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Smart thermostats have become all the rage with modern homeowners.

Forget about the traditional thermostat where you have to be physically in front of it to turn it on, off, and set timers. Plenty of people forget to turn off their thermostats before leaving the house, which makes the heating bills soar high.

Smart thermostats change the way we view access to our home’s HVAC systems. They let you set an optimum temperature while learning your routine. They can learn when you turn in at night, and when you leave the house in the morning. This way, it can turn off heating when you are away and on when you are close to home.

A smart thermostat lets you control heating and cooling from anywhere in the world.

In Short

If you just want to pick the best and be on your way, ecobee4 Smart Thermostat is the best of our top choices. It works with Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit, IFTT, Wink, Logitech, and other smart systems. The ecobee4 also comes with a room sensor that measures occupancy for optimum temperature in the rooms that matter.

If you appreciate straightforward design, you might like the Nest Thermostat E. It is a smart thermostat that requires the least programming and using it is straightforward. It is not only appealing in style but also cheap and functional.

1. Ecobee4 Review "Smart Thermostat with Room Sensor and Built-in Alexa "
  • Works with sensors to maximize room comfort
  • Measures room occupancy, humidity, and temperature
  • Works with iPhones, Androids, and Apple Watch
  • Amazon Alexa is built in
  • Turns automatically to right mode to conserve energy
  • Installs in less than half an hour
  • It has some trouble hearing over ambient noise
  • Some Alexa skills are disabled on ecobee4
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Ecobee4 is perhaps the smartest thermostat out there. It not only has Amazon Alexa built in, but it also comes with a room sensor. We suggest getting a sensor for every room you use.

Design and Functional Features

Like the ecobee3, this thermostat comes in the shape of a rounded black square that looks the part in a modern or traditional home. Coupled with a sleek touchscreen and blue light that lights up when Alexa is listening, it is sure to fit among your other smart devices.

Ecobee4 is iOS and Android compatible. The LCD touch interface allows you to schedule the time when your HVAC is supposed to work. It is nice to see that the interface functions identically as the app. The unique thing about ecobee4 is that you don’t have to leave the couch or pull your phone from your pocket thanks to Alexa voice controls.

It’s like having an Amazon Echo Dot without paying anything extra.

Ecobee4 has a set of far-field microphones and a speaker at its back. It can hear you clearly when tucked in the hallway between rooms that can drown your voice. Not to mention all the other Alexa skills like listening to the news, getting a recipe read to you, and many more.

Another excellent feature is the room sensors. When you have a couple of them in different rooms of the house, ecobee4 regulates the temperature in those rooms, making it balanced. This means that you can avoid hot and cold spots that show up with low-quality thermostats.


Once it is set up, the ecobee4 does an impressive job of controlling your HVAC system using the set schedules or geofencing. It allows you to get the correct temperature in different rooms. It also lets you personalize your requests using its website dashboard.

Besides Alexa, ecobee4 also supports Apple Homekit, Google assistant, Cortana, IFTTT, Vera, Control 4, and more. Despite the many choices, we suggest you use the ones that have a good track record – Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. This is because not many products are working with other smart systems. But, Apple Homekit is right around the corner and catching up.

Installing ecobee4

It takes around half an hour to install the ecobee4 even if you have never installed a thermostat before. It comes with detailed instructions and a power extender kit if your system needs one.

Since ecobee4 is hardwired, it does not require batteries or HVAC equipment to get its power.


There is still a catch when using Alexa since you cannot change the wake word from Alexa. Also, it does not allow you to send or receive messages or play music from third-party apps like Spotify and Pandora. Even if you get it to play some music, it does not have decent enough sound for it to be enjoyable.


If you are looking for something more exceptional than Nest, ecobee4 is the thermostat for you. Seeing that it works with room sensors, it is much more functional in homes where there are hot and cold spots. Alexa built into ecobee4 allows it to be more than just a thermostat. It is your ideal choice home and away.

2. Nest Thermostat E Review "Best Nest Thermostat on a Budget "
  • Learns your schedule
  • Controls on the thermostat are identical to the app
  • Simple on-screen instructions for a simple setup
  • Simple to program
  • Gives you an energy report
  • Remotely controlled on an app
  • Does not work with Apple Homekit
  • The frosted display lacks far sight features
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Nest Thermostat E does not only save you energy, but also cash since it does not cost a considerable chunk of money. It is ideal for every homeowner as it is a learning thermostat that needs the least input from you.

