If you live in an area such as Minneapolis, MN– one of the coldest but also hottest places in the United States, you may be in the market for a new thermostat. The highest temperature ever reached in Minneapolis was 108°F and the the lowest temperature was -60°F. Our body is the most comfortable with 70°F – 82°F. The greater difference your house temperature is compared with the outside temperature, the more your energy cost increases. Forgetting to turn off your AC or wanting it to be a certain temperature when you return home can be achieved with a relatively new product on the market– Wi-Fi thermostats. This device has all functions of a typical thermostat but you can control it from anywhere and anytime as long as a Wi-Fi internet connection is available.
There are many different options for Wi-Fi thermostats on the market today. Typing keywords like “best Wi-Fi thermostat” or “Wi-Fi thermostat reviews” into Google to find out which thermostat brand is best for you is not necessarily the best solution to this dilemma. The following reviews of Wi-Fi thermostats should make your decision easier.
Choosing the type of thermostat
There are two basic types of thermostats– these are manual and programmable. Manual thermostats are economical, have simple control, offer limited energy savings and comfort. Programmable thermostats automatically adjust the temperatures throughout the day which saves a good percentage of energy costs. They have a digital interface and the latest models are mercury free. Read more about how to choose the best wifi thermostat here. Check out our 2015 Comparison Chart here
My top pick
I know there’s been a lot of hype about this one, but I just can’t help but choose it…
|Nest Learning Thermostat||Ecobee3||Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart||Emerson Sensi|
|Temperature Swing||+/- 3° F||+/- 1° F||+/- 1° F||+/- 1° F|
|Certification||Energy Saving||Energy Saving|
|Warranty||2 Years||3 Years||1 Years||3 Years|
|Our review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review|
|See price and reviews of the Nest Thermostat||See price and reviews of the Ecobee3||See price and reviews of the Honeywell||See price and reviews of the Emerson Sensi|
1. Nest Learning Thermostat – 2nd Generation T200577 : Best for a small house
There is no thermostat that can compare with Nest Learning Thermostat. It has the ability to “learn” your habits by using its motion sensor to know when you are home. This works especially effectively if your Nest is located where you frequently walk. This is why it tends to work more efficiently if you live in a smaller area like an apartment or a town home.
Auto Away and Self Learning mode of Nest are great attributes to an already wonderful product. Nest only needs a few days and then it quickly determines which temperature is ideal for you. If you leave the area, then it turns the air down or off. When you walk in the door, the motion detector senses your presence and turns the air back on. It also has a great application for use on the go to check on the unit.
The Nest “Airwave” mode saves you money by continuing to run your blower after turning the AC off instead of shutting them both off at the same time. In general, you do not need to waste your time programming Nest. This takes the stress out of worrying over your monthly energy costs. Moreover, its modern-looking cover is a great addition to the decor of any home.
However, there are some issues with the product. It only supports IOS and Android. Nest’s two-year warranty is also shorter than the industry average. Nest is touted as being so smart that users don’t have to program it. But a problem arises when you have an irregular schedule and Nest has trouble keeping up. Nest can have up to a three degree temperature swing which is rather large. Also, Nest is very expensive. Make sure to read the detailed review of the Nest thermostat.
2. Ecobee3 Wi-Fi Thermostat with Remote Sensor: Best for large house
The Ecobee Wi-Fi Thermostat with remote sensors, is perfect for larger houses. You can have up to 32 sensors and the more you add, the smarter your Ecobee3 becomes at delivering comfort where it matters most. Sensors can be mounted to the wall or on a stand. Multiple sensors can be paired with the thermostat and you can select which ones will be used for temperature averaging and occupancy detection. However, Ecobee3 does not support geofencing, a feature that changes your home’s temperature based on your phone’s location, which is common with other top thermostats.
“Follow me” is a wonderful feature that helps determine which rooms in your house are occupied and relays this information to the main thermostat. This helps to regulate the temperature based on occupancy and also cuts costs associated with energy. Ecobee3 also supports the Windows Phone, Android and iOS.
The Ecobee3 is very expensive especially if you add on more sensors. Ecobee3 can have up to a two degree temperature swing whereas most Wi-Fi systems have one. Make sure to check out the full review of the Ecobee3.
3. Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat RTH9580 – Best for rental properties
Honeywell, the largest electrical manufacturer on the planet, packs a great deal of value into their thermostat. When I say this thermostat is best for rental properties, it doesn’t mean it won’t work for your own house or vacation home.
Nest does learn, but it is not a useful device for a rental. The habits of a rental house are usually too erratic to be useful for a learning thermostat. The key feature that you want in a Wi-Fi thermostat for a rental home is the ability to manage temperatures from a distance.
Preventing unauthorized people from making heating and cooling adjustments, Honeywell provides locking touch screen and password options. You can choose from various modes including unlocked, partially locked and fully locked. Let’s say a guest wants to set the cool temperature below your minimum because they were not familiar with the cold climate and they turned up the heat to 86°F. You could let them set the temperature for a period of time, then return to your minimum. It’s very flexible and very easy to set up.
Auto alert feature lets you know when the temperature becomes extreme or your thermostat loses connection. This lets you know it may be time to go check on your rental property. Also, the thermostat keeps the compressor off for a few minutes before restarting to prevent equipment damage. During this period, a “waiting for equipment” message is displayed on the thermostat’s screen.
The smart response feature of Honeywell WiFi Smart Thermostat RTH9580 will help your guest to feel at home. For example, if your guest sets the unit to 70°F at 7 AM every day, Honeywell knows how long it takes to reach that temperature then actually kicks-in before that time.
The Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat lets you add more than two locations to a single account – convenient because if you’re monitoring more than two rental properties, you won’t have any trouble.
However, Honeywell has some disadvantages as well. Because the unit has no battery, when power is lost the display is dark. The registration process to access their site is long and, some say, intrusive. Make sure to check the Honeywell Wifi thermostat review.
4. CyberStat CY1201WF – Best budget
You already know how programmable thermostats such as Honeywell, Nest and Ecobee can save you money on your monthly energy bill. However, those programs only work if your patterns are consistent.
If enabled, Adaptive Recovery with CyberStat starts your system early to achieve the desired temperature for your schedule. Through your Wi-Fi network, CyberStat connects to the Internet and brings you features unlike any other thermostat. Turn on your smart-phone or any other Internet-connected device to have the remote temperature control for your house. It also provides email alerts notifying you of high and low temperatures; maximizing your comfort with an adjustable temperature swing. Large two-digit LED display with adjustable brightness can be seen clearly from across the room.
In short, you have all the necessary features in a high-quality thermostat and, most importantly, at very-reasonable price.
However, Cyberstat has some disadvantages as well. As I mentioned in another article, setup is easy but the unit loses the Wi-Fi settings when the power goes out. Also, there are only five times in a day you can change the temperature. You can check out the detailed review of the CyberStat CY1201WF here.
5. White-Rodgers 1F86U-42WF Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat – Best flexible thermostat
Some people do not like that their thermostats cycle the furnace much too frequently. The cycle speed on their devices is non-adjustable. However, the White-Rodgers allows you to choose one of three levels of cycling speed (slow, medium, fast). You can also set this thermostat around your schedule.
It has a well-designed and intuitive mobile and web application that allows you to monitor almost everything on the device.
Some additional features include a backlit display that changes colors depending on the status of the unit. This thermostat also does not require C wire for operation, so it will work with many systems, including older systems that don’t have a power wire.
Another advantage of the White-Rodgers is their technical support. They are known to be very knowledgable and easy to reach. They are available 24/7 to answer your email or call in a timely manner with a detailed response.
If you bought White-Rodgers because the information said no “c-wire” required, you should know that the HVAC systems that use heat only or cool only need a c-wire. Also, there seems to be no way to see what schedule is running on the thermostat itself. This would be a very useful feature to add, so that users can see that their program downloaded successfully.
Convenient, reliable, programmable and understandable is what users are saying about White-Rodgers 1F86U-42WF Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat. Make sure to see the detailed review of the White Rodgers thermostat on Amazon.com
After reading these Wi-Fi thermostat reviews, hopefully you have a clearer understanding of which one will work for your situation. All the thermostats mentioned are great products, just for different reasons.