Colton Deck

By: Colton Deck on September 23rd, 2022

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Best Smart Thermostats in 2023

Heating | Air

Searching for a smart thermostat is a lot like shopping for a new phone. Every option looks shiny and capable but sorting through which ones are worth your dollar is tedious and often a fruitless endeavor. 

After over 50 years of HVAC experience, we understand the importance of getting your HVAC system performing at its peak. With some regions, including California, requiring homeowners to install more modern thermostats like smart thermostats, it’s crucial you go into your shopping process with confidence. 

Not every smart thermostat is created equal. There is a range of features to keep tabs on while shopping around. While some options are drastically more expensive than others, they often have a wider set of features, allowing you more flexibility in controlling your HVAC system. 

On the other hand, the market is filled with more simplistic and budget-friendly options that may be light on features but have the necessary functionality to bring out the best in your HVAC system. 

Key aspects include: 

  • Geofencing
  • Display size
  • Design
  • Additional sensors
  • App support
  • Virtual assistant compatibility
  • C-wire adapters for power

We’ll guide you through our top five choices of smart thermostats so you can be armed with the knowledge of what to look for and what to avoid. 

Top smart thermostats include models from: 

  • Ecobee 
  • Honeywell
  • Nest
  • Amazon
  • Emerson

Of course, you’ll need to check to see which smart thermostats are compatible with your HVAC system. Most smart thermostats will support a multi-stage system but may not support other components like heat pumps and dehumidifiers. 

Let’s jump in with the best overall smart thermostats of 2023. 

 

Best Smart Thermostats in 2023

      1. Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium


         Best Overall

Ecobee smart thermostat

 

While it may be one of the most expensive options on the list at $250, the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium has a feature set to back up the sticker price, along with a modernized design. Previous models included a plastic build, but the upgraded model features a zinc case. 

In terms of looks, while this model sports a modern aesthetic. A more subtle model might work better if this is a concern. 

Ecobee includes an air quality sensor and an additional Smart Sensor to place in another room. The air quality sensor is unfortunately restricted to the immediate area surrounding the thermostat and won’t give you up-to-date information on the air quality throughout the home. 

Having an additional Smart Sensor allows the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium to more accurately manage your home’s temperature. 

For ease of access, Ecobee also loads in Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa support. A proprietary app is also a part of the package and provides greater control over your thermostat. 

The Ebcobee Smart Thermostat features geofencing, which tracks the user’s movements to determine when they leave and return to the home. This feature allows the thermostat to adjust the home temperature based on your location.

Pros

  • Air quality sensor
  • Zinc body
  • Smart Sensor
  • Air quality sensor
  • Includes C-wire adapter
  • Geofencing
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit

Cons

  • One of the higher-priced models
  • Air quality sensor limited range
  • Doesn’t blend in well in every home

 

      2. Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat


         Best Mid-Range Model

Honeywell smart thermostat

Honeywell’s Home T9 Smart Thermostat comes in just under the Ecobee and Nest options at $200. But don’t let the price fool you, the Home T9 Smart Thermostat is packed with flexible features. 

The included Smart Room Sensor monitors humidity, proximity, and temperature to better adjust your home’s temperature. While this feature is sought after, it isn’t included on every model in this price range or even on this list. 

Setting up the app allows you to enable geofencing to ensure your system is working efficiently and saving you money while keeping you comfortable. 

The Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat’s appearance is somewhat dated when put next to the Ecobee and Nest options on the list. The white plastic is reminiscent of the older-style thermostats. 

Despite its dated appearance, the Home T9 feels more modern than some other options like the Nest. Honeywell edges out Nest by including an additional Smart Room Sensor and mitigating hassle by including a C-wire adapter, which is otherwise sold separately from the Nest model. 

Pros

  • Geofencing 
  • Includes C-wire adapter
  • Intuitive app support
  • Additional Smart Room Sensor
  • Includes faceplate

Cons

  • No Apple HomeKit support
  • Dated appearance

 

      3. Amazon Smart Thermostat


         Best Budget-Friendly Model

Amazon smart thermostat

For a more budget-friendly option, Amazon’s Smart Thermostat will do the trick. While the price can hover near $60, it can easily be bumped to $75 if you require a C-wire adapter. 

Simplicity is one of the Amazon Smart Thermostat’s strong suits. With a minimalist design and easy-to-navigate interface, it isn’t very easy to get lost. Likewise, the more neutral appearance may fit better in a wider range of homes. 

