I’m a citizen living in Minneapolis city of Minnesota – one of the most coldest and hottest areas in US. The highest temperature ever reached is 108°F and the the lowest temperature is -60°F here while our body is the most comfortable with 70°F – 82°F. Besides, you should know the more differently you adjust your house temperature compared with the outside temperature in longer duration, the more your energy cost increases. Imagine that you usually forget turning off your AC before going out like I do or you want every time back from work, your house is already in an expected temperature, how can you solve such things without seeing your monthly energy cost higher? A wifi thermostat is the perfect answer for us. This device has all functions of a typical thermostat, and moreover, you can control it from anywhere and anytime as long as the wifi internet connection is available.
However, there are too many wifi thermostat types for choosing in the market. Typing keywords like “best wifi thermostat” or “wifi thermostat reviews”…in Google to find out which thermostat branch is most suitable for you is not simple and easy at all. Therefore , with my experience of HVAC contractor has processed lots of houses and buildings over the years, I believe the wifi thermostat reviews can help you have the most satisfied purchase.
Choosing the type of thermostat
There are two basic types of thermostats, these are manual (non programmable) and programmable. Manual thermostats are economical and have simple control, offer limited energy savings and comfort. The programmable ones automatically adjust the temperatures throughout the day saving a good percentage of cooling and heating cost. They have digital interface and the latest models are mercury free. See more how to choose wifi thermostat at 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 small house
There is no thermostat compared with Nest Learning Thermostat about ability to “learn” your habits by using its motion sensor to know when you are home. This specially works efficiently once your Nest is located where you walk frequently That’s why it would be a good indicator of your presence at home if your house or your apartment is not too large.
Auto Away and Self Learning mode of Nest totally can surprise you because of its exact operation. Give Nest Learning Thermostat some days, and then it quickly determines which the temperature is most suitable for you in which time. If you go out for a few hours or for the days, it will turn the furnace/air conditioning down/off. When you walk in the door it detects you and turns the furnace on. You can check how Nest is working while you are away by using the mobile application or checking on Nest website. Of course, there are plenty of things you can do with your thermostat through website and mobile as long as the internet connection is available.
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 of time to program Nest and worry about the monthly cost of energy bill anymore.
Moreover, its modern cover will bright up your little house and make you feel like you are having an decorated item on the wall rather than a just machine. If you think the stainless ring reflects the color of your wall like they say it does, then you are willing to see it happen.
However, there are some minus points, it only supports IOS and Android & Nest’s two-year warranty is shorter than the industry average. Nest is touted as being so smart that users don’t have to program it. So, the problem with that is when you have an irregular schedule and there’s no way that Nest could just figure out your schedule. I read several places that Nest has a 3 degree temperature swing–which is quite large. And one more thing, you should also consider the price of Nest because it isn’t cheap any at all. Make sure to read the detailed review of the Nest thermostat.
2. Ecobee3 Wi-Fi Thermostat with Remote Sensor: Best for large house
As I mentioned, in some cases, if your thermostat is not “centrally located” and your house is too large, for example a house with two bedrooms, one kitchen, one living room or a house with two or more floors .., it will be likely that Nest’s/ Lyric’s single sensor would frequently fail to detect when your house is empty or occupied, thereby incorrectly entering “Away” mode or leading to uneven temperatures in other rooms. The Ecobee Wi-Fi Thermostat (included its remote sensors) addresses this issue to deliver the right temperature in the rooms that matter most. You can have up to 32 sensors. The more you add, the smarter your ecobee3 becomes at delivering comfort where it matters and saving where it counts. 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 on 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 to help with comfort by remote sensors of Ecobee
Go along with many diversified functions mentioned, ecoobee3 comes to you by a high price. The more you add remote sensors, the more money you must pay. There is an inconvenient thing that you are unable to view/modify the remote sensors on their applications. For your information, some of you also might not like 2 degree temperature swing compared to the fact that most every other thermostat maintains temperature +/- 1 degree. Make sure to check out the full review of the Ecobee3.
3. Honeywell WiFi Smart Thermostat RTH9580 – Best for rental properties
Honeywell, the largest electrical manufacturers on the planet, packs a great deal of value into this online, programmable, touch screen thermostat although it’s not very pretty to look at. When I say this thermostat is best for rental properties in this wifi thermostat reviews, it doesn’t mean it isn’t suitable with your own house or vacation house…
Nest does learn, but it is not a useful device for a rental all the time. The habits of a rental house are usually too erratic to be useful for a learning thermostat. The key feature to your need is not the learning but the ability to manage it from a distance.
