Best WiFi Thermostats 2016
Do you want to save big money on your energy bills? Want to control your thermostat from your smart phone and be alerted if the temperature gets to high or low? Yes? Then you need a WiFi thermostat. We have tested out 4 of the most popular in our WiFi Thermostat Reviews site that will guide you through everything you need to know about the technology and which is best for your home.
|Picture||Name||Price||Overall Rating (1-5)|
|Nest Thermostat 3rd Generation||$$$$||4.8|
|Sensi WiFi Thermostat||$$||4.5|
|Honeywell WiFi Thermostat||$$$||4.1|
|Lyric WiFi Thermostat||$$$||4.6|
- Sleek design that will look great on your wall
- Learning thermostat for full automation
- Can see you and will automatically turn the display on
- Password protect the display if desired
- Nest leaf shows when you are at an optimal temperature for energy savings
If you are looking for a great overall WiFi enabled thermostat with all the features the Nest Thermostat is for you. The Nest actually learns over time and will automatically adjust to your comfort levels. You don’t have to program it at all. It also knows when you are away so it will never heat or cool an empty house. This leads to big savings on your energy bills.
The Nest Thermostat also automatically saves your energy data so you can adjust for optimal savings. You will see a green leaf when you are at an optimal temperature. This helps you know when you are saving money.
Good Looking and Smart
On top of having a very sleek design the Nest Thermostat will detect when you are in the room and display the temperature, time, or current weather outside.
C Wire or No C Wire
WiFi Thermostat Features Include
- WiFi thermostat with remote sensors for even heating and cooling of large homes
- Usage reports to optimize your energy use
- Easily programmable from your android or apple smart phone
- WiFi enabled for remote control of the thermostat
If you have a large home and struggle with temperature fluctuation this is the thermostat for you.
WiFi Thermostat with Remote Sensors
The Ecobee Thermostat has many of the features you would expect from a premium smart thermostat and it has one unique feature. It is the only WiFi thermostat with remote sensors. Place them in your favorite rooms and they monitor each room individually. You can purchase up to 32 additional remote sensors and place them in the rooms you use the most. They will know which rooms are empty or occupied and adjust the temperature automatically.
The Ecobee Thermostat comes with all of the other features you want such as being programmable with your Android or Apple smart phone, WiFi capable, and it can be incorporated with Amazon Echo for voice controls. Add in the remote sensors for multiple zone control and this can cut your energy bill dramatically. You will need a thermostat C wire but they include an adapter to make adding this super easy. Go to my C Wire page for more information.
- Easily programmable using the smart phone app
- Built in voice commands
- Made by an industry leader in Honeywell
- Change the display color to match your home decor
- Works with apple and android devices
- Easy installation
WiFi Thermostat with Built In Voice Commands
If you want to control your thermostat with voice commands but don’t want the added expense of buying an Amazon Echo this is the solution for you. The Honeywell Thermostat has many of the features you would expect plus built-in voice commands. No need to purchase an additional device. It will also allow you to control the temperature and program the thermostat with your Android or Apple phone. Just download the app and you are all set. You can even set the display color to match your paint scheme or decor.
Bottom Line on the Honeywell WiFi Thermostat
This smart thermostat does not learn your patterns over time like the Nest thermostat will but you can easily program it. On top of that you get the built-in voice commands and it is generally cheaper than comparable smart thermostats. You will need a C Wire but you can go to my C Wire page to see why installing one shouldn’t stop you from purchasing a smart thermostat.
Best WiFi Thermostat Without a C Wire | Sensi Smart Thermostat
Sensi Thermostat Review
If you are looking for a great WiFi thermostat that costs under $150 that still comes with all the features the Sensi smart thermostat is for you.
- It is designed to work with your homes existing wires
- Compatible with more systems than any other WiFi thermostat
- The only thermostat that absolutely does not require a C wire
- Works with Amazon Echo for voice controls
- Works with two different apps. The Emerson app of Wink app.
Two smart phone apps are better than one
The Sensi thermostat was originally designed to work with the Emerson app. With the Emerson app you can program your smart thermostat with a swipe of your finger and control the temperature remotely. You can also get usage information like the other thermostats. If you want to integrate more home automation you can use the Wink full home automation app. This option will allow you to control your thermostat, lights, and other devices in your home from a single application.
WiFi Thermostat No C Wire Required
The Sensi WiFi Programmable Thermostat is one of the only thermostats on the market that does not need a C wire. It uses two AA batteries instead. This means you can install the thermostat in under 15 minutes. It is a great DIY project that anyone can handle.
Best Smart Thermostat Under $200
The Sensi smart thermostat isn’t as sleek-looking as some of the other models but it appears to be more user-friendly. It receives great reviews on Amazon and costs much less than other thermostats. If price is a concern and you are more worried about it working properly than looks this is a great option.
Nest Cam Security Camera
While this is not a thermostat it is a good thing to mention on this site. Nest has started selling security cameras that come with some very nice features. They include
- 24/7 live streaming
- Alerts you of motion or noise on your phone
- full night vision so you can see the entire room
- Nest offers “Nest Aware” to offer 24/7 recording that can be played back
- Created by Nest Labs so you know it is quality
They are not the cheapest security cameras on the market but sometimes you get what you pay for. The image quality and the night vision make the nest camera stand out above the rest. You can read more by going to Amazon.
Why Purchase a WiFi Thermostat?
A WiFi Thermostat is generally, well, a lot smarter than the old versions that were difficult to program and didn’t work very well. They can generally be controlled from your smart phone, some program themselves, and they can save you money on your energy bills.Here are some general advantages of a Smart Thermostat over their older programmable models.
- They are easily programmable from a smart phone, tablet, or computer.
