The Best Smart Thermostats: Which Is Right For Your Home? (2023)

Smart thermostats can make your home more energy-efficient and save you $100 or more per year in heating and cooling costs. They let you control the temperature of your home remotely and can be integrated with your home’s other smart home devices. Some can even automatically learn your habits or work with voice control.

But unlike many smart devices, smart thermostats require a bit of pre-planning to make sure they’ll work with your existing appliances before you start the installation process. Before investing in a thermostat, you’ll have to get up to snuff on what HVAC system your home uses. If your home uses separate heating and cooling systems, you may need a separate device for each.

What to Look for

Smart ecosystem: It's very important for you to buy a smart thermostat that's compatible with your existing smart home ecosystem — whether that be Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple's HomeKit — because it'll just make your life easier. You'll be able to control it via an app you already use on your smartphone and you might even be able to adjust your temperature using your voice.

Does your HVAC have a C-wire? Most smart thermostats require a common wire — or C-wire — installation, which it needs to stay constantly connected to a home’s Wi-Fi. The good news is that most new HVAC systems have C-wires, which are fairly easy to install yourself. If you have an older HVAC system you may have to jump through some more hoops to make a smart thermostat work for your home (as Consumer Reports explains).

Smart features: In addition to having a nice touchscreen interphase and being compatible to multiple smart home ecosystems, one of the main things that drives up the price of a smart thermostat is if it's smart enough to automatically adjust the temperature. The more advanced smart thermostats use geofencing (for your smartphone's location) or various motion sensors to detect whether you are home or not.

How big is your home? Larger homes with multiple floors may have multiple heating and cooling systems to control the different areas of the house all at the same time. In those cases, you’ll likely need to buy multiple smart thermostats, as one is required to control each of the different areas and its individual heating and cooling system.

Don't want to install yourself? If you don’t want to install the smart thermostat yourself, or you don’t know the answers to the above questions, you can hire a professional to do it for you. A number of retailers, such as Best Buy, Home Depot or Amazon, let you purchase this installation when you buy a smart thermostat.

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The Best Smart Home Thermostats

Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Gen)

The Best Smart Thermostats: Which Is Right For Your Home? (9)

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Best for Google Smart Home

Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Gen)

store.google.com

$189.00

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(Video) Top 5 BEST Smart Thermostats of (2021)

  • Gorgeous design
  • Numerous smart features to better regulate temperature
  • Works with all major smart home ecosystems
  • A touch pricey
  • Design won't be for everybody

The Nest Learning Thermostat has been around for a few years and yet it's still the best-looking smart thermostat you can buy; it has a beautiful LCD touchscreen and a huge and intuitive rotating dial that you can use to adjust your home's temperature. It's the no-brainer option for anybody committed to smart home around Google Assistant (Google owns Nest), but it's also compatible with most other smart home ecosystems. The Nest Learning Thermostat is an excellent smart thermostat for numerous other reasons. It's fairly easy to install and works with most HVAC systems. It is able to learn your (and your family's) habits and then automatically adjust the temperature accordingly. And you can buy and set up separate room sensors to more accurately control the temperatures in all areas of your home.

(Note: the Nest Thermostat E is a more affordable alternative with very similar features and capabilities.)

  • Works with: Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
  • C-wire: Yes

    Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control

    The Best Smart Thermostats: Which Is Right For Your Home? (10)

    Courtesy

    Best for Amazon Smart Home

    Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control

    amazon.com

    $199.99

    • Integrated with Alexa and can work as a smart speaker
    • Large touchscreen is easy to use
    • Works with all major smart home ecosystems
    • Expensive
    • Built-in speaker can't be integrated with Google Assistant or Siri

    The Ecobee SmartThermostat is an excellent option for anybody with an Alexa smart home because it comes integrated with Alexa — no separate smart speaker required. You can talk directly to it and change the temperature. You can also stream audio directly to the thermostat via Bluetooth or Spotify Connect or ask Alexa to play something or answer questions about the weather. The Ecobee SmartThermostat has a large intuitive touchscreen display and comes with a smart sensor that makes it easier to control the temperature of rooms that are further away from the thermostat. If you have a larger home, you can buy extra SmartSensors ($79/2-pack) for relatively cheap.

