do more than manage your home’s heating and cooling schedule. These app-enabled make it possible to adjust your thermostat from your phone whether you’re on the couch, at the grocery store or on vacation — anywhere your phone or mobile device is connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network. Many smart thermostats also work with Alexa, and now too, giving you yet another way to adjust your settings with remote access to your smart home systems.
Some smart thermostat systems also use smart features like a motion sensor to determine if you’re home or away and automatically change the temperature — both heating and cooling — for you, without you having to fiddle with your HVAC system. Others rely on a geofencing radius: Once you get a certain distance from your home, they automatically switch to away mode and then back to home mode when you return. Then there are features like remote sensors, a power extender kit, thermostats that work with existing infrastructures (in other words, that are compatible with) and, of course, thermostats that measure your energy usage so that your home can be more energy efficient. Truly, a smart home thermostat is an energy-saving smart device that’s good for both the environment and your wallet.
Even better, these options offer way more than a programmable thermostat — you want a learning thermostat that gets better at regulating the temperature to suit your preferences.
To accompany these modern features, many connected heating and cooling systems boast innovative designs. From ato a responsive touchscreen, smart thermostats look a lot different than your traditional thermostat. They can also send you smart alerts, sync with the rest of your smart home devices and some even respond to voice commands.
Let’s explore the available options model by model. We’ll highlight what makes each model stand out from the rest and ultimately pick an overall winner of the best smart thermostat from the pack. Here’s a list of smart thermostats we’ve tested recently:
The Ecobee Smart Thermostat is my favorite pick for best smart thermostat available today. Yes, it’s expensive at $249, but it has the performance and features to back it up — especially if you want to talk to Alexa without having to buy an Amazon Echo. If you don’t want or need an Amazon Alexa speaker, the $169 Ecobee3 Lite Wi-Fi thermostat is also a great option. Read our Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control review.