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The Best Thermostat in 2021

If you’re installing a new heating or cooling system, or even just looking to make an upgrade, you’re going to need some device to set the desired temperature. Nowadays, there are many flashy and high-tech thermostats to take the tedium of turning a dial out of your hands. Some of them can even help you save money on your energy billsby automatically adjusting the temperature while you’re away, or learning your home habits. The difference comes down to your personal taste and budget, but we can help you figure out which one will best fulfil your needs. 

Read on to find a list of the top-rated thermostats in Canada, including their advantages and disadvantages.

Our Top Picks

Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat

Nest Learning Thermostat – 3rd Gen

ecobee SmartThermostat

Honeywell Lyric T5 Smart Thermostat

Honeywell RTH6580

ecobee4 Thermostat

How to Choose a Thermostat

To make sure the thermostat can suit your needs, you’ll need to determine the level of functionality you desire, the price you’re willing to pay and the compatibility with your existing HVAC system. In terms of functionality, you can select from a variety of digital or manual, programmable or non-programmable thermostats. Some programmable ones can also be managed via apps over your Wi-Fi network, and others can even learn your temperature habits over time and take into account the weather and external temperature, so you wouldn’t have to keep programming them over time. Of course, price is contingent on the number of features your thermostat has, so the smarter it is the pricier. 

Regarding your HVAC system, in order to ensure your thermostat is compatible, there are several things you should look for. Some systems have two-stage (high and low) heating and/or cooling, some are multi stage (high, medium, low), and others are single stage (on or off). This is to say, you will need a thermostat that can accommodate the various settings afforded by your HVAC system. You’ll also want to open up your thermostat to check the wiring of your system. 

Why Trust Us

We here at Product Reviews by EnergyRates.ca scoured the internet to discover what users, experts and critics alike had to say about each of the various thermostats that appear here. Our staff is also comprised of experts in the energy industry, so we have insider knowledge on what can make your thermostat eco-friendlier and how you can best use them to save money. 

The Best Thermostats in Canada

1. Best smart thermostat

Features

ecobee4 Alexa-Enabled Thermostat with Sensor

It’s near impossible to talk about this thermostat without comparing it to its closest competitor, the Nest E Thermostat. However, fans of the nest won’t be disappointed in this alternative (the Nest E isn’t readily available in Canada anyway). The Ecobee 4 is intuitive in its design and functionality, and easy to install. Ecobee’s sensors are more accurate because they can average the temperature detected in each room, and can determine whether or not a room is occupied to adjust the temperature accordingly. It comes with one sensor, right out the package; but additional pairs can be purchased to place around the home.

However, it doesn’t allow for you to change Alexa’s name. Meaning if you have someone in your home with that name, then it might create some problems. Compared to its predecessor, the Ecobee3 lite, the Ecobee 4 offers greater support for extensive HVAC systems, and usability. 

Pros
  • App, web or touchscreen controls.
  • Works with Alexa.
  • Additional sensors purchasable for better accuracy.
  • Energy Star certified.
  • Compatible with Google Home, Apple & Samsung. 
Cons
  • Some Alexa features missing.
  • It doesn’t support French.
  • C-wire necessary.
Specifications
Batteries
2 Lithium Metal, included
Necessary wires
Power Extender Kit included if you don’t have C-wire and have 4 wires.
2-wire workarounds available
Compatibilities
Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, SmartThings

2. Best programmable thermostat under $50

Features

Honeywell RTH221B1021/E1

If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable thermostat, then Honeywell is most likely going to be your go-to brand; hence, why they’re so featured so heavily in this list. Finding an affordable thermostat in Canada is difficult enough, let alone outside dense provinces like Ontario, so the fact that they’re also widely available makes them a benefit. They’re also known for their brand cohesion, so if you have another Honeywell thermostat, this one can just pop right in its place. 

Pros
  • Easy to program.
  • Easy to install.
Cons
  • Only programmable for time of day.
  • The display is not backlit.

