Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat

Last updated date: January 2, 2020

DWYM Score
8.4

Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat

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Overall Take

With the Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat, you can manually adjust the temperature using either the buttons on the unit or the app or allow the automatic temperature-sensing technology to manage things for you. Scheduling allows you to control your temperature throughout the day to save money on utilities when you're away. It has a simple design that will appeal to those who like the classic thermostat look. In our analysis of 159 expert reviews, the Emerson Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat placed 7th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note January 2, 2020:
Checkout The Best Smart Thermostat for a detailed review of all the top smart thermostats.

Expert Summarized Score
8.9
15 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.9
2,708 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Installation is just like an ordinary thermostat, and it's compatible with an enormous range of oil, gas, heat pump, radiant, and geothermal systems.
- BestReviews
The Sensi Touch is a good smart thermostat. The touchscreen display is responsive, its app is easy to navigate and it works well with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri.
- CNET
November 15, 2018 | Full review
The Sensi WiFi thermostat, while undoubtedly “smart,” looks like the adjective “digital” would be more appropriate. It has a white faceplate with actual buttons and looks and feels like the updated version of a standard thermostat.
- Reviewed
October 29, 2019 | Full review
Sends alerts in case of extreme temperatures or malfunctions
- Wired Shopper
September 28, 2019 | Full review
However, despite the handy app-based installation instructions, the Sensi does typically require a system-power C-wire to properly manage wireless connections. Not all thermostats have the right wiring, and without proper setup, the Sensi may not spend much time online.
- Gadget Review
September 3, 2019 | Full review
What we like: the Sensi controls your temperature settings in two ways. Use the connected app to manually change the temperature from your phone or tablet, or let Sensi do the work for you.
- Rolling Stone
And it is a great thermostat, especially if all you care about is accessing your thermostat remotely and setting schedules with ease.
- Smart Thermostat Guide
May 14, 2015 | Full review
Using this thermostat is pretty easy. You can program it for events so your HVAC is set to different temperatures when you wake up, when you leave for work, when you come home, and when you go to bed.
- Home Climate Center
September 19, 2019 | Full review
Sensi's ST55 / UP500W comes with an elegant design and a low price. It's precise in features, smart in connecting with home assistants like Alexa, and got a cool design as well.
- Great Smart Gadgets
September 19, 2019 | Full review
I am of the belief that a smart thermostat is a great “first smart device” to buy and the Sensi is a great option to sort of ease you into the world of smart things. The Sensi has enough smart features to give you the control you want, but it won’t leave you dumbfounded trying to figure out why your heater or AC is going crazy.
- The Smart Cave
Get the best of smart home experience with this unit as it is compatible with most voice assistants available in the technology market.
- 10 Unbiased
April 9, 2019 | Full review
The Sensi thermostat will also let you set the desired indoor temperature for any time of the day, as you can set up as many temperature adjustments as you like. You can create multiple schedules and manually switch to them whenever needed.
- Robo Authority
January 7, 2018 | Full review
With many smart thermostats boasting of sophisticated designs, the simplicity of the Sensi’s design makes it a stand out, in a good way. When mounted on the wall, it looks so slim with the box protruding just a little more than an inch. The white plastic body looks and feels durable, as well as easy to clean when the inevitable finger smudges are seen.
- Thermostats Authority
Seriously, I was a little shocked by how easy this thermostat is to install. First, it is compatible with almost any type of system, which means that you shouldn’t have to fuss around trying to find converters to make this thing work with your current wiring.
- Thermostat Center
Another impressive feature built into this affordable device is its ability to be controlled by voice commands. Simply connect Wink or Amazon Echo to your device using its Wi-Fi abilities and you will be able to tell it when to increase or decrease the temperature in your home without having to touch it.
- Techwalla
What experts didn't like
More frequent interruption of WiFi connection than we like to see.
- BestReviews
I just wish the design was a bit more...designy.
- CNET
November 15, 2018 | Full review
We did notice some connectivity issues during setup and testing, where the thermostat would be unavailable from the smartphone app despite the internet working. We were mostly able to work around that by exiting and reopening the app.
- Reviewed
October 29, 2019 | Full review
Setup can be done using a tablet or smartphone, but not using a PC
- Wired Shopper
September 28, 2019 | Full review
The Sensi has a very traditional screen interface for controlling your HVAC system.
- Gadget Review
September 3, 2019 | Full review
To get a full 5 stars all we would want are some usage reports, but that’s being super picky, especially at this price point.
- Smart Thermostat Guide
May 14, 2015 | Full review
Walls and floors are obstacles that decrease the connection’s quality.
- Great Smart Gadgets
September 19, 2019 | Full review
You cannot connect directly to your Sensi thermostat using your local WiFi network. It requires that you connect indirectly by going through the cloud-based Sensi server. That means if for some reason the Sensi server goes down, you will not be able to connect to your thermostat.
- The Smart Cave
The Connection process might take some extra time. Some users find it difficult to connect it with their Wi-Fi router.
- 10 Unbiased
April 9, 2019 | Full review
On the other hand, if your schedule is fairly fixed day-to-day or week-to-week, then the scheduling feature will fit your needs sufficiently. If something should change, you can adjust the temperature in the Sensi app from wherever you might be, as long as you have an internet connection.
- Robo Authority
January 7, 2018 | Full review
Not smart enough to learn energy usage
- Thermostats Authority

