01 Apr 7 Best Smart Thermostats for Multiple Zones in 2022
Homes consist of several different zones. You have your kitchen, living room, bathrooms, and bedrooms. And it’s likely that the temperature needs for all those rooms are different. Furthermore, depending on personal preference, you might also want different bedrooms to have different temperatures.
Most simple thermostats, however, treat the entire home as a single heating zone. As such, everyone has to come to a singular decision about what temperature to set. And that entails a fair bit of compromise from all parties involved.
That’s where the smart thermostats for multiple zones come in. With a smart thermostat for multiple zones, you can set up multiple different zones around your house. Following that, you can use your smartphone app or remote control to set different temperatures for all different rooms. That means everyone can have their way and no one needs to compromise.
To understand what a Smart Thermostat for Multiple Zone is, you need to understand its various components.
- As a Thermostat, it can be used to control your home’s heating and cooling systems.
- As a Smart Thermostat, you can use it in conjunction with smart-home systems and online apps. This allows you to control the home’s temperature using smartphones.
- As a Smart Thermostat for Multiple Zones, you can basically divide the house into several zones so you can control each zone’s temperature individually.
In addition to controlling the locations and zones of temperature, a smart thermostat can also automatically modulate its temperature depending on the time of the day. As such, you can set up different temperatures for when you’re away, for night, day, etc.
The following are the prime benefits of using smart thermostats for multiple zones:
- You can set up different temperatures for different zones within the same house. As such, everyone can enjoy the temperature they prefer.
- You can set up different temperatures for different times of the day.
- When you’re away from the house, you can set it up at a low setting to save energy. This also makes it cost-effective.
- You can control the thermostat remotely. As such, you can change the temperature even when you’re not home.
However, there are a lot of different smart thermostats for multiple zones on the market. And all of them come with their own unique set of features.
To help you make a decision, I have written this article to give you a detailed and thorough overview of the best smart thermostats for multiple zones on the market.
Best Smart Thermostats for Multiple Zones
Ecobee4 is one of the most advanced smart thermostats for multiple zones on the market. This is the furthest thing from a minimalist product as it comes packed with a wide range of features you’ll only be able to access if you carefully go through the entire manual. This is ideal for those who want completely integrate their smart thermostats with their smart-home systems, complete with voice activation and Alexa functionality. It requires a C-wire but also comes with instructions on how to connect it to your existing HVAC system.
Installing the Ecobee4 can be a long-winded process because you have to connect all your smart home systems individually. And the setup process for each of them is unique, which can be slightly annoying. But if you are patient enough, the pay off is also great because Ecobee4 has the widest compatibility range. It works with IFTTT, HomeKit, SmartThings, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Wink.
In terms of controlling multiple zones, this smart thermostat comes with room sensors. As such, you have to install the room sensors in different zones of the house. This allows you to manage the temperature in all the different zones. The biggest issue here is that you can’t maintain different temperatures for the different zones. If you change the temperature in one zone, all of them will be changed accordingly. That is perhaps the biggest issue with this smart thermostat — different occupants of the house can’t opt to use different temperature settings, which is one of the main benefits of multiple zones.
However, you can use the ‘Follow Me’ feature to prioritize occupancy. As such, when the room sensors detect that someone is in the area, it will modulate the temperature for ideal comfort. And when the occupant steps away from the zone, it will crank itself down to conserve energy. This allows every zone to get temperature-controlled automatically whenever someone comes in, while also managing energy costs. After the first month of use, Ecobee4 also provides extensive and exhaustive insights and real-time updates on how to conserve energy. A single Ecobee4 comes with only one room sensor. As such, if you really want to set up multiple zones, you’ll need to buy more. Additional room sensors can be bought in packs of 2.
Other than the limited functionality of multiple zones, this smart thermostat has another major drawback. The smart thermostat modulates temperature automatically according to your preset sleep, home, and away schedules. However, if you manually change the temperature in between these cycles either via the device, app, or through voice, it will remain in that temperature and all other schedules will be put on hold indefinitely. As such, when you want the schedule to resume, you have to manually make sure to reinstate its functionality. This can waste a lot of energy. If you want to get past this setting, you’ll have to go to the settings and change the hold action from ‘Indefinite’ to ‘Until the next scheduled activity’.
