Over the past few years smart technology has been advancing further and further to the point where you can connect your doors, speakers, kitchen appliances, washer and dryer, furnace, air conditioner, and alarm clock. While in a digital age, this may seem just common place now, it hasn’t always been this way.
Having smart technology in your home can be both convenient and exciting, but it also can save you money – especially in the case of thermostats. The Z-Wave technology is expanding further and further into more devices in your home so you can control them from your smart devices (phones, home assistant, computer, etc.).
Today we’re going to dive into the Z-Wave technology that’s in Thermostats and discuss what are the current best Z-Wave Thermostats for your home and why each of them is some of the best on the market.
What is a Z-Wave Thermostat?
Before we jump into the best Z Wave thermostats, lets first explain a bit about what the Z-Wave technology is. The Z-Wave technology started out of a Danish company called Zensys which built the platform and protocols for “Z-Wave” which is similar to the Zigbee’s company technology.
What the Z-Wave technology allowed is for companies to utilize this to allow them to connect their smart devices to people’s houses. This includes devices like lightbulbs, sensors, locks, appliances, smart-plugs, and so much more. This is why you’ll often see on the box of smart-home devices the “Z-Wave” logo which tells you that it has the Z-Wave technology in it so you can be assured you can connect it to your home and control it on your different devices.
Z-Wave technology doesn’t utilize your wifi, nor does it use Bluetooth but instead it operates utilizing radio waves to communicate (Specifically 800-900MHZ radio frequencies). This is a low-energy option for sending communication and works quite effectively.
Unlike Zigbee that uses 2.4GHz frequencies which is also the same frequency for wifi, the Z-Wave doesn’t have interference issues due to the different radio frequency utilized making it a much smoother experience for users.
The other difference of Z-Wave is that it doesn’t use the internet to connect. Each device creates its own network to talk to the other devices. Now, typically in order to control them using your phone, you’ll need all of the Z-Wave devices connected to a hub that will be connected to the internet.
Top 6 Best Z-Wave Thermostats for your Home
OUR TOP PICK
- Built-in Z-Wave technology
- Programmable thermostat with touch screen
- Sleek and clean design
- Common wire not needed
This Honeywell programmable thermostat comes with the Z-Wave logo right on top to let you know of its full capabilities. While it’s suggested to utilize the Z-Wave technology, this unit can be utilized as a standalone programmable thermostat instead if you prefer with the option to change to Z-Wave at any time. It’s the perfect device for those looking for great flexibility in options and functionality.
- High level of functionality
- Z-Wave technology
- Fully programmable with touch screen
- Does not utilize common wire
- High price
- Outdated design with green screen
The Good/What I like: This product is made by a very well-known thermostat company, Honeywell, which has really high-quality products that customers love. What we really love about this device is the clean design with a nice bright backlight so you can see it in low-light situations.
You’ll also enjoy the fact that it doesn’t need a common wire to operate making it easier to setup and install since it’s one less wire to worry about.
Of course, being a thermostat that utilizes the Z-Wave technology, you can utilize this with your existing hub and control it via your smart home. If you need to change the temperature from your smart home device, cell phone, remote, or via the physical touch panel, all are possible.
The Bad/What I don’t like: While this device will do everything, you need it to and more, it does come with a hefty price tag. There are many programmable thermostats that work great for under $50, whereas this one is a bit over $100. While the price may be high, we do consider it well worth it. The only other downfall of this device is that although the design is clean, it uses a green backlight which we find to look a bit outdated and doesn’t look as nice in your home.
- Smart home device compatible
- 7-day programmable thermostat with up to 4 temperatures per day
This digital thermostat comes packed with the Z-Wave technology, a digital black-white touch screen, and allows for up to one cooling and two heating stages that come with central heating/cooling systems. It’s an awesome device that pairs great with smart home systems, especially compatible with Amazon Alexa. You can control your heating and cooling form your phone, tablet, smart home device or computer no matter where you are in the world.
- Push notifications for filters/maintenance
- Simple install
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa smart home device
- 7-day individual schedules with 4 temperature changes per day
- Large digital touch screen
- Requires the Nexia hub and a monthly subscription to use most of the thermostat’s features
The Good/What I like: While many smart thermostats run for a couple hundred dollars, this one is just a little over $100 and for the amount of options packed into it, this is a great deal! The best part about this unit is that it’s highly compatible with almost all heating and cooling systems including heat pump systems. This means when you get it hooked up, it’s going to be ready to start saving you money right away!
