How to find the right thermostat for your smart homeThinking about upgrading to a smart thermostat? Start here.
[MUSIC]. Hey there folks, I'm Megan Wollerton for c net appliances. And this is an HVAC buying guide. So you probably have a basic, manual control or programmable thermostat in your home right now, but there are several smart home options that are becoming available that could just change your heating and cooling forever. So if you have a programmable thermostat now. And you're using it to set schedules. You're already automating your heating and cooling environment to some extent. But it isn't smart and adaptable like these models. [MUSIC] Of the five smart thermostat we've reviewed so far, there are three different key types of tech that define them. The Nest learning thermostat, the Honeywell wifi smart thermostat, and the Honeywell wifi smart. Thermostat with voice control all rely on learning algorithms. This is an adaptive way of heating and cooling your home. It relies on motion sensors built into the thermostat and it will sense whether you're home or away. [MUSIC] And even if you've already set a schedule. What you can do with these models. If it starts to notice that you're home when your schedule is normally set to away. It will, actually, automatically update your schedule to account for those changes. [MUSIC] The Honeywell Lyric thermostat takes a slightly different approach. It relies on geofencing to determine how close or far away you are from home. It actually has two different fences, one that's 500 feet and one that's seven miles away, and you can set it to whichever distance you prefer. So if you set it to 500 feet, whenever you cross out of that range it'll set to away mode and when you cross back within that range it should revert. [MUSIC] To home mode. The third main type of tech is sensor based. So basically, instead of having adaptive algorithm or geo-sensing, it will rely on sensors built into the thermostat and also a remote sensor that you can position anywhere in your house. So, if you don't walk by your thermostat often, even if you're home, it might set itself to away mode. [MUSIC] As far as installation goes, these thermostats are DIY models. You can find them alongside regular manual and programmable thermostats in local retail stores. And, like those more basic models, the installation process is essentially identical. You just need to keep in mind your level of expertise and be sure to enlist a professional or an experienced friend if you have any doubts about the installation. Most thermostats today will run on either a four or a five wire system. That is the one key differentiating feature. Just keep in mind that you'll need the C or common wire if you're installing the Honeywell wi-fi smart thermostat. The Honeywell wi-fi front thermostat with voice control or the Eco V3 thermostat. The Honeywell Lyric and the [UNKNOWN] thermostat can be installed with just four wires, but definitely consult a professional if you are in doubt. [MUSIC] Once you've installed your thermostat the next step is configuration and it's basically the same for all of these models. They all have mobile apps that will ask you questions like what kind of system you have, is it force air, what type of fuel source you're using, if it's a one or two stage heating and cooling system, once you've done that your thermostat is configured and ready to use. In addition to the unique adaptive features of these smart thermostats, they also boast innovative design and work with a variety of third-party products. So if you're interested in a smart home in general, these would be very, very good choices to look at. Just keep in mind that most models range between $250 to $350, so it might take a while for you to actually enjoy the cost savings. [MUSIC]. Thanks for watching this HVAC buying guide. Be sure to check out the rest of our coverage on cnet.com. I'm Megan Wollerton for c net appliances. [MUSIC].