There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to smart thermostats, but which ones work best with Amazon Alexa? For low voltage systems, the best option for Alexa is the Ecobee4. For high voltage, go for the Mysa Smart Thermostat. But why do we need different thermostats?
Your Heating System Matters
In North America, there is one big split between how you heat or cool your home – low voltage and high voltage thermostats. Furnaces and other central air based systems (low voltage) make up the vast majority of installations all over the continental United States and Canada, a total of 90% American and ⅔ of Canadian households. These range from natural gas, propane, oil, to wood furnaces. The alternative to this is electric heat of some sort – baseboards, in floor, fan-forced or many others. These are called line or high-voltage systems. Depending on what you have in your home makes a huge difference in what kind of thermostat you should install.
Low Voltage: Ecobee 4
Ecobee has become a serious competitor to Nest’s domination of the low voltage smart thermostat market, in part due to its extensive list of integrations. While the open API allows for all sorts of compatibility possibilities, Ecobee has definitely built a huge following around the native Alexa integration. The 4, in particular, takes it to the next extreme – it’s built into the device itself and doesn’t require an extra piece of hardware like the Echo or Dot. This is something the company has carried over into its recently released light switch, as well.
In general, the Ecobee4 is a fully-featured smart thermostat with smart learning capabilities, remote scheduling, and support for the majority of 24V (low voltage) heating systems. It uses a singular, central hub as the main control unit and further room sensors to make sure that your every part of your house is perfectly set for comfort. Ecobee’s being making quality hardware for years now, so even a 3 or Lite will give you the control you desire – but the 4 is a much more advanced piece of hardware, especially for those Alexa inclined.
High Voltage: Mysa Smart Thermostat
The Mysa Smart Thermostat is the premiere smart option for electric heat. Before Mysa, there were no fully featured options on the market for high or line voltage heating systems. Mysa uses smart phone apps to control your electric heat from anywhere and can connect natively with Google Home, amongst other smart home systems. Advanced design and control leads to energy savings and lower utility bills – which you can keep track of with in-app energy charting. Mysa is the one true smart option for baseboard, electric heat.