From The Manufacturer

From across the room or across the country, your Sensi Wi-Fi thermostat makes it easy to remotely control and schedule your home comfort - Anytime. Anywhere. Designed to work with the wires you already have, Sensi thermostat does not require a common wire (c-wire) for most installations, so it is compatible with the HVAC equipment in many homes*** in U.S. & Canada. A c-wire is required for heat-only, cool-only and heat pump (without aux) systems, and for use with Apple HomeKit. Check to make sure it will work for you at sensi.emerson.com/compatibility . The intuitive app walks you through each step of installation with custom configured instructions, removing all the frustration and guesswork from the installation process, so you can be up and running in no time, no experience required. Put your comfort on your terms using location-based temperature control with geofencing or creating custom heating and cooling schedules with the flexible 7-day scheduling option with the ENERGY STAR certified Sensi thermostat. Both energy saving features you save about 23% on your HVAC energy usage* so you can save money without compromising your comfort. Plus, Sensi integrates directly with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant and Wink home automation platforms. Connect to Amazon Alexa to control your home temperature with simple voice commands, or just ask Siri to set, raise or lower your home temperature when using Sensi with Apple HomeKit. What’s more, Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat has been named the ‘Best Value’ smart thermostat of 2018 by USA Today’s Reviewed.com *Energy savings calculated by comparing operation time for a nationwide sample of Sensi users with temperature adjustments averaging 4 degreeF vs. users with no adjustments. Savings vary based on equipment type/condition, insulation, climate & temperature adjustment size/frequency. **Based on survey results of 2120 respondents that purchased and installed a Sensi thermostat in 2018, approximately 70% reported installing in 30 minutes or less. Adding a common wire may impact installation time. ***Does not work with electric baseboard heat and some other systems. System requirements for mobile app: iOS - 10.0 or above Android - 4.2 or above (5.0 or greater to use the Geofencing feature).

Overall Product Rankings

Nest Learning Smart Thermostat
1. Nest Learning Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 17
Honeywell Color Touch Smart Thermostat
2. Honeywell Color Touch Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 17
Mysa Smart Thermostat
3. Mysa Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 6
Honeywell Home Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
4. Honeywell Home Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 14
ecobee lite Smart Thermostat
5. ecobee lite Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 16
Honeywell Color Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
6. Honeywell Color Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 10
Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat
7. Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 15
Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
8. Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 16
ecobee Smart Thermostat, Room Sensor Included
9. ecobee Smart Thermostat, Room Sensor Included
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 20
GoControl Smart Thermostat
10. GoControl Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 13

An Overview On Smart Thermostats

When they first came along, programmable thermostats seemed like a great way to save money on electricity when you weren’t at home. However, many consumers find that they don’t keep the same hours day after day, week after week. When schedules do change, adjusting things takes extra work that they may not want to put in.

Enter learning thermostats. These innovative devices monitor the activity within your home and automatically adjust the temperature as needed. As you start shopping, though, you’ll find that many learning thermostats also have the option to control the temperature using an app or controls on the wall box itself. But as “On The Fly…DIY” writer, producer and narrator Vicki Liston says, this automation can be tricky, so it’s important to choose the right type of smart thermostat.