    (Note: The Ecobee SmartThermostat is also Google’s and Apple’s smart ecosystems, but can't be integrated with Google Assistant or Siri.)

    • Works with: Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
    • C-wire: Yes

      Amazon Smart Thermostat

      The Best Smart Thermostats: Which Is Right For Your Home? (11)

      Courtesy

      Best Budget Option

      Amazon Smart Thermostat

      amazon.com

      $59.99

      • Minimalist design blends into your home
      • Simple to install and use
      • Lacking on smart features
      • No HomeKit compatibility
      (Video) Best Smart Thermostats | Top Four

      The Amazon Smart Thermostat is a simple and really affordable option for anybody with a smart home built around Alexa. You can control it and adjust the temperature via the app or by using an Alexa voice command if you have a smart device (like an Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Show). You can also adjust the temperature just by going over and using its built-in touchscreen. It's fairly easy to install (requires a C-wire) and works with most HVAC systems. It, however, isn't compatible with any smart home ecosystem other than Alexa.

      • Works with: Amazon Alexa
      • C-wire: Yes

        Honeywell T9

        The Best Smart Thermostats: Which Is Right For Your Home? (12)

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        Best for Apple Smart Homes

        Honeywell T9

        honeywellhome.com

        $179.99

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        (Video) How to Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat without Changing the Wiring | Ask This Old House

        • Easy to use and install
        • Works with all major ecosystems including Apple's HomeKit
        • Can automatically detect when you arrive or leave home
        • On the expensive side

        Honeywell makes a wide variety of smart thermostats, but its T9 is the best all-around option for those looking for one that's easy to install and use. It's compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants (if you have a separate smart speaker), and it works with Apple's HomeKit as well. One of the key features of the T9 is that it's smart enough to tell if you're home or away; it uses your smartphone's location (via geofencing) and then adjusts the temperature accordingly. It works with Honeywell's Smart Room Sensors, which you place in the various rooms in your house to help the T9 gauge and adjust the temperature.

        • Works with: Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
        • C-wire: Yes

          Wyze Thermostat

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          Wyze Thermostat

          wyze.com

          $149.97

          $73.99 (51% off)

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          • Easy to use and install
          • Very affordable
          • Works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
          • No HomeKit support
          • Amazon's smart thermostat is cheaper

          The Wyze Thermostat is an affordable option for anybody who uses Wyze's various other smart home devices (such as cameras, doorbells, sensors, lights, etc.) — you can control them all from the same app. It is compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, so if you have a smart speaker or smart display, you're able to adjust the temperature with your voice. Additionally, Wyze sells room sensors to help better regulate the temperatures in specific rooms of your home.

          • Works with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
          • C-wire: Yes

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            (Video) Best Smart Thermostat Overview - Nest vs. Ecobee, Honeywell & Wyze - 1 Year Later

            FAQs

            What is the most efficient smart thermostat? ›

            The best smart thermostats: Save energy efficiently
            • Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control. Best smart themostat. ...
            • Google Nest Learning Thermostat. The best-known smart thermostat. ...
            • Honeywell Home T5 Smart Thermostat. Best budget option. ...
            • Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat. Best for total control. ...
            • Wyze Thermostat.
            30 May 2022

            How do I choose a good smart thermostat? ›

            What to Consider When Purchasing a Smart Thermostat
            1. HVAC System Type – Your home's HVAC system will determine your ability to use a smart thermostat. ...
            2. Wires and Voltage - If you remove your old thermostat cover and see thicker wires for line-voltage control, that is an indicator your HVAC system may not be compatible.

            What is a smart thermostat for your home? ›

            A smart thermostat, also known as a connected or communicating thermostat, allows you to create automatic and programmable temperature settings based on daily schedules, weather conditions, and heating and cooling needs. Some Wi-Fi thermostats have this advanced functionality, but not all do.

            How do I know if a smart thermostat will work in my house? ›

            Check with the manufacturer to make sure your desired smart thermostat is compatible with your heating and cooling setup, especially if you own an older home. Even if you have old thermostats connected to radiators, there's likely to be a smart version that will work in your house.

            Is it worth buying a smart thermostat? ›

            All in all, the benefits of smart thermostats outweigh the price tag. Not only do they provide an easy opportunity to make some cost-cutting habit changes, but they also give an in-depth, behind the scenes look into your actual energy usage like never before.