You get great updates to the software of the thermostat so it will keep getting better and better as updates are pushed to the unit through your hub. It also has reminders sent to ensure you remember to change the filters and provide maintance on your HVAC system to extend the life of the unit.
You’ll also find the large touch screen makes it easy to see updates and make changes on the fly without your devices. It also have 7 different programmable days with 4 different schedules per day.
The Bad/What I don’t like: While this thermostat packs so many awesome things inside it, the only downfall that we see is it requires you to have a subscription to Nexia and have a Nexia Home Bridge to utilize some of its best features. You can’t use all hubs with this device so if you have an existing hub you should check first if it is compatible.
- Programmable thermostat
- Z-Wave technology for home automation
- Ultra-thin design
- Touch screen for quick fix temperature changes
For a quite affordable price, the 2gig Z-Wave programmable thermostat packs quite a few features into a friendly and efficient unit. The best part about this unit is how it utilizes the Z-Wave technology which doesn’t utilize wifi but instead connects to almost all great home hubs that connect different smart devices and other Z-Wave technology. You’ll love how fast and easy the 2gig is to setup and use. You’ll be saving money after a few minutes!
- Very affordable price
- Can be run on either batteries or a c-wire for continuous power
- Works with most heating, cooling and ventilation systems including a 4-stage heating system
- 7 individual day programmable settings available with up to 4 temperature changes per day
- Sleek ultra-thin design without complex buttons as it has the touch screen for adjustments
- Not a lot of complex functionality
- Unit cannot function without the Z-Wave hub
The Good/What I like: You’ll be happy to know this device is easy and simple to setup with an in-depth manual including all the wire color codes that you need to know about. It also has the ability to connect a c-wire which will ensure your device always has power, or you can use batteries if you don’t want to use the c-wire.
The CT100 Z-Wave has an ultra slim design which makes it look sleek and elegant on the wall as opposed to other ones that look boxy and big. It also comes with a nice bright backlight and touch screen for ease of use.
With the 7-day programmable system, you can set heating and cooling schedules for the whole week making different temperature settings for weekdays and weekends depending on your routines.
The Bad/What I don’t like: You’ll notice right away that this thermostat doesn’t have a lot of complex functionality which can be great for some, but it also gives you limited control. Outside of the basic programmable timeframes, you won’t find much more that the unit allows you to do. For its low price, it lives up to what you can expect though.
The other downfall of this unit is that it cannot function if it’s not connected to a Z-Wave hub. This means if your Z-Wave hub goes down, you’ll need to have one to get it going again.
- Fully programmable schedules for different days
- Powered with the Z-Wave Plus technology
- Sleek design and easy to use interface
- Battery operated
The Remotec’s ZTS-500 is a great programmable thermostat that can support a 2-stage heating system and a 1 stage cooling system and is compatible with most home HVAC systems. You’ll love that you can program different temperature settings for weekdays and weekends with multiple temperature changes each day depending on the time of day you work and sleep.
With it’s easy to use interface, you can easily change the temperature on the fly as well. Equipped with the Z-Wave technology you’ll be able to utilize so many great functions through your hub.
- Utilizes Z-Wave Plus technology
- Easy to use interface with a sleek design that goes great in any room
- Programmable schedules for weekdays and weekends
- Requires the Z-Wave bridge in order to program the unit
- Needs to have an alarm.com account to utilize the programming
The Good/What I like: Remotec has great units and the ZTS-500 is a great consideration for your smart home automation in order to optimize your heating and cooling to save energy and money. We love the fact that this unit has a shiny and sleek design that looks great on the wall so you won’t be afraid to show it off.
It’s also reasonably priced for the functionality that it packs inside including auto-configuration, weekday/weekend temperature schedules, and the Z-Wave technology so you can control it from anywhere in the world.
The Bad/What I don’t like: Like some of the other Z-Wave thermostats, this one also doesn’t function without the use of a Z-Wave Bridge. You’ll need to install a bridge in order to program the temperature changes in order to utilize the cost-saving functionalities. It also is battery operated, which often is a downside as if the batteries run out your furnace will stop running.
- First Z-Wave thermostat in North America to work with line voltage
- Remotely control your heating and cooling system remotely with your smart device.
- Programmable schedules for your home heating/cooling
If you’re looking for one of the only line voltage units in North America, this is the one! It’s the first of it’s kind and works perfectly with electric baseboards and convectors and is made reliably in Canada for most North America customers stuck in those freezing cold temperate zones.