Design and Functional Features

At nearly $80 less than the Nest Learning thermostat, E has definitely seen some changes but not in functionality. You will notice that this thermostat has plastic parts, and a has a low-resolution screen. But, with the off-white, frosted display, we bet you will love how it looks when you replace an old, traditional thermostat.

Nest E has inbuilt sensors that allow it to adjust temperatures according to the home’s occupancy. It will switch to the energy saving mode once it senses no one is, home which in turn saves you heating and cooling costs.

This thermostat comes with a default schedule which works as soon as it is set up. You can change the settings manually and using the Nest Sense. Nest E will learn your routine and act accordingly. It is easy for it to adjust temperatures without your input.

Using the Nest app, you should be able to set temperatures from anywhere. Whether you are vacationing or stuck in traffic, you can make the necessary changes from your phone, tablet, or even a laptop.

If you want to control Nest E with your voice, you can do it via Amazon Echo and Google Home. This means it can integrate with these systems making it easy to work along with other smart devices. Unfortunately, it does not work with Apple Homekit.

Performance and Installation

Nest’s geofencing capabilities are just excellent. Whenever you leave the house, it will know you are not home and tune down the heating. Using Nest sensors, that you have to buy separately, Nest E will also detect home occupancy. This feature gives it the freedom to cool and heat your home without relying on your phone’s location.

Nest E is compatible with lots of HVAC systems but not all of them. You will want to check on their website whether it is compatible with yours.

Nest E comes with clearly marked connector ports. It has fewer terminals, only six, which means it will not work with as many HVAC systems like the Nest Learning. You will need to create a new Nest account if you don’t already have one. Fortunately, Nest E has easy-to-navigate instructions for smooth configuring from the very start.


Nest E does not work with high-end and complicated multi-stage HVAC systems. It is also limited to Google Home and Amazon when integrating with voice assistants.


Nest Thermostat E is affordable but still gives you full efficiency when working with a compatible HVAC system. It is easy to install, set schedules, and control in and out of the home.

3. Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat Review "7-Day Programmable (RTH6580WF): Best Cheap "–Day-Programmable-Thermostat--262x147.jpg
  • Super easy to install and set schedule
  • Can be remotely controlled
  • Remembers programs when Wi-Fi is off
  • Does not lose schedule during power outages
  • App has detailed features and controls
  • Works with Amazon Alexa
  • It needs a C-wire
  • The thermostat is harder to use than the app and website dashboard
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Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat is a great bargain compared to other more expensive thermostats that offer near-similar functionality.

Design and Functional Features

For half the price of Nest and Ecobee, Honeywell offers remote control from the comfort of your phone through the Total Comfort Connect app. It gives you four different programs to choose for each day in a 7-day schedule.

This is a basic Wi-Fi thermostat as its remote functionality works great on a smartphone, tablet, or website. It has a press-on touchscreen, not like the one you would find on a full-featured thermostat like Nest. You will need to tone down your expectations as it allows you to tweak it using only the four programs.

Fortunately, it will remember your settings when there’s no power, and it will also follow your schedule even when your router is off. Another good thing is that Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat can work with smart systems including Amazon Alexa, Wink, IFTTT, SmartThings, Stringify, and Yonomi.

You can control it using your voice when it’s connected to a smart system of your choice.

Performance and Installation

Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat works as expected. It follows a schedule whether you have Internet or not. After a power outage, it picks off from where it was, and changing schedules is easy on its mobile app.

Honeywell requires a C-wire, which is also the source of power for the thermostat. You may choose to use the fan wire, but it means losing control of the fan, which is not what you want when you need to control the fan independently.


Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat is pretty basic. The C-wire is annoying to most people since it does not have battery backup. It doesn’t have any reminders, and it doesn’t show you the time on its face.


For those not looking for anything fancy, Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat gives you all the functionality you will ever need. It may look a bit dated, but it’s the kind you install and forget. It is simple but helps reduce unnecessary energy expenses.

