To be precise. YES! Smart thermostats are worth it, you will thank me later.There are many different options. If you are trying to figure out which is the best smart thermostat, then that may mainly depend on your situation. How many zones there are in your home, etc.
You may be wondering if having smart thermostats is worth all your money. Well, times have changed, and it’s not like a few years ago when Nest owned the game completely. So much has changed and I’m here to tell you all about that
Hopefully, you will get a lot of help from this guide, and it will help you to make your final decision. I will be updating information here regularly so that you have all the latest news.
What is a Smart Thermostat?
They are sometimes referred to as Wi-Fi thermostats while other people refer to them as smart thermostats. Home automation changes the way homes on the planet are controlled.
Smart thermostats allow you to change the temperatures in the home when you aren’t there yourself from the comfort of your smartphone.
Whether you are on vacation on the beach or at work and you would like to check the temperatures of your home. You may want to consider using a smartphone thermostat.
Do Smart Thermostats Save Money?
You may be still wondering why you need to have smart thermostats like Nest. You may have heard that the smart thermostats are programmable and they can also help you to save money. Though all thermostats are programmable, there is something special with smart thermostats that makes them worth and makes them good to have one.
There are several factors that will determine whether a smart thermostat will help you to save money and if they are worth your investment. First of all, you need to consider how long it is going to take for the initial investment you put in them is going to take to pay for itself, how long you are really planning to stay where you are right now and where you need the bells and whistles.
One of the ways that smart thermostats will help you to save money is by installing them yourself. The initial costs of having smart thermostats can be pretty high at times if you get someone come and installs them for you as you will have to pay them. But this should not be the case. Thankfully, there are smart thermostat models like Nest and Ecobee, which are easy to install by yourself if you are up to the task.
I’ve been seeing many people on the Nest forum that say they have been able to install them by themselves in less than 25 minutes, though there are few others who recorded having a hard time installing them.
Ecobee smart thermostats installation is the same, and they have no complexity in installation. This is the beginning part of saving money. Whatever thing you are going to do, just make sure that you read the instructions of the smart thermostats you are installing carefully, and you can grab a friend that is handy to give you a hand.
You can also check some tutorials that are available on youtube to help you in installing them.
You should also install the smart thermostats if you are planning to stick around for a while or if you are planning to move out, then you have to move with them. The few bucks you invest in having smart thermostats is not a huge investment to a homeowner if you consider the other home improvements they have to make.
There are some renters that I have seen on their own smart thermostats though they moved with them in their next apartment. The good thing with smart thermostats is that the longer you own them and use them, the sooner they are going to pay off.
The EPS Energy Star Program has concluded that homes that have programmable or smart thermostats are able to save up to 180% annually on their heating and cooling. This is a very sizable chunk of money.
Though this money-saving can still be made when you are using a simple and more affordable programmable thermostat. If you already have one, having a smart thermostat will not save much more money, but it will have a significant advantage apart from just showing you what you need to optimize in order to save more money.
If you are the kind that religiously turns on your smart thermostats in the home when you come in and then turns them off when you are away, then having the programmable thermostat will be just fine. However, if you don’t have a programmable thermostat or you are the forgetful type that will leave the AC or the heater running all day even when you have left home, then you really need to have one of the smart thermostats to help you save money.
If you are also the type of person that loves to tweak systems to improve them, then you need to have the smart thermostats to help you save money and your energy bills. They will enable you to check obsessively through the mobile app of the smart thermostats to see how much money you are saving and the energy that you are actively using. Then you can use the web app and plot on how much more money you want to save by just adjusting the temperatures with a few degrees.
I was surprised at how cheap I was able to buy my Nest 3rd Generation Thermostat here from the listing on Amazon. I would suggest checking them out and their reviews.
What Are The Benefits of Smart Thermostats?
Reduced Energy Costs:
When you get one of the smart thermostats, they are well known for helping you to reduce your energy costs. This is by adjusting the temperatures in the home automatically depending on the weather in the home regardless of whether you are there, sleeping or away.
Smart thermostats also help in analyzing the heating and cooling patterns for opportunities to help in saving energy in the home. They also help you to create temperatures zones which you can control independently.
EPA’s energy-saving star program say that homeowners save up to 180% per year when they have smart thermostats connected in their home. Assuming that their math is correct, then when you have one of these, it could pay for itself in one year or two.
