Let’s check out three of the most popular models on the market today.
The critically-acclaimed Nest is best known for its programming, which allows it to learn your energy consumption habits. The Nest measures your habits for roughly one week, then creates a program with the data it collected to optimize your energy use. It can be controlled from a web browser or on your smartphone even while you are away from home. Also, if you have multiple Nest units in your home, they can communicate through your Wi-Fi network.
Some critics have complained that the Nest does have trouble learning complex schedules, but the general consensus is that it does what it was designed to do. Also, if you decide you’d prefer to manually adjust settings instead of relying on the Nest’s programming, you can pause the learning mode and take control yourself.
The Nest currently sells at $249.
Smart Thermostat from Ecobee
The Ecobee is similar to the Nest in many ways. It has the same Wi-Fi-enabled functionality, which can be adjusted on any Internet browser or on your smartphone. However, there are some significant differences between the Ecobee and the Nest. Chiefly, it is more expensive—$469 vs. $249 retail. However, reviewers appear to agree that it is worth the larger price tag.
It is highly recommended that a professional install your Ecobee, as your three-year warranty may be void otherwise. The Ecobee can display 5-day weather forecasts and can create reports that offer data about how the weather influences your indoor temperature. These reports contain lots of charts, graphs, and visual depictions of temperature’s effect on your energy use. The amount of raw data the Ecobee provides can be attractive for anyone who likes looking at data and optimizing their own systems—and if you’re investing in a smart thermostat, that’s probably you.
Honeywell Prestige 2.0 Comfort System
The Honeywell Prestige 2.0 Comfort System is perhaps a happy middle ground between the Ecobee and the Nest in terms of both cost and complexity. Coming in at around $370 on Amazon, and available at Honeywell retailers, the Prestige 2.0 Comfort System comes equipped with “interview-based programming,” which asks you questions about your energy usage habits and programs itself to best optimize your home.
However, like the Ecobee, it is recommended that you have your system installed by a professional. If you are considering the Prestige 2.0 Comfort System, be sure to check out the Honeywell locator to easily find a local retailer or professional who can install your system.