Vivint Smart Thermostat Review

We spent time with the Vivint Element Smart Thermostat to learn how it works with Vivint systems and compare it to similar thermostats.
Vivint Element Smart Thermostat
Vivint Element smart thermostat
  • Adjusts automatically to surrounding light and temperature
  • Learns your temperature preferences
  • Requires a Vivint Smart Home system
Katie McEntire
Staff Writer, Safety & Security
Read More
Published on February 10, 2021

Bottom line: The Vivint Element Smart Thermostat makes climate control a breeze

The Vivint Element Smart Thermostatmay be an optional add-on, but it’s a must-have for the eco-conscious smart home dweller. With a sleek minimalist design, built-in AI, and proximity sensors, it puts the “art” in smart.

The Vivint thermostat learns your preferences and typical schedule to adjust your home temperature accordingly. All these automatic adjustments put less strain on your HVAC system and your utility budget.

Working with the Vivint phone app, the thermostat can adjust when you leave or come home so you can walk into a toasty room in the winter or fresh AC during the summer.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Senses when you leave the house
Pro Bullet Adjusts temperatures automatically
Pro Bullet Works with a variety of HVAC systems
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Requires a Vivint system

What's in the box

  • Thermostat
  • Batteries 
  • Hardwire grid
  • Mounting materials

Smart Thermostat controls and features

Vivint Element Smart Thermostat

Like all the best smart thermostats, the Vivint Element Smart Thermostat comes with onboard sensors that learn about its environment. This smarty pants can adjust the temperature in your home based on the time of day, lighting in the room, your schedule, or whether you’re home or not.

The Element Thermostat works for temperature micromanagers and laidback folks alike. Just like a traditional or programmable thermostat, you can adjust settings by touching the device. Its simple interface glows white with arrows to raise or lower the temperature.

The Vivint app also lets you program a temperature schedule or adjust your thermostat from outside of the house. That remote access means you can come home to a toasty living room ready for a winter movie marathon or cool it down when coming home from summer vacation.

And if you forget to adjust it? The proximity sensor will tell your thermostat to adjust so your home will be comfortable when you walk inside.

Light Bulb
Smart vs. programmable thermostat
You may hear the two terms interchanged but there is a difference between smart thermostats and programmable thermostats. A programmable thermostat adjusts temperature based on a schedule that you set, and smart thermostats adjust the temperature automatically. Both can save you money on energy bills, but smart thermostats take it a step further and do the temperature tweaking for you.

Home automation

Vivint is known for its smooth smart home integration and proprietary smart home products. So it’s no surprise that the Vivint Element Smart Thermostat is a piece of the home automation puzzle.

Like other Vivint sensors, lights, locks, and other devices, you can link your Vivint thermostat to the rest of your system. With the automation feature, you can leave the house as your lights turn off, doors lock, and the thermostat switches off in one go.

The Vivint Element Smart Thermostat is also compatible with smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Assistant. Say the magic words, “Alexa” or “Hey, Google” to adjust to the temperature you want without skipping a beat. 

The Vivint security control panel connects to your thermostat so you can make adjustments or program your schedule from there.

Light Bulb
Safety meets smarts
One of our favorite features of the Vivint Element Smart Thermostat is its fire shutoff feature.  If your Vivint smoke detector senses a threat, your thermostat will shut off your HVAC system, preventing the fire from spreading.

Energy savings

Whether you fuss with your thermostat or forget it even exists, the temperature in your home has a huge impact on your monthly energy bill. Air conditioning, space heating, and water heating (like that used for radiant heating) make up a combined 46% of electricity consumption in US households.1

So if you cut back your energy use, you’ll cut down on your energy spending. (Thank you, Captain Obvious.) And that’s why smart thermostats like the Vivint Element can be so helpful—they simply do the micromanaging for you.

Smart thermostats like Vivint’s don’t change how your HVAC system works, just how hard. Instead of demanding a steady 72 degrees year round, the Vivint Element Smart Thermostat considers factors like temperature, light, and humidity to calculate the most efficient (but comfortable) temperature.

Installation and compatibility

You’ll need a Vivint security system to get a Vivint Element Smart Thermostat. And like most of Vivint’s equipment, this smart thermostat is professionally installed.

The Element thermostat can work with batteries (included) or be hardwired. If you have a natural gas, electric, propane, fuel oil, or geothermal power system, it’ll be compatible.

How Vivint Element Smart Thermostat compares

Vivint Element Smart Thermostat Nest Thermostat Ecobee4 Honey Lyric T5
ImageVivint Element smart thermostatNest Learning Thermostatecobee4 Smart ThermostatHoneywell Lyric smart thermostat
Equipment cost
Monitoring fee
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Professional installation required
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Learn more

Info current as of 02/10/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

While all the thermostats above automatically adjust temperature and have voice control, the feature that sets the Vivint Element Smart Thermostat apart is its ties to a full security system. Simply put, to get the Vivint Element, you’ll need a Vivint system—it does its best work with other Vivint components.

If you want a smart thermostat without monthly fees, the Nest Thermostat is a good candidate. It’s compatible with a range of HVAC systems and does the same job as the Vivint Element. It also works with the Vivint security system.

We also like more budget-friendly choices like the Honeywell and Ecobee 4, but you may have issues with connectivity. Both have a tendency to lose touch with the home Wi-Fi network and go offline.

How we reviewed

At SafeWise, we’re well acquainted with Vivint. We’ve reviewed the smart home security system, its equipment and third-party compatibility, its cameras, and even compared it to similar smart home systems. We’ve even toured Vivint’s headquarters, and we meet with its team every year.

To get the inside scoop on the Vivint Element Smart Thermostat, we got in touch with the company itself. We also looked through customer reviews and watched installation videos to get a better understanding of the thermostat from the user’s point of view.

Check out our methodology page to see what goes into all of our home security and smart home reviews.

Final word

If you’re already considering a Vivint home security system, the Element Smart Thermostat is an energy-saving addition. It can pair with your other smart home equipment, adjust to your schedule and preferences, and work with your smart speaker for a seamless experience. 

But the Vivint thermostat isn’t a standalone device. You can’t buy it on its own like the Nest Thermostat or other smart thermostats out there. So if you’re looking for a smart thermostat and only a smart thermostat, we suggest looking at other options.

Vivint Element Thermostat FAQ

Yes. Smart thermostats adjust automatically to your home and outside environment to put less strain on your HVAC system. And when your system uses less energy to keep your home comfortable, you pay less money.

The Vivint Element Smart Thermostat has a built-in proximity sensor that’s tied to the app on your phone. When you (or your phone) leave home, or you set your system to away, it will adjust.
You can reach Vivint over the phone or online. If you’re having issues with your thermostat, the company can send a technician to help, or you can find troubleshooting help on Vivint’s YouTube channel and website. You can also reach Vivint directly through the company’s support number and customer email found on the website.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

  1. US Energy Information Administration, “Use Of Energy Explained,” May 9, 2019. Accessed January 2021.
Katie McEntire
Written by
Katie McEntire
As a renter, pet-owner, and woman living alone, Katie McEntire takes safety seriously. She’s tested devices like pet cameras, home security systems, and GPS trackers in her own home and devices in the name of safety. In addition to testing, writing, and reviewing for SafeWise, she also makes videos for the site’s YouTube channel. She’s been featured on publications like TechGuySmartBuy, Forbes, Healthy Moms, and Digital Care. Katie has a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She’s held previous writing positions at Overstock.com and Top Ten Reviews.

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