The best smart thermostat to cool your home
Smart thermostats allow you to control your AC and cool your home efficiently and cost-effectively by automating your temperature controls. As smart thermostats become increasingly popular additions to modern households and smart home systems, the array of available smart thermostat companies and models is vast, which leads to the question:
Which smart thermostat is best for your home? Read on to find out more about the various features to look for when selecting a smart thermostat to cool your home this summer.
How smart thermostats work
Smart thermostats allow you to monitor and adjust your home’s temperature remotely and schedule your home’s heating and cooling to fit your schedule and lifestyle.
The installation process for smart thermostats is primarily the same as that of traditional models. Still, smart thermostats also come with an application installed on your mobile device, computer, tablet or smart home network device to allow you to make adjustments to your thermostat from any part of your home or while away.
Many remote thermostats also include learning capabilities, which means that once you’ve adjusted your thermostat levels a few times in a day (in the morning, before leaving the house, upon arrival home and before bed), the thermostat will automatically adjust to your routine and preferences.
Key smart thermostat features
Communication and device compatibility
It’s essential to consider your current mobile device and smart home network before buying a smart thermostat to avoid purchasing a device that isn’t compatible with your other devices.
All smart thermostats pair with an application on your smartphone, computer, tablet or other mobile devices. You should ensure that you’ve selected a smart thermostat that’s compatible with your smartphone because you’ll need to install an application to program your smart thermostat. Most smart thermostats, such as the Honeywell Lyric T6 Thermostat, work with both Androids and iOS devices.
You should also ensure that the smart thermostat you purchase is compatible with your existing smart home network. For example, the Emerson Sensi Touch is one of many devices that work particularly well with Alexa/Echo Dot.
Ability to create schedules and algorithms
One of your smart thermostat’s most effective cost-saving features is its ability to adapt to your schedule and lifestyle to control heat in a sensible, energy-conserving manner. You should consider buying a smart thermostat that features the capability to learn from your behavior and adapt its settings to your routine.
Pairing a learning thermostat with compatible motion sensors will allow your device to save you money by learning your schedule. Once your smart thermostat learns your patterns and temperature preferences, it will automatically adjust itself, even when you’re away from home. This will lead to a significant decrease in energy consumption and save you money.
Many smart thermostats, such as the Google Nest, are equipped with periodic in-app reports on energy usage. You can review this data monthly alongside the app’s suggestions for tweaks you can make to your schedule to save on energy costs. Whether you make adjustments to your cooling schedule or not, it’s helpful to access this data because it allows you to make informed decisions about how your consumption and spending habits.
Smart thermostats, which include geofencing features, such as this one from Vine, communicate with your cellphone to sense when you’re approaching home and turn on your AC so that your house is cooled to your desired temperature before your arrival. By waiting until you’re almost home to turn on your AC, a geofencing-equipped smart thermostat can save you money on cooling costs without compromising your comfort.
As with any other device in your smart home system, smart features, compatibility and costs will likely be your primary considerations. However, picking a device that matches other elements in your space will lead to a cohesive overall home appearance.
When selecting a smart thermostat, consider the color palette and finishes of the design elements in the room in which you will place your thermostat. If, for example, you have primarily white finishes in your living room, you might opt for a model which comes in white, such as this one from Honeywell.
Some smart thermostats are also compatible with various wall plates that you can purchase separately to add cohesion to your living space.
The best smart thermostats
Top smart thermostat
What you need to know: The Nest Learning Thermostat is renowned for its user-friendliness, wide array of features and range of device compatibility.
What you’ll love: Works well with Alexa and offers a monthly report on energy usage. Learns and adapts to your schedule to save you money and make your life easier.
What you should consider: This is one of the more expensive options. However, its range of cost-saving features make it a good investment.
Top smart thermostat for the money
What you need to know: An inexpensive smart thermostat that works with most smart home systems and offers a reasonable number of money-saving features.
What you’ll love: Great price. Works with Alexa and offers monthly usage reports. Is easily controlled via the companion app. Works via a set weekly schedule.
What you should consider: Doesn’t include the capability to learn and adapt to your movements, schedule and temperature preferences like learning thermostat models do.
Evelyn Waugh is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.