As new parents, it’s nice to have things made easy for you. And if you’re really interested in having things made easy, one of the best things you can do is invest in “smart” technology for your home.
Smart technology gets its namesake because it connects to the internet. This technology uses the internet to monitor and access various services and utilities throughout your home. Examples of this technology are things like smart lighting, smart refrigerators, and smart home thermostats.
Today, we’ll be talking about smart home thermostats. Smart thermostats are handy in general, but they can be particularly useful for new parents in a few specific ways. Most notably, smart thermostats are highly accurate when it comes to temperature control, and can automatically adjust the temperature in your home depending on the time.
This can be useful if you want the temperature in your baby’s room to be carefully controlled at night. Babies sleep the best between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and a smart home thermostat can ensure that your baby’s room is never too hot or too cold.
If you’re interested in what some of the best smart home thermostats currently available are, keep on reading!
Honeywell Home Wi-Fi Smart Colour Thermostat
We’ll start our list with this thermostat from Honeywell. Honeywell is one of the leading manufacturers of smart home thermostats, and they produce a variety of different versions of these devices.
This color thermostat is perhaps one of the more impressive ones. Its unique feature is that you have the option of changing the background color of the thermostat display, which can help it fit into the rest of your décor, no matter what color schemes or other decorations you have in your home.
This thermostat can also provide you with monthly energy reports, showing you exactly how much power you use for heating and cooling. It can also give you tips on ways to reduce your energy consumption.
The Honeywell smart thermostat can be paired with several digital assistants, like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana.
Programming the Honeywell smart thermostat is flexible, and you can create custom schedules for different days of the week.
This means that if you work during the week but spend weekends at home, for example, you can create a schedule that uses less power while you’re out during weekdays and one that keeps you comfortable all the time when you’re at home during the weekend.
The display, by default, shows you a few different types of information, including the interior and exterior temperature and the interior and exterior humidity levels.
Google Nest Learning Thermostat
The next smart home thermostat on our list in the Google Nest. If you’re looking for an advanced smart thermostat that actively learns from your temperature habits, then you should highly consider using the Nest.
The Nest smart thermostat learns by keeping track of how you adjust the temperature in your home each day. After collecting a week’s worth of data, the Nest then begins to program itself and auto-generates its own schedules based on your previous thermostat activity.
Because it learns on its own, the Nest is one of the best smart home thermostats when it comes to helping you conserve energy. According to independent studies, using a Nest in your home can decrease your cooling costs by up to 12% and your heating costs by up to 15%.
The Nest is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, as you’d expect. It also records your energy use and allows you to see where you’re using the most energy.
The unique feature of the Nest is the Nest Leaf. The Nest Leaf is a little icon that appears on your thermostat’s display to let you know if the temperature in your home is saving you any energy.
However, some customers have complained that the Nest can be prone to failure for no apparent reason, as the result of a software bug.
Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Third on our list today is this offering from Sensi. This smart thermostat doesn’t have any features that particularly stand out, but it does everything you’d expect from a smart thermostat very well.
The Sensi smart home thermostat is Energy Star certified, meaning it meets or exceeds the energy performance standards set in place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Sensi claims that their smart thermostat can save you up to 23% on your total HVAC energy costs.
The Sensi smart thermostat is designed to be easy to install because the display is the same size and shape as a standard thermostat, meaning that you can easily mount the Sensi smart thermostat in the same place as your old one (if you happen to be swapping your old thermostat out for a new one).
It also comes with a built-in level so that you can be sure that you’re not installing the thermostat on an angle.
The Sensi smart thermostat doesn’t require a C-wire for installation, except for use with heat-only, cool-only, and heat pump systems. As we’ll discuss later, however, it’s good to have a C-wire installed if your HVAC system doesn’t already have one.
This thermostat is compatible with multiple digital assistants, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple HomeKit.
The smart thermostat from ecobee (not a typo, they spell it without any capitals) is another advanced smart thermostat with some unique features.
One such feature is the inclusion of the SmartSensor, which can be used to keep frequently used rooms at a comfortable temperature based on how many people are in the room and what the exterior temperature is.
It also comes with Amazon Alexa built into the system, so you don’t need any kind of peripheral device to use voice controls with this smart thermostat.
Aside from this, the smart thermostat is also compatible with devices that use Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and even IFTTT.
The ecobee app can pair your phone to your thermostat, of course, but through the app, you can also access resources like video walkthroughs for installing the thermostat yourself.
Vine Smart Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat
This smart home thermostat made by Vine is a great option for you if you want a more budget-friendly smart thermostat. It has all the basic functions that you’d expect from any decent smart thermostat at a fraction of the price that most of the other smart thermostats on this list are.
