Scorching hot summer days are never a pleasant thing to experience. And this holds true for every individual, irrespective of where in the world they live. But because summers exist and keep coming back, having a good HVAC system in place is desirable. As we make a switch from the furnace to the air conditioning system, it becomes extremely necessary that such ways are figured out as would be essential to enhancing the energy efficiency of our home, even with the HVAC on. After all, saving a few bucks on utility bills is never a bad idea. And if this saving comes from a smart investment such as a smart thermostat, the joy of saving grows manifold.
A smart thermostat may be rendered one of the most advanced technological innovations of our time. With automated temperature control capacity, they help keep energy bills under check.
For the best results, however, you must invest in the right smart thermostat. Amazon is a good place to browse through available options and the user reviews provided against the products offer a real good insight into each and every item.
As you read on, you delve deeper into various aspects of choosing and buying a smart thermostat.
- List of Best Smart Thermostats 2017 (Table):-
- What is a Thermostat?
- Why Do You Need a Smart Thermostat?
- What Factors to Consider When You Buy a Smart Thermostat?
- Types and Designs of Smart Thermostats to Consider?
- Top 2 Smart Thermostat Reviews 2017
List of Best Smart Thermostats 2017 (Table):-
|Best Smart Thermostats||Editor Ranking||Review||Price|
|Nest Learning Thermostat||#1||Read Review||Check Price|
|ecobee3 Thermostat||#2||Read Review||Check Price|
What is a Thermostat?
A thermostat, effectively, is a temperature regulating device. To be precise, it turns the heating system of your home on or off, as per necessity. It is designed in a way to sense the temperature of the surrounding air and regulate the heating system according to the rise or fall of this temperature. And the heating system continues to run till the desired temperature in the room is reached.
There is, however, a popular misconception that the process of room heating can be speeded up if the thermostat is tuned to a higher setting. In reality, the time required for a room to get heated up mostly depends on other less obvious factors like the size of the radiators and boiler.
Similarly, the rate at which a space cools down doesn’t directly depend on the thermostat setting. Setting the thermostat lower will only keep the energy bills under check by maintaining a lower temperature at the room.
A thermostat may be considered the most vital organ of an HVAC system which remains in total control of this device. It won’t be wrong if you call it the brain behind the functioning of an HVAC system. That being said, no component of the air conditioning system is less important. After all, one can’t work in the absence of the other.
Why Do You Need a Smart Thermostat?
A smart thermostat can be a profitable addition to your home. Generally, people prefer to leave their house with the HVAC on. And this is to make sure a favorable temperature is maintained inside the house so that the owner who is away doesn’t feel uncomfortable after return. This is a great reason for anyone to consider investing on a high- quality smart thermostat. But if you are looking for more reasons to finally zero in on one, just read on-
- Keeping the HVAC on all day, even when no one is home can be an expensive affair. And wasting a lot of energy doesn’t sound too wise either. A smart thermostat helps you prevent this unnecessary wastage of energy. You can set your thermostat at a desirable temperature an hour or so before you return, which is a better thing to do than leaving the HVAC at a static temperature the entire time. This could also save you a lot of energy and in turn your hard-earned money.
- Smart thermostats allow you easy temperature adjustment from anywhere. You can, in fact, regulate the device even when you are out. And is that really possible? Of course! You can connect your smartphone or tablet to the thermostat and regulate it as needed. Sometimes, when the weather conditions outside are extreme, you can set the temperature of your home within a favorable range, without being actually present there.
- Most smart thermostats are able to generate energy reports, which offer an overview of your energy consumption pattern. You can use this report to your advantage by watching your future energy spending and not letting unusual consumptions occur. If the pattern is too unusual, there could be a problem with your HVAC system. So, you get a timely heads up as well.
What Factors to Consider When You Buy a Smart Thermostat?
Smart thermostats have sure made life easy. But picking any random product from the market might not offer you desirable results. And that is why, it’s extremely important to choose the right product from the best brand. Here are a few other things that might help you select the best smart thermostat available for purchase-
- The first thing to consider before investing on a smart thermostat is your technology requirements. How technologically advanced you want your device to be? There are certain models that allow you to connect to your home’s Wi-Fi, others don’t. There are also models that require the Z-wave protocol to communicate with other devices. So, studying the technological specifications of the product thoroughly and making sure you have the kind of setting in place to support the desired technology is utterly important.
- Smart thermostats without mobile access don’t appeal to buyers anymore. Hence, almost all of them come with mobile compatibility. But the problem arises when you bring home a set and discover it is iOS compatible whereas the smartphone you use is an android device. To make sure this never happens, check the thermostat’s operating system compatibility before buying it.