Another common complaint against this unit was that disabling Alexa or putting it on mute causes it to flash an annoying red light. This is a design element that the manufacturers should look into because a lot of people don’t like being forced to activate Alexa, nor do they like the red light constantly blinking.
- Wide range of smart-home compatibility.
- Intuitive Auto-Away feature.
- Can sense the occupant’s presence based on room sensors and geofencing.
- Can manage energy well.
- Can provide detailed energy reports and conservation tips after a month.
- Multiple Zones can be set up to conserve energy in areas without occupancy.
- Only one room sensor available with the device.
- Different temperatures can’t be set for different rooms.
- Installation is complicated.
- Manually changing the temperature puts the schedules on hold indefinitely.
- Disabling Alexa causes a red light to flash continuously.
2. Nest Learning Thermostat
Nest Learning Thermostat is a compact and gorgeous device that’s been developed by one of the world’s leading companies for smart thermostats. This is a black and white thermostat with a stainless steel body. The display screen has a 480p resolution and it can be controlled using buttons set up on the outer ring of the device. This smart thermostat has 10 different sensors that can also measure humidity, motion, ambient light, amongst others. Its Farsight feature ensures that whenever someone comes into the thermostat’s zone or near it, the display automatically turns on. As such, it has excellent motion sensors in place.
In terms of installation, it’s similar to Ecobee4. The set comes with a thorough instruction manual and all the tools you need for installation. If you follow them accurately, you can install the device yourself. It can then also be paired with all popular smart home devices and platforms like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, WeMo switches, Smart lightings by LIFX, Haiku fans, and various others. One of the best features here is Nest Thermostat’s ability to interact intelligently with these other smart devices. For example, in times of emergencies, instead of simply warning you via the thermostat device or the app, it can also make the lights in the occupant’s zone flash to get their attention.
In terms of multiple zone functionality, you can install as many sensors as you need in different rooms. This allows you to control the temperature in each room individually. Unlike Ecobee4, you don’t have to set the same temperature in all rooms. You can selectively change temperatures using your app or the device. Furthermore, the motion sensor can also be used to track your movements through different zones. As such, the sensors can control the thermostat for a particular zone based on whether you’re in it, which saves a lot of energy.
In addition to these, you can also set up the schedules and Home/Away modes manually. You can also set up ECO thresholds and air filter replacement alerts. Controlling the thermostat is extremely easy with the smartphone app or the web interface. The moment you log in, you get a complete overview of temperature, humidity, etc in each zone. You can then make modifications accordingly. The only issue is that there are no remote sensors available. As such, you either have to control the thermostat by going to it physically or over the internet using your phones or computer.
Furthermore, this smart thermostat also has several major issues in terms of its learning abilities. While its Home/Away function does work, it does so quite awkwardly. After you leave, it turns the thermostat down to save energy. But when you’re returning, the thermostat doesn’t learn your schedule to start modulating the temperature back to comfortable levels before you arrive. Instead, you have to be back home and in the thermostat’s presence for it to start modulating the temperature. So you have to wait uncomfortably for a while for the room to warm up or cool down. Furthermore, you have the option to set up “Early On” for a specific time. But that can only work when you are already home, which doesn’t make sense.
This, however, might be a minor issue to some people. If you don’t mind waiting 5-10 minutes for the temperature to set itself right, you won’t have any issue with this.
- Compact design.
- Compatible with various smart-home devices.
- Can set up individual temperatures in different zones.
- Great motion sensors.
- Farsight feature.
- Easy to control from the app.
- Remote control not available.
- Doesn’t have strong smart learning abilities.
3. Honeywell Lyric T5
Honeywell Lyric T5 is one of the cheapest smart thermostats with multiple zone functionality on the market. However, it is fairly bare bones in that it doesn’t have the ability to learn your schedules automatically, nor can it detect your presence in different zones in the house. However, you can still set up smart schedules manually, use geofencing, and integrate it into your smart-home perfectly. It is not compatible with as many smart-home standards as the aforementioned smart thermostats, but it can work with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. One of the benefits of this smart thermostat is that it doesn’t need C-wires and it supports two-stage heating and cooling.
