Jenna Careri / September 26th, 2016

3 min read
Setting your thermostat is important.

[Commercial RAF]/Shutterstock


We at are positive you’ve heard of smart, Wi-Fi connected thermostats, but have you actually gone out and purchased one? It should come as no surprise that a household’s heating and air conditioning accounts for almost half of its energy consumption. While your old, standard thermostat might do a satisfactory job at controlling your home’s desired temperature, a smart or programmable thermostat could do the same and maybe save you money.

Programmable vs. smart thermostats

Many people might use these terms interchangeably, but there is a difference between these two types of thermostats:

  • Programmable thermostats simply refer to a thermostat that is able to alter your home’s temperature at different times of the day, or whenever you set your thermostat to change temperature. It is not automated and you must program it yourself.
  • Smart thermostats have more advanced technology where they learn your habits and can help you determine what to set your thermostat at during different times of the day. Many are Wi-Fi enabled and allow you to adjust settings via your smartphone or online.

Five devices to consider when upgrading

ecobee3  ̶  $249

The ecobee3 is a smart thermostat that offers multi-room temperature detection with remote sensors. It is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon’s Alexa voice-enabled devices and several more home automation systems. There are mobile apps to control your system remotely, and the device has proven to save owners an average of 23 percent on heating and cooling costs annually.

Nest  ̶  $249

Nest is also a smart thermostat and features learning functionality. It learns the temperatures that you like, when you like it, and programs itself based on different factors. It features mobile apps on your phone or tablet, and also allows remote programming from your laptop. If your home gets too hot or too cold, your Nest will send you an alert to make sure you are aware. In two years, Nest pays for itself by saving the average owner 10 to 12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling bills.

Honeywell Lyric Round  ̶  $199

Not as widely known as the ecobee3 or Nest, Honeywell’s Lyric Round thermostat is packed with features that make it a slightly more affordable alternative. By using geofencing technology, Lyric knows where you are based on your smartphone’s location. Using this information, the thermostat can turn up your heat if it knows you’re right around the corner. It too is compatible with Apple HomeKit and other home automation systems such as Samsung SmartThings. Lyric could save you around $100 a year in energy costs.

Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi  ̶  $129

Asking Alexa to adjust your temperature doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Emerson’s Sensi Wi-Fi enabled thermostat is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa voice-enabled devices, such as the Amazon Echo, and can control your thermostat by simply asking Alexa to turn up your air conditioning. It also has its own mobile app, making it a top competitor with a lower price. Sensi thermostats can decrease your energy consumption by up to 33 percent every month.

LUX/GEO 7-Day   ̶  $99

As the cheapest option of all five thermostats, the LUX/GEO 7-Day Wi-Fi programmable thermostat has a smaller footprint and an easy-to-read screen with intuitive controls. With just as many features as similar products, the LUX/GEO thermostat can sense when you’re away or home with geofencing technology. It also has a mobile app.

Start saving on your electricity bill with a smart thermostat and upgrade your system today.


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