            Are all smart thermostats the same? ›

            All major brands of smart thermostats are versatile enough to connect to most types of home heating and cooling. Products from Nest and Ecobee should work. Also, Honeywell should work with your home. All of them should work even without a c-wire thanks to AC adapters.

            Do smart thermostats work without Wi-Fi? ›

            A smart thermostat can work without Wi-Fi because they do not entirely depend on the internet to function properly. However, the functionality will be limited to controlling the home temperature settings and monitoring your energy usage.

            What are the types of smart thermostats? ›

            There are three basic types of smart thermostats divided into categories based on the technology they use: Motion sensor thermostats. Geofencing thermostats. Learning algorithm thermostats.

            What happens to smart thermostat when power goes out? ›

            When power is lost to the thermostat, the only information it "loses" is the current time. Once power is restored, the thermostat will resume its previous settings and configuration. It will also automatically reconnect to the Wi-Fi network. Once reconnected, all features are accessible again.

            Do I need an electrician to install a smart thermostat? ›

            Your best option is to have a C-wire properly installed and run to your new thermostat, which means it will require an electrician's expertise. Even if you find a DIY article or video online, the risk to your health or home isn't worth it when dealing electrical wiring.

            Can I replace my old thermostat with a smart thermostat? ›

            New houses are usually equipped with C wires, which allow you to easily install smart thermostats. If you own an older home, though, you can still use the latest thermostat technology. Follow these steps to get your wiring and HVACs system ready.

            Is there a better thermostat than nest? ›

            ecobee Smart Thermostat

            Ecobee's Smart Thermostat splits the difference between the Nest's ultra smart features, and an analogue look and feel. Its face is one giant touch screen, so you can access different modes and features by tapping and swiping the display.

            What is the most efficient temperature to heat your house? ›

            According to ENERGY STAR, setting your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) when you're home is the ideal balance of comfort and energy efficiency. So why is 68 degrees the magic number?

            What is the best temperature to keep your thermostat at this winter? ›

            The ideal thermostat temperature in the winter is 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you're at home. Energy.gov suggests that 68 degrees is a good room temperature while you're awake at home but recommends lowering it while you're asleep or away.

            What's the best room thermostat? ›

            The best smart thermostats you can buy
            • Tado Smart Thermostat: The most flexible smart thermostat. ...
            • Nest Thermostat E: The simplest smart thermostat to use. ...
            • Honeywell Evohome: The most comprehensive room-by-room heating system. ...
            • Hive Thermostat Mini: The best Hive thermostat.
            12 Oct 2022

            How much does a good thermostat cost? ›

            The average thermostat replacement cost runs $176, or between $113 and $255. The cost to install thermostats runs slightly higher since it may require running wires and determining placement. Thermostat prices range from $15 to $500 or more, depending on the type and features.

            How much money can you save with a smart thermostat? ›

            On average, savings are approximately 8% of heating and cooling bills or $50 per year. Savings may be greater depending on climate, personal comfort preferences, occupancy, and/or heating/cooling (HVAC) equipment.

            How long does a smart thermostat last? ›

            With typical use, the smart thermostat will last well over one year when running on battery power alone. The battery can be expected to last even longer if the smart thermostat is powered through the C-wire (common wire). In this case, the batteries will only be used when the power is out.

            Can I just install a smart thermostat? ›

            Learning how to install a smart thermostat can be a simple project, just make sure to keep thermostat compatibility in mind. It's important to first find a smart thermostat that's compatible with your HVAC system, so you can follow the right installation instructions.

            What is the difference between a smart thermostat and a Wi-Fi thermostat? ›

            A smart thermostat can learn and make decisions for you. A smart thermostat, just like a Wi-Fi thermostat, can be controlled by a connected device, such as your cell phone, via an app. Wi-Fi thermostats, however, don't have the ability to learn from your usage.

            Do smart thermostats get hacked? ›

            Furthermore, smart thermostats have already been hacked into. Not that the thermostat stores any significant data, but it opens the door for cybercrime and what is called the knock-on/domino effects.

            Can a thermostat be hacked? ›

            As it turns out, the reality is far scarier than you think. A Wisconsin couple recently experienced the worst of the modern internet when a hacker took over their smart thermostat and tormented them for an entire day.