Just like any other smart thermostat, you can control this one from any mobile device with the Vine app, whether it’s a smartphone, a laptop, or a tablet. You can also pair it with a device that uses Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
The display gives you a good deal of useful information, like the indoor humidity levels, the current interior temperature, and the date and time.
You can create schedules for different days of the week, and the display even comes with a built-in LED light that you can program to use as a nightlight.
So while no features of this thermostat stand out as being particularly special, it’s still a very capable smart thermostat that is priced much more competitively than the competition.
Johnson Controls GLAS Smart Thermostat
The GLAS smart thermostat from Johnson Controls isn’t the most capable thermostat all around, but it does have some pretty impressive unique features.
Chief among these features is its ability to display information relating to the air quality in your home. It can show you the humidity levels, the levels of CO2, and even the levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are present inside.
It can also show you information relevant to outside conditions, like the level of allergens present, the UV index, and the air quality index.
And aside from this, the GLAS thermostat just looks really cool. It has a slick, minimalist user interface and a nifty translucent OLED touchscreen.
The GLAS smart thermostat comes with Microsoft Cortana built-in, although you can also pair this thermostat with a Google Home or an Amazon Echo device.
iDevices Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Finally, we have a smart thermostat made by iDevices. This is another smart home thermostat that is pretty basic in terms of its overall capabilities but compensates for this by being more reasonably priced than most other smart thermostats that are available.
Even though we might call this a “basic” smart thermostat, that’s not to say that this thermostat lacks anything that would be considered an essential feature.
You can still create custom schedules, remotely control your thermostat even when you’re not home, and do all the stuff that any other smart thermostat can do.
This smart thermostat is compatible with any device that uses Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Siri.
It also requires a C-wire for installation, which may be slightly inconvenient for some, but thermostats with C-wire requirements are generally safer to use if you want to protect your HVAC system from damage.
What to Look for When Buying a Smart Home Thermostat
Any smart thermostat should be able to adjust the temperature of your home automatically and connect to a smartphone or tablet, but the best ones are capable of many other things besides just these.
Here are some of the things to look for if you want to be sure that you’re buying the best smart home thermostat for your needs.
Ease of Installation and Use
Installing a smart home thermostat on your own requires some degree of handiness, but it shouldn’t be too difficult no matter what your skill level is. A successful installation only requires you to mount and wire up the thermostat properly.
Ideally, the manufacturer should provide you with comprehensive instructions that are easy to understand and include plenty of visuals. Any good smart thermostat should have indications on itself that tell you which wires connect to where, and a lot of manufacturers also provide labels that you can put on the wires coming out of your wall to help you keep track of everything.
If you’re replacing an old thermostat, then before disconnecting it, you should take a picture of how the wires are connected to it, just for reference.
The best thing about any smart thermostat, as we’re sure you know, is the ability to reduce the amount of energy you consume and ultimately save you money.
Early programmable thermostats were hard to figure out for the average customer, and as a result, many people didn’t bother to program schedules for them at all. And without a schedule, these thermostats weren’t able to save any energy at all.
But with more modern smart thermostats, setting schedules is far easier. Many smart thermostats come with touchscreens instead of a daunting array of buttons and dials, and all of them are capable of connecting to a mobile device via an app, making it far easier for you to set custom schedules.
The best smart thermostats can also track your temperature habits and optimize your schedule based on the data they collect and even create new schedules for you from this data.
Adjusting the temperature in your home should never be a struggle. In many ways, the best smart thermostats are simply the ones that are easiest to use.
Smart home thermostats don’t need to be plugged into a standard 120-volt home outlet because they don’t require that much power. Instead, you connect a smart thermostat to your HVAC system’s power supply.
Most HVAC systems typically have at least five or six different types of wires.
- The G-(green) wire connects your thermostat to the blower fan.
- The R-(red) wire is your HVAC system’s power wire. Some HVAC systems have separate R wires for heating and cooling.
- The W-(white) wire connects your thermostat to your heat system and is used to control it.
- The Y-(yellow) wire connects your thermostat to your air conditioning.
- The C-(common) wire is a power source for your thermostat specifically.
Some HVAC systems don’t have a C-wire installed, and therefore you have to hook your thermostat up so that it’s piggybacking off of another electrical source, which is usually the R-wire. However, hooking up your thermostat this way can potentially cause permanent damage to some HVAC systems.
A smart thermostat with a C-wire requirement is inherently safer in its design. If you have an HVAC system without a C-wire, you can have one installed, which we highly recommend.
