If you want to control the temperature of your home and retain comfortable levels, a good thermostat is an essential element of your HVAC system. An effective thermostat will keep your home at a desired temperature year-round, and newer thermostat models offer energy-efficient solutions to achieve optimal comfort.
Still, with so many types of thermostats available and even more models from which to choose, how can the average consumer choose the best thermostat for their home? There are certainly multiple factors to consider when selecting a thermostat, but the following descriptions and comparisons can serve as a guide to selecting the best thermostat for your home.
The thermostat chosen for a property can impact the overall HVAC efficiency, while also influencing indoor comfort levels. Before you can select the best thermostat for your home, apartment or business, it’s important to understand the available options. Specifically, there are four basic types of modern thermostats, including:
- Non-programmable thermostats – Considered a traditional type of thermostat, a non-programmable thermostat is adjusted manually to select the occupant’s temperature preference. A non-programmable thermostat model is a good option for property owners who are rarely away from home since manual adjustments are required to control the temperature of the indoor environment.
- Programmable thermostats – Property owners can pre-program a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature during the night or while away from home. Many programmable thermostats feature daily and weekly settings, so property owners and occupants can determine the optimal temperature for their homes based on their weekly comings and goings. By programming the HVAC to operate at more moderate levels while away from the property, homeowners can reduce the wear and tear on the unit while cutting energy bills and repair costs.
- Wi–Fi thermostats – As its name implies, a wi-fi thermostat connects to a wireless network. Users then can access the network via their smartphones, computers, or tablets to remotely control the thermostat’s temperature, making Wi-Fi thermostats also programmable thermostats. The type of thermostat provides extra convenience for HVAC operators since they can override a preprogrammed temperature setting if they plan to return home early. A Wi-Fi thermostat offers an ideal option for property owners who want full control over their home’s temperature settings even when they’re away.
- Smart thermostats – A smart thermostat represents the ultimate technology available to control the comfort of a home. These devices easily integrate with other home automation tools and equipment, and they even learn the property occupants’ living habits to automatically adjust temperatures accordingly. As the smart thermostat recognizes patterns, it stores the information to control the heating and cooling of the property most effectively and efficiently. Some smart thermostats even feature voice controls that are compatible with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Smart thermostats are ideal for tech-savvy property owners who want to achieve ideal indoor comfort.
Choosing a Thermostat
What factors must a property owner consider when choosing the best thermostat option to control their HVAC services? While it can be a difficult decision, the following factors should help narrow down the choices:
- Consider available thermostat features – Do you want a simple thermostat that doesn’t connect to other technology? Or are you more interested in a voice-controlled thermostat or accessing it from a mobile app? Do you want full control over your thermostat, or would you prefer one that learns your habits and adjusts the temperature settings for you? Before shopping for thermostats, it’s important to determine what type and features most interest you.
- Consider HVAC compatibility – While most thermostat models are compatible with common heating and cooling systems, it’s important to check the packaging for exceptions. Particularly when shopping for smart thermostats, it’s key to determine if the model supports your HVAC system. Those with separate heating and cooling systems might even need to install a separate thermostat for each system or for each heating and cooling zone.
- Understand your wiring – Open your existing thermostat to see what kind of wiring you have. While most non-connected programmable thermostats will work with as few as two low-voltage wires, many newer thermostats require a common wire, or C-wire, which provides continuous power for Wi-Fi, displays, and other technology. If unsure about your wiring, it’s best to consult an HVAC technician.
- What is your home’s aesthetics? – Because your thermostat is a feature that likely will be on your home’s wall for a decade or longer, most homeowners want a model that looks good with their décor. Modern thermostats come in a variety of shapes and styles, from a classic round model to a futuristic, glass style. Some models boast large displays, while others have a more conventional appearance. The options are plentiful, so it’s important for a property owner to choose one that looks best in their home.
Best Thermostat Comparisons
Wondering what model of thermostat best suits your HVAC needs? With such an array of options, it can be hard to choose. Before you hit the stores, consider the details about the following top thermostats on the market today:
Ecobee with Voice Control Thermostat
By using the Ecobee Smart Thermostat, users can save 26% annually on their heating and cooling costs. The thermostat features Amazon Alexa voice control, as well as a separate sensor for monitoring the temperature in a specific room. With its smart design, the thermostat can be controlled through its touchscreen, with Amazon Alexa’s voice assistant, or by connecting to a mobile app. Consumers love the thermostat’s sleek and versatile design, while they appreciate the model’s energy consumption tracking and geofencing features that allow it to detect when the home is occupied and adjust the temperature accordingly. The thermostat even can sense and regulate indoor humidity levels.
Google Nest Learning Thermostat
Google’s third-generation learning thermostat features some of the most advanced functionalities available in a modern thermostat. It includes automatic temperature adjustments, energy-saving technology, and voice control capabilities. Users can control the Google Nest Learning Thermostat by twisting its body, speaking to Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant, or by connecting to a mobile app. The smart design is available in multiple metallic finishes, and it’s protected by a 2-year warranty. The Energy Star-certified thermostat offers auto-scheduling based on its learning, and it also sends and receives alerts, reminders, and notifications.
Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Users save money by purchasing the affordable Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat, and the model even promises savings of 23% less HVAC energy. The model is also easy to install, with an estimated installation time of 30 minutes with or without a common wire. The thermostat features a smart design, and users can control it by pressing buttons on the unit, using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, or by accessing a mobile app. Users can program a 7-day schedule, and the Energy Star-certified thermostat features alerts for extreme temperature and humidity changes.
The low-cost Wyze Thermostat is considered one of the best values for a smart thermostat. The model allows multiple users to share access to its controls, and it can detect when the home is unoccupied. While the thermostat is of a rather plain aesthetic, it’s a great option for consumers seeking a straightforward smart thermostat with intuitive controls that are simple to install. While it’s available at a lower price, the thermostat model still boasts features like voice control and geofencing, as well as the aforementioned shared access.
Honeywell Pro Non-Programmable Digital Thermostat
Looking for a basic, non-programmable thermostat to control the climate in your home? Honeywell’s Pro Non-Programmable Digital Thermostat features a backlit digital display for easy visibility and buttons for temperature control. The thermostat is a traditional, non-smart design, and it boasts an impressive 5-year warranty. Consumers who used this thermostat model were happy with its simple, manual temperature controls, as well as its accuracy. The thermostat also can be both hardwired and battery-powered.
Orbit Clear Comfort Programmable Thermostat
With its easy-to-read display and accurate temperature readings, the Orbit Clear Comfort Programmable Thermostat is another favorite among today’s homeowners. The thermostat model boasts a programming feature that allows users to set up to four temperature periods each day. The feature makes this thermostat more capable than a traditional thermostat without the addition of a smart thermostat’s complicated programming requirements. The thermostat is controlled by buttons on its body, and it features a one-year product warranty. Orbit Clear Comfort Programmable Thermostat users appreciate the simple controls and their easy installation.