4. LUX GEO-BL Review "7-Day Programmable Wi-Fi Thermostat with Geo-fencing"
  • It supports geofencing
  • Easy to schedule on the app
  • Three types of power options
  • Sets time and date automatically
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • It is not mandatory to have a C-wire connection
  • Works with only two smart home systems
  • It is large for a smart thermostat
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LUX GEO-BL Wi-Fi thermostats offer a bit more functionality than the basic Wi-Fi thermostat. Though not as advanced as Nest and ecobee, it is a decent consideration if you want to save money.

Design and Functional Features

LUX GEO-BL comes in an attractive design with rounded edges. It is all white except for the grey control wheel that sits on one end of the device. You can install it in a horizontal or vertical orientation according to your liking.

This thermostat offers three power sources. It can be battery-powered using two AA batteries, or you can have it charge itself from your HVAC system using a C-wire. It comes with two AA lithium batteries that need replacing from time to time. If you want to skip changing batteries, it is still possible to power it over a micro-USB connection. You have to supply the USB cable.

Like Honeywell, this model gives you 7-day programmability and two or four schedules for each day. It does not have a touchscreen, so most of the scheduling and changes are done on the app.

LUX GEO supports geo-fencing. After setting the geofencing radius, the thermostat will set the temperature according to your phone’s location. It can be configured to work with multiple phones so that it does not depend on the phone of only one family member.

Apart from geo-fencing, it is possible to voice control LUX GEO using Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Note that this function only works when it is C-wired or powered over USB.

Performance and Installation

LUX GEO is an amazing product. Everything works as LUX intended. It schedules well, sets geofencing and supports Amazon Alexa, as of 2018 perfectly. LUX GEO works with 95% of HVAC systems. From outdated gas furnaces to conventional heat & A/C systems up to 2-stage heat/2-stage cool systems, LUX GEO covers almost everything.

The lack of a touchscreen seems to work for this model as the control wheel is straightforward to use.

When installing this device, you will notice it is as simple as any traditional thermostat. You have to turn off the system and connect the wires to your system, power it up, and you are done. Setup is done on the phone app. It shouldn’t take more than an hour to remove the old thermostat and then enjoy a comfortable home with LUX GEO.


If you opt a USB connection, you have to contend with a cable sticking out, which is not as aesthetically appealing compared to other thermostats. It is also limited to Alexa and Google Home systems, and will not work with Apple Homekit.


LUX GEO is a basic Wi-Fi thermostat that uses geofencing and works without a C-wire. It is best for two-wire systems and can be powered using a USB connection or two AA batteries. It follows a recurring cooling and heating schedule which needs the least input from you.

5. Honeywell Lyric T5 Review "Wi-Fi Smart: Best Value for Apple Homekit "
  • Allows creating of custom 7-day schedules
  • Neat app for simple scheduling and management
  • Works with Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant
  • It has impeccable support from Honeywell
  • Automatically runs the set schedule
  • Geofencing works correctly
  • It’s too thick to appeal to smart home enthusiasts
  • Does not have humidity and occupancy sensors
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Honeywell Lyric T5 is $100 less than the more expensive options, but it works with Apple Homekit. You can control it using Siri. It also supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Design and Functional Features

Aesthetically, Lyric T5 is not the most appealing thermostat. At least not compared to the original Lyric. It is an inch thick, and it has a monochrome touchscreen. That said, it means you won’t be paying more to get a device that stands out.

Lyric T5 can be controlled on the touchscreen and the app. It supports geofencing such that it can turn on the system when you are in proximity of your home and turn it off when you head out. You never have to remember to turn it off every day.

However, Lyric T5 does not have learning capabilities. It will not adjust the temperature settings automatically according to your indoor climate. You have to set a schedule on the app or physically on the device. The menu is a bit crowded. It’s better to perform changes on the app.

We do like that it will give you push notifications such as when to change the filter and when you are experiencing extreme temperature changes. Not to mention that it can work with other smart devices thanks to its support for systems like Apple Homekit, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Performance and Installation

Lyric T5 works really well. It may lack a few features like automatic temperature adjustments, but it is straightforward. Following a schedule is just as we hoped it would be and the geofencing is flawless.

Voice controls are accurate, especially when managing temperature using Siri. It does not have humidity sensors, so do not expect it to work with dehumidifiers and humidifiers.