“I recommend shopping for a smart thermostat that uses both a motion sensor and geo-fencing input to determine settings,” Liston says.

Accuracy also relies heavily on where the thermostat is placed inside your home. Like other types of thermostats, a smart thermostat should be mounted on an inside wall, approximately five feet above the floor.

“Install your smart thermostat in a place where there is no direct sunlight from nearby windows or doors and where it is not in the path of a vent,” Liston says. “Sunlight and drafty locations can cause false temperature readings and the thermostat will not be able to operate as efficiently as it should.”

Liston also reminds shoppers that some thermostats let users set up alerts. You can set your thermostat to notify you that it’s time to change your furnace filter or schedule maintenance with a local heating and air provider.

Before you start shopping, though, note the type of unit you have. Not all thermostats will work with all systems, so you can save time by buying the right product from the start. You’ll find most often you see thermostats that are compatible only with electric heating, which means they won’t work with furnaces. Still other thermostats are universal in nature, but even with those, check to make sure they’re compatible with your system before making your purchase.

DWYM Fun Fact

When many consumers think of smart thermostats, they automatically go to learning thermostats, which gather data on your temperature preferences and household habits to automatically adjust throughout the day. However, smart thermostats fit in a broader category that encompasses all thermostats that hook to your home’s Wi-Fi. That means you can control your home’s temperature remotely, which can come in handy while you’re traveling. Learning thermostats expand that capacity, learning your preferences over time and adjusting the temperature automatically to match. Some learning thermostats also build in motion-sensing technology to detect when people are inside the house. That means if you’re home sick from work and moving around, your thermostat will remove itself from its usual schedule and adjust the temperature to keep you comfortable.

The Smart Thermostat Buying Guide

  • Your thermostat’s display will likely serve as the primary source of information for your household. Some thermostats have larger displays than others, but also look for a higher resolution and easy-to-read text.
  • A thermostat will typically blend with your home’s décor, but make sure you choose one that has the look you prefer. Some have the round design found in pre-digital thermostats, while others take on the boxy look that has become popular in more recent years. You’ll also find some let you change up the color of the screen or come with colored rings.
  • With rare exceptions, you’ll probably need help or wiring expertise to install your thermostat.

“Traditional thermostats could maintain operation on a small battery or low voltage wires, but smart thermostats need a constant source of power from the ‘C wire’ or common wire,” Liston says. “If you are unsure if your current wiring set up has the C wire, please check with a qualified HVAC person.  Incorrect wiring can result in damage to both the thermostat and your heating and cooling system.”

  • Voice control is one of the best “extras” included in smart thermostats. If you have an Alexa or Google Assistant speaker, make sure you choose a smart thermostat that works with it. You’ll be able to raise or lower the temperature by simply speaking the command.
  • Smart thermostats can get a little complicated, so pay close attention to the design of the thermostat you choose. The more minimal the design, the better, especially if you choose a thermostat that monitors your household activity and adjusts accordingly. However, if you prefer to be more hands on with your temperature control, make sure you have a thermostat that makes it easy to set a schedule or adjust throughout the day.
  • Smart thermostats aren’t inexpensive, but be sure as you price them, you consider whether you’ll need multiple thermostats for your home. Some thermostats let you set up separate zones, which could save you money.
  • Most smart thermostats let you control your home’s temperature remotely using an app. You’ll need to choose a thermostat with an app for the type of devices you’ll be using for this control, whether it’s an iOS, Android or other mobile operating system. Some thermostats will even let you control them from a computer.
  • Scheduling is an important part of any smart thermostat. If you don’t want to bother with setting up a schedule, consider a thermostat that automatically adjusts temperature based on your household activity. If you do plan to use the scheduling feature, look for one that comes with a schedule built in. Then you’ll just have to adjust based on your own household needs.
  • Energy savings is one of the perks of using a smart thermostat. Some thermostats can even pull data from your local utility company and adjust the temperature to avoid using too much electricity during peak usage times, when costs are at their highest. Other thermostats will guide you to setting a temperature that is the most environmentally friendly, helping both your bank account and the environment.