HVAC For Beginners

Smart Home System Ratings

Top Picks for 2023

With our smart home system ratings, you can cut through all of the sales hype and find value. Our simple rating system gives each brand a color code and a star rating. If the card is green, then, that is one of the top picks from HvacRepairGuy. If the card is yellow, then, that would be a budget pick from HvacRepairgGuy. If the card is red, then, the brand is not recommended by HvacRepairGuy. It truly is like you were taking a repairman shopping with you!

World's Best Smart Home Controller

Our top pick is the ECHO Show 10 from Amazon which gives you all of the amazing features of the Echo combined with a large 10.1 inch HD screen. You can make video calls, enjoy your favorite entertainment, or control virtually anything with this smart hub.

2GIG

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

This brand is from NORTEK SECURITY & CONTROL. The Edge panel combines a state of the art home security panel featuring integrated facial recognition with a basic home automation hub. The panel works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri Shortcuts as well as Alarm.com but is sold through a limited dealer/installer network.

AEOTEC

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Their Smart Home Hub is a basic hub without a display and it is Matter compatible as well as working with the SmartThings ecosystem. The hub can synch with Alexa or Google Assistant but does not work with Siri Shortcuts. They are available online but are not compatible outside North America and are relatively high priced for what you get.

AQARA

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

The M2 hub works with Apple Homekit as well as a wide variety of voice assistants but does not support the new Matter standard. The units are very inexpensive basic hubs that are available world wide including through Amazon & The Home depot in the USA. They offer a variety of sensors that can be connected but support a relatively small (128) devices per hub.

CONTROL 4

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

These systems are designed and installed by professionals and are more for very high-end homes. They have their own AI-powered voice assistant and a large range of products that are only for their systems. It seems like they are trying to be to smart home what Apple is to smart phones with a walled-garden approach.

ECHO

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The ECHO uses their ALEXA voice activated personal assistant which can control virtually any smart appliance or system in the home. They are Matter compatible and work with basically any smart device that is made. For video calling you will have to upgrade to a Echo Show 10 that also features the ability to rotate and follow you while you are on the video call. They feature a large 10.1 inch HD screen at a fair price for all that it brings to the table.

ELAN

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

The brand is a part of NORTEK SECURITY AND CONTROL. The EL-SC-100 features Z-wave technology but the systems are only sold and installed through a limited dealer network.

eQ-3

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

This brand is made and sold in Germany. The HOMEMATIC controller uses radio frequency technology but only works with their devices.

EZLO

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

The Ezlo Plus Smart Home Hub leaves you asking where's the plus. It is just a basic hub that works with Alexa & Google but is very expensive for what you actually get.

FIBARO

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

The HOME CENTER 2 is a simple plug-n-play device that works with Alexa, Google Assistant, & Samsung SmartThings. The brand is from NORTEK SECURITY & CONTROL and is sold through a limited distribution network.

HOMESEER

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

The HOME TROLLER Pi is a basic system that works with a variety of devices. They can be purchased online through the manufacturer's store but are more expensive than some of the comparable brands. The hubs work with Alexa & Google Assistant but are basic units without any displays.

HOMEY

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Their Bridge is a basic hub without a display that is compatible with WiFi, Zigbee, bluetooth, Z-wave and IR devices. The system is designed for use in the cloud through subscription that costs $2.99 per month. The basic subscription only allows the connection of five devices while their premium plan is up to 50,000 but at a very steep monthly price. The entire concept seems doomed to failure and not a threat to the major players in the smart home industry.

IKEA

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

The Dirigera hub is a big improvement over their prior Tradfri hub but it is still features rather buggy firmware and a limited variety of devices to control. It is a basic hub without a display but it works with Alexa, Apple Home, and Google Home. The swedish conglomerate is famous for its cost controls and the hub is relatively inexpensive. The units are available at their retail stores as well as online.

INSTEON

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

This brand offers a basic hub that works with Alexa & Google but requires a paid subscription to their app. It seems like a doomed business model and has limited functionality.

LUTRON

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

The Caseta Smart Hub is a basic unit without a display. The hub plugs directly into your router and communicates with devices wirelessly over a different frequency so that it will not slow down your home's WiFi network. The unit works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit but is relatively expensive for what it provides.

NEST

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The Nest Hub (2nd gen) has a built-in seven inch LCD display and throughout 2023 is offering a free preview of their Sleep Sensing technology. This technology uses motion and sound sensing to keep track of how you are resting which to some people might seem really creepy. The hubs are relatively inexpensive but in order to include video calling you will need the Hub Max which has a larger ten inch HD screen and a built-in camera. They are available through the Google store.

SENGLED

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

This brand is more focused on LED lighting where up to 64 devices can be connected to the hub. They can be controlled by Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri but do not support the Matter protocol. They are inexpensive and available on Amazon.

SmartThings

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

The Station combines a basic hub with a charging pad. The system works with many brands of devices and is a part of Samsung Electronics but does not have a display or the advanced features of other brands.

WINK

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

The controller works with many brands of devices through Apple, Alexa, & Google but it does not have a display and is expensive for what you get.

ZIPATO

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

The ZIPAMICRO is a very basic hub that uses z-wave technology. The brand is from TRI PLUS GRUPA and the systems are only sold through dealers.

Echo (4th gen)

Echo (4th gen)Echo (4th gen)

Click on image to purchase on Amazon.com

Echo Show 10

Echo Show 10Echo Show 10

Click on image to purchase on Amazon.com

Aqara M2

Aqara M2Aqara M2

Click on image to purchase on Amazon.com

Samsung SmartThings

Samsung SmartThingsSamsung SmartThings

Click on image to purchase on Amazon.com