Today’s thermostat isn’t interested in sitting on the wall and quietly adjusting temperatures by itself – it wants to be connected to your WiFi, learning your habits, and offering you remote features via app. Here are the best WiFi thermostats around and the upgrades they can offer your home.
#1 Pick Nest Thermostat
It should come as little surprise that Nest is first up on the list. This learning thermostat, the result of a successful startup, is now the base of Google’s move into home automation. It offers a number WiFi capabilities, including remote scheduling from your phone and energy reports that it can send to you wirelessly so you can chart your energy usage. Of course, one of the most newsworthy features of Nest is its learning algorithms, which can note when the house is active and set temperature schedules of its own to match your habits. One downside is the price, which is a bit steep at $249, but it does give you a gateway into Google’s smart home market and, frankly, it’s hard to find a smart thermostat for less.
#2 Pick Ecobee3
The Ecobee3 follows close at the heels of Nest with a number of similar features. You can monitor and control it from any mobile device or computer, and it’s designed to help you save energy. Its smart features, however, step up the game. Ecobee3 features remote sensors that you can stick in multiple rooms of the house, allowing the thermostat to monitor several different temperatures at once and even bring in data about the outside weather. Using this information, the thermostat can set itself and even control temperature room by room if necessary, making it the best thermostat for larger areas. The price is equivalent to Nest, but you don’t get interconnectivity with other Google devices.
#3 Pick Honeywell Lyric
At a glance, the Lyric WiFi thermostat looks a lot like Nest, with its round form and minimalistic temperature screen. The smart features offer similar temperature control, but instead of a learning algorithm or multiple data inputs, the Lyric uses geofencing to automatically control temperatures. You set a specific perimeter – such as ¼ of a mile away from the thermostat – and when your phone gets out of range, it will switch to Away mode and cool down your house to save money (return to the perimeter, and the thermostat will start heating your home). It can also send you notifications about extreme conditions as a warning. However, Lyric may get a little complicated if multiple house-members are heading in and out at different times of the day.
#4 Pick Peq Touch Thermostat
The Peq (as in peek, not pectoral) touch thermostat is a simpler device for a more casual user. It may not have advanced learning features or temperature sensors, but it does offer a lot of wireless control. You can send real-time commands via the thermostat WiFi to change the temperature whenever you want. It also works in concert with other Peq home automation devices and requires a $9 monthly Peq subscription (ouch), at least for now, so this thermostat works best as part of a whole-house Peq system.
#5 Pick Allure Energy EverSense
Allure’s Eversense is sort of the teenage cousin to the other WiFi thermostats on the market. It has a large touchscreen designed for flashy visuals, speakers that can connect with your phone and play your music wirelessly, and other features that seem designed more for entertainment than functionality. It also includes some of the smart functions of the other thermostats, such as geofencing technology, energy tips, and weather reports.
#6 Pick Lennox iComfort
Here’s a more elite option for WiFi thermostat control. The iComfort includes basic Wi-Fi capabilities that allow you to control temperature from anywhere, etc. and so on. However, it also has features like a one-touch away mode, five-day weather forecasts for your area, and other benefits. One unique feature is the option to use Nuvango Skins, which allow you to customize the frame of your thermostat and camouflage it altogether with a covering panel when you want. The odd part is the price, which tends to stay between $300 and $400 depending on the supplier. It’s a high price for a basic wireless thermostat, but the iComfort does have some unique features that no one else can offer.