The last few years have seen an explosion in “smart” everything, with phones being the most prevalent. Who would have thought at the turn of the 21st century that we would eventually have our email, phone, personal organizer and web browser on a hand held device we could use anytime, and virtually anywhere.
As we get into 2015, “smart” technology, or the “Internet of Things” as it’s called, is starting to branch out into other items we wouldn’t typically associate with being “connected.” It’s expected this “connected” industry will add more than $14 trillion to the world economy by 2020.
Home A/C thermostats are one of the biggest non-phone “smart” technologies to emerge, with the Nest Learning Thermostat being released in 2011. Now a part of Google, the Nest spurred other companies to create their own unique “smart” thermostats.
Below are 4 top smart thermostats reviewed recently by CNet.
- Ecobee 3 Smart Thermostat – enabled through WiFi and app on your smartphone, the Ecobee uses sensors to determine if you’re home or away ($249).
- Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat – utilizes learning algorithms to determine when you’re home or away, but also has a retro look by integrating radial dials ($249).
- Honeywell Lyric Thermostat – utilizes “geofencing” that detects when you’re out of range and sets itself to “away” mode. When it detects you’re back in range, it returns to “home” mode ($279).
- Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat – utilizes similar algorithm technology as the Nest but has a similar rectangular design mimicking standard thermostats on the market today ($249 standard; $349 w/ voice control).
Undoubtedly, “smart” technologies will continue growing in the years ahead with an estimated 100 million connected light bulbs and 152 million internet-connected cars expected by 2020.
Is a “smart” thermostat for you? We invite you to check out our All About A/C article to learn more about these interesting devices and if they’re a good option for helping you control your heating and cooling costs.