- Another important thing to consider is whether or not your thermostat is equipped with learning features. A device with this add-on works by learning your temperature preferences over time. Thermostats with this feature come with sensors that detect your movement and set the temperature of the house accordingly. For instance, if you get up in the morning at seven, the device will sense your movement and set the temperature that you usually like right after you wake up. This feature helps you save a lot of energy by readjusting itself to the energy efficient ‘away’ mode when you are not around.
- You may also like to go for a geofencing thermostat, which tweaks its settings on the basis of your proximity to home. You can adjust it in such a way that it will raise or reduce the HVAC temperature when you are at a set distance away from your home. This feature helps especially when you are out for a long time and you don’t want any wastage of power.
- Another important aspect to factor in is the looks of the product. You would never like to shell out cash for a gadget that sticks out like a sore thumb. So, the solution is to pick a product that’s aesthetically pleasant. After all, it’s going be a part of your beautiful home. There are so many great looking models available in the market that you won’t have a tough time choosing one.
- Most people look at the price tag of the device and decide on whether or not to purchase it. But smart buyers also consider other charges. There are manufacturers that charge a monthly fee against the remote access they offer. Taking such charges into account while calculating the total cost is highly advisable.
Types and Designs of Smart Thermostats to Consider?
There is no end to the types and designs in which smart thermostats may be found. Since each thermostat model is designed to serve in a specific way, it’s better to learn about the choices available for purchase. Dished out below are a few types-
- Non-programmable thermostats-
As the name suggests, a non-programmable thermostat doesn’t facilitate programming. It comes with a display that allows you to view the settings. But the operations have to be carried out manually. So, if you are someone who is not comfortable with high-end technology and don’t mind pressing a few buttons, then this is the type you should go for.
- Touch Screen Thermostats-
Touch screen technology is almost everywhere, and thermostats are no exception. Having buttons on the main panel of the device can be a subject of botheration for people who love to keep their gadgets clean. Besides, touch screens eliminate the fear of having a previously chosen temperature setting messed up, which often happens with buttoned panels especially when the wrong button gets pressed.
- Programmable thermostats-
This type of thermostats can be programmed as per necessity and makes life a lot easier. There is no dearth of varieties in the market, so, there is no limitation on the choices as well. The most basic type allows two different temperature settings- one for the mornings and the other for the second half of the day. Other, more advanced varieties may permit up to four settings.
- Outlet Thermostats-
For those having portable cooling or heating devices at home, outlet thermostats are the best option. Programming this device is similar to setting programs for a programmable thermostat. People, having smaller homes, who can’t get a proper HVAC system installed can immensely benefit from this variety.
- Wireless Thermostats-
Wireless thermostats are a costlier option. But it offers you the luxury to handle the HVAC system from anywhere within the range of your wifi network. People, who don’t like the idea of being physically present at the thermostat’s location to operate it, can give this variety a try.
Top 2 Smart Thermostat Reviews 2017
If you are looking for voice control then look no further than this thermostat because it works with Amazon Alexa to offer that. There are also other prominent factors that make this product a hit among users.
It facilitates auto scheduling of your temperature routine. If you have ever used a regular thermostat, you would probably know how tedious it is to keep readjusting the device to suit your temperature preferences. Nest solves this problem once and for all by learning your temperature favorites and takes no longer than a week to train itself.
How about saving a few extra bucks every month by cutting down your energy bills? With its ‘away’ mode, nest is able to turn your HVAC off when you are not home, saving a lot of energy. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection and you are all set to connect your thermostat to your mobile devices using the Wi-Fi network. So, basically the product is a must buy. You find below a few pros and cons of the item-
- Energy efficient (A nest leaf appears on display when you choose an energy efficient temperature).
- Compatible with android as well as iOS.
- Nest is the first thermostat to gain energy stars.
- Sometimes it may lose network and go offline.
- For two houses to be monitored, two profiles are required.
Although a little expensive, the product is worth a buy because it makes life as easy as ABC.
Like Nest, Ecobee3 works with Amazon Alexa to achieve voice control. Ecobee3 keeps you comfortable throughout the year by ensuring that the temperatures you like are maintained at their preferred times.
This gadget factors in a lot of things like the outside weather and your energy records to keep you warm or cold accordingly.
No matter whether you are home or outside, you can trust your Ecobee3 thermostat with its temperature regulating abilities. It adjusts the temperature considering factors like the number of rooms occupied, presence or absence of people in the home etc.
Around 23% of your money bills is saved every year, owing to energy conservation caused by Ecobee3. In addition, the product is homekit enabled.
Now, let’s have a look at its plus points and the downsides-
- Touch screen feature available
- Easy installation
- Great looks
- Easy operation
- Geofence fails to function optimally with multiple devices.
- The temperature readings can be misleading in rooms with substantial air movement.
So, no matter which out of these two top smart thermostats you bring home, you can save on a lot of money without compromising on your family’s comfort.