A year ago, we compared Google’s Nest Smart Learning thermostat to its Amazon-based competitor, Ecobee SmartThermostat. Since then, we’ve been able to test out two additional smart thermostats and have gathered feedback from our audience. So we decided to do an update.
Smart thermostats are a great choice for any household as they typically will pay for themselves within six to eight months of installation, and there are often rebates available through your local utility company.
These devices will allow you to adjust your temperature from your phone via an app anywhere in the world or by voice when paired with a voice assistant. They can also automatically change based on your location.
Ecobee comes with additional sensors that can be placed around your home, and now, Google also offers add-on sensors for its Nest lineup of thermostats. Each company has multiple models to choose from based on what features you want and the requirements for your particular HVAC system.
We’ve found that if you’ve already got voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, you can save money by buying the cheaper version that doesn’t have this built in.
Honeywell has also been an industry leader in home tech for decades. With strong relationships with HVAC providers and builders, the company’s Wi-Fi-connected thermostats are commonly installed with new systems.
The new Lyric T5 also includes geofencing similar to Ecobee, along with what’s called “adaptive recovery,” which learns how long it takes to achieve the right temperature and plans ahead to reach that desired temperature whenever you want it.
Wyze Labs has continued to expand its line of affordable smart home products and now offers a thermostat. We had the opportunity to test one of the very first units. While we did struggle a bit to get it connected initially, it does get the job done and at a fraction of the cost of its competitors.
If you’re someone who already has Wyze cameras or other devices in your home, this would be a great option. That way, you’ll be able to control everything within one app and at a great price.
Smart thermostats are the most returned smart home product. This is largely due to them requiring a C wire or “common wire,” which some homes may not have. The solutions are to either use an adaptor, run a new 5-wire line from HVAC system to thermostat, pick a battery-powered option or purchase a power supply that plugs into a nearby outlet.
If you’re not comfortable with the installation, you can always call an HVAC company. Otherwise, Best Buy’s geek squad and Amazon Services are available to assist.
Stay tuned as we continue to revisit popular smart home categories after a year of hands on experience including smart locks, doorbells, security systems, cameras and voice assistants.
Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — RE/MAX Results in Minneapolis and co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.
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Which Smart Home Heating Should You Choose?
Not all smart heating control systems are suited for every lifestyle and home, with some more and less beneficial than others. SMART stands for ‘Self-Monitoring Analysis & Reporting Technology’, and differs from standard heating controls by allowing you to control every aspect of your heating schedule from either a phone or tablet. Although room thermostats and timers allow you to control each room instead of your whole home, as long as you have internet access, smart home heating devices let you control your heating from your phone, no matter where you are in the world.
Today, we’re running through 7 of the best smart heating thermostats and systems, comparing features, benefits and what type of home they’re most suitable for.
– 7 day, & 5/2 day scheduling with a pre-configured schedule included
– Choice of up to 4 time periods a day
– Minimum On-Time & Cycle Rate settings ensuring compatibility with many boilers
– Table stand for ease of positioning
– Alert messages to assist fault-finding with a fail-safe mode
– Wireless technology makes upgrading easier and the installation time shorter with less wiring involved
– Homes that require high levels of automatic control that provide significant energy efficiency for a wide range of boilers and systems.
– Single Heating Zone Control
– 7 Day, 5/2 Day, or 24 Hour Control
– Programmable Room Thermostat
– Easily Programmed With The Associated App
– Homes that are just starting to take the first steps into using smart home heating
– Homes that need a single heating zone control
– Homes that have either combination or standard boiler systems
– Touch-screen interface simplifies scheduling, changing and overriding temperature
– Location-based programming (geo-fencing) adds an automated layer of control, adjusting the customer’s home heating based on their location
– Scheduling features include 7 and 5/2 day bespoke scheduling with up to 6 time periods a day
– Simple flip-up wiring bar for easy access and an easy-to-install boiler or zone valve interface
– Direct wall mounting or wall-box mounting
– Optimisation features include optimum start and stop & delayed start boiler control. Allows the thermostat and boiler to work more efficiently together
– Homes with any boiler and almost every heating system
– Homes with 230V on/off OpenTherm appliances (gas boilers, combi boilers and heat pumps)
– Ability to control water temperature and heating
– Self-learning functions to make every experience a unique one, helping it to understand your home’s needs
– Using a smart weather compensation feature and weather data, the vSMART can tell your boiler how hard it has to work to get your home to your required temperature
– You can connect multiple vSMART controllers to one app
– Homes with Valliant ecoTEC system/open vented boilers
– Households that want to be able to control water temperature from anywhere too
– A 7-day full programmer that gives great flexibility offering up to three on/off switchings per day
– LoT display, providing text feedback that gives help and programming hints
– Automatic Summer/Winter 1 hour time change
– Choice of 3 different built-in programmes
– ‘Holiday’ button
– Homes with heating and stored hot water in complete systems
– Homes with older gravity circulation stored hot water systems, where there’s no interlocking control valve
– Households with different heating needs from day-to-day
– One channel thermostat system with two radiator thermostats to start zoning your system
– Smart heating & hot water control
– Quick & simple to install using an industry-standard backplate
– Easy Zoning with the addition of extra Wiser Radiator Thermostats
– Homes with combination boilers
– Households that want to start a zoned system to control individual zones within the home
– Automatic time and temperature control of domestic heating premises
– Optimum Start, Optimum Stop and Delayed Start
– No installer links or switches on the back of the unit means no adjustment is required for combi boilers and most central heating systems
– Scheduled maintenance alert
– Automatic Summer/Winter time change
– Up to four independent time & temperature settings
– Auto, manual, holiday, override and off (frost) modes
– Domestic premises
– Most central heating systems and combi boilers
For more smart home heating controls, check out our full range today at MonsterPlumb. If you’re not interested in smart technology when it comes to controlling the heating and water temperature in your home, take a look at our selection of heating controls and valves.
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