The future is in smart. Everything is smart now. There are smart cars, smart phones, and smart refrigerators. Now we even have smart thermostats for your home HVAC system. They vary widely in price but does it really matter which one you purchase and have installed in your home? I went to Lowes to look at a few of the more popular models to find out.
One of the most popular smart thermostat brands is the Nest Nest Learning Thermostat by Google. Although this is a Google product it will work with Apple computers and devices. It is called a “learning thermostat” for a reason. Let’s say that you turn the air conditioner down every night before you go to bed at 11pm. This thermostat will notice this and turn the air conditioner down for you at 11pm without you having to tell it to. Like all smart thermostats, the Nest can be controlled remotely from any smart phone or device. It also will tell you if there is any maintenance needed on your air conditioning or heating systems. Monitoring energy usage and costs is another aspect of this smart thermostat. Additionally, it can be connected to the Nest Protect and turn off the natural gas to the home if CO2 is detected. The Nest Protect is sold separately but this could be a lifesaving measure in the event of a fire or gas leak. The Nest thermostat is an attractive round shape with a color coordinated screen. The screen detects the presence of people and lights up when they approach. It makes the claim that it can be connected to most Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems. What I find fascinating is that this particular smart thermostat has over 7,000 reviews and not one review under 4 stars. The cost for a Nest Nest Learning Thermostat is just under $250.
The Honeywell T9 Smart Thermostat can do almost everything that the Nest can do but it costs about $100 less. It is compatible with android and iPhone. The Honeywell system also can learn your schedule and adjust the temperature of your home accordingly. This model has the bonus of having room sensors, which are sold separately, so that you can set the temperature of your house in such a way that it keeps individual rooms comfortable. Some homes do not heat or cool down evenly. This means that one area of the home might be hot while the other is cold. With the added room sensors, you can keep your home evenly comfortable. There is no mention of being able to shut of your gas or monitoring CO2 levels. This device is rectangular, white, and sports a large display screen with different colors. It also claims to be compatible with most heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems. However, this model cannot be connected to humidifiers or dehumidifiers. There is also a link to the Honeywell website so that a prospective buyer can make sure that their system will work with this smart thermostat prior to purchase. The reviews for the Honeywell T9 smart thermostat are good with 4.5 stars out of 5 with over 70 people having reviewed it. Just make sure that it will work with your HVAC system before buying it.
The Ecobee with Voice Control smart thermostat is another option. The Ecobee is in the same price range at the Nest. This smart thermostat connect directly with Alexa in addition to all smart devices. Like the others, it will learn your habits and adjust the temperatures of your house based on past adjustments. However, the Ecobee has an added bonus in that it also can sense where you are in the house and will work to keep that room of the house comfortable. It also can be connected to a room sensor, like the Honeywell system. However, unlike the Honeywell system, the Ecobee comes with one room sensor. The thermostat itself is square with very rounded corners. It has a black display screen that is much more subtle than the previous models in my list. And, as the name of the product indicates, this smart thermostat is voice control. You can just tell the thermostat to turn up, turn down, turn off, or change from anywhere in the house. This unit has been reviewed by over 100 people and also warrants a rating of 4.5 stars.
Lastly, we have the QuietWarmth Digital Programmable Thermostat. This device is not a smart device in the way that the others are. It does not work remotely from an android or iPhone. Instead, it connects to the Wifi system of your home. If you are in range of your Wifi system, you will be able to control this thermostat with your phone or other smart device. This thermostat also makes no mention of being able to learn your schedule. However, you are able to set up a schedule for it to keep. There is surprisingly little information on the Lowes website as to the capabilities of this thermostat. However, it does specifically mention that it works well with radiant heated floors and has sensors specifically designed for this purpose. The casing is white, rectangular, and looks much like a late model mp3 player. It has a digital touch screen for adjusting the settings. There is no mention of compatibility with any HVAC system other than heated floors. There are also no reviews of this system yet. The price tag is just under $330, making this QuietWarmth thermostat the most expensive smart thermostat in my listing.
The smart thermostat for you will depend on your preferences. Even more importantly, it will depend on what is compatible with your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. The home system you use is also important to consider. Regardless of your choice, all smart thermostats will work best when installed by a professional. It would be a shame to pay hundreds of dollars for a smart thermostat, and not be able to use it to its full potential, simply because of a small error.