

Integrates with most smart home systems

The Ecobee3 Lite integrates seamlessly with most smart home systems. It means that it is basically a matter of installing and setting the thermostat and the HVAC system will “accept” the controlling messages from the thermostat. 

Saves you money 

Without changing anything in your HVAC system, except installing the multi-zone thermostat, you can save up to 23% annually on heating and cooling costs. By adding smart sensors you can manage hot or cold spots in your home and deliver enhanced comfort to the rooms that matter most without increasing your utility bill. 

Easy to check information

The Ecobee3 Lite is designed in such a manner that it illuminates when you’re nearby. This makes it easy to check the temperature, humidity, and a 5-day weather forecast.

Well-priced

In conclusion, the Ecobee3 Lite multi-zone thermostat is well-designed and works effectively and efficiently. It also provides you with monthly energy reports showing you how much you’ve saved. 

2. Nest T3007ES Learning Thermostat

Fastens easily to the wall

When you purchase the thermostat, a screwdriver and screws are included in the package for quick installation. It is an easy DIY job.

Beautifully and functionally designed

It’s beautifully designed to keep your home comfortable and simultaneously saves energy. This 3rd generation thermostat has a big and sharp display for easy reading and setting. 

Hands-free control 

The Nest T3007ES offers you hands-free control. It has voice control with Alexa and Google Assistant. (The Alexa device and Google Assistant device are not included but can be purchased separately).

Auto-Schedule

With this Nest multi-zone thermostat, you don’t have to worry anymore that you might become confused with programming on different thermostats in the various zones. You actually even don’t need to re-program your new Nest T3007ES ever. The thermostat learns the temperatures you prefer and then programs itself. It remembers what the favorite temperature for every zone is and manages the HVAC system accordingly to guarantee the preferred temperatures.

Remote Control

When you’ve connected your Nest Thermostat to Wi-Fi you can change the temperature settings from your mobile phone, tablet, or laptop from wherever in the world you are. 

To use your mobile device, you just have to download the Nest app from iTunes or GooglePlay.

Alerts and reminders

The Nest T3007ES monitors your HVAC equipment and sends you service reminders. It also alerts you if anything is not working correctly or has stopped working. It can even alert you if your home’s temperature gets too cold or hot. 

Energy Star certified thermostat

The Nest Learning Thermostat has been the first thermostat ever to get Energy Star certified by the EPA.

Review your energy history and report

The thermostat tracks how much energy you’ve used. It also provides you with tips regarding possible setting changes that will help you conserve more energy. 

3. Honeywell Home RCHT9610WF T9 Wi-Fi smart thermostat

Voice and remote control

This Honeywell Home smart thermostat can be controlled by voice as it is compatible with Alexa, Google Assist, Apple HomeKit, and more.

Sensors are included

The Honeywell RCHT9610WF T9 comes with one Honeywell Home RCHT9610WF T9 Smart Thermostat, as well as three Honeywell Home RCHTSENSOR smart room sensors.

The thermostat detects rooms with people in

The smart room sensors automatically detect which rooms people are in and provide comfortable temperatures to these rooms. It doesn’t force the same temperature on all the “activated” rooms, because the T9 smart thermostat and smart room Sensors can handle multiple rooms with different temperature preferences simultaneously.

Amazing sensor range 

The smart room sensors are battery powered and use unique Honeywell Home technology to deliver an efficient signal up to at least a 200 ft. range. 

Energy Star certified

This Honeywell multi-zone thermostat is Energy Star certified and helps you to save energy. It tracks your heating and cooling and provides you with monthly reports. In the reports, the thermostat also offers personalized tips on how to reduce your energy consumption even more. 

Easy to install and doesn’t need a C wire

The thermostat is designed to be installed in a DIY manner. The included power adapter is a low-voltage alternative to a C-wire. As it can work with or without a C wire, this Honeywell multi-zone thermostat is compatible with most homes.

4. Ubipol Smart Wi-Fi 7 day/4 periods programmable touchscreen home thermostat

Voice and remote control compatibility 

This Ubipol multi-zone thermostat is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant to accommodate your voice control needs.

Package deal

Ubipol includes everything you might need to install this thermostat in the box. These items include the wall plate, screws, labels, remote sensors, and the power module if your HVAC system doesn’t have a C wire.

Energy saving

Because of the thermostat’s automatic heating and cooling changeover feature, you save over 23% energy cost.

Advanced HVAC control

  • The advanced HVAC control mechanisms and systems include the following
  • The screen lights up when movement is detected.
  • The thermostat offers a compressor short cycle protection delay. 
  • You receive smart cooling and heating alerts and are reminded of filter changes. 
  • Geofencing.
  • Weather forecasts.
  • Device password lock.
  • Adjustable backlight brightness level. 
  • Periodically circulation of fresh air for comfort and good health. 

Setting up a multi-zone thermostat

It is very easy to set up a multi-zone thermostat, especially if you already have a zoned home. In principle, you can do it in 5 steps:

  • Purchase the thermostat and enough smart sensors to be able to put a sensor in each room you want to regulate separately.
  • Remove the old thermostat and ensure that the correct wiring is in place. It can be a DIY job, but if you are a novice regarding HVAC issues, it is better to get a professional. If you don’t have a zoned system yet, get a professional to do the necessary changes. 
  • Install and connect the multi-zone thermostat and place all the smart sensors in the rooms.
  • If applicable, connect the thermostat to your Wi-Fi and install the app on your mobile device. 
  • Program the thermostat either on the thermostat’s screen or on your mobile device via Wi-Fi.

Benefits of multi-zone thermostats

Creating different zones in your home with a multi-zone thermostat controlling all the zones can be beneficial in many ways. The most important benefits it offers include the following:

You save energy and money

With a multi-zone thermostat controlling your home’s HVAC system, you reduce the possibility of using unnecessary energy. One of the advantages of a multi-zone thermostat is the reduction in usage of the air conditioner even on hot summer days. Studies by the U.S. Department of Energy found that multi-zone thermostats controlling different zones in the home can save air-conditioning costs by up to 30%.

The multi-zone thermostat enhances your comfort

It is very convenient to use a multi-zone thermostat and system in your home. All family members can pre-set and have their preferred temperature for their rooms. 

The HVAC devices can have a longer lifespan

As a multi-zone thermostat reduces HVAC devices’ usage, the air conditioner and heat pump are used for shorter times. Thus, the wear and tear on the system is reduced. The result is that the devices can run for a more extended time.

FAQ

Q: Do I need two thermostats to control two zones

A: Sometimes, HVAC systems are broken up into multiple zones. Each of these circuits will normally require its own dedicated thermostat unless you have a multi-zone thermostat. Then you only need one thermostat

Q: Can you mix and match Nest thermostats?

A: If you have more than one Google Nest thermostat in your home, they’ll work together. Thus, if you have multiple thermostats and one becomes faulty, you only have to replace the faulty thermostat.

Q: Should I set the upstairs thermostat the same as downstairs

A: Usually, the upstairs and downstairs thermostat settings are not the same. In summer, for instance, you need more cold air coming into the upstairs’ rooms as the temperature is higher upstairs than downstairs. On cold days you’ll need more heat downstairs.  

Conclusion

A multi-zone thermostat can make your life much easier. You only have to communicate with and set one thermostat with all the different programs for the individual rooms in your home.