Find the Best Smart Thermostat for Your Home

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Use this smart thermostat checklist to find your perfect match

You’ve read all the news stories about smart home products. And you’ve heard many of your friends brag about their connected gadgets. You know the benefits of home automation. So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and update your traditional thermostat to a smart thermostat.

One of the easiest smart home entry-level devices is a smart thermostat. But how do you know which one is right for you? Use this simple thermostat checklist to help narrow down the smart thermostat selection to find your perfect match.


One of the first things people look at is the price. Some smart thermostats can run as high as $250, and that’s just for the device. Others charge monthly monitoring fees and not all have a free mobile app. Before you purchase, you can also check online to see if you qualify for a rebate from your utility provider.


After you’ve narrowed down the field with price, you’ll want assurance that you are purchasing a quality device. Look for thermostats that are Energy Aware Qualified®.

System Compatibility

Next, you’ll want to make sure that the thermostat you purchase is compatible with your thermostat wiring and the type of heating and cooling equipment in your home. One of the most important factors in determining compatibility is whether or not your system has or will require the common, or c-wire.

If you aren’t an engineer, or familiar with HVAC systems and how they work, wiring can be intimidating. Before making your selection, read more about the c-wire here to help you better understand what it is and how it works with your thermostat.

Ease of Install

Most homeowners prefer to install the thermostats themselves. Why waste an hour thumbing through a user manual when you can install and connect by using your phone?

You’ll also want to consider the thermostat design. Look for a thermostat that is designed to cover the existing thermostat footprint, which means no messy wall patches, repairs or painting.

Features and Functions

A 2010 study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory revealed that most people who have programmable thermostats don’t actually program them and use the manual settings instead. Why aren’t people programming their thermostats? Simple. Because they can’t figure it out.

Look for a thermostat with easy to understand navigation. Using the mobile app, you should be able to create custom temperature schedules for each day of the week.

Remote Access

It’s not a connected device if you can’t stay connected. Most smart thermostats have mobile apps, so you can change your settings and adjust your thermostat schedule from across the room or the country. It’s the perfect tool for the moms and dads too busy herding the family for the annual vacation to think about the thermostat settings. Or for the harried business traveler who is more worried about the big client presentation than home energy efficiency. There’s nothing worse than realizing that you forgot to adjust your thermostat when you arrive at the airport or have already driven halfway across the state.

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider before you purchase your first smart thermostat. By following this thermostat checklist, you’re well on your way to choosing the perfect match.


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6 thoughts on “Find the Best Smart Thermostat for Your Home

  1. How can u accommodate the older homes that only have a 2 wire system? Most of the wires have or require 5,6 or 7

    • In older homes with a two wire heating only, or cooling only thermostat you will need to upgrade the thermostat wiring to include at a minimum a “C” common wire.

  2. I have a Blue Easy Reader Thermostat # 1F95EZ-0671. My problem is i need to change the batteries but your Homeowners Guide does not show how to accomplish this task. HELP!

  3. I need help with my sensi thermostat. The room temp is often 77 when therm is set at 74. Often when I get up in the AM the temp is set for 83, even though I have programmed it for 75 overnight. If the unit is running (a/c) and I change the requested temp to a lower temp it turns off. All these problems are sporadic. I have already had 2 service calls with problems with this unit. We have one on our other system, and it performs just fine. I need a phone number for someone to talk me through this before calling my service company.

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