Honeywell RTH221B1021/E1

Programmable Thermostat
VIEW ON AMAZON
Specifications
Batteries
2 AAA
Necessary wires
N/A
Compatibilities
Heating, cooling heat pumps without auxiliary heat
Does not work with multistage electric baseboard heaters

3. Best 6-period programmable thermostat

Features

Honeywell RTH6580 WF Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable Thermostat

This thermostat has a humble layout, with a basic digital screen. This is a basic Wi-Fi thermostat for those who don’t want to yet commit to the big budget necessary for a smart one. The smartphone app streamlines the already simple installation process, and offers some guidance if wire modification is necessary. The device continues to run on its schedule even if it’s disconnected from Wi-Fi and promises to be within 1 of the current temperature.  

Pros
  • Wi-Fi and smartphone compatible.
  • Amazon Echo integration added. 
Cons
  • Time-of-day programmable.

Honeywell RTH6580WF

Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable
VIEW ON AMAZON
Specifications
Batteries
Lithium Ion, included
Necessary wires
C-wire, alternate wiring available
Compatibilities
Wi-Fi

4. Best non-programmable thermostat

Features

Honeywell TH3110D1008 Pro Non-Programmable Digital Thermostat

For those who want a more bare-bones model, this thermostat is your best bet. It has a simple layout and design that, while giving it a “cheap” aesthetic that other users have complained about, drastically lowers the learning curve required to use it. If your HVAC system is basic and doesn’t require all the bells and whistles of other thermostats, then this one is the one for you. 

Pros
  • Backlit display.
Cons
  • Dated look and feel.

Honeywell TH3110D1008 Pro

VIEW ON AMAZON
Specifications
Batteries
2 AA alkaline
Wires
RC, RH, C, W, Y, O, B, G
Compatibilities
N/A

5. Best programmable thermostat

Features

Honeywell Lyric T5 Smart Thermostat

This smart thermostat doesn’t overcomplicate your life. It’s a more stripped-down version of a smart thermostat, with fewer features than even its sister thermostat, the Lyric Round. But given the price, it still gives a great deal of functionality. Other Lyric T5 user reviews appreciate its clean interface and simple user interface, greatly simplifying the process of adjusting your climate. It uses geofencing to detect whether or not you are home to switch to its away temperature, saving you the effort of having to make sure to readjust it when you’re away. 

Pros
  • Large display.
  • Geofencing.
  • Amazon Echo.
  • Google Home.
  • Apple HomeKit.
Cons
  • It doesn’t support humidifiers or ventilators.
  • Not compatible with Samsung. 

Honeywell Lyric T5

Smart Thermostat
VIEW ON AMAZON
Specifications
Batteries
None required
Necessary wires
C-wire not required; R, Rc, RH

6. Best non-smart thermostat

Features

Honeywell RTH6580 WF Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable Thermostat

For those who don’t want to spare any expense for all the accessories that are available with a smart thermostat, but still want most of the benefits, then a programmable thermostat is the best pick for you. This one even has Echo integration so you can still feel like you’re speaking to a smart thermostat. It has an app available for your smartphone, which can help you with the installation process and put control of your HVAC right in your hands. 

Pros
  • Wi-Fi and smartphone compatible.
  • Amazon Echo integration added. 
Cons
  • Time-of-day programmable.

Honeywell RTH6580

VIEW ON AMAZON
Specifications
Batteries
2 AA required
Necessary wires
C-Wire required
Compatibilities
Wi-Fi

7. Best thermostat under $200

Features

Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat for Smart Home, ST55

This Emerson thermostat may not look futuristic like the other models of smart thermostats, but it sacrifices nearly nothing while still being affordable. First, let’s get one issue out of the way. Setting up your Sensi thermostat must be done through the Emerson app and connect to their server. This means that if you don’t have a smartphone or the server goes down, you can’t set up the thermostat. However, once it is set up, it still remembers your programming without power. It has an incredibly customizable daily schedule and is easy to use from the app. 

Pros
  • Pin protections.
  • Humidity sensor.
  • App connectivity.
  • Amazon Echo integration.
Cons
  • No usage reports.
  • Setup only through the Emerson server. 

