Oct 162014
 
Ecobee3_3

If you are planning to change your old thermostat, one of these smart models might just fit your needs.

When Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers exposed their first-gen Nest Learning Thermostat in the year 2011, they ignited interest in a previously overlooked part of the home. All of a sudden, folks were paying attention to more than thermostat functionality — they were looking at design and the possibility of integrating their heating and cooling systems into their app-centric connected worlds.

But, Nest (better Google’s Nest) did more than just showcase smart design and offer an outlet for tech savvy consumers; it also inspired other companies (ecobee, honeywell, etc.) to create their own versions of the DIY smart thermostat.

The innovative heat and AC incubators that have emerged are all slight variations on the same energy-efficient, customization-focused theme. Still, each one did something a bit different in terms of features and final execution. Take a look a the five smart thermostats we’ve reviewed so far to see if you might be ready for an upgrade.

All the listed thermostats below are the same price tag range (~ 250 USD); so the price won’t be a criteria for your decision. Look into the functionality, and the customer reviews.

Ecobee’s Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat

The $249 Ecobee3 (as of October 2014) is a Wi-Fi and mobile app enabled thermostat that relies on its sensors to detect whether you’re home or away. You can still schedule the thermostat the old-fashioned way, but this thermostat’s adaptive sensors know that your routine can be unpredictable. So, it will automatically cancel Away mode if the motion and proximity sensors sense that you’ve come back home unexpectedly — all so that you can be as comfortable as possible. Isn’t this feature nice? And also, the researches show us that almost 75% of the programmable thermostat owners never program their thermostats (Unbelievable)! Ecobee’s thermostat does the work itself.

You can read more on Ecobee3 Smart thermostat here: A completely new design from Ecobee (which may disturb Nest)

Ecobee3_3

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Aug 192014
 
Honeywell voice control thermostat

A programmable thermostat will help make your house much more comfortable as well as energy efficient through automatically adjusting its temperature, for example increasing the air conditioning while you are at home and turning the AC off after you leave for work or school. However all those advantages are simply possible when the programmable thermostat is easy to set up. Because of this reason ease-of-use is a crucial criteria in our tests of programmable thermostats. A number of models made our latest suggested list, such as a new product from Honeywell which is both user-friendly and revolutionary. Many other programmable thermostats still left our testers scratching their heads. Listed below are the important points.


From the time the appearance of the Nest learning thermostat in the year 2011, companies have been fighting to design the smartest programmable thermostat. Our latest review¬† includes voice-activated models and those with “geofencing” or the capability to track where you are and modify temperatures accordingly, for example turning up the AC right before you get home. These functions are really cool, but only as add-ons to a device that’s also really simple to use.

Because of these reasons we actually like the Honeywell RTH959OWF, which can be managed from another location via your mobile phone, tablet or computer. Its touch screen color display provides sharp contrast and its prompts are user-friendly. Additionally we had no difficulty connecting to our own Wi-Fi router or downloading the easy-to-use application. This is the industry’s very first voice-activated programmable thermostat, that we found logical and responsive. Between the tested models, the American Standard AccuLink AZone950, also satisfied our testers with its extensive touchscreen display screen and equally user-friendly controls.

In case you don’t worry about managing your home’s temperature from the mobile phone, you can save a lot by selecting a programmable thermostat model without remote access. For us, Honeywell is the obvious winner within this category. The Honeywell Prestige HD YTHX9321R, provides a remarkably sharp display and its ease-of-use rating was the best of all tested models. Its tabletop remote enables you to control thermostats in other places of the house. More affordable models from Lux and Robert Shaw also made our winners list of programmable thermostats without remote access. For more details, and reviews see our complete programmable thermostat list page.