Lyric T5 is ideal for 24-volt conventional heat pump, air, and steam heating systems. It requires a C-wire, which is a must for it to work. It means you might have to drill additional holes and touch up the paint if you do not already have a C-wire in your current connection.

All in all, it should not take more than an hour to install Lyric 5.


Although the touchscreen is quite large, it has a super bright screen that blurs when you are looking at it from afar. It is also a fingerprint magnet, which makes it harder to use after you’ve touched it many times.


Honeywell Lyric T5 is a budget model that has excellent performance. It is the kind you pick when you want a system that works with Apple Homekit and can turn your HVAC system on and off according to your location. Its Wi-Fi capability makes all the difference when you want a smart and effortless home temperature management system.

6. Nest Learning 3rd Gen Review "Multi-Room Thermostat"
  • Works with other Nest devices
  • Available in four colors
  • Smooth stainless steel dial
  • A bigger and brighter display with far sight
  • Uses sensors to save energy
  • Works with multi-stage HVAC systems
  • Geofencing and Home/Away work perfectly
  • Not compatible with Apple Homekit
  • Remote room sensors for this thermostat are pricey
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Nest Learning thermostat showcases everything you might want in a modern smart thermostat. We’ll be looking at the 3rd generation Nest Learning, which now has a far sensor that displays the temperature and time whenever you enter its room.

Design and Functional Features

This thermostat boasts its cool features like auto-scheduling and learning capabilities. After you have tweaked the temperature and used scheduling a few times, Nest Learning will understand your habits. And, if you allow it, it will auto-adjust the temperature when you are in the house.

Nest Learning has many different sensors. It includes ten temperature sensors, ambient light, humidity, and activity sensors. It is a multi-stage thermostat, so you can expect it to work with 3-stage heating, 2-stage cooling, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, add-ons, and three-speed fans. It is the only thermostat you will need for a high-end HVAC system.

We like the Home/Away feature of Nest Learning since it can detect when you are not in the house and switch to the energy conservation mode. This function works flawlessly because of geofencing. When paired with a Nest room sensor, it becomes even easier to achieve a comfortable home. This is because it can set the temperature according to the needs of a room that needs proper temperature control.

What’s more, this thermostat supports Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT. Nest Learning does not work with Apple Homekit. It can, however, work with other devices including Wink, LIFX lighting, WeMo switches, and Haiku.

Performance and Installation

Nest Learning is feature-packed. Fortunately, every function is designed to work perfectly. From auto-scheduling and geofencing to Home/Away settings, all of its functions are useful. Its ease of use is just amazing thanks to its learning capabilities.

Along with Bluetooth support, Time-to-Temp feature, Sunblock, and having lots of sensors to manage an advanced multi-stage system, it gives you value for the money.

Installing the Nest Learning Thermostat comes easy. You need to connect the base to your system using the current wires, and then you click the display onto the base. You may be required to involve a professional if you don’t know how to label the wires, which is a crucial step in the installation process.

After that, Nest Learning introduces you to a simple guide to start it up. You just have to connect it to Wi-Fi, pick a location, and choose the type of system you have so that it can help save energy. After performing the physical Nest installation, the next thing will be to sync it with the Nest app for iOS and Android.


The learning abilities of this thermostat take longer to work in some homes than others. It can also be a complete miss, which can be frustrating, considering most people do not like to keep changing the settings to fit their schedule.


If you don’t mind the price and are looking for a full-featured smart thermostat, Nest Learning 3rd generation will do it for you. Its learning capabilities, temperature sensors, and many other features make for a superior device. It is the only thermostat that can accurately make a home as comfortable as possible.

Smart Thermostat Buyer’s Guide

The best smart thermostat greatly improves the comfort of your home, as well as the budget. But, before you can be smart about heating and cooling your home, you need to know a couple of things.

You could spend countless hours researching smart thermostats on your own, or you could read our short article. We have done the research, so you don’t have to.

Thermostat Basics – The Voltage

Every HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system can be categorized based on the type of power it needs.

  • 110V or 240V: These are high-voltage systems, also known as line-voltage systems. You will find electric furnaces and electric baseboard systems using them.
  • 24V: You know them as low-voltage systems. Most of the split and package systems with gas or oil furnaces use this system. But, you can also find air conditioners, boilers, and heat pumps using the 24V system.
  • Millivolt: This system is used for heaters that don’t need electricity. Gas-fired heaters don’t use a blower fan, so they don’t require a lot of power.

