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What is the Best Smart Thermostat

  1. The Best Smart Thermostat on the Market for You

  2. What's the Difference for Each Price Tier?

  3. Can I Install a Smart Thermostat on my Own?

  4. Contact Us Today

So you have decided it is time to get a smart thermostat, or maybe you are looking for an upgrade but you don't know where to start looking. You don't have to worry because we have you covered! We have compiled a list of all the top Smart Thermostats and what they offer.

How Can You Tell When It's Time to Replace a Thermostat?

If the time for a new thermostat has arrived, it's a good idea to opt for a programmable digital one — or even better, a smart thermostat. The upfront cost might be a little more than an analog model, but within a year or two, you should earn that money back in savings on your energy bills. We'll discuss how to replace an old thermostat after taking a look at how to know you need a new one.

If you're unsure as to whether it's your thermostat or HVAC system that's at the root of the problem, don't hesitate to call an HVAC technician.

Signs your thermostat is broken:

  • A battery-operated thermostat is draining batteries too fast

  • The thermostat doesn't switch on at all

  • You notice the HVAC system doesn't respond to changes in the thermostat's settings

  • The HVAC doesn't switch on or off when the Air reaches the right temperature

  • If you notice the temperature outside isn't the same as the display on the thermostat

How to troubleshoot a thermostat in five simple steps:

  1. Check the thermostat's screen to see that it's lit and the digital display is showing (if it is a digital thermostat)

  2. In case the light is on, and you can see a display, check the settings against the manufacturer guidelines to ensure it's not a simple case of incorrect configuration

  3. Say configuration is correct, but the HVAC system still isn't working correctly, check the location of the thermostat. If it's in direct sunlight or an area with a drought, it might read the temperature incorrectly

  4. If the light is out, change the batteries to see if that's the issue

  5. In case there's still no display after a battery change, check your circuit breakers

If none of the above works, call an experienced HVAC technician to install a new thermostat. You can ask them for guidance and advice about which type will save you the most on your energy bills. Alternatively, you could purchase a thermostat and install it yourself. In the next section, we'll discuss how to replace an old thermostat.

How to Replace an Old Thermostat

If you're wondering how to replace an analog thermostat with a digital one, we've gone ahead and written a simple, handy guide. Follow these steps to install a new digital thermostat:

  1. Before you buy a thermostat, you need to find out if your home uses low voltage or line voltage. This makes a difference to the type you can get. For example, smart thermostats require a low voltage thermostat connection. You can get in touch with an experienced HVAC technician to help you work out the wiring in your property. Read on if you're comfortable doing it yourself

  2. Power down your entire HVAC system at the breaker box

  3. Turn your analog thermostat down all the way

  4. Thoroughly read the manufacturers instructions and safety advice

  5. Use a screwdriver to remove the cover, or faceplate, of the analog thermostat

  6. Now is your chance to check the wiring. If there are two thick wires, you have a line thermostat. For a low voltage thermostat, there will be between two and nine smaller wires

  7. Take a picture of the cables, so you know where they're connected

  8. Unscrew each wire carefully from the terminal

  9. Check where the holes in the wall are to mount the old faceplate and check it's compatible with the new one. If not, you'll need to measure the mounting holes and drill corresponding holes in the wall

  10. Use the picture of the old wiring to rewire the thermostat. If there are any additional exposed wires, you don't need to worry about them

  11. Insert the batteries

  12. Replace the faceplate

  13. Reboot your HVAC system and test out your brand new thermostat!

Replacing Old Thermostat: Only Two Wires

If your thermostat does only have two wires, the chances are that it's hooked up to a heating-only HVAC system. Cooling, fan control and air conditioning use more than two cables, so it's easy to tell a full HVAC thermostat apart from a furnace thermostat.

How to Install a Two-Wire Thermostat

To install a two-wire thermostat, you'll need to switch the furnace off. Choose where you'd like to install it, making sure you're out of direct sunlight or drafty areas. Drill a hole in the drywall where you'd like the thermostat to hang. Then, feed the wire from the furnace through the hole in the wall.