There is no comfort that you will have to sacrifice for you to have all these energy-saving with smart thermostats in your home. When you get the wifi thermostat in your home, it gets adapted to the schedule by either interviewing you about the habits of your home or by learning from the adjustments that you make on it. Though you can still override these settings and make your own real-time adjustments with internet-connected devices.
When you install the smart thermostats, they will help you to get a comfortable temperature in your home when people are around, and thus it will help you in reducing the energy usage.
Having the smart thermostats also helps you to get helpful maintenance reminder, this is because many people tend to forget. The good thing is that when you have one of these smart thermostats, they will help you in simple maintenance to even more serious heating and cooling issues in your home by sending you a reminder. This will help your system to run smoothly by basing the information on how long the system has run.
Why Should You Buy a Smart Thermostat?
There are key reasons why you should buy a smart thermostat to help you with home heating and cooling. This is because they learn about your environment, and they can then automate setting changes, and this helps homeowners to lower HVAC costs. Here are some reasons why you should have smart thermostats.
The good thing about smart thermostats is that they learn about your heating and cooling preferences then they adjust the settings automatically.
When you have smart thermostats in your home, you get to have access to real-time and all historical data about your system. This is by enabling you to see the real-time energy consumption estimates with the monthly and even yearly data.
Geofencing and Remote Sensing:
Most of the smart thermostats available have advanced sensors that help them to detect when you are in the home. This helps them to detect if you have come home early of you were late to leave home in the morning, and they adjust accordingly. The geofencing capabilities are by sensing how close your smartphone is close to the home.
Home Automation Integration:
Most smart thermostats are able to be integrated with other smart home automation systems like smart light lighting and smart security. This then enables the homeowner to access all their home automation tools from one dashboard.
There are many reasons why you should get a smart thermostat. This makes sense fo anyone. Mainly, from the standpoint of cost-saving which I’m going to delve into in this article.
If that’s not a reason enough to get into t though, then you should consider convenience factor. You can check the temperatures of your home from anywhere and change them when you’re not in the home from the comfort of your smartphone.
This smartphone-controlled thermostats can learn the schedule of your day and can drop and raise the temperatures. This makes them extremely energy efficient on a day to day basis.
If you’re like me then probably you’ve left the AC running all day long while you are away. The good news is that you can set up geofencing and it’ll automatically turn off when you leave the house.
Though smart thermostats are easily installed, there are still many heating companies out there that can do the task for you (for free in some cases), or they would give you a better rate because you have installed one. So you may consider checking your local provider to find out what kind of deals they have.
If you would like to find out more about how to connect your Nest smart Thermostat to Google Home, I have a complete hands-on article here that will take you through the process. If you have an Ecobee Thermostat, be sure to follow the process in this article here.
Are Smart Thermostats worth the cost?
A simple answer to this is YES! They’re worth your investment. Especially considering that the average homes save quite little according to a report by Nest.
If you consider that they are getting a 10-12% savings on heating and 15% savings on cooling, which amounts to about $131-145 savings in a year.
According to readers on Nest Forum, they are making a saving of $10 -20 per month on average.
Ecobee also claims that they are saving their customers an average of 23% per year.
Those are pretty big numbers if you see the big picture. It’s worth your every penny in my opinion! I installed Ecobee 3 Lite thermostats last year in my home, and I saw a $200 savings in my heating bill.
So if you have been asking whether smart home thermostats will save you money, the answer is a resounding YES! Based on all the statistical data I have gathered.
Are smart thermostats secure?
All smart home security, whether about your Amazon Echo or thermostats, are all linked to your router. Which in turn could be a security risk if you don’t know what you are doing.
That being said, there are several ways you can make sure that your smart home network is secure. I would, therefore, suggest you start by reading my article on how you can secure your smart home network and follow what I have suggested.
Will a smart thermostat work with my furnace?
Though every home is slightly different and the heating and air conditioning set up is different. Luckily, there is a smart thermostat that just fits every scenario.
Have you installed a four or a five wire thermostat before? Well, the process should be almost similar. This makes it easy for an average homeowner to install them. You should be careful though; most smart thermostats require a C wire.
I have had a look at a local big box hardware store, and I’ve seen signs that say they don’t need a C wire, but most of them need it.
If still, you aren’t sure about what you want to buy, you may want to consult with your local electrician or any other professional. In most cases, smart thermostats are usually installed with little trouble.