Emerson Sensi

Smart Thermostat
VIEW ON AMAZON

8. Best heat-only thermostat

Features

Emerson 1E78-140 Non-Programmable Heat Only Thermostat for Single-Stage Systems

If you’re looking for a thermostat for a single-stage heating system (meaning your heat is either on or off), this one is the one for you. It’s easy to use and not terribly flashy, and does pretty much what you need it to do. Keep the heat on until your home has the set temperature. 

Pros
  • Simple to install and use.
  • Affordable.
Cons
  • Not backlit.
  • No fraction temperature for Celsius.

Emerson 1E78-140

VIEW ON AMAZON

9. Best thermostat that works with Alexa

Features

Ecobee Smart Thermostat with Voice Control

Amazon is an investor in Ecobee, which explains why it’s so smoothly integrated in their devices. However, we chose this specific one because it’s renown across reviews for being one of the best smart thermostats. It’s Energy Star certified, meaning it has undergone rigorous testing to make sure it is an energy-efficient as possible.

This means that it will help you save on your energy bills over time. It has Wi-Fi and streaming capabilities, a sleek touch screen display and has a built-in mic so you can use it as an additional Echo. You can use it with a variety of music streaming services where it can play from its built-in speakers or stream it to a Bluetooth speaker. 

Pros
  • Energy STAR certified.
  • Touch display.
  • Easy to install.
  • Mutable mic.
  • It can play music. 
Cons
  • It does not support French.
  • It can’t change the Alexa wake words. 

Ecobee Smart Thermostat with Voice Control

VIEW ON AMAZON

10. Best thermostat for Google Home

Features

Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation 

Nest is a Google product, so if you’ve got a Google set-up then a Nest thermostat will have the smoothest integration. However, this one has greater HVAC compatibility, especially compared to its sister product the Nest Thermostat E. It also has Alexa integration and Nest’s efficiency label for the most economical temperatures. It has a larger display and a durable steel surface, giving it a sleek and modern design. 

Pros
  • Easy to install.
  • Amazon Alexa integration.
  • Bluetooth Radio.
  • Wide HVAC compatibility.
Cons
  • No Apple or Samsung integration.

Nest Learning Thermostat

3rd Generation
VIEW ON AMAZON

11. Best thermostat for heat pump

Features

ecobee4 Alexa-Enabled Thermostat with Sensor

The Ecobee 4 is intuitive in its design and functionality, and easy to install. Ecobee’s sensors are more accurate because they can average the temperature detected in each room, and can determine whether or not a room is occupied to adjust the temperature accordingly.

It comes with one sensor, right out the package; but additional pairs can be purchased to place around the home. However, it doesn’t allow you to change Alexa’s name. Meaning if you have someone in your home with that name, then it might create some problems. Compared to its predecessor, the Ecobee3 lite, the Ecobee 4 offers greater support for extensive HVAC systems, and usability. 

Pros
  • App, web or touchscreen controls.
  • Works with Alexa.
  • Additional sensors purchasable for better accuracy.
  • Compatible with Google Home, Apple & Samsung. 
Cons
  • Some Alexa features missing.
  • It doesn’t support French.
  • C-wire necessary.

12. Best thermostat for baseboard heater

Features

Mysa Smart Thermostats (Electric Baseboard Heaters)

If you’re in the market for a smart thermostat and you have a baseboard heating system, unfortunately, you have slim pickings. However, much of the customers of this thermostat have not left disappointed aside from a few connectivity issues from the odd consumer, which has since seemed to be resolved. It’s manufactured in Canada, so import fees are minimal, unlike other baseboard thermostats. It also features a sleek and minimalist design so it won’t look out of place in your home. 

Pros
  • One of the only smart thermostats for this type.
  • iOS and Android compatible.
  • Easy to install.
Cons
  • Some Wi-Fi connectivity issues.
  • Power outages can make it difficult to reconnect. 

