#1Thing: Top Programmable Thermostats To Cut Your Heating Bill This Winter

December 31, 2018

By Lori Melton

Winter is here and cold temperatures usually usher in a seasonal hike in home heating costs. One way to reduce home energy use and cut your heating bill this winter is to install a programmable thermostat. Besides monthly energy savings, many utility companies offer rebates, credits or incentives for installing one. With the rising popularity of smart home technology, there are many different options on the market. We’ve made a list of five great programmable thermostats for you to consider below.


Nest is probably one of the most widely known smart thermostats. It’s also Amazon’s No. 1 best seller in programmable thermostats. It features learning technology that allows it to analyze your heating preferences throughout the day and adjusts itself accordingly. You can control it anywhere from a connected smartphone, tablet or PC. It typically sells for around $249 (less on Amazon) and can work with a separate temperature sensor (sold separately) to ensure a certain temperature is the one you want. It is Energy Star certified and energy company rebates are also listed directly on the product site. For example, Consumers Energy offers a $100 rebate on Nest.

ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat

The ecobee3 Smart Thermostat is a popular programmable thermostat, as it’s currently listed as an Amazon’s Choice product list and is compatible with the Amazon Alexa. It is Energy Star certified, with a base cost of about $169. It also works with room sensor technology (sold separately) to monitor and control temperatures in different rooms. This thermostat works with local weather and your heating system to make heating and cooling times more efficient. Control it remotely from connected iOS and Android devices, including the Apple Watch.

Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Thermostat

The Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Thermostat topped a Reviewed.com ranking of programmable thermostats as Best Overall, in part for its ease of installation. It features an easy touchscreen interface, tracks temperature and humidity changes and sends you alerts, and works with multiple smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and more. It also coordinates with the location of your smartphone via Geofencing to adjust home temperature settings while you’re away and automatically changes from heating to cooling when needed. It is Energy Star certified and the Sensi app works with iOS and Android. It retails for $169 on the product website.

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Color Thermostat (RTH9585WF)

This Honeywell Wi-Fi smart thermostat is an Amazon Choice and Amazon certified product. It’s also Energy Star certified and features a neat, full-color touchscreen display (and you can choose background display color). It works with iOS and Android devices, as well as Amazon Alexa and Google Home. For those used to a more traditional display and interface, this unit fits the bill. Features include seven-day programming, advanced fan control, and flexible programming to suit your home’s usage needs or utility company’s peak price rating. It retails for $199 on the product website (less on Amazon).

Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat

The Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi thermostat model has almost all of the same functions as the Sensi Touch, but it is controlled with buttons on the unit instead of a touchscreen. It also doesn’t have the humidity and temperature alert feature or the auto heating to cooling feature. Other features, such as Geofencing coordination to adjust the thermostat while you’re away, are there. At just $87.42 on Amazon, the thermostat earned a “Best Value” rating on Reviewed.com. It works with iOS, Android, Amazon Alexa and Google Home and is Energy Star certified.