One of the cornerstones of smart home automation is the ability to intelligently control the temperature in every room of the house.
Whether you’re totally new to the smart home technology scene or have already been bitten by the home automation bug, if you don’t yet own a smart thermostat but are considering taking the plunge, there can be a lot to decipher when it comes to finding the best smart heating controller for your home and your needs.
Perhaps more than any other connected devices in your home ecosystem, the best smart thermostats can make a serious difference to your life, both in terms of comfort and convenience, and through financial cost savings.
Take full command over the climate of your home with our comprehensive guide to the very best smart thermostats for the interconnected interior space.
What are Smart Thermostats?
The best smart thermostats offer a wide range of features that move the realm of home heating away from traditional heat controllers and into the world of connected smart home technology and the internet of things.
You’re probably all too familiar with the standard ‘non-smart’ thermostat of old – white, plain, non-descript.
The basic premise of this kind of heating controller was for you to manually set the desired temperature on the device which the system would then heat up to reach, before switching off and maintaining at the new level.
There was the ability to manually program in a couple of timed temperature settings and preferred heating ranges, but that’s about as far as things went in terms of technical abilities.
Some of the best smart thermostats on the market today are looking to fundamentally change the way that your home is kept warm and dare we say it, they’re actively looking to make home heating cool again.
The defining characteristics of smart thermostats include the ability to control your heating remotely using a smartphone, tablet, remote control or your voice, to integrate the process of heating your internal space with other connected smart devices in your home, and to offer the ability to program both time-based and ‘reactive’ settings into your thermostat, allowing the temperature of your home to react to the way you actually live day by day.
More than this though, the best smart thermostats are able to ‘learn’ from your behaviors and regular heating habits, meaning that your home heat controller can actually begin to anticipate the rhythms of your home life and anticipate the most appropriate temperature for the home given the time of day, time of year, and based upon who in your household is home
Integration with services such as IFTTT allows you to take the functionality of a smart thermostat even further, using what IFTTT call ‘Recipes’ to effectively program your thermostat to react in a certain way in response to external actions. These can range from telling the thermometer to turn on if the forecast has cold weather in store,
Smart thermostats not only offer the awesome ability to radically alter the way you heat your home – both directly or through the device learning and automating the task by itself – but also represent a turning point in energy efficiency and financial cost savings, optimizing the temperature of your home in a way which is beneficial both economically and environmentally.
Smart Thermostat Benefits and Features
All thermostats offer the baseline ability to program at least one timing and temperature setting into your home heating schedule that will be activated and maintained by the device based upon what you input into the system.
This remains true for all smart thermostats as well, but even for the entry-level and budget offerings, you can also expect the ability to activate, control and adjust your heating via an app or using your voice through a controller like the Amazon Echo or Google Home.
The best smart thermostats take this a step further of course, allowing additional functionality that leaves the old school of home heating controllers in the dust with features such as the ability to ‘learn’ your heating preferences and even to adjust the temperature by room, automatically through the use of external sensors.
As mentioned, one of the key differences between the best smart thermostats and the systems of old is the ‘intelligence’ designed into the new breed of smart devices. By interfacing with other smart devices in your home ecosystem, the best smart heating controllers are able to ‘know’ when you’re home or have left for work in the morning and will react accordingly.
This level of smart communication can also be utilized with services such as IFTTT allowing you to do things like have your heating automatically adjust based upon temperature changes outside.
In short, all of this means that the best smart thermostats on the market today are looking to make the way you control the temperature in your home easier, more efficient, more cost-effective than ever before.
The age of the smart thermostat has arrived.
The Best Smart Thermostats
We’ve turned up the heat on some the best smart thermostats out there to bring you what’s hot in the world of smart temperature control.
When it comes to understanding your home heating habits, the Ecobee3 is one of the best smart thermostats on the market.
This smart heating controller intuitively knows when to heat or cool your home based upon factors including the unique energy profile of your house, the current weather outside as well as other metrics.
The Ecobee3 has been shown to save the average homeowner around 23% annually and the intelligence of the system means it knows if and when anyone is home (and in which rooms), keeping you comfortable when the home is occupied, and saving you money when it’s not.
Looking to keep things cool with your voice? The Ecobee3 has you covered there too with Alexa integration for voice recognition and interfacing.Learn More About the Ecobee3 Here
A well-known face in the field of smart home technology, Nest’s 3rd generation Learning Thermostat is as beautiful to look at and use as it is intelligent when it’s doing its thing.
With a whole host of automated features, the Nest Learning Thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature of your home when you’re away and learns your heating habits, meaning that after a while it will eventually program itself based upon your usage.
Among the host of amazing features on the Nest device is the option for reaching an optimal energy efficiency temperature which the thermostat displays as the ‘Nest Leaf’ on the display, helping to let you know when your heat controller is acting green.
Easy to set up and use, you can install and activate the thermostat in around 30 minutes from getting it out of the box – perfect.Learn More About the Nest Learning Thermostat Here
The Sensi is a particularly strong contender for the prize of ‘smartest thermostat’ due to the sheer number of heating systems it’s able to work with.
Designed to operate with most gas, oil, geothermal, heat pump and radiant heat systems, the Sensi thermostat has almost all heating eventualities covered.
Once installed, simply connect the device to your smartphone using the companion app and you have a fully connected remote controller for your smart home heating system – set, change and schedule heating wherever you are from the convenience of your phone.
Oh, and the Sensi Thermostat works with Alexa for voice control, so hands-free heating, coming up!Learn More About the Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat Here
Honeywell are well known in the traditional thermostat field and their latest entry into the smart thermostat arena is no exception.
This thermostat allows remote access via a computer, smartphone or tablet to control the temperature from anywhere.
The device not only controls the indoor temperature but also displays humidity levels and allows for a programmable mode to maximize energy savings.
We also love how the full color display can be customized to match the interior color scheme of your home.Learn More About the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat Here
The ZEN thermostat allows for perfect connectivity to your smart home setup and is compatible with SmartThings, SwannOne and Almond+ rigs.
With this smart thermostat installed, staying comfortable is super-simple while the beautifully unique and striking LED display makes it crystal clear what temperature the thermostat is currently set to.Learn More About the ZEN Smart Thermostat Here
The latest smart thermostats make intelligent home heating a breeze and if you’re thinking of making the switch to an automated heat controller with smart specs, take a look at some of our recommendations to find the coolest solution for all of your smart home temperature needs.