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.
Best Z-Wave Thermostat
Z-Wave Thermostat Product Reviews
- 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.
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.
- Z-Wave technology
- Works with Amazon Alexa perfectly and other smart home devices
- Pairs perfectly to most heating and cooling systems
Finding the right smart thermostat in a reasonable price range can be tricky, especially if you want it to utilize the Z-Wave technology. The GoControl Thermostat does not have a fancy design, it doesn’t look sophisticated, and it doesn’t appear very innovative. Under the cover, however, it has all of the needed compatibility that you need to have a well-running heating and cooling system that’s integrated with all of your smart home.
The Good/What I like: When you first get your GoControl Thermostat you’ll first notice that it’s Amazon Alexa certified to work perfectly well with this smart home device. It also works with other smart home devices, but Alexa is the most preferred device. For any smart home integration, you’ll still need a home hub which connects all Z-Wave devices together.
We love that this product while not very innovative on the outside, it’s incredibly powerful inside. The technology is compatible with almost all heating and cooling systems whether they are new or retrofit designs.
The Bad/What I don’t like: Reviews on this product do have quite a few negative comments about the battery life with some saying it wont last more than 5 months. While this is disappointing, it’s not a deal breaker if it has the right power behind it. You can always keep a couple AA batteries sitting around in case you need them. You’ll also find that the display on the unit is a bit small and limited, but if you plan to utilize the Z-Wave technology then you can see everything you need on your smart device instead.
TRANE Z XR524 Thermostat
- 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.
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.
2gig CT100 Z-Wave Thermostat
- 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!
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.
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.
Stelpro KI Thermostat
- 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.
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.
Alarm.com Smart Thermostat
- 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.
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.
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.