8 Smart Thermostats for Alexa To Make Your House The Smartest on The Block

Hey Alexa

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Smart homes seem like something from the fiction we grew up with; asking your climate control to make you more comfortable, tell a robot chef to prepare your favorite meals, and have an automated vehicle chauffeur you from point A to point B. While we’re making strides on every front, smart thermostats are reality in the here and now, adding convenience in a time of inconsistent schedules, second-job hustles, and penny pinching electric usage.

Smart thermostats use internet connectivity to allow long-distance climate controls from web or phone apps; the list below all integrate with Amazon’s Alexa to allow voice activated control. Tell Alexa to set wake or sleep modes, or set up home and away functions to ensure comfort when it’s desired, and savings when it’s not.

You should know:

  • The leader for cutting edge features
  • Best for those who want a whole-house system
  • More expensive than some of the other options

With 13000 reviews, the Nest is the best selling smart thermostat on the market, and leads the pack in almost every way. Regularly released with updates and improvements, the Nest learning thermostat is on its third iteration, with an easier to read display and more intuitive setup. Reviewers rave over the 3rd gen Nest, with a top reviewer saying “I just learned about this – but the Nest is smart enough to turn off the AC condenser a little bit early and still run the fan over the chilled coils in order to extract the last bit of cold air in order to get your temperature down to the desired level. They correctly know that running the condenser is the big energy draw, so by limiting that, you get more bang for your energy dollar. The integration with Amazon Echo has been seamless, and while I don’t use the voice function a lot, I have integrated the lighting through the Nest occupancy sensor (it knows when you move past it) to automatically turn on my lights as I come home after sunset – which is a cool integration, I think.” The Nest learns your habits and self-programs based on your usage. It will lower the temperature threshold for heating after you leave for work or school, or drop the air conditioner when you’re on the way home, as needed. Smartphone controls allow you to anticipate desired changes before you step through the door, making sure your home is comfortable and cozy long before you arrive. The new Farsight design shows more relevant information, such as time, temperature, and weather forecast. It also integrates with other Nest products, such as smoke detectors, making it a key component in any full-home smart house upgrades.

Ecobee

Ecobee

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You should know:

  • Sensors adjust to room fluctuations
  • Highest reviewed smart thermostat on Amazon
  • Geofence location tracking doesn’t work well with multiple users

Adaptable and easy to use, the Ecobee 2.0 grows on the foundation of its predecessors with new features and improved usability. Set up pre-programmed integration with other smart home systems or with the IFTTT app to control automated functions. The included room sensors help parse useful information, like temperature fluctuations in western facing rooms with large windows; knowing about these subtle variances allows the Ecobee to plan its adjustments well in advance and anticipate changes in usage before they’re requested. Sensors can also detect occupancy levels, so if an unexpected crowd piles in for brunch, an afternoon watching sports, or a late night after party, Ecobee ramps up to accommodate the change.

Hive

Hive

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You should know:

  • Best alert system
  • Allows for specific voice sets (Alexa, set to 74 degrees, etc)
  • Currently the most expensive on the market

Most smart thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature remotely, but the Hive Hub actively reminds you to do so, sensing when you’ve left the house but left the climate control running. It also allows you to set both upper and lower limits to your comfort zone, so there’s no swapping between cooling and heating modes when the weekend dips into the 50’s after a week of highs in the 80’s. The Hive Hub integrates easily with Alexa controls, so any other Hive products become easy to integrate and control whether at home or away.

Idevices

Idevices

Buy on amazon

You should know:

  • Inexpensive
  • Software leaves reviewers unimpressed

With one of the lowest price points on the market, the iDevices smart thermostat is a no-frills first step into an automated smart home. The easy read display shows current and set temperatures, and smart phone controls are straightforward. It lacks some of the fancier add-ons of its competitors, and app controls lack the finesse of pricier models, but for a beginner a budget it may be a smart choice.

Honeywell

Honeywell

Buy on amazon

Familiar and traditional, the Honeywell Wifi Programmable thermostat is a great smart thermostat for those who intend to do all their programming and control from the thermostat itself, but enjoy the backup option of app control in case of schedule changes or vacations. The app has weather forecasting for more convenient programming setup. Reviewers note these are great for small offices or vacation homes; they’re relatively inexpensive, easy to use in person or remotely, and temperature controls are very precise.

Honeywell

Honeywell

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You should know:

  • Tons of information for those who love weather
  • Web Portal gets rave reviews
  • Some users report the touchscreen is too fragile for frequent use

Perfect for the tech-smart weather nerd, this touchscreen Honeywell brings every smart home thermostat feature to bear in a single easy to use device. It reminds users to change air filters, shows humidity levels inside and out, sends reminders to replace humidifier filters, sends email notifications if WiFi goes down, and honestly looks really cool when installed. Not the most important factor, we know, but it’s worth mentioning. Now for the downsides- the voice controls for Alexa require that you name the device, and give degree specific instructions instead of end goals, so you’ll be saying, “Alexa, tell the thermostat to lower the temperature three degrees.” It’s a little awkward. We’d like it more if we could say “Alexa, set the temperature to 74 degrees.” Also, by default it doesn’t allow programming simultaneous upper and lower limits, but you can get to the settings with some work. It does earn bonus points with reviewers for the specificity of programming options, as some integrators show it as a hygrometer and thermometer as well as a thermostat; the web portal also gets higher reviews than some competitors, though the app gets correspondingly lower reviews, so it depends on user preference for controls. Bonus; the touchscreen is lockable, so families with kids won’t have to worry about them changing the controls.

You should know:

  • Easiest to install (no C wire)
  • Best bang for your buck
  • WiFi is difficult to keep connected, even for the tech savvy

With a five year warranty, the Sensi Pro banks on longevity and reliability for years to come. Great for multi zone installations like a main house + mother in law suite, or separate upstairs/downstairs controls, you can control multiple thermostats from inside a single app without requiring tedious multiple usernames or app installs. It can install with or without a C wire, unlike many competitors. Reviewers do say that Wi-Fi compatibility and connection is a hassle, with more frequent disconnects than expected. For just over 100$ it’s also one of the most affordable smart thermostats on the market.

Lux

Lux

Buy on amazon

You should know:

  • Highest energy savings in cold climates
  • Battery only mode available
  • If it disconnects it doesn’t automatically reconnect; not a good choice for vacation homes

Retro, inexpensive, and highly functional, the Lux Geo wins high marks for ease of installation and backwards-compatibility with older heating and cooling systems. The rotating dial controls earn high marks from reviewers for ease of use, and the app is one of the cleanest and easiest to operate on the market.


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