Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Smart Thermostat

Investing in a smart thermostat is a purchase you will never regret. A network temperature control device means easy degree adjustments with your phone, tablet or voice commands when you are at home. Who can say no to monthly energy savings? If you’ve been thinking about getting a smart thermostat, you might be familiar with some of the top names on the market — from Nest to Ecobee. Now there’s a new thermostat brand to consider (and it’s one of the most affordable, too).

First unveiled at Amazon’s fall 2021 hardware event, the all-new Amazon Smart Thermostat is a $60 smart thermostat that Amazon co-developed with Resideo, the genius mind behind Honeywell’s line of thermostats. With Alexa built into the thermostat, homeowners can use the Alexa app to adjust the temperature on the go, set schedules, monitor energy efficiency, and more.

While the Smart Thermostat won’t hit shelves until November 4, there’s plenty to learn about this exciting new device. Here is all the information we have collected.

Design and installation

Amazon smart thermostat hanging on the wall.

The Amazon Smart Thermostat has a sleek and minimalist (and slightly boxy) thermostat design and measures 3.56-inches wide, 3.56-inches long and 0.84-inches from front to back. As for the colors of the front plates, the only shell color available is white. The touchscreen portion of the thermostat also keeps things simple. Most of the face of the thermostat is taken up by the digital temperature display and has buttons below for temperature up/down and select/mode.

After unpacking, you can use the Alexa app to go through a guided setup of the Smart Thermostat. When it comes time to connect the thermostat to Wi-Fi, it’s important to know that the Smart Thermostat can only connect to 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks (not compatible with 5 GHz bands). If you have problems connecting the thermostat, you can choose the Amazon home services team to install the thermostat. Of course, you can always contact a local HVAC professional to get the job done as well.

Smart thermostat compatibility

The Amazon Smart Thermostat.

Amazon claims that the Smart Thermostat will be compatible with most 24-volt HVAC systems. If you’re not sure if the device will communicate with your home’s heating and cooling, there’s a handy compatibility checker on the Smart Thermostat product page. The widget will ask a series of guided questions to determine what kind of wiring your HVAC system is using. When everything is finally right, Amazon will give you the go-ahead to integrate the Smart Thermostat with your home’s system. If it doesn’t appear that the wiring or HVAC components in your home won’t fit into the appliance, the widget will inform you that the Smart Thermostat probably won’t work.

Speaking of wiring: The Smart Thermostat required An C-wire connection. Known as the common wire, this is the power cable that provides consistent power to Wi-Fi powered thermostats. If your HVAC system is quite old, there is a chance that the system would not have a common thread. Fortunately, there is a fairly easy way to determine whether or not your HVAC has a C-wire.

First, turn off the circuit that your HVAC wiring is connected to. Then pull the front panel off your existing thermostat. If there is a cable connected to the C labeled terminal, it is the common wire connection. If nothing is connected to the C terminal, look in the wall opening where the wires are fished up (or down) from your HVAC to the thermostat. Sometimes when the system is old, the service team that installed the original equipment may run a C-wire as a way to secure the future.

If there aren’t any extra C-rated wires hanging in the stud space, rest assured that you can still buy the Smart Thermostat — all you need to do is pay more than $15 extra. For systems without C-wire, Amazon sells the thermostat with a handy C-wire adapter kit.

Month-on-month energy savings

Thanks in part to the joint development with the Honeywell team, the Amazon Smart Thermostat is an Energy Star certified product. Receiving this certification is no small feat, as an Energy Star laurel means the thermostat you purchased is obligated to save you at least $50 a year on your electric bill.

What’s even better is that when you factor in additional discounts from your energy provider, Amazon claims that the Smart Thermostat will cost you as little as $10 or nothing at all from an investment standpoint. To see what kind of incentives your home qualifies for, take a look at the Energy dashboard in the Alexa app.

Use Alexa Hunches for temperature control

The Amazon Smart Thermostat hangs on the wall.

One way Alexa helps manage our smart homes is through an integrated skill called hunches. It’s a useful feature for all Alexa product owners with one or more smart home devices. Alexa actively uses Hunches as a learning tool for you and your home. Here’s the technique in a nutshell:

Let’s say you crawl into bed at night and say normal “Alexa, good night” at your bed Echo Point. Once this routine is started, Alexa will automatically pull down the smart blinds and arm your smart security system. But what about the night when you forget to wish your smart assistant goodnight? If you usually use the “Alexa, good night” command before hitting the hay, with Hunches enabled, Alexa knows you’re usual tell her good night. So without you having to say anything, the voice assistant shuts down the house for the evening.

What does that mean for the Smart Thermostat? By observing your daily temperature habits (when you normally increase/decrease the temperature, what temperature the thermostat is normally set to), Alexa uses Hunches to automatically adjust the temperature in no time, even when you’re not at home.

Of course, you can still use the Alexa app (and the thermostat) to manually adjust the temperature. If you’re not a fan of Alexa running the show on autopilot, you can disable Hunches in the Alexa app.

No speaker or microphone means no voice commands

Amazon Echo 4th generation on a table.
Amazon

It seems that when a smart device has the Alexa label, it means you can control the product with voice commands. While the Alexa name is past the Smart Thermostat, there is a catch: Yes, you can Absolute control the thermostat with voice commands, but the Smart Thermostat does not have a built-in speaker or microphone. So you will need to have some kind of smart speaker or display in the house if you want to adjust the temperature with spoken phrases like “Alexa, set the temperature to 68 degrees.” If you don’t have one yet smart speaker, display or some sort of hub, there are several devices we can recommend – from the fantastic Amazon Echo Speaker to the Echo show 10 smart display.

If you’re not interested in buying a standalone voice command device, you can always speak commands to Alexa when using the Alexa app (just make sure you’ve allowed Alexa to access your mobile device’s microphone).

Prices and availability

The Amazon Smart Thermostat is available for pre-order now, but will officially hit digital and physical shelves on November 4. There are two versions of the product for sale: the thermostat only ($60) and the thermostat with C-Wire adapter ($75). The Amazon Smart Thermostat also comes with a one-year limited warranty.

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