The Best Smart Thermostats: Use Less, Save More
A smart home thermostat is a great way to make your home more energy efficient. We looked at some of the most popular smart thermostats on the market and found the five best smart thermostats. We reviewed them based on their features, energy savings, and costs to help make your search a little easier. See which smart home thermostats made our list below.
Our picks for best smart thermostat
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat - Best Overall
- ecobee SmartThermostat - Best Energy Saver
- Google Nest Learning Thermostat - Best Design
- Honeywell Lyric T5+ - Best Compatibility
- Mysa Smart Thermostat - Best for Baseboard Heaters
How we reviewed smart thermostats
To review each of these smart home thermostats, and other smart home products, we used the following categories to evaluate each brand and compare with the others on our list.
- Mobile app - Can you control the device remotely through a mobile app, and what kind of functionality does the app give you? Is it compatible with other smart devices or systems?
- Energy savings - How much energy can you save by installing this device in your home? We look for products and devices that carry the ENERGY STAR seal for the most-efficient products.
- Installation - Does it offer DIY installation or does it require professional installation?
- Price - How is the product priced compared to other brands and the amount of money you could save on your energy bill?
- Learning capability - Does the thermostat learn your preferences automatically, or do you have to program them yourself?
- Warranty - Does the brand offer a warranty on the thermostat, and how long does it cover your device?
Using these criteria, we came up with our list of the best smart home Wi-Fi thermostats to help you save energy and money.
The Emerson Sensi Touch smart thermostat is both ENERGY STAR certified and includes a top-rated mobile app. It provides smart alerts through the app to keep you up-to-date on any temperature shifts or problems with your system. It also offers humidity tracking to give you a more complete picture of your home's comfort level.
The Sensi Touch works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings systems. It includes everything you need for easy DIY installation, with step-by-step instructions in the app.
Emerson advertises that you could save 23% on your energy usage with the Sensi Touch system. While normally priced at $170, you can currently find it on Amazon for just under $143. It was also selected as the PCMag.com Readers' Choice for best smart home thermostat, and USA Today's Editors' Choice for best overall smart thermostat.
Why buy: The Emerson Sensi Touch offers advanced smart thermostat features and energy savings at an extremely affordable price, and includes a three year warranty. Their top-rated app makes it easy to stay on top of your home's energy use.
The ENERGY STAR-rated ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control is our choice for the best energy saver. This thermostat is the company's next-gen successor to the ecobee4. It's compatible with most popular smart home systems, including Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, AND Samsung SmartThings.
Another huge bonus for the ecobee SmartThermostat is that it comes with Amazon Alexa voice assistant built in, so you can change your temperature settings with voice commands. Your thermostat can serve as a smart speaker, an intercom, and even make phone calls.
It includes an ecobee SmartSensor room sensor with occupancy detection to better adapt to an individual room's comfort needs. Best of all, the ecobee SmartThermostat could potentially save you 23% on your annual energy costs.
Why buy: The ecobee SmartThermostat includes the new eco+ feature. This lets the thermostat automatically learn and adapt to your schedule to heat and cool your home when energy rates are the cheapest, saving you money and reducing the strain on electric grids.
The 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat features an advanced learning system that makes it a "smarter" option than most other brands. With advanced geofencing and learning algorithms, the Nest thermostat learns your habits and creates a fine-tuned cooling and heating schedule suited to you after just a few days.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is also one of the most stylish smart home thermostats out there. Customers can choose from seven different colors and a stainless-steel rim. There is bound to be a Nest that fits your home's interior look. It also has a simplistic display monitor; this feature makes it more attractive than most other brands in the market.
Nest's only downside is that it is not compatible with all smart home setups. If you are planning to use the Google Home app and smart hub, the Nest is perfect. But it may not be compatible with some other brands such as the Apple HomeKit system.
Why buy: The Google Nest Learning Thermostat is the best-looking design of any smart thermostat on our list, and can save you 10-12% on heating as well as 15% on cooling systems, or $130-$145 each year off your energy bill. Read our full review here.