Integration with Your Smart Home
Like we’ve mentioned, any smart home thermostat can connect to a mobile device via an app that you can download. However, the best smart thermostats can also connect to other smart devices and other systems that you might find in a smart home.
Some smart thermostats can connect to devices like the Amazon Echo or the Google Home, allowing you to adjust the temperature and change your thermostat settings with voice commands.
Others may be capable of even greater connectivity; for example, some smart thermostats can connect the blower fans in your house to your smoke detectors so that the fans will automatically shut off if the smoke detector goes off, preventing smoke from spreading throughout your house as quickly.
Geofencing and Physical Sensors
If you’re not familiar with geofencing, let us explain. Geofencing is a technology that some smart thermostats use that allows you to create a virtual perimeter around your property. Then, it uses the built-in GPS tracking in your smartphone to determine whether or not you’re on the property at any given time.
If you leave your house and pass beyond the established perimeter, the smart thermostat will automatically turn off your HVAC system, or at least adjust it, so you’re not using as much power. Once you return, the smart thermostat detects when you enter the perimeter and turns everything back to your original settings.
However, geofencing only works if everyone who lives in your house carries a smartphone with them at all times, and while that’s a lot more common these days, it’s still not something everyone does.
If you don’t want to rely on geofencing to keep track of your whereabouts, you can always opt for a smart thermostat that connects to motion sensors.
Some smart thermostats come with their own motion sensors, but others are able to connect to the motion sensors of your home security system, like the ones around your door and windows.
However, the downside of having your smart thermostat based entirely around motion sensors is that if the residents of the house don’t trigger them frequently enough, your smart thermostat could decide that no one is home and turn itself off.
It’s probably best to find a smart thermostat that supports both geofencing and motion sensors.
High-Voltage Heater Support
The majority of smart thermostats are designed to be installed in houses that use a central HVAC system. This is what most homes typically use for heating and cooling purposes, but some homes use alternative, high-voltage methods of heating. There are many types of convection heaters that fall into this category.
If your house uses such heating methods, you need to look for a thermostat that is specifically intended to work with high-voltage heaters.
Being able to control your thermostat wirelessly when you’re actually present is all well and good, but what if you run into a situation where you’re away from home and realize that you need to adjust the temperature for whatever reason? What about then?
The best smart thermostats should give you the option to check and adjust the temperature of your home no matter where you are, as long as you have a connection to the internet.
Bonus Resource: Baby Sleep Miracle
As an extra treat for reading this far, we’d like to recommend a potentially helpful resource to all you new parents out there. This has nothing to do with smart thermostats, but it does tie into a topic we talked about earlier.
We’ve mentioned how a temperature-controlled room is important when it comes to helping your baby sleep well. Obviously, though, that’s not the only thing that can affect the quality of your baby’s sleep.
It can sometimes be really hard getting a newborn or a toddler to sleep soundly through the night. If your baby’s sleeping patterns have been particularly erratic lately, you may be wondering if there’s anything you can do to help settle them down and prevent them from feeling restless or anxious in the middle of the night.
If that’s the case, then Baby Sleep Miracle might be a great resource for you. Baby Sleep Miracle is a collection of e-books written by Mary-Ann Schuler, a clinical psychologist.
These books contain a good deal of different information about a wide variety of topics related to your child’s sleep.
The Baby Sleep Miracle e-book cover such topics as:
- Common methods for putting your baby to sleep that isn’t very good for them, and alternatives you can use
- How to help young children deal with pent-up anxiety and help them relax
- How to help your child maintain a positive mental state
- A 7-step process to help any baby fall asleep
- A drug-free trick that can help your child’s brain produce more sleep hormones at bedtime
Aside from the basic Baby Sleep Miracle e-book, you also get the Night Terror Stopper e-book, which contains tips on how to help your child deal with fears that are causing them nightmares, and the Double-Trouble Sleeping Struggle e-book, which discusses specifically how to get twin babies to go to sleep at the same time.
You also get access to the “Miracle Sounds,” a collection of audio files containing noises and ambiance that can help your baby relax and fall asleep.
If you’re interested in learning more about Baby Sleep Miracle, you can find plenty of information about it here:
If you’re in need of something to make maintaining your home easier for you as a new parent, then investing in any kind of smart technology for your home is a good move.
With smart home thermostats, the process of keeping your home at the right temperature becomes way easier. With the very best ones, you practically don’t have to do anything at all, and yet they’ll keep your home feeling comfortable and even help you save energy at the same time.
We hope that after reading what we have to share with you today, you now have the knowledge to pick the best smart home thermostat for you and your family’s needs.