            Do smart thermostats have monthly fees? ›

            You can choose from many types of smart thermostats, and each one works differently. Some thermostats charge a monthly subscription fee if you want to use the remote control features to adjust the settings via your smartphone. Other options connect to apps that don't charge a monthly fee.

            What is the cheapest way to keep your house warm? ›

            So here are 10 simple tips for keeping your home warm for little or no extra cost – just in time for that severe weather warning.
            1. Use your curtains. ...
            2. Use timers on your central heating. ...
            3. Move your sofa. ...
            4. Maximise your insulation. ...
            5. Wrap up warm. ...
            6. Turn down the dial. ...
            7. Block out the draughts. ...
            8. Install thermostatic radiator valves.
            9 Nov 2016

            Which type of heating is cheapest to run? ›

            Generally speaking, Halogen heaters are one of the most inexpensive types of electric heater. They average around 1200W in terms of power output and because they provide instant-heat at close quarters, you shouldn't need to leave them on for long periods of time.

            Is it cheaper to keep house at same temperature? ›

            Keeping your home at a constant temperature generally means that your HVAC system will run constantly to meet it. This means that your furnace or air conditioner may run when you're asleep, at work, or out of the house. This wastes more energy than the minimal amount that you might save by having it constantly run.

            What are the 4 types of thermostats? ›

            There are four basic types of modern thermostats: Non-programmable, programmable, Wi-Fi and smart. The further you get down the list of the thermostats discussed below, the more expensive they become. However, energy efficiency increases with each thermostat.

            Can I replace my thermostat myself? ›

            It is possible to save some money by installing or replacing your thermostat yourself, but you will need: Basic electrical knowledge. A general understanding of the type of equipment being used.

            Do smart thermostats work with radiators? ›

            Google Nest thermostats, namely Nest Learning Thermostat (all generations) and Nest Thermostat E, work alongside your existing radiator valves to help you stay comfortable and save energy. Nest thermostats are compatible with various radiator valve types, including Smart thermostatic radiator valves (Smart TRVs).

            What is the easiest thermostat to program? ›

            Our top pick is the Honeywell Home RTH8560D 7-Day Programmable Thermostat based on its flexible scheduling options, compatibility with a huge variety of heating and cooling systems, and clean, modern design.

            How long does it take to install a smart thermostat? ›

            In most homes, installing a Google Nest thermostat is an easy DIY project that takes about 20-30 min. The Nest app's step-by-step instructions make it easy to install and wire your thermostat, so use it as your main guide.

            What are the 2 types of thermostats? ›

            In terms of operation, there are two types of thermostats: line-voltage and low-voltage.

            Which heating type is best? ›

            Geothermal systems provide the most efficient type of heating. They can cut heating bills by up to 70 percent. Like other types of heat pumps, they are also very safe and environmentally friendly to operate.

            How much does a smart thermostat cost? ›

            The smart thermostat unit will cost anywhere from $70 to $800, depending on the features you're looking for and the brand you purchase. If your current thermostat isn't a smart one, it may not have a C-wire, otherwise known as a common wire, and will typically need one to properly wire a smart thermostat.

            Should I turn off heat when power goes out? ›

            During an electrical power outage, turn off power to the furnace. When the electricity is restored to your home, the electrical grid may have some power fluctuations that could damage the electrical components of the furnace. Other sensitive appliances and electronics should be unplugged as well.

            Should I turn off power before replacing thermostat? ›

            Virtually all room thermostats operate on low voltage that carries little risk of harmful electric shock. However, it is always wise to shut off power to a thermostat at the service panel before examining or working on it.

            How long will your home stay warm without power? ›

            The average home will stay warm for 8-12 hours after the power goes out. After the first 8-12 hours, most homes will experience a gradual cooling over the course of the next couple of days.

            How much should I pay to install a thermostat? ›

            The average cost to install a thermostat is $250. Of this cost, the unit costs about $50 to $170, while labor costs are usually $80 to $200. Ideally, HVAC service technicians are the ones that install thermostats at a rate of $75 to $150 per hour for labor.