Instead of including sensors, the Amazon Smart Thermostat uses Alexa Hunches, which make educated guesses as to where you are in the home based on other Alexa-connected devices, including your smartphone. 

This isn’t as concrete of a method as using additional sensors is, but for $60, this is one of the easiest ways to adopt a smart thermostat. 

Hunches lean on you having many Amazon Home products, which may not be for every user. Of course, it tracks that the more Amazon Home products you own in more rooms, the better Hunches will function. 

For more granular control, the Alexa app allows users to adjust settings on the fly to tailor their thermostat’s performance to their needs. 

While it has its downsides, the Amazon Smart Thermostat is one of the cheapest ways to get yourself a smart thermostat.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Simple interface
  • Included faceplate

Cons

  • C-wire is not included in the base package
  • Hunches are not as effective as sensors
  • Only compatible with Amazon Alexa

 

      4. Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation)


         Best Aesthetically Minded Model

Google Nest thermostat

Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation) hits at the same price point as the Ecobee option but has a few tricks up its sleeve in addition to key features like geofencing. 

For starters, and perhaps most important for aesthetically minded homeowners, are the variety of finishes the thermostat comes in. 

You can choose from:

  • Stainless steel
  • Mirror black
  • Brass 
  • Polished steel
  • White
  • Black
  • Copper

With considerably more colorways than any other option on the list, the Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation) is a clear frontrunner when it comes to fitting in your home. 

In terms of functionality, this Nest model features Auto-away and Auto-schedule. Auto-away shuts off your system when you leave, and Auto-schedule accounts for your preferred temperatures and commits them to memory. 

Functionality is further enhanced by the use of Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Nest’s app. Apple HomeKit sits this one out, unfortunately. 

The Ecobee model excels over the Nest option in the additional sensors category. Nest is not usable with additional sensors and instead would require you to use multiple thermostats throughout to work cooperatively. 

Nest is unique in that it provides easy-to-understand instructions, a faceplate, and even a screwdriver to make things easier. Unfortunately, Nest does not include a C-wire adapter in the box, meaning an additional $25 investment if your existing system doesn’t have a C-wire. 

Shelling out for a C-wire adapter isn’t ideal, but it’s cheaper than hiring a professional to run a new one in any case. 

Pros

  • Geofencing
  • 3-inch diameter display
  • Unrivaled aesthetics
  • Easy installation, tools included

Cons

  • Higher-priced model
  • No additional sensor support
  • No Apple HomeKit support
  • C-wire adapter sold separately

 

      5. Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat


           Best Ease of Access Model

Emerson Sensi smart thermostat

Blending old-school shape with modern aesthetics, the Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat is ideal for those who are just switching over from an older thermostat model, specifically the white plastic square models. 

While this model borrows its looks from its predecessors, the updated and easy-to-read interface makes for a smooth transition into newer technology. A familiar shape and layout ensure new users can learn about their smart thermostat easily. 

On top of a familiar design, this Emerson model features a large, 4.3-inch display for easy reading and greater accessibility. 

Looking at core features, the Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat ships with geofencing and supports Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Amazon Alexa. 

It may not come in as many colors as the Nest Smart Thermostat (3rd Generation), but the Emerson Sensi model includes three colorways: 

  • Black
  • Silver 
  • White

Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat isn’t the flashiest, but it will help users who are newer to smart thermostats get off to a running start. This model is also one of the cheaper options on the list, hitting retail at $169.

Pros

  • Geofencing capable
  • Includes C-wire
  • 4.3-inch touch display
  • Straightforward interface
  • Supports Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Amazon Alexa

Cons

  • No room occupancy sensors
  • C-wire adapter not included
  • Slightly outdated look

 

Getting a smart start with your thermostat

We’ve covered 5 of the best smart thermostats on the market, each with a different appeal for different users, so you can find out which one is best for you. Now, you can begin your search using these models as benchmarks and confidently choose the best option for your home. 

Times have changed rapidly, and the shift to smart thermostats is one Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air has watched over the years. While you don’t need a professional to come out and install your new smart thermostat, we’re here if you need a hand. To book a consultation, call us at (310) 853- 8690 or visit our HVAC services page.

Did you know that many smart thermostats are eligible for bill credits and rebates? Check out which smart thermostats qualify before making your decision so you can maximize savings. Spoiler alert: most of our top picks qualify!