With the increasing temperature and rising energy costs, it is necessary to find a solution that can help you save money. The heating and cooling bills are the most expensive part of your utility bill. They account for 50% to 60% of your total monthly energy use, depending on where you live.
You can save money by reducing how much heat or air conditioning is needed in any room. This doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on comfort or air quality around you. Programmable thermostats let you set temperatures according to a schedule so that the rooms are comfortable when they’re occupied while saving energy when they’re not being used.
To save money on your utility bills, it is better to go for programmable thermostats instead of manual thermostats. But not all of them can provide the services you need. To help you choose the most suitable ones, we’ve compiled some of the best programmable thermostats we’ve tried and tested that you’ve got to install in your home:
Out Top Programmable Thermostat Picks
- 1. Best Overall - Honeywell Home Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat
- 2. Best For Alexa - Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control
- 3. Best for Siri - Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
- 4. Best Compatibility - Google Nest Learning
- 5. Best Customization - Orbit Clear Comfort
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1. Honeywell Home Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat
This is one of the best programmable thermostats available in the market that we’ve tried out. It helps you save a lot of money on your utility bills as it features a technology called Smart Response Technology. This feature automatically calculates how long it will take to reach a certain temperature and switches off or turns on the heating or cooling systems for that particular period.
In addition to temperature, the Honeywell thermostat has a sleek square design with a large touchscreen display. This screen shows indoor humidity percentage and time of the day using a cool-blue backlight that you can easily use anywhere in your room.
The thermostat is capable of automatically sensing when your home needs cooling and heating based on your preference. The temperature range limits also allow you to set maximum and minimum temperatures so the auto schedules won’t go beyond your comfort level. It’s compatible with most two-stage HVAC systems.
The Honeywell Home Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat features a large touchscreen display with an easy-to-use interface, while the Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control features voice control and integrates with other smart home devices.
2. Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control
The Ecobee thermostat is designed to respond to your voice commands. This shouldn’t be surprising, as it was built for Alexa users looking for a way to control their heating and cooling system hands-free. The device we tried out also has room sensors that monitor the temperature in multiple locations within the house to adjust each terminal unit. Its 24-hour programming abilities can save up to 23 percent annually on heating and cooling costs.
If you want a thermostat that you can control from the comfort of your couch, Ecobee is the right choice. Ecobee model also integrates with a smartphone, smartwatch, and other popular smart home products like Google Assistant, Apple Home Kit, and Samsung SmartThings.
The Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control offers similar voice control features as the Google Nest Learning Thermostat but also has an improved SmartSensor that detects occupancy and temperature to ensure optimal comfort.
3. Google Nest Learning Thermostat
The Google Nest Learning Thermostat is one of the best smart thermostats available. The device features a large display and good connectivity via Wi-Fi, giving you remote access to your heating and cooling system through an app. It works with some electric heaters, and it’s not compatible with geothermal or electric baseboard heaters.
The best smart thermostat like Nest Thermostat can be controlled at the comfort of your smartphone. This gadget will also help you learn your schedule and the temperatures you like and automatically create a program that will help you save energy and stay comfortable.
Its sleek circular design comes in various metal finishes and is compatible with 95 percent of heating and cooling systems. This thermostat is Wi-Fi enabled, meaning that you can adjust it from your smartphone, plus you can manually adjust it via the unit’s outer dial.
Thanks to its smart programming, it can save you up to 12% on heating costs and 15% on cooling costs. It can also show you your energy usage and insights on how much energy you’ve used and why on your phone. You may require professional installation to install the c wire if you don’t have one.
How does this compare to another option we tested? The Google Nest Learning Thermostat offers advanced learning algorithms that allow it to create a customized schedule based on the user’s habits and preferences, while the Honeywell Home Programmable Thermostat offers more basic programmable features.
4. Honeywell Home Programmable Thermostat
This best smart thermostat works with Amazon Alexa, plus it provides push notifications when you’re away from home. It’s compatible with 95% of heating, and cooling systems, easy to install using the Honeywell Home app, and also allows for two-way communication so that your HVAC system can alert you when there are potential problems.
