Home automation is the latest trend and it makes perfect sense that it should be. After all, this is the year 2015, when online connections and Wi-Fi networks are readily available to most middle income earners. And since most such people are busy professionals, it is absolutely reasonable for them to want to come back home to a perfectly heated home. However, as is the case with most other electronic gadgets out there, sometimes the range of choices can get a bit overwhelming. This is why today’s post is a guide meant to help you sail through the options and decide which smart thermostat is the right one for you. We’ve ranked the best of the best below, based on temperature control, energy management, design, setup, and support.
1. Honeywell Lyric Thermostat [$229]
The Honeywell Lyric thermostat is probably your best bet, when it comes to finding the right programmable device. It’s averagely priced and comes with great customer support feature. In fact, Honeywell lives up to its name in this sense, since they’ve been acknowledged for this quality for quite a while now. It’s impeccably designed (another Honeywell staple), and does a great job at managing your home’s energy resources and controlling temperature. It supports up to three stages of heating and works well with most HVAC units available on the market at the moment. It also has a feature that determines the optimal temperature based on humidity and the weather outside. The only negative aspect to the Lyric Thermostat is that its app may prove a bit difficult to use, especially for those who are not exactly technology literate.
2. Nest Learning Thermostat [$249]
The Nest Learning Thermostat was actually one of the first products in its category to emerge on the market, as early as the end of 2011. Here was a product that combined home security with automation, all with environmental protection in mind. By far the most unique aspect about this thermostat, which actually comes with a higher price than the Lyric Thermostat, is that it will come to learn your preferences in time – hence its straightforward name. It’s well designed and comes with a great help and support team; there’s really just one snag to it, which detracts from its potential and has it pegged at number 2 on our list. It has a two year warranty, which is shorter than the industry average.
3. Ecobee3 [$249]
The Wi-Fi-ready Ecobee3 thermostat will give you a hint as to what its manufacturer’s priorities are. This is a company that is genuinely cares about protecting the environment and this is also easily noticeable from the design and features of its flagship programmable thermostat. The Ecobee3 comes with not 3, but 4 temperature control stages. It also has a remote sensor, which will allow you to better manage the energy expenditure of your home heating system. The central user interface has a slightly different design from that of most other products in the same category, but this is not to say that it is at all worse. It’s simply in a league of its own in this respect. The only problem with this otherwise great thermostat is that it does not provide geofencing support (i.e. changing the temperature in your home based on the location of your home).
4. Radio Thermostat CT-80 [$169.99]
Unlike the previous three entries on our list, this one comes from a less known brand. However, it performs so well in most respects that we just had to include it. With it, you have complete control over your home environment and the device is also Wi-Fi ready. It can also be programmed via the user-friendly interface and, although it comes with a lower number of thermostat sensors than the other contenders in this chart, it still provides great temperature control in three distinct stages. It also supports geofencing, which can be adjusted to best suit your needs. However, just like with the Nest Learning thermostat, there’s a problem in terms of warranties with this device. Its manufacturer only offers buyers a one year guarantee.
5. Ecobee Smart Si [$159.54]
Unlike the Lyric Thermostat from Honeywell and most of the other brands on our list, the Ecobee Smart Si comes with no light and motion sensors. In plain English, this means that the thermostat can only be used to adjust your heating and cooling system and does not, in fact, allow you to program other things in your house. Indeed, it does a very good job at this, by collecting data from your specific HVAC systems and adjusting its settings based on it. Also on the plus side, the Ecobee Smart Si thermostat has an awesome mobile app, which has been clearly designed with the consumer in mind. The app and the design of the thermostat’s user interface make this one of the friendliest and easiest to program thermostats out there.