5 Best Smart Thermostats for Multiple Zones (2020)

Technology advancement in home heating has seen thermostats transit from the simple manual  (analog thermostats) to programmable and smart thermostats that are capable of regulating temperature for multiple zones of your house.

Apart from their tech features, smart thermostats for multiple zones allow you to set a different temperature for each zone/room within the same building. You can warm your bedroom while still in the living room.

The individual room heating increases energy saving and this translates to low energy bills, unlike a simple thermostat that heats the whole house.

We have reviewed some of the 5 best smart thermostats for multiple zones today to help you select one that will work for you.

1) Google, T3007ES, Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation, Smart Thermostat, Stainless Steel, Works With Alexa

smart thermostat for multiple zones

Features

  • Works with smart home systems
  • Comes in four color options
  • Equipped with temperature sensors
  • Comes with Home/Away and family account features

This thermostat integrates with Google Assistant and Alexa voice integrations so you can literally change the settings with verbal instructions. It is the 3rd generation of the 2011 original Nest learning thermostat and has been improved by fitting it with built-in sensors. The sensors, together with algorithmic smarts enable you to customize and auto adjust the temperatures of your space even remotely.  Download the Nest app and you can tweak your thermostat setting anywhere there is a WiFi connection.

How it works

The Nest learning thermostat actually learns your temperature preferences and adjusts itself to the programmed temperature pattern. It also uses the data from the temperatures outside to program itself to make indoor temperatures conducive. When you are away, it utilizes its Home and Away assist mode to turn itself automatically off. This ensures you are not warming or cooling an empty house and racking up costs on energy bills. It also allows different members of the house to control the temperatures of the zones to their preference with the family account.

Additionally, it can sense movement near it or in the zones and uses the Farsight feature to automatically come on and display temperature data. This is an improved sensor that picks your presence from further away. The 3.3 x 3.3 x 1.2-inch dimensions of this unit are conducive for a home of any size.

In terms of the construction, it is a compact unit that comes in four colors to suit varied decors from rustic to contemporary. There is the black and white unit, brass and black unit, copper and black unit, and finally stainless steel and black unit.

The face of the unit has a display that gives you a resolution of 480p. On the sides of the face, you will find control buttons to set the thermostat.  Once installed the unit will power you on and walk you through the configuration process. It will update outdated software, set the location, register your preferred temperatures, and connect to your WiFi signal.

It integrates smart home systems like  Haiku fans, WeMo switches, and LIFX smart lights. Interestingly.  As you move through the different zones of the house,  the thermostat tracks your movements and changes the temperature of each room helping you to conserve energy. Controlling the thermostat is easy using the app or through a web interface.

What are buyers saying?

People who bought this unit were very happy with the additional components that come with it. This ensures that the customer is able to accurately and properly install the unit by themselves. A number have expressed appreciation for the furnace heads-up function, especially those with furnaces in their houses.

This feature keeps track of the forced air furnace and alerts you in case of any overheating issues or a problem with the furnace system that interferes with the thermostat. The thermostat will send you an alert on your app and flash the issue on the display. The error will also read on the monthly energy usage email.

Customers also love the simplicity of the unit which can work in any room of the house like the bedroom. Having optimal temperature is crucial for restful restorative sleep. Plus, it can also shut off the forced air systems when smoke is detected or elevated levels of carbon monoxide.

Pros

  • Takes verbal instructions through smart home systems
  • Easy to control from the app and web
  • Has innovative and updated features
  • Compatible with common smart home devices
  • A powerful energy-saving system; cuts the costs of AC by 30 percent.
  • Has excellent sensors

Cons

  • It takes about a week of observation for the thermostat to fully understand your needs.

Bottom line

This is our first pick. It is one of the best performing multiple zone smart thermostats on the market. Not only is it capable of regulating temperature but also has an exceptional safety feature. You can use it in both commercial and residential settings.

