We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best
products—learn more about
our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
A good thermostat helps keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-round while being energy efficient and not requiring too much work.
“The most basic thing you should be looking for is a programmable thermostat, which means it has an energy-efficient setting,” says Shilpa Anand, a senior product manager for smart thermostats at Resideo. “You can look for thermostats that are Energy Star rated as well.”
We researched dozens of thermostats, weighing their design, controls, ease of use and installation, and programmable and smart features. Our best overall pick is the Google Nest Learning Thermostat, a feature-packed, energy-saving option that’s also sleek and compatible with voice assistants.
Here are the best thermostats.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better thermostat than the Google Nest Learning Thermostat. While fairly expensive, the Nest automatically creates an optimized schedule for your home, making it effortless to balance comfort and energy efficiency. For something more affordable, consider the Honeywell Home RTH221B Programmable Thermostat, which is extremely basic but still lets you set one four-period program that will run seven days a week.
Ease of installation
If you’re planning on installing your new thermostat yourself, it’s important to select a model that’s DIY friendly and compatible with your heating and cooling system. If a thermostat requires hardwiring, it will typically require a C-wire, which provides continuous power from the heating and cooling system. Check your existing setup to see if there’s a C-wire available. If not, consider buying a battery-powered unit or hiring a professional to aid with installation.
Today’s thermostats come with various features, and you can select one that’s as basic or high-tech as you need. One popular feature is the ability to set daily programs that automatically adjust the temperature in your home—people often set programs that adjust the temperature when they leave for work, return home, and go to bed.
If you’re searching for a higher-end thermostat, Anand recommends browsing smart thermostats, which connect to Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to adjust your thermostat from your phone and even connect it to other smart home devices. Anand also advises considering models that offer capabilities such as geofencing, which allows your thermostat to adjust the temperature of your home after detecting that you’re away from your home via phone app connection. Other features you may want to look for include the ability to control multiple zones and compatibility with remote sensors.
Thermostats are often displayed prominently within your home, so it’s always a good idea to select one that you find aesthetically pleasing. Some of today’s high-end thermostats have sleek modern designs—some even allow you to change the color of the display screen—and many offer touchscreen controls for added convenience.
Many of today’s thermostats are designed for DIY installation, and the manufacturer will likely provide a step-by-step guide and videos to walk you through the process. “A DIY thermostat is for your run-of-the-mill home, where you have a furnace and AC, and you can go to an online compatibility checker to make sure the thermostat you’re purchasing is compatible with your home,” says Anand. It’s fairly easy to connect a set of thermostat wires, as long as you know what the terminal letters stand for and what each terminal controls.
However, it’s important to select a thermostat that’s compatible with your existing heating and cooling system, otherwise, it may require connections that aren’t readily available. “If you have a whole home humidification system, that would be an installation where you want professional assistance, especially if you want all your systems connected,” adds Anand. The same applies to economizer and zoning home systems.
Various heating systems are commonly found in homes today, but unfortunately, not all thermostats are compatible with different systems. You’ll need to figure out whether your furnace is designed for use with low-voltage, line-voltage, or millivolt thermostats, as this will dictate what type of thermostat you need. If you’re unsure, hiring a professional is always a good idea to ensure safe wiring.
If you think your thermostat isn’t functioning properly, there are a couple of ways you can test it. One easy way is to slowly increase the temperature setting on your thermostat. It will generally make a clicking sound, and your furnace will kick on. (You may need to have a helper stand by the furnace to see if it makes a noise.) If the furnace doesn’t respond, the thermostat is likely not sending a signal and may need to be replaced.
“Some people purchase off-the-shelf temperature sensors to test if the display and air temperature match, if they’re different then that may be an indication of a larger issue,” says Anand. “You can also just turn the fan on and off to see if it runs without adjusting the temperature.” The easiest way to check a smart thermostat’s performance is to ensure that it maintains a strong Wi-Fi connection. A poor Wi-Fi connection would lead to issues and could be a cause of poor system performance.
This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. After living in more than 10 different apartments, she’s used all types of thermostats, including basic, no-frills models, as well as high-tech smart products. While selecting thermostats for this list, she considered factors such as their compatibility with different heating systems, as well as the complexity of their installation. She looked for options with a wide range of features, as well as products to suit every budget.
Emma Phelps, an Updates Writer for The Spruce, provided additional assistance for this article by speaking with Shilpa Anand, a senior product manager for smart thermostats at Resideo. Anand provided essential information on what qualities to look for in a thermostat and how to test a home thermostat’s performance.
Disclaimer: Curated and re-published here. We do not claim anything as we translated and re-published using google translator. All images and Tattoo Design ideas shared only for information purpose.