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Home / Tips and Tricks / What is the difference between programmable, smart and learning thermostats? – Rate Geek

What is the difference between programmable, smart and learning thermostats? – Rate Geek

  A photo of a woman walking past her Smobhermostat ecobee.

People rarely spend their free time reading thermostats. So when it's time to really buy one, words like "programmable", "smart" and "learning" can be a little confusing. What do these words actually mean and what kind of thermostat should you buy?

The basics: programmable, smart and learning

Let's start with a little clarification. Most thermostats sold today, including smart and learning thermostats, are programmable. As the name suggests, you can "program" various temperature settings with a programmable thermostat, usually via a weekly schedule. In this way you save electricity while you are not at home, or you automate the temperature of your house during the day.

For this article we refer to an "offline" thermostat as programmable. They are not connected to your WiFi network and you cannot control them remotely via your telephone or voice assistant.

Smart thermostats, as you would expect, can connect to your Wi-Fi network. You can control them via your telephone or voice assistant and you can program their schedule via an app. Some smart thermostats, such as the ecobee SmartThermostat, offer deep control and smart-home support for granular automation. And even the cheapest smart thermostats, such as the Honeywell Lyric T5, support geofencing ̵

1; a protocol that tracks your location and automatically adjusts the temperature when you leave or go home.

So how do smart thermostats differ from leather thermostats? Well, learning thermostats are smart and they offer the same smart-home support and granular planning as typical smart thermostats. However, they also contain a specialized AI that "learns" your temperature preferences and habits. Over time, a learning thermostat can fully control the temperature of your home, eliminating the need to press buttons or turn schedules off.

For reference, the Google Nest Learning Thermostat is the only learning thermostat that is sold in stores today. However, the Ecobee thermostats have inherited a number of leathery functions and other thermostat brands may move in that direction in the future.

The simplest thermostat

Leather thermostats are not for everyone

  A photo of the ecobee SmartThermostat in a house.

On paper, leather thermostats sound like the ultimate smart home purchase. But they are not necessarily the best option for everyone. Every household is different, and some people may prefer to use typical smart thermostats or even "stupid" programmable options.

This is something that we have dealt with in our best smart thermostats. The Google Nest Learning Thermostat is perfect for anyone who hates adjusting temperature or setting schedules, but the manual programming functions are not nearly as robust as some simple smart thermostats. Of course you can use Google Nest to get your hands dirty with schedules & routines, but if you want something that can be micromomanaged, the tweakable ecobee SmartThermostat might be a better option.

We are not saying that learning thermostats are bad. We even think that for most houses this is the simplest temperature solution. But not all houses have a & # 39; simple & # 39; temperature solution. Some people, especially those with large families or many roommates, only have to sit in the driver's seat.

That is where smart thermostats enter. They offer manual operation and granular automation via an app or voice assistant. Expensive options, such as the ecobee SmartThermostat, even have some AI functions to make things a little easier a little . An example of ecobee is the "Feels Like" function, which automatically calculates the humidity in your manual or planned temperature settings.

However, if you do not feel the need to adjust your thermostat through a smartphone or voice assistant, then a smart thermostat can probably skip. Regular programmable thermostats are very affordable and planning a few minutes can help you save a lot on your electricity bill.

Best for complete control

The best learning, smart and programmable thermostats [19659021] The Google Nest Learning Thermostat, the ecobee SmartThermostat and the Honeywell Lyric T4 ” width=”1920″ height=”1080″ src=”/pagespeed_static/1.JiBnMqyl6S.gif” onload=”pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon(this);” onerror=”this.onerror=null;pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon(this);”/>
Google, ecobee and Honeywell

Again, the Google Nest Learning Thermostat is the only learning thermostat on the market. If your goal is never to touch a thermostat again, this is the way to go. The Google Nest Learning Thermostat starts as a clean slate and slowly observes and learns your preferences over time. In the beginning it can be a bit fussy, but in the end you save time and money.

If you want to save some money on a Nest Learning Thermostat, you can always buy the cheaper Google Nest Thermostat E. The HVAC compatibility is a bit limited, but it all has the same functions as its big brother. The only real difference (apart from aesthetics) is that the Nest Thermostat E comes with a pre-loaded schedule. You must fight (or remove) the schedule while the thermostat teaches you habits. Also keep in mind that Google Nest products work with Google Assistant, Alexa and IFTTT, but they don't work with Homekit or SmartThings.

In our best Smart Thermostats collection, we have found that the ecobee SmartThermostat is the most robust non-educational smart thermostat on the market today. Everything on the ecobee is adjustable and it works beautifully with even the most complicated Alexa, Google Assistant, Homekit, IFTTT and SmartThings routines. Plus, it has a built-in Alexa smart speaker, it works with Alexa drop-in, and it is sold with an external temperature sensor that makes temperature adjustments and "off" modes more accurate.

If you are not a fan of the price tag of the ecobee SmartThermostat, you could always buy an older ecobee3 or ecobee4. They lack some functions, such as Alexa drop-in and Spotify Connect, but they are still some of the most tweak-smart smart thermostats on the market. If those options are still too expensive, you can always buy the Honeywell Lyric T5, which plays nicely with Google Assistant, Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT and SmartThings, but lacks some in-depth features of the ecobee. [19659006] And if you are only looking for a programmable thermostat, we recommend that you buy the Honeywell T4. It is affordable, has a modern appearance and the large display makes programming a piece of cake.

Best offline programmable thermostat

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