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2) Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with Built-In Alexa, Room Sensor Included

Features

  • Works with smart home devices
  • Comes with a Home to Away and Follow Me feature
  • Uses sensors
  • Has far-field microphones

This unit is another top pick for homes and businesses looking for smart regulation of their indoor temperatures. The design is discreet on this device which is an upgrade from the Ecobee3 smart thermostat. Ecobee has been developing exceptional thermostats and with this model, they have packed incredibly useful features. In fact, when it first came on the market in 2018, it was the first smart thermostat with Alexa allowing you to give verbal instruction to the device. The unit comes with instructions on how you can hook it up to your HVAC system.

It is a plastic device with rounded edges on a square face and dimensions of 4 x 1 x 4 inches. The face has a touch screen display about the size of a smartphone and a blue LED bar at the top. The design is minimalistic and doesn’t your house decor. On the side of the unit, there is a slider that allows you to adjust the cooling and heating as you need to. It is also fitted with a small microphone to enable you to activate Alexa manually if you need to.

How it works

When it comes to the smart end of it,  the Ecobee smart thermostat work with the sensors to detect whether you are home or not and adjusts the temperature accordingly. It uses the follow-me feature which allows the thermostat to detect occupancy in a room and adjust its temperature levels to an ideal and comfortable temperature in that room. When you leave the room, it re-adjusts itself to conserve energy.

It utilizes the Ecobee mobile app which means it can be adjusted from anywhere you are. The app works with smart home systems like the Samsung SmartThings, Apple Homekit, and IFTTT among others.  After using the unit for about four weeks it will start to provide extensive data and insight as well as real-time updates on how to conserve your energy in the house.

For every room, you need an Ecobee sensor because each sensor works with one individual thermostat. The Ecobee app has the geofencing feature which enables it to detect your presence as you reach a certain radius to your house. As a result, it will automatically switch on and regulate the temperature of the house before you arrive.

What are buyers saying?

People who bought this unit found it to be practical and the integration with smart home devices made it convenient. It’s easy to install design is a winner with many customers who find that they can install it anywhere in the house with ease. They also appreciate the fact that it gives you real-time statistics of how you can conserve your energy.

Pros

  • Very wide compatibility with a range of smart home devices
  • Excellent at energy conservation
  • Provides detailed reports

Cons

  • You have to connect all your smart home devices and system individually

Bottom line

This remains one of the best smart thermostats for multiple zones on the market. It has excellent functionality thanks to the useful features it comes with. Plus, it looks great and discreet wherever you set it up.

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3) Honeywell RTH9580WF Wi-Fi Smart Touchscreen Thermostat, Silver

Features

  • Works with smart home devices
  • Has energy conservation options
  • Comes with locking features and password options

Honeywell International is a reputed manufacturer of thermostats as we had mentioned above. It’s no surprise that they have one of the best smart thermostats for multiple zones on the market. This is an extremely capable unit that mirrors the Nest learning thermostat very closely. It has a very user-friendly interface that has more data on display compared to other units. This unit offers a more practical and traditional style of thermostat but with technological bells and whistles to make it more efficient.

The construction is a basic rectangular shaped unit with a silver finish. It has dimensions of 4.5 x 0.9 x 3.5 inches which is not too big to be an eyesore but it is noticeable. The display is much larger and features a customizable color touch screen. This display is excellent and shows the data very clearly from afar so you can read it easily. Using this thermostat doesn’t need a steep learning curve as you would experience with other smart thermostats. For the installation, you need to have a C-wire just like in the case of the Ecobee thermostat.

How it works

It has the Honeywell Total Connect Comfort iOS, Android, and web-based apps to work the thermostat remotely.  The app shows you the number of thermostats you have per zone and you can adjust them according to your temperature needs for that particular zone.

The thermostat uses algorithms to learn your preferences and habits and adjusts the temperatures to your ideal temperature. It will also regulate the temperature of the room based on your usage patterns. In addition, this unit will notify you if it detects extreme shifts in temperatures. It also tracks your air filter letting you know that it’s time to change the filter and also track the indoor humidity levels.