- Awesome functionality
- Works with baseboards and convectors
- Wired directly to your electric grid
- Evenly heats your home
- Cannot completely turn off the unit
- It does not work with heating systems with a fan.
The Good/What I like: While many thermostats are battery powered, the Stelpro KI is wired directly into your power source to it’ll never run out of juice and your heating and cooling system will always be running when you need it to! We also love that it can work with those pesky electric baseboards/convectors which is a bit less common than most thermostats on the market.
Most systems with baseboards typically have a thermostat in each room, which means you will have to replace them all with the Stelpro KI models in each room with a thermostat, but the great news is that the Stelpro KI doesn’t work like most thermostats. Instead of pushing heat out in one giant rush and then wait until the room cools to do it again (which causes hot and cold cycles leaving you uncomfortable), this unit instead does small pules of energy(heat) which makes your home more evenly cooled.
The Bad/What I don’t like: Sadly, since this is meant for line voltage, it’s not really compatible with HVAC systems with a fan which they are working on some software updates which might make this possible. The other problem is that the Stelpro KI model cannot turn off completely. The lowest setting is 41F and it won’t let you turn it off or go lower. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as you don’t want your home to ever get below 50F anyway to avoid issues of freezing pipes.
- Automated temperature adjustments depending on your geo location
- Z-Wave Technology to connect your smart home all together.
- Cost reduction in energy consumption with temp changes depending on time of day/location
- Unique design with white LED lights
If you’re looking for the perfect thermostat that packs a bunch of incredible features into this small little unit, then Alarm.com is one of the best smart thermostats for you. Although it is on the more expensive side, just over $100, it comes with the Z-Wave technology so it can connect to your other smart home devices that helps you manage your home and businesses total energy use.
With Alarm.com you can adjust the temperature in your home from anywhere in the world and with it’s geo-service feature, it can sense when your GPS location is getting close to home to adjust the temperature to a more comfortable level.
- Programmable settings and geo location will help to reduce costs and save energy
- Connects your whole home together and allows you to control the temperature remotely
- Sleek design with unique LED white light front panel.
- Requires an Alarm.com account
- Pricier than most smart thermostats, but still more affordable than the Nest thermostat.
The Good/What I like: While many of the competitors in smart home thermostats are great, overall I’d have to say the Alarm.com’s smart thermostat takes the crown for the best in overall features for the price. One of the best features of this device is the ability to interact with both your location and other smart home products to make your heating and cooling. Let’s say you set you armed your home security system – your Alarm.com thermostat can automatically adjust the temperature as it knows you’re leaving.
Syncing your smart phone to the system will also allow your heating/cooling system to automatically kick-start when you get within a certain distance to your home. This way you’ll always arrive home to a comfortable temperature inside.
There are so many other great features to the Alarm.com system that make it one of the best on the market currently to save you time and money.
The Bad/What I don’t like: While this smart thermostat does pack a lot of great features, you’ll find that it does come at a slightly higher cost than others. The only other downside is that in order to use the more advance functionality you will need to purchase the full home automation system and the monthly service plan that goes with it. If you were already looking to create a smart automated home including a security system, then this shouldn’t be a problem.
Best Z-Wave Thermostats for your Home Buying Guide
What is the best Z-Wave thermostat?
Out of all the Z-Wave smart thermostats we have reviewed, the Alarm.com Smart Thermostat is one of the best on the market in terms of cost and functionality combination. While some may not want the full home automation system that is required to be purchased for all of the functionality to work properly, we feel the added features and safety the home automation brings will outperform any of the competition.
There aren’t many smart thermostats that can sense your GPS location and automatically know to regularize the temperature before you arrive home. Most smart thermostats only work on a programmable system and sticks to that program and in order to change it you have to manually correct it. The Alarm.com smart thermostat does this automatically making it convenient and hassle free.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to activate Z-Wave thermostat to iPhone?
In order to connect your smart thermostat with Z-Wave technology to your iPhone you have to first check the manufacturer’s manual of your Z-Wave Thermostat to determine what app you will use in order to connect it to your phone. Almost all Z-Wave thermostats require a hub to operate and the hub that it connects to typically has an interface/application that you’ll install on your phone in order to connect it to your iPhone.
How to connect a Z-Wave thermostat?
While each Z-Wave thermostat is different and will have a different setup, the basic premise is the same in all devices. Here’s a quick overview:
- Install your Z-Wave thermostat and connect the wires to your home’s heating and cooling system.
- Determine the appropriate application or website in order to connect to your Z-Wave thermostat.
