Maintaining the comfortable temperature in a medium-sized 3 bedroom house or an apartment should be easy. A single thermostat in the hallway can monitor temperatures and adjust the AC accordingly.
What about bigger houses with multiple floors and far-flung rooms that are simply too distant for a thermostat in the hallway?
The first solution is the simplest and most common since installing each thermostat will be easy. Even if you are looking at the best smart thermostats under $100, you will still spend a decent amount installing five or so thermostat to cover every spot. Remote sensors for multi-room thermostat configurations, on the other hand, are cheaper and more efficient. The remote sensors are way cheaper than independent thermostats.
Why Look for Multi Zone Heating Control Systems?
A thermostat that has precise command over a mutli-zone heating or cooling system improves your overall HVAC efficiency. Most homeowners set their temperatures a notch higher when using a single or dual zone thermostat to compensate for distant rooms.
This leads to a nonhomogeneous temperature control and unavoidable power wastage. These are the two things the best wireless thermostats for multiple zones seek to address.
Control Your System from a Single Point
A multiple thermostat system, though viable, is still cumbersome as you have to monitor and control all temperatures from different thermostats. A good multizone smart thermostat gives you a single point of operation and will even offer wireless connection to mobile or computer apps that let you manage everything with utter convenience.
In this list, I am going to review both multizone thermostats and additional gadgets or systems that will let you control your multi zone heating from a single point of contact.
Best Multizone Smart Thermostat (2017)
|Ecobee4||Hive Multizone||Ecovent||EvoHome Controller|
|Remote Sensors||Yes: Wireless Remote sensors||Yes. Wireless Remote sensors||Yes. Wireless Remote Sensors||Yes. Up to 12 wireless sensors for 12 heating zones|
|Compatibility||Works with any Zoned heating systems||Works with any Zoned heating systems||Works with any duct based AC system (controlled by blocking/unblocking vents)||Works with any Zoned heating system|
|Ease of Installation||##||##||#####||####|
|Check on Amazon||Learn More||Learn More||Check on Amazon|
How Do Zoned Systems Work?
In zoned systems, one or more thermostat work independently to control temperatures in different parts of the house. The thermostat or thermostats control a single heating system that selectively disburses heat to different sections of the house.
For instance, a zone valve can activate air condition in the living room and the kitchen when no one is in the bedrooms and shut off the two once people go to sleep. The result is a more efficient system and better power saving dual zone system.
How Do I Know if My Home Has a Zoned System?
There are two simple ways to tell if your heating system is zoned
- If your home has more than one thermostat
- If your home has more than one heating system or a couple of different heating system types
If you are sure that you have a zoned heating system, here are the top thermostat solutions that will give you single point multi zone control
The Ecobee4 is an iteration of the Ecobee3. You get the trademark sleek touchscreen interface and the lovable wireless temperature sensors that let you feed the central unit with temperatures from different rooms. The temperature sensors also have motion sensors that can be used to detect room occupancy and activate heating or cooling only when there’s someone in the room. This makes the Ecobee4 one of the most efficient multi zone systems. Coupling this with impressive technology like built-in Alexa and the smartphone app and you get an impressive thermostat that could easily master your multiple zoned heating system.
The Hive Multizone thermostat from British Gas is as sleek as the Nest and the Ecobee and packs some impressive capabilities. The mirror-like glossy finish and the control dial that illuminates when you touch the thermostat puts everything ahead of its time. Apart from buying the thermostat that comes with the single zone kit, you will have to buy the 2 zone or 3 zone kit depending on your home’s requirements. The Hive Multizone can only control up to three heating zones and one hot water line as long as you have the right temperature receivers for your needs.
Ecovent is a completely integrated system that keeps tabs on your entire home and lets you control the AC by adjusting vents in your duct work. Multiple remote sensors gather climate data from different rooms before sending it to a central hub. The central hub will then control vents that dictate air control hence the final temperatures in different rooms. Hooking up a smartphone to the central hub will let you view and control everything in the system. The vents run on 4 AAA batteries and receive signal wirelessly meaning that you won’t have to run wires when installing the system. Ecovent system will work best with Sensi Wi-Fi thermostat and depends on a clever algorithm to ensure that the closing and opening of vents doesn’t create a potentially catastrophic pressure build up in your ductwork.
Honeywell Evohome Controller
Honeywell EvoHome is an elaborate system that gives you total control over your home by using existing Honeywell thermostat and temperature sensors. The evohome controller handles zoning and temperature controls while the Evohome system consists of multiple sensors and actuators that will handle the actual temperature control. Evohome isn’t your typical multi zone thermostat. It is a comprehensive system that will outdo your off the shelf multizone thermostat. The customization options and the fact that an expert will build it for your specific home needs makes it one of the most reliable multi zone temperature control options in the market right now.
What About Just Adding Remote Sensors?
You can use remote sensors, wireless or wired, to maintain control over different rooms. Thermostats that take input from remote sensors but aren’t controlling zoned systems tend to average the temperatures and will keep on pushing the system until a harmonious temperature is attained.
Exploring the Multiple Thermostat Configuration
In case you cannot lay your hands on a multizone thermostat, you might have to do with multiple thermostats. You could get a fancy wireless touchscreen Honeywell for the living room or hallways and let the other rooms use less expensive conventional or programmable thermostats
If you are not convinced that a multi zone thermostat is the right thing for your zoned AC, you can check out our best smart or wireless thermostats under $100. These will be a great way to control all your zoned heating and cooling without spending as much as you would when buying flagship thermostats from top brands.