For the filter change reminders, it uses system runtimes to gauge the usage of the filter. The built-in sensors in the unit keep it consistent in tracking your heating and cooling needs. It utilizes your WiFi signal to learn about the outdoor temperature and humidity and control the indoor levels accordingly. This unit works well with Alexa and SmartThings among other smart devices

What are buyers saying?

Customers appreciate the password option that prevents other people from changing the settings every so often especially in commercial buildings. A majority of reviewers found that the unit exceeded its expectations in terms of performance.

It automatically regulates and adjusts temperatures based on both the preferred temperature settings as well as weather information updated on the net. Buyers love the fact that it is a feature-packed model with a traditional style that is easy to use for anyone.

Pros

  • Easy to use interface and settings
  • The app is extensive
  • Has changeable background colors
  • It has energy-saving thermostat certification

Cons

  • The interface can be too busy

Bottom line

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4) Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Touchscreen Color Display, Works with Alexa, Energy Star Certified, C-wire Required, ST75

Features

  • Works with smart home systems
  • Comes with Home and away modes
  • Has a free mobile application

The construction of this unit looks simple yet elegant. The rectangular face of this thermostat features rounded edges and its edge has a white rim. A large rectangular blue display right in the middle will catch your attention. This is where you will find the data displayed for you and the display is a touch screen and responsive.Moreover, it comes with a free mobile app, the Sensi app, to help you configure the unit once it has been installed.

How it works

One of the main selling points for this unit is that it’s very compatible with most HVAC systems. You can control this unit from anywhere in your home or remotely and it is compatible with Apple Homekit, Amazon Alexa and Google Home Max among other smart devices. The geofencing feature makes it possible for you to conserve energy while you are away.

The dimensions of 3 x 9.7 x 8.4 inches are perfect for any standard building space. This device is not hiding or being discreet but neither is it being obnoxious in its build.

What are buyers saying?

This unit is simple enough to use. It offers the same innovative features expected of a modern thermostat. it is not hard to install for people who have DIY experience and it fits well with most decors. It also needs a C-wire to connect to HVAC systems and once it is installed it works efficiently with low maintenance.

Pros

  • Compatibility with most HVAC systems
  • Simple to use the app
  • Simple to use unit design

Cons

  • The display can be busy

Bottom line

This unit offers a simple overall design with intuitive menus and easy to read data on the display. It is a great option to go with if looking for something simple and not too flashy.

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5) GLAS Smart Thermostat by Johnson Controls, Translucent OLED Touchscreen, Wi-Fi, Mobile App, Works with Amazon Alexa

Features

  • Works with smart home devices
  • Built-in Cortana speakers
  • Has home/away/sleep features
  • Free GLAS mobile app
  • Comes with occupancy sensors

From the Cortana functionality to the neat see-through screen this unit is the epitome of modern elegance and sophistication. Plus, it is a great smart thermostat. The construction features an OLED touch screen that comes with Microsoft’s voice AI. The unique aesthetics makes it stand out making it a great fit for a modern space with a minimalist look. It comes with a backplate to give the unit a clean background once it has been installed.

It comes in dimensions of 1.2 x 5.5 x 5 inches. The unit comes with an occupancy sensor to help the unit determine the occupancy of each room and adjust temperatures. It also offers data on the air quality both indoors and outdoors which it uses to control the temperature levels. This ensures that you are always breathing in fresh and clean quality air.

How it works

It works with Google Assistant and Alexa and comes with the free JCI smart thermostat app by GLAS to help you manage the thermostat remotely.

Installation is essentially the same for this unit as for other smart thermostats. Therefore, you don’t need specialized equipment or services. The good news is that this unit comes with a C-wire to facilitate easy installation. Most smart thermostats do not include this wire in their package.

What are buyers saying?

Most customers who bought this unit love the overall aesthetic it provides. It’s not modest but neither is it too flashy. For most, it offers an excellent modern design that complements their existing décor.  The clean interface is easy to work with and remote software updates help customers keep their space in conducive temperature levels. Customers also report that the unit is efficient and straightforward in use.