- You can change the temperature in your home from your smart phone or setup a programmable schedule from the phone app.
- Some Smart Thermostats actually “learn” your schedule and will adjust the temperature automatically.
- Most smart thermostats actually save usage data so you can run reports and see how you can save even more on your energy bills.
- Some models are compatible with home automation systems like Amazon’s Echo allowing you to control the thermostat with voice commands.
- Save money on your electric and gas bills through home automation.
Things to Consider When Buying
Is your phone compatible: One of the biggest reasons people purchase smart thermostats is the ease of programming them with your smart phone. Most of your popular brands will work with both Apple and Android devices but not all of them will. Make sure you
buy a smart thermostat that has an app for your particular operating system. It may even be a good idea to make sure it is compatible with both in case you want to switch your type of phone or someone in your house does.
Future home automation: Speaking of compatibility you want to have a plan for your current or future home automation needs. Some Smart Thermostats have voice commands built-in which is great. The only downside is they may not work with Alexa or other home automation products. You could end up using one device for voice control of your thermostat and another your lights.
C wire: Another issue to consider is if your current thermostat already has a C wire installed or not. If you aren’t familiar with what a C wire is or how to check if you have one go here to learn more. If your home does not have a common wire you may want to look at a model like the Sensi Thermostat that does not require a common wire.
System compatibility: The final major factor you want to consider is one that most people may not think of. Does the smart thermostat work with your type of heating system. Most of the major brands work with 95% of HVAC systems. If your system isn’t a very commonly used form of heating or cooling I would pay close attention to this. Nothing would be more disappointing than getting your smart thermostat home and realizing it won’t work with your system.
Best WiFi Thermostat for Vacation Homes
If you own a vacation home you know how frustrating it can be not knowing if the heat is actually working when you are away. What if the heat goes out during the winter? The advantage of having a WiFi thermostat for your vacation home are
- Monitor the temperature in the home from your smart phone, tablet, or PC
- Easily program a schedule when you aren’t going to be in the vacation home for energy savings
- Setup e-mail alerts if the temperature gets too high or low
- Pre-heat your home when you are on your way so you don’t have to be cold or hot when you arrive
All of the smart thermostats reviewed on this page will be a major upgrade over a thermostat without WiFi for a vacation home.
Thermostat C Wire
I have an entire page dedicated to the C Wire but here is a quick run down. Most smart thermostats need a continuous power source. They get this power from a common wire or C wire for short. Older models didn’t require one so you may have to install the wire if it is missing. There are a few models that do not require the C wire or come with an adapter to make installing one easy.If you are unsure if you have a c wire or how to install one check out my page on C wires. If you don’t have the wire I would still consider a smart thermostat. You can purchase the wire extender or purchase a thermostat that does not require one. The convenience and cost savings you get from a WiFi enabled thermostat is well worth the few extra steps.
WiFi Thermostats With No C Wire
If you absolutely don’t want to worry about the whole C wire issue? Don’t worry you are still in luck. While your choices may be limited you can still get all the benefits of a smart thermostat.The Sensi Thermostat does not require a C wire at all for most installations. It is a great thermostat and the easiest to install. You still get all of these features
- Programmable with your smart phone
- Accessible via WiFi
- Control the thermostat from any where in the world
- And no C wire is required
Your next option is the Ecobee thermostat. While you still technically need a c wire they include an adapter that only has a few extra steps to install. Most reviewers have installed this thermostat with the adapter in under an hour without any major issues. Not to mention the Ecobee is an amazing smart thermostat. Especially if your home has multiple zones or is larger than an average home.
Installing a WiFi Thermostat
If you can change out an electrical outlet you can easily install a WiFi thermostat. All you generally need is a screw driver to complete the task and all the smart thermostats come with easy to read instructions. Just write down where your current wires are connected and match that to the smart thermostat. The only exception is if you need to add a C wire and you have many options if you don’t currently have one. All of that is explained on my C wire page.
About the WiFi Thermostat Companies
Nest was founded in Palo Alto, CA in 2010 with 16 people out a garage. Soon after that they have grown to 70 people and move in to an actual office space. Nest introduced its first thermostats in October of 2011. In 2012 they were one of the first companies to introduce an app for a smart thermostat and also came out with a slimmer more sleek design. In January of 2014 they were acquired by Google and the innovation has never stopped. Now Nest makes smart thermostats, security cameras, and even smoke detectors. You can expect Nest to continue innovating well in to the future as home automation becomes more popular.
In 2007 Stuart Lombard was trying to reduce his families carbon footprint and save some money on his energy bills. He found that most of his ideas were complex and very costly. After a few trial and errors he realized that heating and cooling his home as the largest consumer of home energy. He tried several programmable thermostats but found they lacked features and were difficult to use. At that point he set out to make his own thermostat that was easy to install, smart, and great at conserving energy. That is when Ecobee was born.
Emerson was founded in 1890 as a manufacturer of electric motors and fans. There motto is to do what has never been done before and they live up to that. Today they have over 100,000 employees all over the world and are still growing. Today Emerson is a leader in heating and cooling, backup power supplies, storage solutions, and many other areas that impact our lives every day.
Honeywell is an American multinational conglomerate that produces everything from consumer and commercial electronics to aerospace solutions. The company was founded in 1885 and today’s has roughly 130,000 employees. They are headquartered in Morris Planes, NJ where they employee about 50,000 American workers. They have and continue to manufacture some oft the worlds most innovative and cutting edge technologies in several sectors.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking for a smart thermostat to automate your heating and cooling you can’t go wrong with any of the choices. It is really a matter of personal preference. If you want the latest and greatest the Nest is for you. If you are looking to save money and own a large home I would choose the Ecobee. They all have pros and cons and you ultimately have to decide which is the best for your home.