- Login to the application/website and then select the type of thermostat you’re using.
- Ensure your home hub is installed properly so your Z-Wave thermostat can connect.
- Press the require button on your Z-Wave thermostat that will flag it to connect to a home automation hub.
- From there you’ll follow the manufacturer’s instruction for the set of buttons and options you press in order to authorize your hub and device to connect and control the thermostat.
Make sure to look at your device’s manual for the exact and full instructions for connecting it.
How do you pair a Z-Wave Honeywell thermostat to SmartThings?
The Honeywell Z-Wave thermostat utilizes the SmartThings hub and app in order to operate. To pair your Honeywell thermostat to your hub, follow these instructions below:
- Download and Launch the SmartThings app on your mobile phone.
- From the main screen click the “Add Device” button to add the device manually.
- Select “Thermostat” as the device being setup and then select the “Honeywell Z-Wave Thermostat.”
- Enter the location of the device and then click done so the hub can search for the nearest one.
- While the hub searches, go to your Honeywell thermostat and press the system button.
- Then press and hold the black center button until the display changes.
- Scroll until you find the RF10 option and then select the “Select 1” and press done.
- This will allow the device to be discovered and once your hub locates it, you’ll get a message on your device saying that the device was discovered and you can now proceed to rename it and begin programming temperature changes.
How to reset/reboot Z-Wave thermostat?
While uncommon, sometimes your Z-Wave thermostat may turn up undetected on your hub or device which means it cannot connect to it. If this happens, you can always reset your Z-Wave thermostat by following the reset instructions. Typically, this works by pulling up the application that controls your thermostat, navigate to the system settings for it, then locate the appropriate reset functionality which will remove it from your device list.
At this point, you will follow the same process you did to set it up initially to add it back. This will essentially set it up from the start again so you can access the device. The above aren’t exact steps as each device is different and you will need to consult your user manual for specific instructions.
How to program Z-Wave thermostat?
The great thing about most Z-Wave smart thermostats is that they typically come with a pre-programmed schedule. Simply set the date and time on your smart thermostat and the automated pre-set energy saving schedules will kick in for you. This is especially true for the Honeywell thermostats.
If your smart thermostat does not come with a preset energy saving schedule, then you’ll want to get your user manual to determine the appropriate application or process for setting the scheduled temperature settings.
Here is a sample of how to program your thermostat for a given winter day:
- Wake Up – 6AM – Heat up to 70°F
- Leave – 8AM – Reduce heat to 62°F
- Return 5PM – Heat up to 70°F
- Sleep 10PM -Reduce heat to 62°F
How to control Z-Wave thermostat with android?
When using an Android device, you’ll not notice many differences to that of iPhone or other operating systems as the interface is primarily defined by the application that the manufacturer uses. To control your Z-Wave thermostat with your Android device, refer to the instructional manual that comes with your Z-Wave thermostat. You’ll then have to install the appropriate application for your thermostat or your home hub in order to control the thermostat using your phone.
How to connect Alexa with Z-Wave thermostat?
Smart home automation has come to an all new level in the past few years with your home assistant devices that all you to make verbal commands now. Alexa is one of the leaders in smart home assistants and the Z-Wave technology isn’t left out of this!
In order to connect your Amazon Alexa with your Z-Wave products, you’ll need a home hub. Since Z-Wave does not utilize wifi but instead utilizes radio frequencies, you need another device that connects all your Z-Wave devices into your wifi network to use your home assistant.
In order to connect Alexa, you need your Z-wave thermostat connected to your home hug and your Alexa connected to your home hub as well. Two really great home hubs that we recommend that work well with Alexa is the Samsung SmartThings hub and the VeraPlus hub.
How to wire Z-Wave thermostat?
Wiring a Z-Wave thermostat isn’t that much different than a normal thermostat, but there are a few things to always remember when wiring a thermostat:
- Before removing the existing thermostat, be sure the heating, ventilation, or HVAC are working properly.
- Verify that your new thermostat will be compatible with your HVAC system.
- Disconnect the power from your thermostat system and remove the thermostat. Be sure to label each wire prior to disconnecting them.
- Mount the back panel to the wall by using the appropriate screws provided.
- Next, use the user guide to attach each wire appropriately to the device.
- Attach the front panel and if your thermostat uses batteries, at this point place the batteries into the system.
- Refer to your system’s user manual to begin programming your smart thermostat and install your smart home hub in order to connect to the internet and begin using your mobile device to control your Z-Wave smart thermostat.