Another way you can workaround getting power for your smartphone controlled thermostat if you don’t have a C wire is by using a standard 24-volt adapter. You can also have a look at one of my article on how to install an Ecobee Thermostat with no C wire.
Which smart thermostat should I get?
There are many different brands of smart thermostats in the market out there right now. Ecobee, Nest and Honeywell just but to mention a few. If you have been figuring out which is the best and fits your home then this is the best part of this article you should read.
When it now comes to choosing the best for you, then you need to consider what you are using as a smart home hub. Are you using Samsung SmartThings? And are you planning on just using Alexa or Google Home for controlling your thermostats?
Do you heat an entire house or you are just looking for the best thermostat for a small apartment?
You need to take all these things into consideration when shopping for a smart thermostat.
Let’s begin then…
Ecobee 3 Lite – The Best Smart Thermostat Hands Down
This is a smart thermostat that has changed my life in many ways. Not for nothing. I currently have four of them in my house, and this shows my love and devotion for Ecobee brand. They will help you to save up to 23% on your cooling and heating costs.
They can be controlled from anyplace and the temperatures adjusted and comfort settings from your iOs or Android devices. They work well with Ecobee room sensors that are sold separately. Something which comes inherently with the Ecobee 4.
They install easily and quickly. All the things you are going to use are all packed in the box. The other feature that is nice about them is that they can tell the current weather outside on the thermostat. You can check their price here.
Ecobee 4 – Best Smart Thermostat For Multiple Zones
The Ecobee 4 is a big brother to Ecobee 3 Lite. It has a few more features that are pretty a big deal. One of the features that may be a great deal is that they are built with Alexa right in.
This then means that you don’t have to add Echo or Echo Dot into a room, you can talk to Alexa just through your thermostat.
Another of the newest and nicest features about them is that they have room sensors that can be put in the house in case you have a heating system that can support it. The sensors can pick up on hot spots or cold spots in the home and adjust it as necessary to ensure there is a comfort.
They also sense when the room is occupied, and the heat can be set to go off when the room if left.
Here again, one of the strongest features of having them in your home is the long-term cost savings. They are just so easy to install. Although their configuration may take a little longer because of the features that these Ecobee 4 brings. You can check their current prices here.
Nest – Best Smart Thermostat Compatible With Google Home
Nest has been in the smart thermostat market for quite some time now.
Is considered among the top dogs. They have recently introduced their 3rd generation in its learning Thermostat line. They have four colors that are vibrant you can change the display to, and their display is easy to read.
These smart, controlled thermostats spend their time learning the routine of the homeowner and can help in saving you a lot of money by adjusting the temperatures in the room. It takes them some days for them to learn your patterns, and other they learn, they work flawlessly.
It has a new Farsight feature which helps to show you the temperature and the time you are approximately ten feet away or less. Farsight offers a big and beautiful display for you to see across the room and allows you to choose between a digital and an analog face. The Nest thermostat has four colors; copper, black, stainless steel and white.
Nest is a little bit pricier than the rest but comes with neat features which Ecobee doesn’t. It can measure the humidity in the air and turn the air conditioning when needed to automatically. It also has a unique feature that reminds you of the time you need to change your air filters on your furnace that is based on how many times the furnace has been turned on and off.
Nest is among the best thermostats that you can use with Google Home. You can check their current prices here.
Are Nest Thermostats Worth It?
Nest learning thermostats cost less than$300, and they are one of the most expensive thermostats that are available. This costs $70 more than other smart thermostats that cost for under $200, which makes me think they are worth your investment. Though there is similar functionality, you can get from other smart thermostats though they will have fewer HVAC options.
Over time, nest learning thermostats 3rd generation learn your lifestyle and habits to help you in conserving energy and lowering your utility bills. I can say the ability to program itself, and the extensive smart home compatibility makes them the best smart thermostats you should buy.
The design of the nest learning thermostats 3rd generation makes them one of the most convenient wireless thermostats where you can change the preferences and also select menu items and adjust the temperatures by turning the outer ring of the device or by pressing it to the wall.
Nest thermostats are also user-friendly, and the settings can change quickly though the interface of the app is different from the physical display of the thermostat.
They are also very easy to install and get running. The bonus of having the Nest thermostat is that it also comes with a screwdriver which has flattened ends and Phillips. There is no other smart thermostat that comes with the tools which you need to install it.
