NYC Metro Area’s HVACR Blog

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Smart Thermostat Reviews: Nest, Honeywell & ecobee


smart thermostat reviews

Don’t you feel comfortable and secure when you’re in control of your surroundings? That’s one reason smart thermostats have become a sought-after feature for NYC’s luxury homeowners. The ability to remotely adjust the comfort settings of your HVAC system is the ultimate in control.

Smart thermostats allow you to control your home’s heating and cooling comfort remotely from your IOS or Android smartphone. So the next time you run out and forget to adjust the thermostat, no worries. Simply pull up the app and adjust your setting in seconds.

We’re reviewing these top smart thermostats:

The cool features of these smart thermostats provide more than convenience; they can significantly reduce your energy bills. If you’ve been reading our blog every now and then, you probably already know that your HVAC system consumes up to 50% of your home’s energy usage. Remembering to turn out the lights when you leave the room won’t make nearly as much of an impact on your energy bill as installing one of these smart thermostats.

Smart thermostat reviews: The Google Nest Learning Thermostat

The Google Nest Learning Thermostat has created a buzz and for good reason. The combination of state-of-the-art features and ease of use has won over many NYC homeowners. And now that Nest is under the Google umbrella, naturally it can be controlled with the Google Assistant.

Features you’ll love

Control from anywhere. There’s an app for that! Turn up the air from your phone when you’re on the way home early, or set your Nest to away mode as you head to the airport. You can even use Google Assistant or Alexa to control the thermostat.

Nest also sells additional temperature sensors (either bundled with the unit or sold separately) that you can place in spots that may often be too hot or cold. This gives you even more control, since you can set which sensor the system uses at different times of the day.

It learns your schedule and programs itself so you don’t have to. We all appreciate control, but isn’t it a relief when you don’t have to manage everything yourself?

The problem with many programmable thermostats is that they can be confusing to program, so people do it once and then never adjust it when their schedule changes.

When you first install the Nest Learning Thermostat, you set your temperature whenever you come and go by simply turning the dial up or down. After a week or so, the Nest learns your schedule and automatically programs itself. And it doesn’t stop there… it keeps learning and adjusting the schedule over time.

And if your schedule changes on a particular day, you can adjust manually with the dial or quickly and easily on your phone.

Automatic turn-down when you’re away. Going out of town? If you forget to manually adjust to “away” mode, the Nest will detect a lack of activity and automatically adjust your heating or cooling accordingly. It can even interact with locks, lighting, home security systems, appliances and even sprinkler systems to adjust them when you’re away.

It teaches you to save energy. The Nest Leaf feature on the thermostat shows you which settings will save energy. And you can check your Energy History report at any time to see how much energy you saved and why.

Smart AC humidity control. Nest’s Airwave feature detects when your home’s humidity is low and reduces the AC runtime to save energy. Or when humidity is super-high, the Cool to Dry feature increases the runtime to improve comfort.

Designed for your HVAC system. Most thermostats are designed for forced air heat and air conditioning. But the Nest activates custom energy-saving features for the type of system you have, including radiant heat and heat pumps. It even alerts you when filters need changing.

SMART DESIGN. If style is important to you, Nest is a winner. The latest Google Nest Learning Thermostat has a larger screen, improved resolution, thinner profile, and can detect your presence from up to 20 feet away so you can see the temperature and time at a distance. It also comes in four colors.

Smart thermostat reviews: The Honeywell T9 Smart Thermostat

Honeywell’s T9 Smart Thermostat is gaining attention due to a wide variety of programming options and a cool app that works with all your connected devices.

Features you’ll love

Simple programming with 7-day variable schedules. Some programmable thermostats only allow you to program different schedules for weekdays and weekends. With Honeywell’s T9 Smart Thermostat, you can customize your schedule for each day of the week by answering a few questions.

Control for multiple rooms. Place a sensor in each room you want to control. Then use the multi-room display on the thermostat screen or in the app to focus on individual rooms based on occupancy or schedule. The system can create an average temperature throughout the space based on the information provided by the sensors.

It gets to know you. Like the Nest, Honeywell’s T9 Smart Thermostat learns as you adjust your settings manually, and updates your settings as your schedule changes.

Access to your settings from any Wi-Fi device including any connected computer, tablet or smart phone, wherever you happen to be. Plus, it’s compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa so you can use voice commands.

Advanced air flow control. Your home’s comfort is about more than just the temperature. The amount of air moving throughout your space can make a big difference in air quality and the way you feel. Honeywell’s T9 Smart Thermostat allows you to control not only the temperature setting, but also fan speed for the perfect balance of energy efficiency and comfort.

Locking touch screen so your kids or employees can’t fool around with the thermostat! Only someone with authorized access can make changes to your settings.

System alerts. The Honeywell T9 Smart Thermostat lets you know, via the thermostat’s display and your connected devices, when it senses extreme temperatures (which can let you know what there’s a problem with your heating or cooling system). It also alerts you when it’s time to change a filter.

Compatibility with heat pump systems as well as forced air heating and air conditioning.

Related Article: HVAC Tips: 5 Money-Saving Features to Look for in New Thermostats.

Smart thermostat reviews: ecobee Smart Thermostat with Voice Control

While it’s on the pricey side, many experts are calling this device the best one on the market, especially if you want connectivity with Alexa. It’s actually got a built-in Alexa speaker inside.

Features you’ll love

Simple setup for consistent temperatures. Rather than learning your schedule like the Nest, the ecobee device uses remote room sensors to detect occupancy, then sets the system to use either your “home” or “away” settings. It comes with one remote sensor and you can purchase additional sensors separately.  ​

Connectivity and control. ecobee’s Smart Thermostat with Voice Control connects to more smart home technology than any other thermostat out there. It works with Google Assistant, Apple Home Kit (allowing you to control it with Siri voice commands), as well as Alexa. The integrated Alexa speaker provides support for Alexa Calling, Messaging, and Drop-In. You can also connect the thermostat to other smart home devices via IFTTT (If This Then That), Smart Things, Vera, or Wink home automation systems. 

Of course, you can control it via the responsive touch screen, iOS and Android apps, and PC web console. And it’s compatible with both 2.4GHz or 5GHz Wi-Fi.

Great audio. The ecobee smart thermostat has a powerful speaker. You’ll appreciate the wider dynamic range if you use the Alexa speaker to stream songs from Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, or Spotify, or just to listen to news, weather, or sports scores. It also has dual digital microphones along with a far-field sensor that help the device pick up commands from across the room. Another helpful feature is the LED light that glows blue when using Alexa voice commands, or red when the mic is off.

Control for multiple HVAC devices. This thermostat supports multi-stage HVAC systems, and has 12 terminals that allow you to connect it to a variety of devices, including fans, humidity control devices, ventilation devices, as well as air conditioners and heating.

Home intelligence. ecobee doesn’t skimp on HVAC intelligence reports that help you understand your energy usage and system efficiency. The Home IQ feature provides a variety of reports including historical data, weather impacts, and of course system alerts such as the need for filter changes.

Don’t forget HVAC maintenance to save even more energy

Hopefully our smart thermostat reviews have given you helpful information about how these new devices can save energy as well as providing convenience. But don’t forget about another way that you can help your HVAC system to consume less: by taking care of it with regular maintenance service.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of cooling and heating equipment can have a major impact on your energy expenses. Call in a certified HVAC service company to change filters, clean coils, seal ducts, check electrical connections and blower motors for optimal efficiency.

Related Article: Clean HVAC System Condenser Coils = Lower Energy Bills.

BONUS: regular preventative maintenance also makes it much less likely that your unit will fail during a heat wave!