Thermostats need to be compatible with the power that your HVAC system uses. Most of the time you will be using 24V systems, which most of the smart thermostats focus on. But, before you make a purchase, make sure that you’ve got the basics down.

Staged Heating and Cooling – The Influence on Smart Thermostats

Back in the past, heating furnaces operated in one mode. They would either run at full capacity or not run at all – single-stage cooling.

Today, we have different heating and cooling systems. They are important to note because your choice of a smart thermostat depends on them.

  • Single-stage systems: Every HVAC brand makes these systems, so finding a smart thermostat for them is not hard. You will need a single-stage thermostat that comes with two wires. One of them is used for heating, the other for cooling.
  • Two-stage systems: These systems are common, and many smart thermostats support them. Two-stage systems work at around 65% capacity most of the time. On the other hand, when it’s time to heat up a home quickly, they might run at 100% capacity. Smart thermostats created for two-stage systems come with two heating wires and two AC wires. The thermostat uses a temperature sensor to determine whether the first-stage heating/cooling is enough to maintain the desired temperature. If first-stage heating/cooling isn’t enough, then it switches to the second stage.
  • Variable systems: These systems are capable of operating at capacities anywhere between 40% and 100%. They are efficient, quiet, and precise. If you own a variable HVAC system, then you need a variable-capacitysmart thermostat. That type of a smart thermostat is better known as a communicating thermostat.

If you are not sure about your HVAC system, then it is best to call a professional. It is better to remove any doubts that you might have than to purchase a smart thermostat that isn’t compatible with your HVAC system.

Features to Look For In Smart Thermostats

Before you can buy a smart thermostat that will meet your needs, you need to be aware of a couple of useful features. The following features are not a necessity. But, they might save your time and make the experience of using a smart thermostat enjoyable.

  • App control: Would you like to control your new thermostat via Siri and other home assistants? If your answer is yes, look for a smart thermostat that offers you app control. App control makes using the smart thermostat a breeze. So, if you want maximum comfort, find a smart thermostat that allows you to control it with home assistants and/or your smartphone.
  • Learning algorithms: Good smart thermostats learn based on your patterns. They analyze your behavioral patterns when it comes to heating and cooling your house, and then they make the necessary adjustments. Learning algorithms don’t focus only on your behavioral patterns. They also focus on outside information such as humidity and temperature as well.
  • Geofencing: This feature determines whether you are home or away based on your smartphone’s location. It is a useful feature that saves electricity by turning off your HVAC when you are not home, and turning it on when you are home.
  • Automatic temperature change: Good smart thermostats can use your phone to learn more about your behavior. After they have learned your behavior, good smart thermostats will adjust the temperature to fit your needs.
  • Intuitive controls: If you want to use your smart thermostat hassle-free, find a model that has the most intuitive controls. Make sure that the controls are easy to understand, and that they are clearly visible on the display.
  • Filter-change reminder: Good smart thermostats come with a filter-change reminder. This neat feature when your furnace or AC filter needs changing. The reminder works by analyzing the elapsed time since the last filter change.

Are Smart Thermostats Secure?

Since smart thermostats are connected to the Internet, they are susceptible to hacking. But, that’s not a problem that only smart thermostats have to deal with. Every smart device can be hacked, if not protected properly.

So, your smart thermostat is secure as you make it be. Whenever you can, use two-factor authentication. Purchase an anti-virus for your PC and smartphone – most of them are inexpensive. There are some free alternatives out there, but our advice is to go for software that has been around for a long time.

Manage your passwords carefully, and don’t use public Wi-Fi when you are out. Public Wi-Fi is problematic due to being susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks. So, if you don’t trust a network, never connect to it!

Always remember to update your software, since updates fix known bugs and exploits. Secure your router with a password, and do the same with your Wi-Fi connection. Never trust unknown devices. Defend your PC with Malware protection (most of the free malware protection is great).

If you follow our advice, then your smart thermostat and other smart devices will be safer. No device is tamper-proof, but with a little bit of protection, you can make the job harder for would-be hackers, which will force most of them to give up.