23 Feb Tech Tuesday: Smart Thermostats
Welcome to Tech Tuesdays on our blog! Each week, we will take a moment to discuss a new tech trend or product for your home. The smart home trend is here to stay, and by upgrading to a few simple smart home tools, sellers can significantly raise the appeal of their home. For those wishing to stay in their perfect home, these tech upgrades can easily improve quality of living by increasing energy efficiency, adding the ability to control home systems anywhere via a personal smartphone, and more!
Best Smart Thermostats for 2016
As real estate agents, we get a unique perspective on trends in the housing industry, and it’s hard to miss one glaring fact: smart home tech is going to be bigger this year than ever before.
Wanting to get in on the action ourselves, Bryce and I went through the process this month of upgrading our thermostat to a smart thermostat that is connected and controlled via WiFi.
Smart thermostats now account for more than half of smart home products in the US. While these devices are fun, trendy, and cool, smart home products are really about saving money and increasing efficiency in your home. Understanding this, the two of us did a ton of research on the products available in the market and came up with our top three choices for smart thermostats.
The EcoBee3, the Nest, and the Honeywell Lyric are three players out on the market, and all three are fantastic products. Still, each have notable differences, that make all three very unique smart products.
At a glance…
There are a lot of great things about the EcoBee. The device is the largest of the three, but still boasts a very slick design. Most notable, though, is the remote sensor feature. HOW it has taken this long for manufacturers to implement this is beyond me! Small wireless sensors can be placed in the room that’s always too cold, or too warm. This allows the thermostat to make decisions on when its time to turn up the heat or blast some cool air in, ensuring that the whole home is evenly heated and cooled. Smart!
EcoBee is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon Echo, and more. Plus, its app works seamlessly, thus far, and the large digital touch screen makes manual adjustments at home super easy. Also, EcoBee’s customer support is top notch, and you can get connected to a live person in minutes, which is very helpful during the install, should you choose to DIY.
Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation
I, personally, think that the Nest looks better than any other product out there. The 3rd Gen model is no less beautiful, with the signature round design and a larger, sharper, bold face that lights up when a person enters the room (a feature called Farsighted). The Nest has a leg up on other smart thermostats – the product was debuted in 2011, and Google has had some time to work out bugs and increase efficiency.
This may be the best bet for you if you are looking for an over-all smart home system, as the Nest can talk to hundreds of smart devices, so it can adjust the temperature when someone simply walks in the room or begins to watch a movie. The suite of products offered by the Nest, the Nest Protect (smoke and carbon monoxide sensor) and the Nest Cam (home video monitoring), provides a very comprehensive smart home system that covers all the bases.
Honeywell has been a tech leader in many facets of the industry for years, so it should come to no surprise that their smart thermostats are intelligent, easy to use, and attractive. The Honeywell Lyric also has a sleek, round design and is easily controlled by a dial that rotates to control the temperature. It connects to your smart phone and can be controlled from anywhere; you may also set it to automatically shut off, or lower the temperature, when no one is home.
The most notable feature here is Geofencing: the device is able to determine whether or not you are home by communicating with the app downloaded onto your smartphone. Once you leave the home and reach a certain distance away, the Lyric will respond to your “Nobody’s Home” setting, and then turn back on once you re-enter your home.
As you can see, each device has its merits, so whether one is better over another simply depends on your needs. After consideration, we chose to install the EcoBee3 in our home, and are thrilled so far. We have a smaller home, and love being able to adjust the temperature for when our pets are home alone, or for when we are on our way home after work and want to walk into a cool, inviting living space.