The 3 Best Smart Thermostats For Multiple Zones
Thermostat technology has come a long way since mercury thermometers, and smart thermostats offer significant benefits, especially if you have a multiple zone home. The best smart thermostats for multiple zones will be ones that work with remote sensors so you can adjust the temperature of your home based on readings in different rooms.
Here's how they work: Remote sensors collect data on the temperatures in each of the rooms in your zone and feed it to your thermostat, so that you can program the temperature accordingly. They are vital in assessing the overall temperature of your individual zone.
Keep in mind that for a home with multiple zones, you'll need an individual thermostat with remote sensors for each zone. So, as you shop the below options, note that you'll need to buy two thermostats for two zones, or three for three zones.
And, word to the wise, investigate the requirements of your home’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system and check manufacturers’ websites to confirm compatibility before purchasing a smart thermostat. Depending on your home and its layout, you may be better off setting up your thermostat with a specific number of zones.
And, as an aside, always remember that for most smart thermostats to work, a strong Wifi signal is necessary. With that in mind, here are three of the best smart thermostats for multiple zones you can buy.
1. A Smart Thermostat That Can Learn Your Behavior & Automatically Adjust
Nest Learning Thermostat
While this thermostat doesn't actually come with remote sensors (you'll have to purchase them separately for $99), it features machine learning that can adjust the temperature of your room based on your past behavior.
Why It’s Great: Although the Nest learning thermostat is fully programmable via the app or in-person, this energy-efficient smart thermostat has the unique ability to "learn" as well. As you use it, it will begin to understand your preferences and automatically adjust your home's temperature without your input. It's compatible with other Nest gadgets as well as third-party products like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. And this thermostat boasts a modern round design, available in a choice of four colors to better match your home's design.
The Tradeoff: Remote sensors are not included and must be purchased separately. At $99 each, this could quickly drive up the overall cost of your thermostat system.
What Fans Say: "Not cheap but I love this thermostat! Never thought I'd say that but I do! Had it professionally installed but I watched and could have probably done it myself and I'm not real handy! Setting it up took a few minutes but once I connected it to my wifi and downloaded the nest app it worked! Gotta love when things work from the start!"
2. A Smart Thermostat With Amazon Alexa Built In
ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
Not only is this thermostat the only one on this list to come with remote sensors (it comes with one included), it also can function independently as an Amazon Echo, allowing you to program it via voice command, play music, and read the news.
Why It's Great: This smart thermostat from ecobee4 features Amazon's Alexa built into the product, so it can respond to voice commands. It can even function like an Amazon Echo, playing music or reading the news, in addition to adjusting the temperature in your home. It’s also fully programmable both in-person and via the app and works with other third-party services including Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant. As a bonus, when you buy this model, it comes with a remote sensor that you can use in another room. Additional sensors are only $79 for a two-pack and you can add up to total of 32 sensors to your home. This will shake out to be a lot more affordable than the Nest if you have a lot of rooms you’d like to set up remote sensors in (or you are hoping to have a lot of additional zones in your home).
The Tradeoff: It doesn’t automatically adjust like the Nest but can be programmed and set to operate on a schedule.
What Fans Say: "After one night with the ecobee and putting the sensor in the bedroom my daughters were able to tell a huge difference, the Ecobee kept their rooms at a 70 degree temp all night! Another great feature, that I did not even think I would use, is the Alexa portion of the thermostat. I can be downstairs and tell alexa to change the upstairs temperature to whatever I decide. No walking upstairs, no getting out my phone and changing it on the app, just tell Alexa what I want it to be."
3. A More Affordable Alternative With A Few Less Bells And Whistles
ecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat
For the most affordable price, this smart thermostat has all the basic features you'll need: compatibility with Amazon Alexa and other smart assistants, and the ability to operate with sensors to create zones (although you'll have to buy the sensors separately).
Why It's Great: It's affordable. If you don’t need the Amazon Echo capabilities of the ecobee4, this much more affordable ecobee3 lite has many of the same features like programming, remote sensor access, and compatibility with Amazon Alexa and other systems but at a lower price. The design is also somewhat smaller and lighter than others on this list.
The Tradeoff: Unlike the ecobee4, this model doesn’t have a built-in Alexa. It's also doesn't come with a remote sensor (although you can purchase one separately) and lacks an occupancy sensor, which would automatically turn your thermostat to lower temperatures when no one is home to conserve energy. It may also be more limited in the number of HVAC systems it’s compatible with, so you'll definitely want to check yours before purchasing.
What Fans Say: “I actually came across ecobee4, but this is basically the same thing, except without the built in Alexa. I'm not going to talk to my thermostat anyways, especially when I have an Eco Dot in the room I stay in (living room & bedroom). THIS DOES work with Alexa though, just doesn't have it built in like an eco. Anyways, this thing is a huge upgrade to the old thermostat. It looks fantastic, I can change the temperature from my phone or I can ask Alexa "Alexa, ask ecobee to turn the temp to 76", I can check the local weather from it, and I can have presets for home/vacation/whatever."
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