Table of Contents
What is a smart thermostat?
Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature can require energy use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Smart thermostats connect to your central heating and cooling system in ways traditional thermostats arenâ€™t able. Plus, some smart thermostat also have adaptive technology, also known as advanced learning, which allows a device to remember your behavior and adjust the temperature accordingly in the future. The result is a thermostat that helps you cut energy costs through fine control over heating and cooling, without inconvenience or sacrificing any comfort in your home.
Why buy a smart thermostat?
Thereâ€™s a long list of things that a smart thermostat can do better than a traditional system. They connect to all your other smart devices and control your homeâ€™s climate wirelessly. They allow you to program different temperatures for different days of the week and learn your behavior and make adjustments automatically. And finally, most smart thermostats come compatible with mobile and/or web applications. Giving you insight into your energy usage and home climate in real time and on the go. You can turn your system on or off completely wirelessly, for better savings, comfort, and peace of mind.
What smart thermostat features are important to consider?
Smart thermostats include some added functionality, but theyâ€™re not all created equal. Read below for some important features to understand and consider as you shop.
Wireless features/mobile app
If you want remote control of your thermostat system, a smart thermostat that can connect to your home Wi-Fi and transmit data is your best bet. This feature allows you to control the temperature of your home and understand your energy use in real-time. All from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Some thermostats come with a full touchscreen and a large, colorful display, while others are less bold, with similar functionality. Touchscreens can make using your smart thermostat simple, while some thermostats come with unique physical features to make climate control intuitive and easy.
Smart hub integration
If youâ€™re asking Alexa to play music for you, why not ask her to change the temperature too? Depending on the smart home software you use your smart thermostat may be able to access features such as voice control and alerts that are built into your smart home setup.
Two of the top thermostats on our list, the Nest Learning Thermostat and the ecobee4, have different compatibilities with smart home software. Nestâ€™s product can communicate directly with Google Assistant through a Google Home speaker. While the ecobee4 can link with Siri and Apple Homekit. Both thermostats work with Amazon Alexa, as does the Schneider Wiser Air thermostat.
Uber knows when youâ€™re likely to be heading â€œhomeâ€ and Pandora can pick out the perfect song just for you. Computers these days are able to adjust to your habits – smart thermostats work the same way. After you request temperatures for specific times of the day a few times, smart thermostats with advanced learning will understand your habits and can make the adjustment for you.
Never worry about turning your heating/cooling system on or off again. Geofencing technology can do it for you. A smart thermostat with geofencing technology sets up virtual perimeters around your home. When the technology is enabled, the device will know whether you (or, more accurately, your phone) are in inside or outside the perimeter. This allows the smart thermostat to know when youâ€™re coming home or when youâ€™ve left. Your home will be appropriately cool when you arrive and wonâ€™t waste energy after youâ€™ve left.
If you prefer to keep it simple, youâ€™re in luck. Not all smart thermostats have the more sophisticated advanced learning and geofencing capabilities. Another convenient feature is the ability to set schedules by the days of the week. If youâ€™re gone at the same time Monday-Friday you wonâ€™t need to turn off the thermostat each time you leave your home. With a seven-day schedule feature, you can program the thermostat to turn off while youâ€™re at work and never worry about it again.