Installing this smart thermostat is easier than both the Ecobee and the Nest. Even if you don’t read the instruction manual, the device itself takes you through every step of the process and helps you set up geofencing and specific temperatures for the Home, Away, Sleep, and Wake Up settings. You can easily pair it with your smartphone via WiFi, and then use the associated app to connect the device to all other compatible smart home devices in your home. The thermostat can be controlled either from the smartphone app or from the device’s touchscreen.
This smart thermostat has complete multiple zone functionality. You can purchase additional sensors to place around your home and set up various different temperature zones. You can then use your smartphone Lyric app to set up temperatures and schedules for all of them. Since this thermostat doesn’t have motion sensors, it controls the climate using geofencing. It can monitor the location of the phones, and modulate the temperature accordingly. Based on the location of everyone’s smartphones, it determines where the occupants are. If it detects that all the smartphones have left the house, it goes into Away mode and starts conserving energy. This is pretty effective because people always carry their phones with them. However, it also means you can’t leave your phone lying just anywhere around the house as that will render the thermostat inaccurate.
One curious detail here is that you can’t enable geofencing and scheduling for the same device at the same time. If you activate a schedule for one zone, then that zone will only work based on that schedule and won’t track geofencing, and vice versa. The schedule can be changed very easily using the Lyric app.
- Effective multiple zone functionality.
- Easy to set up.
- Exhaustive smartphone app.
- Geofencing and scheduling don’t work together.
- Doesn’t have motion sensors.
- Can’t learn schedules.
4. Tado Smart Thermostat
Tado isn’t one of the most popular smart thermostat brands, but it’s cheap and has a wide range of advanced features. If you want something small, stylish, and packed with advanced features but at a reduced cost, then this is a great option. The thermostat itself is a small minimal white box with a single button. As such, all the main functions and controls have to be handled through the smartphone app.
You can set up sensors around the house to demarcate the various temperature zones. You can then use the smartphone app to individually set temperatures for each of the zones, along with schedules for your entire home. Geolocation is the most important feature in this device. Instead of waiting for you to get back home, it gradually starts heating up your home the closer you get. As such, by the time you are back home, it is completely ready for you so you don’t have to spend a single second in discomfort.
However, there is a drawback to the geolocation function as well. If you’re outside your home, but still within close proximity, it won’t turn down the thermostat completely, thus wasting a lot of energy. In that situation, you’ll have to manually intervene and turn it down using your smartphone app. You can, however, set the geolocation’s sensitivity using the app.
In terms of installation, this isn’t as straight forward as some of the other smart thermostats on the market. You will probably need to call the Tado engineers to come and set it up. The provided instruction manual is hard to follow for people who aren’t extremely confident with technological devices. Furthermore, the software command setup is an absolute nightmare. You have to individually set the temperatures, fan speeds, swing options, etc for a number of different situations. All those things taken together, you have to basically enter hundreds of commands in order to completely teach the thermostat. Furthermore, you can’t simply save some commands and resume later, you have to do it all at a single stretch, which means you could potentially spend hours on the command setup.
- Minimalist design.
- Can set up multiple zones.
- Extremely effective geolocation that can also be controlled.
- Can only be controlled using the smartphone app.
- Hardware installation requires technical assistance.
- Software assistance includes inputting hundreds of commands and can take several hours to complete.
5. GLAS Smart Thermostat
GLAS Smart Thermostat is one of the most stylish smart thermostats on the market. Furthermore, it has been created by Johnson Controls, which is the company that first invented the thermostat. It is also one of the most expensive smart thermostats on the market, which is why it is positioned lower on this list, despite having some pretty advanced features. You can set up several different zones as well and control their temperatures individually.
Unlike many of the other smart thermostats, this one can be controlled entirely from the screen as well. The 5-inch OLED screen has all of the features and functions you could possibly need and you can navigate the Windows IOT Core-powered screen without difficulty. Alternately, you can also use your smartphone app.