The built-in battery of nest thermostat slowly pulls energy from the HVAC wiring, and this means that you don’t need to have a C wire in your system. Having a built-in battery is also a good thing as you don’t need to keep on changing the battery to replace it.
Honeywell Lyric – Best Budget Thermostat
What’s your budget? If these other options are not getting you excited because of their price, then Honeywell Lyric T5 may do the trick. I’m very impressed with how Honeywell has adapted so well in this market, and I’m convinced that someday in the future they may even be the leader.
The Honeywell Lyric T5 is a programmable touchscreen thermostat that is built with geofencing in it. It works with Amazon Alexa and requires a C wire. This smartphone-controlled thermostat is also compatible with both Alexa and Siri. It is also worth your money.
It also has a unique, neat feature that’s called “adaptive recovery” that is where it learns how long it takes to achieve the right temperatures in the room at the right time. It then automatically turns your system on to get to the temperature that is desired, then it auto changes from cool to heat when need be.
Another nice feature is that it also has “smart alerts” that give you push notifications if you need a filter change and extreme temperature warnings. You can check their current prices over here on Amazon.
Are Smart Thermostats Easy to Install?
Installing a smart thermostat is an easy process, you first start by removing your old thermostat and then reattach low-voltage wires to the lyric wiring harness then mount the new device to the wall. The operation is simple and could only last for one hour.
Tips for installing smart thermostats
Before you start installing, you should first start by turning off the thermostat from the circuit breaker. In case you have a digital readout, you should watch and make sure it goes blank.
Most thermostats also have batteries for backup power, the batteries should be removed to make sure the power is truly off.
How to install new thermostats
In case you find yourself in a situation where you need to replace your old thermostat with a new one, I’ve documented the steps you can follow here.
- 1 first turn off the power to A/C and Furnace
- 2 remove the face old thermostat
- 3 take a picture of the wires
- 4 disconnect the wires from your old thermostats
- 5 remove your old mount
- 6 put the new thermostat mount and connect the wires
- 7 screw the faceplate mount to wall
- 8 attach your new thermostat face
- 9 turn on the power to A/C and furnace
- 10 configure the new thermostat
Considerations For Installing Smart Thermostats
Check Their Compatibility:
You should first make sure that you don’t buy smart thermostats until you are sure that the HVAC in your home and the electrical system will work with them. Most of the popular smart thermostats have their compatibility checkers online. We have the nest compatibility check, the Ecobee compatibility check, and the Honeywell instructional youtube videos.
Be Comfortable Smart Device and Wifi:
You should make sure that you have your wifi password handy. Your tablet, computer, and smartphone are needed to get the most out of the control of your smart thermostat capabilities and remote monitoring.
Reasons Why You Should Not Upgrade To a Wifi Thermostat
Generally, there are many reasons why people love wifi thermostats in their homes. They offer convenience, savings, and also some added protection, especially if you are a frequent traveler. They make having a smart thermostat worth it. Plus, they also don’t break the bank. However, there may be some two reasons here why one should not upgrade to smart thermostats.
If You Won’t, Use It:
Even though there are many benefits to having a wifi thermostat and they sound fun, you need to use technology for you to get the benefits from them. If you are going to ignore the smart functionality and just use your new smart thermostat on the wall, then the will not be worth it.
You Need More Pressing HVAC Work:
While we have new innovations which are very exciting to have and to use, they are not as important as the foundations. This means that if your HVAC system requires a crucial upgrade or an all-important repair that should have precedence over the novelty and the convenience of a smart thermostat.
Should most homeowners upgrade and have smart thermostats? And are they worth it? The answer to this is a resounding YES! This is because there is a combination of energy savings, home safety, and convenience that makes wifi thermostats worth it.
This is also something which will make your heating and cooling to become fun. Who are you to disagree with that? They will help to make your life better.
Whichever of the above smart thermostats you may end up going with, I’m pretty sure that you will be very satisfied. Just ensure that you pick the best smart thermostat that will fit your lifestyle and needs. You may also make sure that you have a look at our recommended tools page to see other smart home products I endorse.
Concerning the installation of new thermostats, every thermostat that you buy is going to be different in the configuration, so it would be advisable if you follow the steps in the user manual that come with the new thermostat.
Well, there you go now. You now know which thermostats you can have and how you can install a new thermostat. The wires should not intimidate you, the job is so easy.