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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Van Hal, REALTOR

Smart Thermostats: Top 4 Expert Picks

Programmable thermostats let you set the temperature in your home and have the thermostat change it based on the time of day. What makes them ‘smart’ is that they can learn from your behaviors, let you control the climate remotely, show you energy consumption in real-time and even adjust themselves based on conditions like humidity.

You can tell them to shut off after you leave for work and spring back into action in time to ensure the house temperature is comfortable by the time you get home. Many models can be managed from your phone or a website.

If you’re thinking of upgrading to a money-saving smart thermostat, here are four models highly recommended by independent reviewers at BestReviews, WiseBread and LifeHacker.

The Nest Learning Thermostat This model tops most lists and is backed by over 17,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. The Nest is easy to use and install, and works with Amazon Alexa, the Nest App and other smart devices. It features energy-saving options, a remote control, auto scheduling, and more. This Energy Star thermostat uses Farsight for an easy-to-read display you can see from across the room and can alert you if something is wrong in the home while you’re away. It costs about $225.

Honeywell Smart Wi-Fi Color Touch The Honeywell also works with Amazon Alexa, features flexible scheduling, smart response technology, on-screen comfort information, an indoor humidity sensor, auto alerts and energy-saving options. It includes an app so you can control your thermostat from anywhere. Control features include a customizable color touchscreen, simple setup, and Wi-Fi remote access. Another Amazon customer favorite, it costs about $189.

Ecobee 3 Light Smart This is the one I personally own. It's easy to install, with an easy-to-use touch screen display, takes local weather into account, and can be scheduled to desired comfort settings. Optional individual room sensors detect both temperature and occupancy. It works with Alexa as well as, as well as Ecobee's mobile app. At about $169, it offers hands-free control and hundreds of integration possibilities.

Emerson Sensi-Smart The Emerson is also compatible with Alexa. This model is easy to install, and you can remotely control temperature and timeline with a free mobile app. It uses a GPS feature for location-based temperature control and flexible scheduling to help reduce utility bills. It runs around $135.


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