The Honeywell Lyric T5+ Wi-Fi smart thermostat is an affordable and dependable smart product that can help you reduce your energy use and costs. The Honeywell Lyric T5+ comes with a geofencing feature that helps to adjust your home's temperature when it detects that you are not home, using less energy. You can easily adjust the temperatures by changing your "Home" and "Away" settings. It also offers intelligent comfort control to learn your schedule and temperature preferences so it can better calibrate your comfort settings.
When it comes to compatibility, the Honeywell Lyric T5+ works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Cortana, and Siri in Apple HomeKit for full voice control. The Honeywell Home app also allows you to track and control your home's heater and air conditioner remotely, as well as any other connected Honeywell Home gadgets. It also includes an optional power adapter in case your home does not include a C-wire connection.
Why buy: This Honeywell option is great if you are looking for a smart thermostat to do the basics without breaking the bank. The Lyric T5+ is also compatible with many utility rebate programs that reward you for installing energy-saving products.
Unlike the other thermostats on this list, the Mysa smart home thermostat is compatible with baseboard heaters. With the Mysa Smart thermostat, homeowners with high-voltage heating can enjoy the benefits of a smart home approach to saving energy. The thermostat is also compatible with Apple HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
The Mysa thermostat has a geolocation feature to adjust the temperature when you are not home. You can also set it to vacation mode when you are not home for extended periods of time. Mysa also offers a smart thermostat for electric in-floor heating.
Why buy: A Mysa smart thermostat is a good choice for anyone with electric baseboard heating who wants to reduce their energy use. They are the only smart thermostat option on our list that works with high-voltage electric heating, and could potentially save up to 26% off your energy bill. Plus, the thermostat has a very sleek design.
What is a smart thermostat?
Smart home thermostats are the latest way to control the climate of your home.
They connect to your HVAC system to change the temperature of your home, just like a traditional thermostat. However, smart thermostats have a long list of advanced features that allow you to conserve energy and ultimately save money on your electric bill.
With most smart thermostats, you can program your schedule into them so they know how much energy to use when you are at home and when are not. They also offer the connectivity of other smart home devices, allowing you to control and monitor your system remotely using a mobile app. You can also control many of them using voice commands.
Another difference between the smart home thermostats and the traditional thermostats is that some smart thermostats can learn your behavior and adjust your home's temperature based on your habits. This smart feature allows you to save even more money on your electric bill by reducing your home's energy usage.
What features should you look for in smart home thermostat?
All smart home thermostats are not created equal. You should make sure that you are considering an actual smart thermostat versus a programmable thermostat. When comparing smart thermostats, here are some important features to consider
- Smart home integration
- Compatibility with your HVAC system
- Geofencing and remote sensors
- Compatibility with your home's wiring
- Advanced learning capabilities
- ENERGY STAR certification
How much can you save on your electric bill with a smart thermostat?
Smart home thermostats have the potential to help you reduce the amount of energy you use and save you money on your electric bill.
On average, a home's heating and air conditioning costs make up about 45% of your electric bill. The easiest way to cut back on the largest chunk of your energy usage is with a smart home thermostat.
According to ENERGY STAR, the average smart thermostat can save 8% on heating and cooling bills, or around $50 per year. Nest claims that their Nest Learning smart home thermostat can help save between 10% to 12% on heating costs and 15% on cooling costs. Emerson and ecobee claim that their smart thermostat options can reduce your home's energy consumption by 23%.
In addition to installing a smart thermostat, you should also make sure to set the temperature of your home at reasonable levels and ensure your home is in good shape with a home energy audit.
As home automation gets more popular with both manufacturers and consumers, expect smart home thermostats that go beyond the ordinary. We will see smarter, better, and more energy-saving options in the market. Our list of the best smart home thermostats is designed to help you start saving energy at home.
No matter which option you choose, the best smart home thermostats offer flexibility and can help save you money and reduce your energy consumption.
Thomas Noel is the Reviews Editor at EcoWatch.com. An editor and writer, he is passionate about clean energy, smart technology, and eco-friendly products that can make a difference.
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