If you like a thermostat without smart features and touchscreens but still want something easy to work with, the Honeywell 5-2 Day Programmable Thermostat is a good choice. It doesn’t come with advanced features like geofencing or voice control, but it does help you control your heating and cooling system with simple programming options.
The 5 to 2 programming allows you to have a different four-period schedule for the two weekend days, and the unit offers positive and negative one-degree temperature control. The thermostat is backlit for easy viewing. You should also note that it is only compatible with low-volt heating and cooling systems. It’s the best smart thermostat for multiple zones.
Compared to another product we tested, the Honeywell Home Programmable Thermostat is a basic programmable thermostat with a simple interface, while the Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat is a smart thermostat with advanced features like Wi-Fi connectivity and remote control capabilities.
5. Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
If you’re looking for a unit that goes above and beyond, the Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat deserves your attention. This device we tried out not only lets you control your HVAC system remotely but adds some smart home capabilities as well.
The Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat works with Siri—ask your hub to set the temperature in your home. You can even control it when you’re not at home, thanks to geofencing capabilities. Like other units, this one also offers an auto-away mode that adjusts the temperature based on whether or not someone is there.
This thermostat has a color LCD touchscreen and replaces your existing wall unit. Using wireless capabilities, it functions with iOS and Android devices. It also works with Amazon’s Alexa so that you can ask for the temperature via voice.
Sensi touch offers advanced features such as flexible scheduling and geofencing, plus, it can save you up to 23 percent on HVAC energy usage. It is compatible with popular smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It will also send you smart alerts if it detects extreme temperature and humidity levels in your home.
The Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat has a large, easy-to-use touchscreen interface that is similar to the Honeywell Home Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat, which also features a touchscreen interface but has more basic programmable features. However, the Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat offers more advanced features.
6. Orbit Clear Comfort Programmable
This is one of the best programmable thermostats that’s another option to consider. Orbit Clear Comfort is more than just a thermostat; it’s also an automatic system that allows you to customize heating and cooling for up to four areas in your home. This means that if you have separate zones or rooms in your home, you can control the temperature of each space separately.
Orbit Clear Comfort is also compatible with smart home platforms, including Apple Homekit and Nest. Like the other Orbit option, it will also send alerts if extreme temperature or humidity levels are detected in your home. This is a one-stage thermostat that works with gas, oil, and electric furnaces.
You can also use it with HVAC systems, central air conditioners, two hotwire systems, millivolt systems, and heat pump systems that do not have backup heat. However, it’s not designed for use with baseboard heaters and multi-stage heating and cooling systems. Its early start feature we tried out ensures your desired temperature is reached by the programmed time.
7. SunTouch Command Touchscreen Programmable Thermostat
The SunTouch digital thermostat is another option and one of the best programmable thermostats with a touchscreen display for easier use. This model also has a wide temperature range, works with all types of heating and cooling systems, and is compatible with a number of smart home platforms.
It syncs up with the Nest app so you can help save energy when you’re not at home. It also requires remote control. The SunTouch thermostat is designed for homes with insulation and offers precise temperature control (0.5 to 1 degree Fahrenheit) without experiencing any significant fluctuations in temperature.
It’s rated to work between -4 degrees Fahrenheit and 122 degrees Fahrenheit, making this programmable thermostat an excellent choice for radiant flooring. It is easy to install if you have heated floors, and you can use it as a replacement for any floor heating thermostat that uses 10k sensor wire. It has a built-in GFCI for safety, and its SmartStart technology we evaluated ensures your floor has reached the set temperature at your scheduled time.
8. Schluter Ditra Programmable Floor Heating Thermostat
Suppose you need to control the in-floor heating system to ensure that temperatures remain consistent and comfortable for all residents at your home or workplace. In that case, you need to install this programmable thermostat. This thermostat we tested boasts a large touchscreen display that is easy to read and use.
A built-in floor temperature sensor and the display can indicate time, date, temperature, and whether the system is operating via manual setting. It has six different programming periods that allow the user to select the ideal temperature for the time of the day. This means warmer floors at night and in the early morning to help prevent freezing surfaces that can cause bare feet to coil.