Pros

  • Compatible with most HVAC systems
  • Very attractive design
  • Comes with a C-wire for ease of installation
  • Gauges air quality

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with a remote control

Bottom line

This unit is modern and interactive with very easily programmable schedules. That makes it easy to use and work with. And no matter what the décor it will fit right in.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What do you need for smart thermostats for multiple zones to work?

For a smart thermostat to work, you need to have a strong WiFi signal in the space. You need to have an individual thermostat that has remote sensors dedicated to its particular zone in the house. A house can have multiple zones like bedrooms,  bathrooms, and kitchen. Rooms are heated differently, some require more heating than the others by the nature of their size.

2.  How do the remote sensors work?

The remote sensors will collect the temperature data in each of the rooms in their zone and send it to your thermostat. This data is what you will use to create the most conducive temperature for your space.

The multiple thermostats are wired to a single control panel that is placed within the ductwork of the air system.  The thermostats read the temperature. They shut or close the dampers according to the temperatures that you have indicated on the thermostat’s settings.

3.  How many thermostats do you need?

If you have high voltage heating you may need a higher number of thermostats but for a standard spacing, you can use one, two or utmost three thermostats. This means that you need two thermostats for two separate zones, three for three separate zones and so on. In some cases, some models can only work per room meaning you need a thermostat for each individual room.

4. Are smart thermostats worth it?

Is it wise to buy a smart thermostat?  Having a smart thermostat for your heating system is a big plus. Apart from the warm comfy feel in every room of your house, you are assured of low monthly energy bills. These cumulative savings can be put to other uses.

Factors to Consider when Shopping for Smart Thermostats for Multiple Zones

a) Remote sensors

Remote sensors make it possible for the thermostat to track the occupancy of the zones and effectively adjust the temperatures accordingly. They are important for the effectiveness of the unit when it comes to energy conservation. A built-in sensor works just as well as an integrated sensor.

b) Features

The features on the model you are buying should offer you the utmost efficiency and, most importantly, energy consumption. The home/away/sleep feature is crucial to energy conservation because it ensures that the unit is off when the space is unoccupied and on when occupied. Other features like geofencing make the unit more intuitive to you enabling you to have control of your environment at all times. It also helps in energy conservation as it will dial down when it senses you are out of a certain range like 750 feet away from the building. Choose a model that provides you with features that are convenient for you.

c) Algorithms

Algorithms are important because they help the thermostat to learn your habits and usage patterns and automatically adjust to create a comfortable environment. They use the algorithms to schedule temperature changes depending on the season and also on the weather data they retrieve from the internet. Find a thermostat that has advanced algorithms to reduce manual manipulation of the unit every time you need to implement temperature changes.

d) Installation

Installation can be quite challenging for people who have no prior electrical experience. But it doesn’t have to be if you choose a unit that has a clear and accurate instruction manual. Better yet find one that has illustrations to make it easier for you and also for any professional you decide to hire. The best smart thermostats come with detailed and accurate manual/guides and also all the components needed for a successful installation. In cases where a component is not offered, they indicate this and make sure that it’s a component that is easily available from a hardware shop.

e) Design

The design of the unit needs to be easy to fit in with your existing décor. An aesthetically pleasing design is key to clean integration with the rest of the décor. Otherwise, you will be stuck with an eyesore that stands out and draws attention to itself for the wrong reason. Something sleek like the GLAS thermostat, Nest learning thermostat, and Ecobee units will work for contemporary homes but for someone with traditional tastes, the regular look of the Emerson Sensi Touch will do just fine.

f) Apps

The best smart thermostats come with an app to help you control it remotely. These apps also allow the unit to be integrated into your smart home systems. Before purchasing the unit, make sure you try the app to make sure it is easy to use. Also, check for user reviews on how it works with the smart home system you will be integrating it with.

Conclusion

If you need a smart thermostat to regulate the temperatures in different rooms in your space you can’t go wrong with any of the five units listed above. Not only are they smart, but they are also extremely efficient and have innovative features to increase the comfort of your space regardless of the weather conditions of the day.

 

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