Having the best WiFi thermostat is a handy convenience that will save you money when it comes to energy costs. WiFi thermostats have hit the market by storm and are becoming the norm. This is more than evident by the growing number of different WiFi thermostats available to choose from. The challenging part is finding the best WiFi thermostat to fit your specific needs.
The good news is, we have taken on this challenge for you and compiled our new guide of the top rated WiFi thermostats of 2017. We compared the most important features and considerations and then narrowed our research to find the 8 best WiFi thermostat options to make your purchasing decision easy.
WiFi Thermostat Benefits
The best WiFi thermostat should be easy to install and adjust from anywhere. If you travel frequently, own a vacation home, or act as a property manager, having the ability to control the temperature settings from any phone, tablet, or computer will be extremely beneficial. For those of us who don’t live quite that luxurious of a lifestyle, sometimes it is still nice to be able to adjust the temperature without getting off the couch.
Additionally, the best WiFi thermostat should be programmable for different times of the day and year and should save customers on average 15-25% in annual energy costs. Many WiFi thermostat models either track your movement or allow you to program profiles to adjust for times when you are sleeping, spending time outside, or hosting a party with lots of people. The best WiFi thermostat should also work with 95% of HVAC systems but you will want to check to make sure your system contains a c-wire. If you are not sure, then you will want to consult the thermostat manufacturer or customer service department before purchasing.
Best WiFi Thermostat Top 8 Comparison Guide
Reviews of the Top Rated WiFi Thermostats
The 3rd generation of Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat is a brighter and sleeker unit that offers the same energy saving and convenience features of previous models. This best WiFi thermostat is aptly named a “learning” thermostat because you do not have to program it to all of your different energy settings like many other smart WiFi thermostats. Instead, it uses sensors and algorithms to learn your patterns and “auto-schedule” the optimum temperatures for your day to day activities. Be aware before purchasing that this WiFi thermostat does not allow you to override the “learning” and program different profiles yourself. The thermostat itself is visually appealing with its circle design, stainless steel casing, and 24-bit LCD display, it has a modern look that is easy to see from across the room. While the display is bright and large, it is also the largest drawback for many customers. The Nest settings will only allow you to display the temperature your HVAC system is set to or the words “off.” It will not display the current room temperature on the main screen, and will only display the current room temperature in small font if there is more than a 3-degree difference between it and the set temperature.
This best WiFi thermostat works well with both Apple and Android devices. And, the app will allow you to view energy history, HVAC usage, humidity and other features from your smartphone. If your home is host to another popular product, Amazon Echo, this WiFi thermostat will become voice enabled by pairing with Alexa. The thermostat is very easy to install, and it will work with 95% of 24V heating and cooling systems including less popular systems that use solar or geothermal energy. The manufacturer claims that the thermostat can save between 10 – 12% on heating costs and 15% on cooling costs annually. So, within two years the thermostat will pay for itself. If you are looking for a reliable and well designed WiFi thermostat that can help you conserve energy without much effort on your part, the 3rd generation Google Nest Learning Thermostat is a good choice.
If you are in the market for the best WiFi thermostat but aren’t sold on the Nest 3rd generation, you are likely considering the Ecobee3. The Ecobee3 smart WiFi thermostat has the same basic features as the Nest. They are both compatible with 95% of HVAC systems, have different energy profiles to reduce heating and cooling costs in your home, and can be managed through Apple or Android apps. The Ecobee3 can also be voice activated with Amazon Echo or with Apple’s HomeKit. This manufacturer claims that annual energy costs can be reduced by an average of 23%. The greatest difference, however, is that the Ecobee3 uses remote sensors that measure temperature and movement throughout your house to more efficiently heat and cool your home. The Ecobee3 comes with 1 sensor in addition to the thermostat, and up to 32 total sensors can be integrated into the unit.
Because WiFi thermostats are usually placed in hallways, their temperature reading is not always indicative of the living spaces in the house. The Ecobee3 will take the readings from each of the sensors and average them together to help create a more consistent and accurate temperature than a hallway thermostat alone. This feature is especially helpful in large houses or homes with open floor plans. However, because the sensors rely on motion, the reading and therefore temperature can be skewed if you are stationary for too long, such as working without moving in a home office. This top rated WiFi thermostat initially comes with three profiles, home, sleep, and away, that you can customize to your preferences. You can add additional profiles to reduce energy costs even further. While this WiFi thermostat requires a bit more programming and time investment than the Nest 3rd generation, its energy saving features are more expansive if you are willing to purchase additional sensors and create specific energy profiles.
The Honeywell RTH9580WF makes this list of the best WiFi thermostat models because of its extreme programmability. It is on par with both the Nest and the Ecobee3 with its ease of installation, remote access, and average energy savings. The Honeywell has several additional features, however, that allow it to cater specifically to diverse needs. Like the Ecobee3, this WiFi thermostat allows users to create energy profiles for different times of the day or year, but it also comes pre-programmed with “business” and “home” settings. If you are a small business or homeowner, you may enjoy having matching WiFi thermostats for your different environments.
Unlike the minimalist design of some other WiFi thermostats, the screen displays the current and set temperature as well as outside temperature and humidity. The screen color can be changed to match your wall color or décor. Additionally, this WiFi thermostat features an optional locking touchscreen, which could prove useful in high occupancy environments or for simple screen cleaning. To provide even more data to efficiently heat and cool your home, after you complete the online registration and download Honeywell’s Android and iOS compatible app, you can receive reminders to change filters or alerts of extreme temperature changes. Overall the Honeywell RTH9580WF is one of the best WiFi thermostat systems if you want to be able to control every detail of your home energy output.
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