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After we moved to our new bigger house, everything looked great until I received the utility bill! I was still basking in the joys of a new home when the first bill of the summer nearly gave me a heart attack. It was then I decided it was about time to get a smart thermostat to keep a check on the house heating/cooling system.
Smart thermostats come with multiple benefits. They not only help in reducing the energy bill but also help you control the home temperature from your tablet or smartphone. Some advanced thermostats come with built-in sensors that enable the device to adjust temperature and humidity levels inside the house. They may also turn on/ off automatically by sensing motion or lack of it.
When I started searching for the best Alexa compatible thermostat online, the number of options available completely blew away my mind. After thorough research and racking my brains with all the features, pros and cons, I finally settled with the Nest. It had everything I needed – compatibility with Alexa, good-looking, affordable, and it also saves energy.
Although I chose to buy Nest, one product that really stood out in my research was the Ecobee 4, which helps in adjusting the right temperature for every room. It supports more 3rd party devices and has the ability to detect the occupancy level in every room. Ecobee 4 can work with Apple’s HomeKit and it is also compatible with Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa.
Another product that comes close and deserves a mention is the Honeywell Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Thermostat. It may not include the frills of an expensive device, but it is compatible with several smart home systems and costs comparatively less than the Ecobee.
If you are looking to buy a smart thermostat compatible with Alexa, here’s some useful information that can help you choose a product that fits your budget and needs.
Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
Ecobee4 (see Amazon) is the upgraded version of its sister product Ecobee3 and it has everything that made Ecobee3 a popular choice among buyers. From a sleek exterior and touchscreen interface to the wireless sensor to control the temperature in every room, the Ecobee4 has it all, plus one extra feature.
The new Ecobee4 is now compatible with Alexa, which is good news for those who have the Echo or the Echo Dot. You can now ask Alexa to adjust the room’s temperature to as per your preference. Isn’t that cool?
• Easy to install
• Works with Amazon Alexa voice assistant
• Remote room sensor to control the temperature of any room
•Support more 3rd party devices
• Not very impressive audio quality
How To Use Ecobee4 With Alexa?
Tell Alexa to ask Ecobee4 what is the current room temperature. You can also change the room temperature and adjust it to your preferred settings. If you wish to increase or decrease the temperature by certain degrees, just say –
Alexa increase the temperature by 2 degrees
Alexa decrease the temperature by 2 degrees
What did I think About Ecobee4?
Ecobee4 has all the bells and whistles of a technically advanced smart thermostat. It works with Amazon’s voice control Alexa. Although slightly on the higher side when it comes to pricing, the product pays for itself by saving you on energy bills over a period of time.
Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation)
Nest Learning Thermostat (see Amazon) is the third version of the smart thermostat from the house of Google. The retro circular design and stainless steel finish give it a classic look. Similar to its predecessor, this Nest thermostat can communicate with a plethora of other smart home devices such as Nest Cam, Amazon Echo, and the Logitech Harmony remote.
What I love best about the Nest thermostat is that it can automatically adjust the temperature when someone comes home or you are relaxing on the couch. The built-in sensors can detect when the baby’s room is too hot or the living area is not hot enough, and change the temperature accordingly.
• Many features
• Easy to install
• Compatible with other smart devices
• Support for Amazon’s Alexa, IFTTT, and Google Home
• No remote room sensors
• Slightly expensive
How To Use Nest Learning Thermostat With Alexa
As Nest works with Alexa, there are many things you can do with the device. You can ask Alex to tell you the temperature of the thermostat and set it to a specific temperature. You can also increase or decrease the temperature by saying warmer’ or colder’.
What did I think About the Nest Learning Thermostat?
The nest may not be as feature-rich as the Ecobee4 but it works well when you have other works-with-Nest devices in the house. With smart controls and features, it has helped me save significantly on my utility bills. Hence, I totally recommend it.
Honeywell Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Thermostat
If you are looking for a smart thermostat that requires smaller investment then the Honeywell Lyric T5 (see Amazon) is your best bet. It comes with features like geofencing that uses your mobile phone’s location to decide when to run the HVAC system.
Although the Lyric T5 feels light on the pocket, it is not as easy to use. It comes with a two-year warranty, which is less than the three-year coverage provided by several competitors. While the thermostat works with several smart home platforms, it is compatible with fewer devices when compared to Ecobee4 and Nest.
• Easy to install
• Uses geofencing feature
• Compatible with Siri and Alexa
• Lacks motion sensors or humidity detection
• No usage reports
• No support for IFTTT
What did I think About Honeywell Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Thermostat?
When a basic thermostat with simple scheduling is all you need, the Lyric T5 is the right choice. What’s more? It even works with Amazon Alexa, which makes this one a true value pick!
Do I Need An Expert To Install A Smart Thermostat?
No. You can DIY the installation part of most of the smart thermostats if you know the wiring system in your house. If you are a replacing an old thermostat, pay attention to the wiring system and take a picture to rule out any error. The devices come with proper labeling to guide you through the installation process so you know which wire goes where.
You must also know the type of system in your house as you will need to enter this information during the installation process. Some of the supported HVAC systems are electric, gas, oil, propane, forced air, and radiant systems. Another important factor is a C (common) wire used to provide a constant supply of power to the thermostats.
The modern smart thermostats need a C wire to function properly but the older houses do not have one as the older heating systems did not need them. So, what’s the solution? Some devices come with a power extender kit that can be installed to supply power.
Other products like Nest thermostats do not need a C wire but they will take power from the furnace control circuits to ensure that the internal battery is sufficiently charged. Although this usually does not pose any problems, it is known to often cause issues with some HVAC systems.
While most smart thermostats are compatible with other smart devices, if you have multiple heating and cooling systems such as ventilation systems, look for a device that is compatible with them. In a rare case, if your HVAC system is too complex for you to understand, consider hiring a professional.
5 Reasons That Make Smart Thermostats The Best
You may have heard of programmable thermostats for which you can set schedules. The smart thermostats are way ahead of their programmable counterparts in terms of features and benefits. Here are 5 reasons that make smart thermostats the best choice.
1. Cut down utility bills
Unlike traditional thermostats that give a stable temperature or programmable thermostats that let you only set schedule, smart thermostats come with built-in sensors to save on energy bills. It lowers the temperature when it gets too hot and increases the temperature when the room is too cold.
2. Motion sensors
Some smart thermostats also come with sensors that detect motion and can turn off the heating system when there is no one in the room. This feature also helps in saving energy.
3. Auto scheduling
Smart thermostats like Nest Learning Thermostat can track your habits and adapt itself with your routine. They can pick your preferences and adjust the temperature to your ideal settings so you do not need to change them at all.
4. Remote controlling
You can control smart thermostats using the mobile app to change the temperature in any room from anywhere in the house. Even when you are in the office, some devices let you control the heating/ cooling system at home via Wi-Fi.
5. Works with voice-control assistants
Most smart thermostats work with voice-control assistants like Alexa and Siri to add more convenience to your life. You can now give voice commands to increase/ decrease in temperature from anywhere in the house. Just make sure Alexa can hear you!
Even though I use the Nest Learning Thermostat because it caters to my needs perfectly well, I believe the Ecobee4 is the best smart thermostats out there! It is packed with some really amazing features and works well with both Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. People looking for a cheaper solution with fewer features can go with the Honeywell Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Thermostat.
While buying a smart thermostat definitely calls for a good investment, it is worth every penny as it helps you rule out energy wastage and save big time on your utility bills.