A smart thermostat isn't just fun to have; it's a power-smart move that can end up saving you money in the long run. Forgot to turn down the heat before leaving for the day? Use your thermostat's app and turn it down from wherever you have an internet connection. Many smart thermostats even go so far as to learn your programming habits, potentially saving you big bucks during particularly use-heavy seasons (like winter here in Winnipeg!). That being said, smart thermostats can be hella expensive (upwards of $300). So if you're on a budget, here are some options to help make your thermostat a part of your connected home.
- By no means cheap: ecobee3 lite
- Classic look: Honeywell Wi-Fi programmable thermostat
- Unique look: Lux Geo
- Better Honeywell: Honeywell T5+
ecobee makes the finest smart thermostats money can buy, and the ecobee3 lite is an inexpensive foray into a great line. It doesn't have onboard voice control, but it can connect to all three major smart assistants, has a great display, and works with room sensors for improved accuracy. It also comes with a power extension kit if you have an older system without a C wire.
Honeywell's Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat doesn't have the modern look and feel of most smart thermostats, but it does have the smarts. It's compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as IFTTT, and it's fully programmable in its app. The app doesn't have the most elegant interface, but this thermostat is under $70, so you can't expect much more.
If you want a smart thermostat that makes a statement, the Lux Geo is what you want. You can install it vertically or horizontally, and it features a large dial, as well as a basic display. It comes in black or white and works with Alexa, as well as its iOS and Android apps. You can also set everything up and program directly on the unit. It's powered by a battery, Micro-USB, or a C wire.
This Honeywell thermostat has a sleeker look than the one above, but it's nearly double the price. It has a white-on-black display, and it comes with a power adapter in case your existing system doesn't have a C wire. You can set up geofences in the app to turn on cooling or heating so things are comfortable when you get home, and you can set up schedules for every day of the week.
Even if you don't want a budget smart thermostat, you could go with one of the best of the best, and some power providers may offer rebates. If that's not the case, or you don't want to pay more up front, then the ecobee3 lite is the best smart thermostat you can get for under $150.
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