Thermostat Buyer's Guide

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Reduce Your Energy Use

ENERGY STAR© estimates the average U.S. homeowner can save up to $180 per year by programming their thermostat properly. Some studies show that smart thermostats can save even more.

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3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat

New smart thermostats can potentially reduce how much energy you consume, which keeps both your wallet and the environment happier. How much can you save? According to the Department of Energy, when programmed properly, you can reduce your energy bills from 5% - 15% per year by using a set back method (programming your thermostat to change the temperature setting automatically during set times like at night or during the work day). To put that in terms of dollars and cents, ENERGY STAR® estimates you could see as much as $180 in savings per year on your energy bills, depending on your thermostat. 

Plus, smart thermostats like the 3rd gen Nest® Learning Thermostat™ can learn your schedule to automate savings for you. It's one of the reasons Nest was the first thermostat in America to receive the ENERGY STAR® certification since the EPA sunsetted the label for programmable thermostats in 2009.

Operate with Ease

You can control your smart thermostat on-the-go from a variety of devices, like your smartphone or tablet. Setting your temperature becomes as easy as opening an app, or for some of the latest models, using voice-control. If you prefer to automate your home, you can simply program the temperature once and let the thermostat take over from there.

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ecobee4 with Amazon Alexa Voice Service

Most new smart thermostats offer touchscreen displays, which many homeowners find more attractive, modern and also easier to use. In the past, you had to deal with a bunch of buttons, dials and levers that were difficult to see in the dark and could be imprecise. Touchscreen displays allow you to quickly choose an exact temperature. Some devices, like the Nest Learning Thermostat, light up when it senses you've entered the room, making it easy to find in the dark. If you want to ditch using your hands all together, get voice control with ecobee4, which now comes with Amazon Alexa Voice Service, or use Google Home to control the Nest Thermostat.

Help Keep Your Heating/Cooling Systems Safe

Many new thermostats provide a slew of useful info about your HVAC system, such as indicating the status of your filter or alerting you to problems with the system. These insights enable you to take immediate corrective actions that could help avoid problems before they happen and may save you money by ensuring your system is running as efficiently as possible.

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Nest, ecobee and some Honeywell smart thermostats have the ability to set alerts to notify you via email or an online dashboard when there is a problem with your heating or cooling equipment, and if your home is getting too hot or too cold as a result. They can also send you automatic service reminders, like to change an air filter, to help you properly maintain your equipment and avoid future problems.

Installation Has Never Been Simpler

The next step in fitting your home with a new thermostat involves figuring out whether your heating and cooling system(s) are compatible. Many device manufacturers have an easy way to check your compatibility before you purchase.

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Nest Thermostat E Installation with Backplate

First, remove the cover from your current thermostat and make a list or take a picture of the different colored wires.

Second, open up one or more of the following links to check compatibility:

Selecting the Right Thermostat

Step #1: Decide which smart thermostat features best suit your needs

Ready to upgrade your smart thermostat? Now its time to figure out which device is best for your home. There are a number of factors to consider when comparing devices and manufacturers so take a look at the side-by-side comparison of recommended models and refer to the product feature descriptions below.

Price Built-in Voice Control Communication Capabilities Learns Over Time ENERGY Usage Report Comes with Remote Sensors Maintenance Alerts / Reminders Access to Installation Services C-wire Required
Nest Learning Thermostat $249 Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon
Nest Thermostat E $169 Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon
ecobee4 $249 Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon
ecobee3 lite $169.00 Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon
LUX/Geo Wifi Thermostat $149 Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon
Honeywell Wi-Fi 7 Day Touchscreen Thermostat $149 Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon
Honeywell Wi-Fi Color Touchscreen Thermostat $199 Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon
Emerson Sensi $129.00 Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon Icon