Mysa Smart Thermostat

VIEW ON AMAZON

13. Honeywell TL8230A1003

Features

Honeywell TL8230A1003 Line Volt Thermostat 240/208 VAC 7 Day Programmable

If you’re not looking for a smart thermostat, and don’t think the Mysa thermostat would fit in your home, then you can turn to this Honeywell. This thermostat is easy to set up and use for line-voltage based systems. It’s budget-friendly, programmable, has a large backlit display and a simple design. If you want to override the programming, it also has a manual setting that you can use.  

Pros
  • 7-day programmable.
  • Backlit display.
  • Soundproof.
Cons
  • No internal battery.

14. Nest Thermostat E

Features

Google Nest Thermostat E

The Google Nest Thermostat E is one of the most popular smart thermostats in Canada. With frosted display and modern design, this thermostat is going to fit into almost any home. Some of these key features though are part of the inside gear, such as Energy History, which works almost like an energy monitor, and the Home/Away Assist feature, which turns itself down after you leave.

With 4.8 stars from more than 6,535 reviews on Google, it’s safe to say that most consumers will be happy with this product. Online reviewers often highlight the Google Nest Thermostat E’s battery life, usability and accurate temperature readings.

Pros
  • Remote control.
  • Away mode.
Cons
  • Some consumers complain about the wire setup.

Nest Thermostat E

Google T4000ES
VIEW ON AMAZON

Frequent Thermostat Questions

What is a thermostat? 

According to Dictionary.comthe definition of a thermostat is a “device that functions to establish and maintain a desired temperature automatically or signals a change in temperature for manual adjustment.” 

What are the various types of thermostats? 

Non-Programmable Thermostat $ 

It allows you to manually adjust the temperature. 

Programmable Thermostat $$ 

It allows you to pre-program a desired temperature for different times of day or week. Ideal for areas with drastic temperature differences. 

Wi-Fi Thermostat $$$ 

A programmable thermostat that allows you to adjust the thermometer through a device connected to your Wi-Fi network such as your smartphone, computer or tablet. 

Smart Thermostat $$$$ 

A thermostat that learns your heating and cooling habits over time and makes the appropriate adjustments automatically. Most also connect to your Wi-Fi network, and many integrate Google Assistant or Alexa compatibility. 

How does a thermostat work? 

Thermostats have a component in them that detects changes in temperature. These can be metal strips that bend or liquid/gaseous fluids that expand as the temperature increases. Either way, the result of these changes is a switch is triggered that sends a signal to turn off the furnace. As the matter cools, they contract, turning the furnace back on. 

Note that this means that if you request a higher ideal temperature for your home when it’s cold, it affects how long your furnace must run to reach that temperature. It does not tell your furnace to burn hotter, meaning that plugging in a higher temperature is not useful for warming your home. 

For more tips on how to use your thermostat, read:  

How does a digital thermostat work? 

It’s similar to the analog thermometers, above, except instead of using the expansion and contracting of substances to measure gauge temperature, it uses the conductivity of metals. As the temperature increases, the conductivity decreases. When the temperature reaches below a certain level, a switch is triggered to turn the furnace on. 

Can a smart thermostat work with Alexa? 

If they are Alexa compatible, then yes. 

Where to buy thermostats in Canada? 

Local homehardware and tech stores such as Canadian TireBest Buy and Home Depot or online stores such as Amazon Canada. 

Can I control the thermostat via app? 

Smart and some Wi-Fi enabled thermostats can be manipulated via an app. 

Ecobee vs. Nest 

Ecobee has largely the same functionality, with a simpler interface and a slightly smaller price. However, if you have Google devices, you might prefer the cohesion and go with a Nest. 

Tado vs. Nest vs. Hive 

The Nest is the most affordable and readily available thermostat in Canada, for smart thermostats. The Tado thermostat isn’t largely available and the Hive has a higher price point when you consider the fact that you need a hub installed as well. 

Our lists and product reviews are unbiased and chosen by EnergyRates.ca’s editors. As an Amazon associate, we may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase through links on our site.