Like the other smart thermostats, it has Home/ Away/ Sleep features. Both Home and Away are activated based on occupancy sensors and the Sleep feature is enabled based on the Sleep time, which you have to manually program into the device. The temperature ranges can be changed at any time at all. The occupancy sensor on this device works when you walk past the thermostat. This isn’t as effective as geofencing and remote sensing. However, you can also turn that off and program it based on specific times.
One of the most unique features here is air-quality control, both indoor and outdoor. This feature isn’t available in most other smart thermostats, but it’s pretty useful in gauging the air quality so you know you’re always breathing in fresh air. However, Glad Smart Thermostat can only give you the information you need. It doesn’t control the fans or engage any actions if it finds that CO2 is too high.
- Attractively designed.
- User-friendly display.
- Can control temperatures for different zones.
- Occupancy sensors are available.
- Easy to program schedules.
- Can also gauge air-quality so it can double as an IAQ monitor.
- Extremely expensive.
- The occupancy sensor only works when you walk past the device, making it less effective than geofencing or remote sensing.
- The air quality gauge doesn’t automatically trigger actions to fix the issue.
The Sensi ST55 is a budget-friendly smart thermostat with several handy features, such as geo-fencing, voice commands via Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. It is also compatible with smart home automation platforms such as SmartThings and HomeKit.
The ST55 is more functional than it is fashionable. It works with most single- and double HVAC systems. However, a C common wire is required to function. It’s compatible with gas, electric and oil furnaces, while also with central air conditioning, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, boilers, and even heat pump systems. Unfortunately, electric baseboard heating is not compatible.
Even with its small size, the LCD offers plenty of information. Wi-Fi and battery level indication, as well as the current time, are displayed at the top of the LCD screen. The present set temperature and heating or cooling mode appear below that, while the present room temp is indicated right at the screen’s center. The other indicators found on the screen’s bottom border correlate to the buttons just below them. They include Schedule, Fan and Mode, while showing the status of each.
It’s quite simple to install the ST55. If you’re not experienced operating low-voltage cables, you may want to ask the help of a friend or call a professional. If you’ve previously installed this thermostat, you can decide to bypass the on-screen installation directives found in the app. If it’s your first time installing a thermostat, the instructions will lead you through every step of the process.
- Compatible with a variety of home automation systems.
- Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri voice commands are all supported.
- Geo-fencing is supported.
- The design is uninspiring.
- IFTTT isn’t supported.
T9 is such a good name to give a new product. Honeywell is a popular brand which recently changed its name to Honeywell Home after its main company went into the residential sector. Even though this thermostat doesn’t incorporate Amazon Alexa, it has a plethora of features and good performance that you can expect from modern thermostats today.
The T9 comes in a rectangular shape which may not be that pleasing to the eyes. It reminds one of the T5 model, but at least it’s a bit aesthetically pleasing. It has a white bezel that surrounds a bright 3.5-inch touchscreen. There is some colored text that shows the indoor temperature and gray indications that show the time and temperature outside.
The most important feature of the Honeywell Home T9 is the occupancy sensor. These sensors can be bought as after-market goods or just as one full package if you get a good deal. They come fitted with temperature, motion and humidity sensors alongside some indicating LEDs.
Honeywell Home T9can integrate with a home smart system and support IFTTT and Samsung SmartThings. It’s compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and even Microsoft Cortana. Once linked, you may use a sensor to monitor the temperature level of any room except its humidity level. You can tell the assistant to modify the temperature of any room.
- Clear touchscreen display and the intuitive user interface.
- Very effective remote sensors.
- Doesn’t depend exclusively on the mobile app to be set up and installed.
- There is no motion sensor built into the thermostat.
- You must specifically program this thermostat for it to learn your habits.
- Few minor problems with real-time updates.
Which Factors to Consider when Buying Smart Thermostats for Multiple Zones?
The following are the main factors to consider when you’re buying smart thermostats for multiple zones.