Two-Wire Thermostat Color Coding

Most thermostats have a white and red wire encased in a brown coating. Strip the wires back at the furnace end, and the thermostat end — approximately a quarter of an inch. Connect the red cable to the R terminal and the white wire to the W terminal.

Complete the Rewiring

When the wires are connected, you can attach the faceplate to the thermostat. Turn the furnace back on and program your thermostat. If the thermostat is programmable, you can save money on your energy bills. A smart thermostat can save you even more money by instinctively switching off as soon as the room reaches the desired temperature.

Thermostat Replacement Costs

At the lower end of the scale, you'd be looking at around $900 for a thermostat plus installation. For a modern smart thermostat, you shouldn't expect to pay more than about $1,600. You can spend as much or as little on a thermostat as you desire, provided you meet your needs. You deserve to feel as comfortable as possible in your own home, so spend as much as you can afford on an excellent HVAC system.

Home Thermostat Replacement Cost Comparison

The cheapest upfront cost is for an analog thermostat, but beware: they cost more in wasted energy. A digital thermostat that lets you program it saves more energy because the timing is automated. However, a smart thermostat delivers the most savings overall because it responds to the temperature. As such, there's never a moment of wasted power.

Non-Programmable Thermostat

A non-programmable or mechanical thermostat is the most basic type. To operate it, you simply turn a dial or use arrow keys to change the temperature. You can get digital and analog mechanical thermostats — but neither is usually particularly precise with regards to temperature control.

Programmable Thermostat

With a programmable thermostat, you set the temperature according to your preferences with regards to comfort and energy costs. For example, you can program it to switch off at certain hours of the night and the time you're at work.

Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat is also programmable, but it has a variety of additional functionality to maximize convenience and well-being in the home. You can control a smart thermostat from your computer, phone or tablet — no matter where you are. You'll be able to program multiple schedules and use voice commands when you're at home.

Smart thermostats are best for people who are looking for the ultimate in comfort and convenience.

Why Use an HVAC Professional Instead of an Electrician?

Some people might opt to hire an electrician to install a thermostat, seeing as it involves disconnecting and connecting electric cables. However, with an HVAC technician, you can get expert advice about your heating and cooling system and bundle in any extra work you might need. Here are some more reasons to consider an HVAC specialist to install your thermostat:

  • An HVAC specialist can offer further pointers about how to save money on your heating and cooling bills

  • If you already have an HVAC technician installing a new system in your home, consider asking them to bundle in fitting a new thermostat

  • Find out how to get the most out of your new thermostat from a qualified HVAC engineer

  • Get access to bulk discounts from HVAC technicians

The Risks of DIY Thermostat Replacement

So there you have it — you've learned how to replace an old thermostat. Be careful, though, because it doesn't come without risk. There are several dangers associated with the process, including:

  • Blowing a circuit breaker

  • Getting an electric shock

  • Damaging the unit

  • Voiding your warranty

  • Faulty installation could lead to problems later on

1-800-Plumber +Air Can Help With Thermostat Installation in the Following Locations

If you're looking for HVAC experts, look no further than 1-800-Plumbing + Air if you live in the following areas:

We love helping homeowners overcome issues with HVAC and find the most cost-effective long-term heating and cooling solutions.

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The Best Smart Thermostat on the Market for You

There are a lot of choices for a smart thermostat, and the best one for you is really for you to decide. Keep in mind that some may not work with a specific HVAC installed in your house, so it's best to ask for an HVAC technician's advice (like us!) So in no particular order, these are the smart thermostats on the market.