By preventing unauthorized people from making heating and cooling adjustments, Honeywell provides locking touch screen and password options. You can choose from Unlocked mode, which allows full access to the thermostat’s settings, Partially Locked mode, which only allows the temperature to be changed, and Fully Locked mode, which allows no access to the thermostat’s features. Let’s say a guest wants to set the cool temperature below your minimum because he/she was not familiar to the cold climate and they turned up the heat to 86°F. You could create a scene that would let them have their temperature for a set period of time, then return to your minimum and you can limit the range of the temperature (53°F-72°F) without a password. It’s very flexible and very easy to set up.
Auto alert feature lets you know when temperature becomes extreme or your thermostat loses connection, so you can find out what is going on in your rental properties. Simultaneously, this 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. You may not worry about having some guest playing with your system.
And the smart response feature of Honeywell WiFi Smart Thermostat RTH9580 can make your guest feel satisfied. For example, if your guest sets 70°F at 7 AM every morning, Honeywell can know how long it takes to reach that temperature then actually “kick-in” before 7AM. Thereby, when your guests wake up, they will definitely have their desired temperature.
The Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat lets you add more than 2 locations to a single account – convenient because you’re monitoring two more properties such as a vacation home, a rental properties and your living house.
However, Honeywell has its own minor disadvantages. Because the unit has no battery, when power is lost the display is dark. Intrusive, longer-than-necessary registration process to access the site like name, email address (must be confirmed), home address, city/zip, security questions, specified password requirements. Make sure to check the Honeywell Wifi thermostat review.
4. CyberStat CY1201WF – Best budget
You already knew how programmable thermostats such as Honeywell, Nest, Ecobee…can save you monthly energy cost by adjusting the heat or AC when you don’t need it. However, those programs only work if your patterns or timetable are consistent or do not have tend to change frequently.
Take today for instance: It is 79°F (26°C) outside my house today and the pre-programmed temperature is up to 55°F at 6pm. I am going home early with the kids (schedules are unstable over Christmas period), so I will be home before the heater is turned on as set in advance. In that case, I just need to pull up the CyberStat web or application on my smart phone and turn up the heat an hour before I get home. Simple (if we remember). Despite making quick changes like that, I still can keep my normal program thanks to temporary overrides features. Permanent override stays in effect until I change it again.
If enabled, Adaptive Recovery starts your system early to achieve the desired temperature on your schedule.
Through your Wi-Fi network, CyberStat connects to the Internet and brings you the features that no ordinary thermostat can. 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 and maximizes your comfort with adjustable temperature swing. Large two-digit LED display with adjustable brightness can be seen clearly from across the room.
In short, you have all most necessary features in a good-quality thermostat and most importantly, at very-reasonable price.
If you do not care about the cover and other additional features such as locking mode, away mode, customization of color screen…, please read more about to know some disadvantages of Cyberstat to have your final choice. As I mentioned in another article, setup is made easily but the unit loses the wifi settings when power goes out. It is also not quite infinitely programmable thermostat: You only get 5 periods a day that you can set temperature and fan mode for and the programmable time periods have to be at least 1 hour apart. 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 used to claim that their thermostat that was cycling the furnace much too frequently (about 7 on-off cycles per hour). The cycle speed/temperature difference on such devices was non-adjustable. However, the White-Rodgers allows you to choose one of three levels of cycling speed (slow, medium, fast). The slow setting sets the temperature difference to around 1.5 degrees resulting in about 3 on-off cycles per hour at my house. Besides, you can set up flexibly between different schedules like Cool When Working From Home or Cool While Traveling or hold the temperature temporarily…
Its well-designed and intuitive mobile and web application allow you to monitor almost everything on the actual device.
Some small additional features that are backlit display or background changing color depend on status of AC may help you know related information quickly and exactly.
This thermostat also does not require C wire for operation, so it will work with many systems, especially older systems that don’t have a power wire.
One more big advantage from you can get through to White-Rodgers technical support quickly, and they are totally knowledgeable. They are available 24/7 to answer your email/your call in a timely manner with detailed response.
If you bought White-Rodgers because information said no “c-wire” required, you should know that the HVAC system with heat only (north) or cool only (south) needed a c-wire. There is a known bug that if you have a heat only system and set the AC to AC0 (no AC) programs don’t get downloaded to the thermostat and it continues to run the default. Setting AC to AC1 fixes this. This is also mentioned in a response to another review, but it doesn’t show anywhere in the FAQ’s on the Sensi website to let people not confused. And one more minor thing, it seems to be no way on the thermostat itself to see what the schedule is running, or what the schedule is. It would be very useful as a check to see the name of the running schedule and be able to review it, just to be sure that it really downloaded correctly to the thermostat.
Anyway, convenient, reliable, programmable, 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 my wifi thermostat reviews, now you may see how each thermostat branch can meet your demands and matter. All those thermostat mentioned are all potential. Just remember, there is no perfect wifi thermostat for everyone/every house but best wifi thermostat for each person or each house.