Integrated platform that works with Alexa offers unrivaled voice commands. Presents information in a very clear format.
One of the most expensive options around.
Easy to set up and work. Can connect with personal assistant devices like Alexa for voice control over the wireless connection.
Lacks some convenience features other units have.
Optional pack of two units makes the buy more economic than buying individual thermostats. Read out is clear to see in various conditions.
Installation without help can be complicated.
Excellent app integration allows you to control the temperature straight from your phone. Interface is easy to see and use.
Reliability is questionable in the event of a power failure.
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Sometimes it can seem like manufacturers are willing to add WiFi to just about anything, from your front door to your refrigerator. The “smart home” revolution brought a wave of WiFi-enabled products – often referred to as the “internet of things,” or IoT gadgets – but one stands out above all the rest: WiFi thermostats.
WiFi thermostats can dynamically monitor your home’s temperature and make changes based on conditions. For example, if your WiFi thermostat notices you’re not home during the day, it will then use less of your heat or air conditioning unit while you’re gone. What’s more, most WiFi thermostats come with a companion smartphone app, so you can create schedules, monitor your home’s temperature remotely, or just change the temperature, all from the comfort of your phone. Most WiFi thermostat owners like the cost savings they enjoy – and they absolutely love the convenience a WiFi thermostat offers.
At BestReviews, we want to equip shoppers with the information you need to make purchasing decisions – from the brands to avoid to the right amount to spend. Read our shopping guide on WiFi thermostats, and then when you’re ready to buy, check out the grid above to see our most recommended models.
Every WiFi thermostat comes with the same basic functionality – it can change the temperature and make adjustments to consume fewer resources and save you money. But the real fun of a WiFi thermostat is in the bonus features, the innovations that turn these devices from a “nice to have” to a “must have.” Here are the features we like the best.
App control: While it may seem rather basic, some WiFi thermostats don’t have an app for your smartphone, so any interaction has to be done manually. Buy a WiFi thermostat that has an app, and make sure to get one that allows you to use that app to adjust the temperature even when you’re not in the house.
Easy scheduling: Programming thermostat schedules isn’t anything new, but it’s a pain on traditional thermostats. Most WiFi thermostats have a clear, easy-to-use interface that allows you to set your perfect temperature schedule. Some will even send notifications to your phone when a change is being made or when there’s a problem.
Digital assistant compatibility and voice control: It’s nice to be able to control a WiFi thermostat with your smartphone, but it feels downright futuristic to change the temperature with a voice command. Most WiFi thermostats support Amazon’s Echo service and Google Home, so if you’re already close with your digital assistant, you’ll love it even more when it can maintain a perfect temperature.
All features, no fluff
Emerson’s WiFi thermostat marries modern conveniences like app support with the old-school charm of LCD menus and giant tactile buttons. We love that it includes support for the major digital assistants (like Amazon’s Alexa), and the price tag make it a bargain that’s hard to resist.
Not all homes are good at maintaining a single, consistent temperature. In fact, some homes have one or two rooms that run a little cooler or hotter than the rest, which can present a challenge for thermostats because most only have only one temperature sensor located directly on the unit itself.
Enter the WiFi thermostat room sensors. These handy “satellites” for a WiFi thermostat tell it how cold or warm it is in a different room in the house. WiFi thermostat room sensors are perfect for anyone with a problem area or a thermostat located in an area that’s warmer or colder than the rest of the house.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that WiFi thermostat room sensors aren’t a cure-all: these devices will help the thermostat know what the temperature is like elsewhere, but a single-zone heating, venting, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit will still only be able to make the house one temperature. If you need to keep different areas of your home two separate temperatures, you’ll need a multi-zone HVAC system. Multi-zone systems are most commonly found in large houses, mansions, and commercial buildings.
Most WiFi thermostats require you to register an account online so you can take full advantage of the usage reporting. To save time, set up an account on your thermostat manufacturer’s website to avoid interruptions during installation.
Check if your WiFi thermostat manufacturer supports two-factor authentication for extra security. When enabled, you can use your smartphone as a secondary validation tool, preventing anyone who has your password from gaining access.
You don’t have to spend a lot to get a good WiFi thermostat, but there are definitely some worthy perks to spending more. Keep these price ranges in mind when shopping for a WiFi thermostat.
Between $75 and $149
At this price, you’re likely to see WiFi thermostats that have the right core features but are missing some of the polish of more expensive models. If you need a WiFi thermostat but don’t care how it looks or what the smartphone app is like, you can pick up a solid model for a modest price.
Between $150 and $199
WiFi thermostats in this price range blend amenities like color screens and intuitive menus with smart technologies that adapt to your daily habits. These thermostats are an outstanding value, and some even include additional room sensors.
Between $200 and $300
In this price range, you’ll find WiFi thermostats that are part smart-home appliance, part conversation piece. Eye-popping designs also come with luxuries like automatic usage reports and proactive notifications if there’s ever a problem.
The hottest thermostat available
Google’s Nest line of smart home products dominates the market but lives up to the hype. Nest thermostats are famous for their simple menus, comprehensive smart features, and elegant physical designs. Perhaps best of all, these thermostats also regularly send email reports so you can gauge your usage habits. Nest thermostats can be a challenge to install, but these devices are worth it.
If you use a digital assistant with your WiFi thermostat, enable parental controls. Being able to change the temperature with a single voice command is pretty cool, but you should take steps to prevent any mischief or accidents and enable parental controls. With parental controls in place, only the adults you specify can interact with your WiFi thermostat.
If you own other smart home products (such as Nest), consider the additional value in buying a compatible WiFi thermostat of the same make. Brands like Nest often have an entire family of smart home products, and not surprisingly, they all work especially well with one another. For example, with a security camera and thermostat, you can create a rule to turn down the thermostat and turn on the cameras when you leave the house. While it’s possible to integrate devices from different manufacturers, it’s never nearly as convenient.
Q. How much money can I expect to save with a WiFi thermostat compared to a traditional thermostat?
A. How much your heating and cooling bills are affected by a WiFi thermostat will depend on the amount of space you have and the age of your existing HVAC unit, as well as your local climate. However, in most cases, homeowners report their heating and cooling bills can go down as much as 20% when using a WiFi thermostat.
Q. How can I tell how many thermostat zones are in my home?
A. Some homes have multiple HVAC “zones,” or areas that can maintain separate, unique temperatures. For example, an especially large house might have a temperature zone for each floor. The majority of homes are single zone, meaning the HVAC system heats or cools the entire dwelling to a single temperature. If you’re not sure how many zones your home has, count the thermostats. The number of thermostats in your home will typically equal the number of zones your HVAC unit supports.
Q. Can I install a WiFi thermostat by myself?
A. Most WiFi thermostats are designed to be relatively easy to install by just about anyone, but unless you have experience with thermostat installation, we recommend hiring a licensed professional. Not every home is the same, so depending on the age of your house, you could find yourself in a situation not covered by the manual. Go the safer route and contact a local HVAC contractor, and don’t risk the health of your home’s heating and cooling system.
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