The Ecobee Thermostat

There are 4 different options to choose from with the Ecobee thermostats, which all range in features. We'll list the lowest tier option and the highest:

Ecobee Lite:

  • $169.99 + $79.99 for the smart sensor to detect open windows

  • Save 23%* on annual energy costs

  • ENERGY STAR® certified

  • Control with the ecobee app

  • Apple HomeKit + more integrations

  • Compatible with SmartSensor

  • Learns and adapts to your routine with eco+

  • Pause HVAC system when doors and windows open

Ecobee Smart Thermostat with Voice Control:

  • $249.99

  • Save 26%* on annual energy costs

  • ENERGY STAR® certified

  • Control with the ecobee app

  • Apple HomeKit + more integrations

  • SmartSensor included in the box - occupancy detection to manage temperature automatically

  • Alexa Built-in

  • Spotify & Bluetooth streaming

  • Hands-free calling & intercom

  • Supports HVAC accessories

  • Learns and adapts to your routine with eco+

  • Pause HVAC system when doors and windows open

The Nest Learning Thermostat

A thermostat made by Google. The starting price is $249, but the cost increases for temperature sensors and voice control.

Nest Learning Thermostat:

  • $249 + 39 for temperature sensors + extra charge for voice control speaker

  • Can save an average of 10% to 12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills

  • Control from anywhere in the Google Home App

  • Learns your schedule and automatically changes the temperature

  • Detects your phone's location to turn itself down when you leave

  • With temperature sensor, can automatically change the temp in a specific room

  • Voice control for an extra charge

  • You can choose the color!

Honeywell T9 Smart Thermostat with Sensor

Honeywell T9 Smart Thermostat with Sensor:

  • $199.99

  • Adjust the temperature in specific rooms

  • Control from anywhere on the Honeywell app

  • Alerts if air falls below or above your threshold and reminders to change the air filter

  • Will automatically adjust the temperature when you're away

  • Motion detection that can detect when people are sitting in a room or just passing through

  • Works with Alexa, Hey Google, IFTTT, Cortana

The Nest Thermostat

Another Google Product with the basics and a little more cost-effective.

The Nest Thermostat:

  • $129

  • You can set a schedule in the app

  • App suggests tweaks in heating/cooling schedule to save money

  • Turns itself down when you are away

  • Control from anywhere

  • Voice control with Google speaker (sold separately)

Honeywell RTH8580WF Wi-Fi Thermostat

  • Ranges from $58 - $70

  • Automatically senses when it needs to cool or heat

  • Can set a schedule of when to heat or cool to save money

  • Can be controlled from the app on a smartphone

What's the Difference for Each Price Tier?

When shopping for a smart thermostat, focus on the features that really matter to you, while staying within your price budget.

$200 and over:

  • These thermostats will be the top of the line with all the different features like sensors that can tell when a window is open or controlling the temperature in a specific room. These usually look the nicest on the wall, and if you have two-stage heating or cooling, these are the products you want to look at because they are more likely to have the capability to support your HVAC system.


  • Most smart thermostats will be in this price range with more easy-to-use technology, a nice look, and some of the good features you want.

Below $100:

  • These smart thermostats have basic smartphone control, but they're not as intuitive and they're harder to program.

Think about your house and the size of it. If you've got certain rooms that get hotter or colder than others, it's a good idea to look for one of the thermostats that come with sensors that allow specific rooms to be automatically adjusted.

Go to each website to check out each thermostat for yourself. Some even have a compatibility check to see if your current HVAC system will work with the thermostat.

Can I Install a Smart Thermostat on my Own?

While some of the above products come with instructions to install it on your own, we don't recommend installing them on your own unless you've done it before without any issues. But even then, keep in mind that it would cost a lot more to fix a faulty air conditioner than to hire a licensed technician to install the new thermostat for you. On top of that, the risk of electric shock is present if you are not certified to replace a thermostat. So all in all, we recommend giving a licensed technician a call, like us at 1-800-Plumber + Air.

Contact Us Today!

Have you found the best smart thermostat for you but need help installing it? Have questions on whether or not it will work with your system? Our professional, licensed technicians can help! Contact Us today!

Apart from the services we offer, there's a lot that makes us stand out from the rest of the pack. First, we listen! We strive to give our customers exceptional service, which includes listening to their needs. Our technicians will listen and come up with a practical and lasting solution. We encourage our clients to ask questions whenever they need clarification. We also ensure we explain our proposals thoroughly and keep you informed every step of the way. So give us a call today!

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