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Having multiple cooling and heating zones around your house can help you ensure that you not only stay comfortable but that you also do not waste energy and money in heating rooms and other areas around the house when nobody is there.
What are the best smart thermostats for multiple zones?
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No other smart thermostat can come close to Ecobee4 when it comes to delivering the right amount of cool or warmth around your home.
This is because of the room sensors that help determine the temperature in different rooms. You can put a room sensor in the bedrooms, the kitchen, and any room that matters. The sensors would take temperature readings as well as act as an occupancy sensor. For instance, the Ecobee4 can detect whether you are in the bedroom and then make sure that the temperature there is just right. You can also check the temperature in different rooms on the Ecobee4 itself or on its mobile app.
Ecobee4 can also double as an Alexa device. You do not need to buy a separate Alexa speaker to use voice commands to control your Ecobee4 and other Alexa-compatible devices.
Ecobee4 also looks great, with a squarish shape, the display can be seen from afar. The touchscreen allows you to easily control the thermostat as well as to access the settings.
If you are not at home, you can also control the thermostat using your smartphone or even using your Apple Watch. The mobile app can also be used to get service reminders and alerts or to set your home to vacation mode.
The Ecobee4 promises to cut your energy expenses by 23% every year. It also can automatically set your Home and Away status, allowing the thermostat to deliver the right amount of cooling and heating depending on whether somebody is home. What’s more, the mobile app can show you just how much you have saved every month with the free energy reports, as well as give you insights on how you use your heating and cooling systems and how to save even more energy and money.
And if you have a smart home, you will appreciate that Ecobee4 works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple Homekit.
What you would like about the Ecobee4
When it comes to making sure that all the rooms in your house are perfectly comfortable without being needlessly warm or cool when there is nobody there, the Ecobee4 is your best bet.
The degree of control it gives you is something that you cannot find on other smart thermostats. The use of remote sensors is a simple solution, and these sensors will do the job for you. Even then, you can still easily tell your Ecobee4 to turn the heat up or down. The Ecobee4 will also monitor humidity and not just temperature. The Ecobee4 has the most advanced technologies you could find on a smart thermostat, plus some nifty additional technology that makes it the best Wi-Fi thermostat available on the market today.
At $249, the Ecobee4 is also among the most expensive smart thermostats right now. Plus, if you have a bigger home or if you have more rooms, you would want to buy additional room sensors because there is only one sensor unit included in the package. A two-pack room sensor would set you back an additional $79.
Nest Thermostat E
If you already have a zoned system, then you should check out Nest Thermostat E.
Nest Thermostat E works with multiple systems (one thermostat for each system), or you could use two thermostats for one system.
The Nest Thermostat E has most of the features customers have come to love about the Nest Thermostat.
You can control the Nest Thermostat E using the Nest app, giving you utmost freedom and the ability to turn your cooling and heating systems up or down no matter where you are.
It even delivers the same level of savings you get from the more expensive Nest Learning Thermostat. The Nest Thermostat E can also detect if somebody’s home or not so that you do not heat or cool your home when nobody is around. You can also set up a schedule for your heating and cooling.
However, it has a different look from its more expensive brothers. It is not necessarily bad-looking; in fact, you can argue that the Nest Thermostat E is understatedly elegant with its frosted display, which is meant to blend in. The Nest Thermostat E just does not have the high-resolution display of the pricier Nests and does not have farsight technology, which allows you to see the display even from across the room.
In short, the Nest Thermostat E does what the more expensive Nest Learning Thermostat can do, but the only difference is in the materials used and the display. It can also learn your behavior and adjust the temperature according to what it learned over time.
What you would like about the Nest Thermostat E
Nest Themostat E’s biggest draw is its price. You can get a very capable smart thermostat for only $169. At that price, you get all the important and cost-saving features offered by the third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat that retails for $249. Save $80 for what is basically the same thermostat.
If you have a multi-zone HVAC system, you will need to have two or more thermostats to deliver the right level of cooling and heating to every part of your home. Having a more affordable option is a good thing. And if you buy the two-pack Nest Thermostat E, you only pay $318, allowing you to save $20 more!
Tado Smart Thermostat
The Tado Smart Thermostat can help you heat rooms that are colder than they should be while also keeping costs down. The Tado Smart Thermostat can also check your smartphone’s GPS location to see whether you are home or not. If you are away, Tado will turn down the heat to save on energy.
More than that, Tado will be able to read the day’s weather forecast and automatically adjust the heating at home. You can set the Tado to learn your behavior, control the heating automatically, and even set up heating schedules.
Furthermore, Tado will check out your building characteristics, allowing it to heat your home more efficiently.
Overall, the Tado Smart Thermostat will be able to save you up to 31% of your heating costs.
The Tado thermostat unit makes use of a touch interface with an LED matrix for the display. You can just touch the surface to change the temperature and to access the thermostat’s settings.
The smart thermostat also connects to your Wi-Fi network, so that you could operate it using your phone, no matter where you are in the world. The mobile app also tells you how warm or cold it is at home, if and when your heating system is being used, and also how much you are saving.
Tado Smart Thermostat works well with other devices such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Homekit, and IFTTT recipes. This would make it a perfect addition to your smart home.
What you would not like about Tado Smart Thermostat
There are two things that might turn you off with Tado. The first is that it is not available in all countries, but if you live in Europe, you might be able to score one for your home. The second thing is that it costs a lot. The starter kit, which includes a thermostat and an Internet bridge that allows it to connect to your Wi-Fi network, costs €249.00. This translates to more than $300. This would make it more than $50 more expensive than Ecobee4, with its Amazon Alexa capabilities.
And you would need to buy one Tado thermostat for each zone. That would mean additional investments of €129 (around $160) for every zone. On top of that, you would also need a Tado Smart AC Control for your air conditioners, and this will cost you €179 (around $220).
With Tado, Ecobee4, and Nest Thermostat E, you would need to use one thermostat for each zone. This means that you will need to control heating throughout your home using the thermostat. Honeywell Evohome, meanwhile, allows you to control multiple zones using just one controller, giving you one neck to choke, so to speak. You can control all the zones around your home as one zone and you can also control the heating room by room.
Moreover, the Honeywell Evohome can help you control hot water. You can create schedules, set up different heating zones, and operate your system using the controller or via a companion app.
The entire system can get very expensive, though, depending on how many zones or rooms you have, whether you have a combination boiler or a stored hot water tank, and the type of heating equipment that each room has (under-floor, electric, or radiator). To give you an idea, here is what you can expect to pay with Honeywell Evohome:
- Evohome Wi-Fi base pack: £249 (around $350)
- Evohome Hot Water Kit: £85 (around $120)
- Evohome In-Wall Power Supply: £39 (around $55)
- Evohome Radiator Zone Kit: £59 (around $85)
- Wireless Digital Room Thermostat: £89 (around $125)
- Wireless Relay Box: £45 (around $65)
For instance, if you have a three-bedroom house using a combination boiler to get hot water on demand and with a total of four radiators, and if your house is fitted with Honeywell Evohome with the in-wall controller, you would have to pay £524.00 (around $730) for the entire system.
Is it worth it? Honeywell promises anywhere from 10% to 40% lower energy use. Using our hypothetical house with a monthly energy cost of £100, the homeowner can save up to £316.80 per year. This means that your system will pay for itself in at least 1 year and 8 months of use.
The Honeywell Evohome system is only available to people in the United Kingdom, and it is recommended to be installed by professionals.