            How many smart thermostats do I need? ›

            For most homeowners, a single Nest thermostat will be sufficient and will allow you to control your entire home either via the thermostat or the app. However, if you already have more than one thermostat, or want greater control, then it's worth considering how many Nest thermostats you need.

            Can I get a smart thermostat for free? ›

            On-Going Seasonal Savings

            With the instant rebate and the time-of-use enrollment, most smart thermostats on the market are greatly reduced in price or outright free. With the combined savings, you could get the basic Google Nest or Amazon Smart Thermostat for free.

            Do I need a professional to change my thermostat? ›

            It may seem like a straightforward heating repair, and installing a new thermostat yourself can save you money. But proper installation and calibration should be left to the professionals. A certified HVAC technician can install the thermostat and check the operation in all modes.

            How do you tell if you need a new thermostat in your house? ›

            Signs You Need a New Thermostat
            1. Heating or cooling system will not turn off or on.
            2. The temperature reading is incorrect.
            3. Recent spike in your energy bill.
            4. Frequent temperature fluctuations.
            5. Thermostat is 10 years old or older.
            5 Dec 2017

            What happens if you don't change your thermostat? ›

            The thermostat helps the coolant cool down so the engine will not overheat. If the thermostat remains open, however, the coolant will continually move through regardless of whether it is hot or not. This will cause a cold engine, which can cause mechanical issues with the car.

            What is the most cost efficient thermostat setting? ›

            According to Energy Star, the most efficient temperature range is 70-78 degrees Fahrenheit, with 78 being the best. If you are used to having your home much cooler than that, consider adjusting your thermostat incrementally over a period of weeks until you are used the higher temperature.

            What is the cheapest most efficient way to heat? ›

            As a general rule, heating your home with a natural gas furnace is the cheapest way to keep warm through the winter months. Electricity is usually significantly more expensive than gas, so even the most efficient heaters will be a bigger drain on your pocketbook than a traditional furnace.

            Should you close doors in unused rooms? ›

            People commonly suggest closing doors in unused rooms to make a room warmer, but this can harm your HVAC unit. Optimal airflow circulates throughout the entire home evenly, and closed doors act as a barrier. When you close off an entrance, much like blocking a vent, your system cannot do its job properly.

            What is the most efficient temperature to keep your house at in the winter? ›

            The ideal thermostat temperature in the winter is 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you're at home. Energy.gov suggests that 68 degrees is a good room temperature while you're awake at home but recommends lowering it while you're asleep or away.

            Is installing smart thermostat worth it? ›

            Smart thermostats have been widely available for more than a decade now, and the consensus is clear: Yes, smart thermostats can be a worthwhile upgrade for many heating and cooling systems, trimming your utility bills while keeping your home comfortable.

            How can I heat my house for free? ›

            10 step guide to keep your house warm without heating
            1. Rejig your furniture. ...
            2. Use a terracotta heater. ...
            3. Invest in insulation. ...
            4. Think about your habits. ...
            5. Put a shelf above a radiator. ...
            6. Bleed your radiators. ...
            7. Analyse any draughts. ...
            8. Block your chimney up.
            26 Aug 2022

            What is the cheapest way to heat your home in 2022? ›

            Gas boiler

            It's not as cost-effective without solar panels, but a gas boiler is still the cheapest way to heat your home – though that's set to change soon, with the cost of gas rising more than twice as quickly as electricity.

            Is electric heating cheaper than gas 2022? ›

            Natural Gas On Average Is Cheaper

            In our analysis below, we find that on average natural gas heat costs $9.2 per million BTU (MMBTU) compared to electric heat at $34.9 per MMBTU. That means natural gas heat only about a third of the price of electric heat over a year for a home.

            Does turning the heat on and off cost more? ›

            Is it better than leaving it on steadily? ANSWER: Turning your heat on and off is not cost effective, since your system will have to work extra hard for extra long to get the temperature back up.

            What's the most efficient way to heat a house? ›

            Heat pumps are the most efficient way to heat just about any enclosed space, they're quiet and comfortable, they lower your heating bill significantly, and they double as an air-conditioning system in the summer. When it comes to old homes, though, heat pumps shine even brighter.

            Is it cheaper to run an electric heater or central heating? ›

            Overall, for heating the same space, an electric heater costs more than twice as much as using central heating. However, electric radiators can be more cost effective if you're just heating a small room.

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