9. Lux Products Programmable Thermostat
Installation is easy for this thermostat. You can start to program it in a matter of minutes, and it does not require a lot of effort or time. These thermostats come with a user manual that has clear instructions you can follow to set up your new device. Another great feature of the Lux Products Programmable Thermostat is that it can be installed by just about anyone.
It comes with an installation manual, and you can use this as a guide when installing the device. All of the materials you require for the installation will come with your purchase of the thermostat. It is easy to program, and since it has a large display screen, those who have vision problems will not have a hard time reading what is required.
While you are sleeping, you can set the device to turn off the heat or cool air so that your house won’t be too cold or hot when you wake up in the morning. If you are looking for a programmable but you’re not interested in any smartphone or smart home integration and remote control of the heating and cooling systems in your home, then this is one of the best programmable thermostats that we tested out just for you.
What to Look for in a Programmable Thermostat
As you look through the best programmable thermostats we’ve evaluated, here’s what we took into consideration:
Ease of Installation
When you are ready to start, the first thing you will need to do is install the new programmable thermostat. With most modern devices, this means removing a few screws and wires from your old thermostat. New models come with helpful instructions and have features in their respective apps to help you connect thermostats to your HVAC system.
The next thing you should look for in a programmable thermostat is how easy it will be to program the devices. Many appliances these days have touch screens that allow you to select your schedule with your finger, but other models require you to cycle through each day of the week and power button up or down on each one.
Features and Settings
Many of the most advanced thermostats feature Wi-Fi connectivity and/or an accompanying smartphone app, allowing you to control your heat from anywhere with a cellular signal. Some models come with extra features such as humidity sensors, backup batteries, and more. These can all be nice additions to have, but they will likely only cost you extra money.
As always, the price is a major factor in what you get for your money. Usually, more features or settings will come at a higher cost, while simpler models are typically less expensive.
Be sure to consider all the features you want before deciding if it’s worth spending extra on them or not. We’ve also reviewed some of the best programmable thermostats available under $100 which are nice picks for those looking to save money.
Smart Speaker Compatibility
When deciding on a thermostat, one of the most important things is making sure it’s compatible with your heat source. Most modern models are compatible with gas, oil, electric, or even heat pumps.
If you have a heat pump, you’ll most likely want to look for something compatible with it. Some speaker models are also compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Home, so remember when deciding on one that’s right for you.
The aesthetics of the model are also essential to consider. Although most thermostats require power and a C Wire, some models will work with an AA Battery while others have more unique designs that fit within your home’s décor.
|Best Programmable Thermostats||Ease of Installation||Scheduling Options||Features and Settings||Price||Smart Speaker Compatibility||Aesthetics|
|Honeywell Home Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat||4/5||4/5||3/5||3/5||2/5||3/5|
|Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control||3/5||5/5||5/5||3/5||5/5||4/5|
|Google Nest Learning Thermostat||4/5||5/5||4/5||3/5||5/5||5/5|
|Honeywell Home Programmable Thermostat||4/5||3/5||3/5||3/5||N/A||2/5|
|Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat||4/5||4/5||4/5||4/5||4/5||3/5|
|Orbit Clear Comfort Programmable||3/5||3/5||3/5||3/5||N/A||2/5|
|SunTouch Command Touchscreen Programmable||3/5||3/5||4/5||4/5||N/A||3/5|
|Schluter Ditra Programmable Floor Heating||4/5||3/5||3/5||3/5||N/A||3/5|
|Lux Products Programmable Thermostat||3/5||3/5||3/5||3/5||N/A||3/5|
FAQs on Best Programmable Thermostats
Yes, the best programmable thermostats are compatible with most cooling and heating systems.
Yes, especially if you’re replacing an old programmable thermostat with a similar model.
Final Thought on the Best Programmable Thermostats
The type of programmable thermostat you choose will depend on the amount you’re willing to spend, plus the features you’re looking for. If you’re not tech-savvy, then you won’t need all the home integration and app connectivity. But whatever type you choose, it will help you cut down energy costs without sacrificing your comfort.
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Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.