Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats: convenient and energy-efficient

Smart thermostats are the best way to heat your home to a comfortable temperature. Remotely control them from an app, adjust the temperature, and even set schedules to match the times you’re at home. Easy to install and set up, your home will be cozy or cool - however you want it, whenever you want. Not only that, but they also save money by saving energy.

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Intuitive apps for more control

Thermostats are easy to control because they’re compatible with at least one of the smart home assistant systems. All smart thermostats can be controlled remotely with an app. So you can turn it on for the babysitter that’s about to arrive at home with your kids. Or you can be sure you turned off your heater when you’re at the office or even away on vacation.

Accompanying apps are intuitive and allow more flexibility in control than your traditional thermostat. Your data is also secure because it’s always encrypted using a standard similar to that of online banking. This keeps your information safe and available only for you.

Smart Radiator Thermostats

There are also smart home radiator thermostats that - as the name suggests - control the radiator. These battery-powered smart thermostats replace the old knobby TRVs (thermostatic radiator valve) and attach directly to the radiators. With a smart radiator thermostat, the temperature can be controlled room by room. And if you live in a rented apartment with no access to a boiler, you can still have smart temperature control.

Even More Features

All smart home thermostats can be scheduled and remotely controlled. But the best ones also have sensors or geofencing that allow them to know when you’re home. For example, your thermostat will realize, thanks to its geofencing technology, that you’re within seven miles of reaching home after work. The smart thermostat then starts to warm up so that it’s nice and cozy by the time you arrive. Sure you can set schedules so that thermostats work for you without sensors, but plans change. Smart home thermostats know that.

Don’t have sensors?

Even if they don’t have sensors or geofencing, thermostats can still turn on as you step in the door with IFTTT (If This Then That). IFTTT is a free app that lets you sync up other apps, services, and devices, to automatically do “That” when “This” happens. For example, when your smart lights turn on when you arrive home from work (“This”), your smart home thermostat will automatically turn on (“That”) without you even thinking about it. If your phone with GPS (and you) leaves a specific location (“This”), the thermostat will automatically turn off (“That”).

And some smart home thermostats are even smarter. They can tell you about the indoor humidity and air quality. They can tell if the window is open (albeit with subscriptions and sensors) and tell you to close it to conserve heat and energy. Or they can just turn themselves off. The best smart home thermostats can detect the heat outside and lower indoor heating to save energy once again. And some even have learning algorithms. The Google Nest Learning Thermostat gives you monthly usage reports and also analyzes the numbers to tell you how you can save energy and money. An energy budget that adds to your wallet.

A lot of these extra features will unsurprisingly cost more. If you want a smart home thermostat and smart radiators to fine-tune heating room by room, it’ll be quite an investment. But with the wide array of smart home thermostats out there, you have your pick of the smart home thermostat that works best for your home and budget.

Popular Brands

  • Ecobee and Google Nest are changing the field with innovative designs and functions
  • Honeywell, a HVAC mainstay, offers one of the most comprehensive, best room-by-room temperature control
  • Lux Kono, Johnson, and Tado’s designs are sleek and futuristic but the thermostats may not be as smart as the ones from brands above

Easy to install. Really!

Ripping out a traditional thermostat and replacing it with a smart thermostat can feel intimidating but it really isn't as difficult as it first seems. Smart home thermostats come with all the tools and screws you need, and it takes about 30 minutes or less to set up. Here’s a general set of steps for installing a smart home thermostat:

  • Power off the thermostat at the circuit breaker
  • Remove the old thermostat display
  • Take note of compatibility and the already connected wires
  • Replace the old thermostat’s mounting plate with the smart thermostat’s
  • Connect the wires by matching up labels and letters
  • Attach the thermostat display
  • Power on the thermostat at the circuit breaker
  • Open the app and finish setting up your smart thermostat

General directions for the smart radiator thermostat:

  • Unscrew the traditional TRV
  • Fit an adapter over the radiator valve body
  • Screw on the smart radiator thermostat
  • Sync with the app

Each heating system and thermostat has its own requirements. For example, some thermostats (i.e. Nest Learning Thermostat and Honeywell T9) might work better with a C-wire to supply enough power for all the smart things the thermostat is doing. The wire will save you from changing batteries all the time, and it protects against possible short-circuiting. If you want a C-wire for your smart home, it should take a professional just about 5-10 minutes to install.

If you have any specific questions about your heating system, contact your HVAC specialist for a professional opinion.

Retrofit your heater

Yes! Older heaters can be retrofitted with a smart thermostat regardless of which type of heating system you have. Smart home thermostats work with all common heating systems. You don’t have to overhaul your entire heating system to save energy and on your monthly bills.

New in 2019

New improved designs are released every year, meaning you have more choices than ever to pick the best smart home thermostat for your home.

If you love Alexa home assistance, you’re sure to love the Ecobee SmartThermostat. Released in June 2019, this model has a built-in Alexa to do nearly whatever an Amazon Echo can do. (But Ecobee thermostats also works with Google Assistant and Apple’s HomeKit, so no need to worry). The SmartThermostat is an improvement in design and speaker quality from the Ecobee4 which also has Alexa built-in. Music, weather reports, sports scores are at your command. But if voice smart home assistance is not a priority, the Ecobee3 Lite WiFi is available at a much lower price.

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