8 Best Thermostats for Heat Pumps in 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks
You’ve installed a heat pump for more efficient heating and cooling instead of relying on a furnace alone. Now, it’s time to upgrade the thermostat. If you’ve already searched for the best thermostat, you know how many options there are.
Instead of you having to wade through a multitude of different reviews, we’ve done that for you! After reading through reviews, we’ve selected the eight best thermostats for a heat pump. The bonus: they are all compatible with other systems as well, so you won’t need a separate thermostat for the heat pump.
A Glance at Our Top Picks (2023 Update)
|Best Overall||Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat||
|Best Value||Google Nest Thermostat||
|Premium Choice||Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat With Voice Control||
|Google Nest Learning Thermostat||
|Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat||
The 8 Best Thermostats for Heat Pumps
1. Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat – Best Overall
The best overall thermostat for the heat pumps is the Ecobee3 lite smart thermostat. It offers excellent functionality at a reasonable price for what you’re getting. Plus, it integrates without your existing smart home system, and if you don’t have a smart system yet, it won’t lock you into a certain brand.
If you pick up the SmartSensor and subscribe to the security system, it will save you money in the long run. One of the features you get with the extra sensors and subscription is that your thermostat will automatically pause cooling or heating when it senses a door or window has been left open.
Installation-wise, this thermostat is DIY-friendly and comes with everything you’ll need to use it with most heat pumps. And the touchscreen functionality makes it easy to set up.
2. Google Nest Thermostat – Best Value
The best heat pump thermostat for the money is the Google nest thermostat. It doesn’t have the “smart” functions that our best overall pick has, but it’s still Wi-Fi connected and programmable, which is important for saving money on energy.
This Nest thermostat is available in various color options to fit in different decors, and Google claims it’s easy to install. However, there have been customer complaints about the installation. It’s still a DIY install, but it’s not as straightforward as Google claims.
It’s compatible with most heat pumps without too much trouble. But if your heat pump has certain functionalities, like zone-controlled heating and cooling, you will need an extra wire (called a C-wire) or power accessory for the installation.
3. Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat With Voice Control – Premium Choice
Compared to the other Ecobee thermostat that got our top pick, this smart thermostat has extra integrated functions. However, it’s also significantly more expensive. But if you don’t mind the extra cost, this thermostat gives you everything the Ecobee3 has with the addition of voice control.
Alexa and Siri power the voice control, so they will also connect with these other smart devices you have in your home. The other bonus to this thermostat is that the SmartSensor is included. All you need is a security subscription.
Once the thermostat is set up, with all the sensors functioning properly, Ecobee estimates that you should save up to 23% annually on your heating and cooling costs because this thermostat automatically adjusts to run at its top efficiency.
4. Google Nest Learning Thermostat
This Google Nest learning thermostat is worth checking out if you think programming is a pain in the butt. All you have to do is set it to “Auto-Schedule,” and the Nest will actually learn your preferences. As you adjust it from anywhere using the app, it will learn what times you want the temperature at certain levels and program itself accordingly.
Another positive of the Nest learning thermostat is that it’s compatible with 95% of systems, so the chances are good that it will work for you without needing anything extra. With some systems, the thermostat will even provide alerts to potential issues.
5. Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat
This particular thermostat from Honeywell is available in several configurations, each offering a different extra feature such as a leak detector, air filter, or a light switch. This causes a slight range in pricing but gives you the option of choosing the extra feature that will be the best for you.
The thermostat can integrate with ecosystems such as Alex, Google Assistant, or Cortana. And it also has 7-day programmable settings. A neat feature of these Honeywell thermostats is they have adaptive recovery.
After you’ve programmed your desired temperatures for throughout the day, the thermostat “learns” how long it takes to recover that temperature and will run itself to ensure that you get the desired temperature when you want it.
6. Honeywell Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat
This Honeywell thermostat is ENERGY STAR certified, so it’s an energy-efficient option for a reasonable budget if you don’t need extra features like an air filter or light switch. If your system will need a C-wire, this thermostat is available with an adapter for simple installation. This is at an additional charge, though.
Like the other Honeywell on our list, this one is also Wi-Fi connected and controllable from anywhere with the app. In addition to it having 7-day programmable functionality, it also integrates with your smart home assistants like Alexa or Cortana.
One downside to this particular thermostat is that it’s not overly nice looking. So if you care about having a sleek, touchscreen thermostat, it’s not a good choice. However, if all you care about is the function, this is an affordable option.
7. Emerson Programmable Thermostat
The Emerson programmable thermostat lacks some of the features that the others on this list have. However, it still offers a 5-2 program setting. So, you can program your weekday temperatures for when you’re at work and have different temp settings for the weekends when you’re home.
It may not be the fanciest thermostat, but the manufacturer claims that it has precise temperature reading—within one degree. Sometimes, with all the extra bells and whistles, there is more that can go wrong. This thermostat keeps it simple and offers a 3-year warranty.
8. Heat Pump Thermostat
If simple is your primary buying factor and you don’t care about having bells and whistles—including programmable functionality—this heat pump thermostat is a good option.
It’s compatible with heat pump systems with or without an AUX setting. If you want the heat pump to power the thermostat, you’ll need to use a C-wire. Otherwise, you can run the thermostat off batteries.
This thermostat is easy to install and set up. However, you are sacrificing being able to program or integrate it with any other smart functions. It’s worth checking out if none of these things are buying considerations.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Select the Best Thermostats for Heat Pumps
There are several things to consider when shopping for a new thermostat. Some will simply not work for a heat pump, and others need additional components. All the ones we’ve shown you in this article are compatible with heat pumps.
Each thermostat will come with instructions on wiring, and in most cases, all the wires you need will be behind the thermostat you remove. Sometimes you will need what’s called a C-wire or common wire. This wire ensures that your thermostat receives constant power regardless of the heat pump’s mode.
As we mentioned, not all thermostats are compatible with heat pumps. Some are also incompatible with HVAC and heat pump combo systems. So, before you even look at thermostats, you’ll want to figure out what type of thermostat your system needs.
Aux heating or emergency heating is a somewhat common feature that heat pumps have. If yours has this feature, you’ll need to ensure you purchase a thermostat compatible with an Aux setting.
After reading these reviews, we hope you have a good idea of what to look for in a thermostat. Are you looking for something with smart features to save you money? Or are you looking to save money upfront by getting a cheaper thermostat that still works great?
If you’re looking for a thermostat that balances a ton of functionality at a reasonable price, the Ecobee3 Lite smart thermostat offers excellent integration with your existing smart home ecosystems. On the other hand, the Google Nest thermostat offers slightly less functionality at a better price.
Featured Image Credit: oasisamuel, Shutterstock