Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation
ecobee 4 Smart Thermostat
Honeywell Lyric T5 Smart WiFi Thermostat
Kono Smart Wi-Fi Thermostat
Sensi Smart Touch Thermostat
Smart Thermostats for 2018
Smart Thermostats have come a long way since their introduction in 2011, both in terms of features and price. Now there are a whole range of options that can meet almost any needs at almost any budget and that work with almost any furnace or air conditioner you might already have. Here are 5 Smart Thermostats for 2018.
For this review we have included five thermostats which cross the spectrum in features and price. Buy them direct from Amazon Canada using our links, or contact us today and we will be happy to upgrade your heating and cooling system with a smart thermostat tailored to your needs.
The Nest Learning Thermostat was one of the first smart thermostats on the market way back in 2012. Since then they have built on the learning schedule capabilities and improved the product design and it remains the class of the smart thermostat market overall.
While it is one of the most expensive options and does have some drawbacks like the lack of remote room sensors, the design is beautiful and the smart learning features of their auto scheduling continue to make it one of the easiest thermostats to use.
The Nest Thermostat interacts with all of the other Nest products (smoke alarm, cameras, etc), and will detect movement to learn when you are home. It can also be integrated into other home automation systems such as IFTTT or through Google Home and Alexa.
The Nest is easy to install, includes everything you need to get up and running quickly in the box, and has excellent support and help to make sure that things go easily for you.
Buy on Amazon.ca: CDN$ 284.00
The ecobee4 smart thermostat makes integration into your Alexa controls seamless by building in Alexa voice control capability right into the device. Like the Nest thermostat, ecobee includes motion sensing technology to offer auto home and away sensing without any extra work for you.
ecobee4 integrates with Alexa and the Apple HomeKit for voice controls and can also be integrated to Google Home through its IFTTT integrations. While it doesn’t offer the self-learning capability of the Nest thermostat, it does include an additional remote room sensor for monitoring of a larger area to keep you comfortable wherever you are.
The ecobee includes great instructions and everything you need (short of the tools) to install it and it will work with most types of furnace and air conditioning systems. The one knock on the ecobee is that it is priced closer to the Nest thermostat in comparison to other options on the market, but doesn’t offer many more features than some of the lower cost options so it feels a bit expensive for what it is.
Buy on Amazon.ca: CDN$ 279.00
Coming in on the low price end of the spectrum is the stylish and attractive Honeywell Lyric T5 Smart WiFi Thermostat. While it lacks humidity and motion sensing which you will find on the Nest and ecobee models, it does support auto home and away mode using geofencing from your smartphone. That means that it will detect when your smartphone is home or away and manage your home and away settings that way. Works great if you are the only one in the home, but not so much if you have other family who might be home when you’re not.
The partner app allows for easy programming of your weekly schedules and allows you to adjust the thermostat settings any time from anywhere. There is built in support for Apple Homekit (Siri) and Alexa voice controls, and you can integrate it to other parts of your home automation through IFTTT as well (including Google Home).
As with most of the thermostats it is easy to install, comes with everything you need to get started in the box, and works with most home heating and cooling systems.
Buy on Amazon.ca: CDN$ 194.99
Also on the lower price range is this Kono Smart WiFi Thermostat. As with most of the current generation, the Kono is sleek and stylish with great focus on design. The Kono also offers changeable face plates in many colours to allow you to match it to your decor.
On the good side, the Kono Lux app allows for easy control and setup of the device and schedule and the device integrates easily to Siri, Alexa, and Google Home devices. On the bad side they have not built integration to the IFTTT ecosystem so you are limited in your connections to other smart home devices.
Like the Honeywell Lyric the Kono relies on geofencing for auto home and away functionality rather than motion sensing which has some drawbacks. The interface on the thermostat itself is not as friendly with a gear/knob interface rather than a simple touch screen.
Overall if you’re looking for a budget thermostat and matching your decor is a priority then the Kono is great. If you are more focused on function then you may want to look at the Honeywell Lyric isntead.
Buy on Amazon.ca: CDN$ 157.26
Falling square in the middle of the price range for smart thermostats is this stylish Sensi Smart Touch Thermostat option from Emerson. The most unique feature of this thermostat is it’s back lit night light function which helps both during installation to help you see the wiring as well as as a neat feature during use.
This unit features a touch interface and humidity sensors, but it relies on geofencing for home/away features (which is still a bit spotty) and doesn’t include IFTTT integration yet. It does support direct integration to Homekit for Siri, Alexa, and Google Home so you can at least enable control via your voice assistant. It also supports integration to the Wink home control hub so if you go down the home control hub route with your home automation you can tie this in easily.
Overall the Sensi is probably closer in features to the Honeywell Lyric model for significantly more money. If you like the night light or have elected to go with a Wink hub system then this is probably worth the money, otherwise I would recommend either going up to the ecobee or Nest options or down to the Honeywell Lyric.
Buy on Amazon.ca: CDN$ 197.46
Overall the Nest Learning Thermostat is still the class of the field, although the ecobee 4 is quickly catching up. In a lot of ways the Honeywell Lyric T5 is a leader itself offering great features and capability at a very budget-friendly price point.
As always we can help you select the best smart thermostat as part of your overall home automation strategy. Contact us to have one of our smart home consultants come into your home to plan our your smart home today.