Most smart thermostats come with the ability to set up temperature schedules. However, the schedule might need to be changed during winters, or summers, or other regular intervals. In that case, you have to manually change the schedule.
However, some advanced smart thermostats use algorithmic-learning. Over time, they learn your patterns. As such, over time, they can start automatically setting up schedules according to the pattern they may have detected.
Smart thermostats sometimes come with an Auto-Away feature. This is a feature that uses motion and light detection to determine if you’re in the house within a 150-degree radius. If you are not home, it automatically goes into energy-saver mode.
This feature also works with algorithmic-learning to determine when you’re usually away. As such, over time, it will automatically start going on energy-saver mode at the specific time without conducting the test. This could sometimes pose a little inconvenience.
Geofencing is basically a virtual perimeter you can establish as a range for your thermostat sensors. It sets up a boundary around your home to detect your presence within the home. If it finds that you’re away, it can automatically dial down the thermostat to conserve energy.
The range can be set up using the smartphone app. For example, if you set up a range of 750 feet, the thermostat will go into conservation mode when you’re beyond that range.
The remote sensor can also detect motion and proximity within specific zones within the house. As such, if there’s no one in a particular zone, it would turn down the thermostat in that one zone to conserve energy. When someone returns to that zone, it automatically goes back into Home Mode.
When you purchase a smart thermostat for multiple zones, be sure to get one that you can easily install on your own. You will likely receive an easy-to-follow instruction manual with photographs that you can follow.
Smart thermostats are usually installed using one of two wiring systems — Common Wire (C-Wire) and Four-Wire. You should get the one you are more comfortable with.
Smart Thermostats work in conjunction with smartphone apps that allow them to be integrated into the smart home. You need to use the app before purchasing the thermostat to make sure it’s user-friendly and well designed.
Check to make sure you can make schedules easily. You should also check to see how well it can be integrated with smart home devices like smoke detectors, Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, Apple Homekit, Samsung SmartThings, etc.
Finally, you might want to find a smart thermostat that isn’t too clunky or ugly to look at. It should go well with your home’s general aesthetic and not stick out too much. Different smart thermostats come in various different colors, so choose wisely.
Frequently Asked Questions about Smart Thermostats for Multiple Zones
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about smart thermostats for multiple zones.
How are Smart Thermostats for Multiple Zones Programmed?
In order to program your smart thermostat for multiple zones, you need to first connect the smartphone app. You’ll need to enter details about your home’s heating and cooling systems along with your preferred temperatures. Following that, you’ll have to set up separate zones based on the presence of the sensors, and set up specific temperatures for them.
How do Smart Thermostats for Multiple Zones Save Energy?
Smart thermostats come with various features like geofencing, motion sensing, and body sensors. These features allow the thermostat to determine if you’re presently in your home. If it perceives that you are away, it will go into Auto-Away mode and go into energy conservation mode by turning down the thermostat. In doing so, it can save a lot of money in energy bills as well and you don’t have to remember to manually turn down the thermostat every time you leave the house.
How do you read Smart Thermostats for Multiple Zones?
Smart Thermostats for Multiple Zones usually come with LED and LCD screens. The screens are equipped with buttons or entry pads that allow you to control the thermostat from the screen as well. The digital screen allows you to read the thermostat and all its details.
What’s the recommended temperature for the smart thermostat during winters?
During winters, a comfortable temperature to set is 72°F. However, if you want to conserve energy, you can also turn it down to 68°F. At nights, since you might be tucked in your blankets, you can further bring it down to around 62°F to 66°F.
What’s the recommended temperature for the smart thermostat during summers?
During summers, you can be pretty comfortable at a temperature of 76-78°F, though you can also crank it down to 70°F if you want to conserve energy. At night time, you can keep the temperature at around 75°F to remain comfortable.
What happens if the thermostat’s battery dies?
You only need to worry about your smart thermostat’s battery if it’s not connected to the home’s power source. If you have used batteries, you have to watch out for the low battery warning. When the battery dies completely, it will stop heating your home completely.
I hope this article has helped you select the best smart thermostat for multiple zones according to your specific needs. So go ahead and enjoy a perfect climate and temperature controlled smart home!