If Apple Designed Thermostats, It Would Look Like This

With fall already here and winter on the way, it is a perfect time to consider a smarter thermostat for your home if you don't have one already. Programmable thermostats have been around for years, but the latest iterations of this everyday fixture has gotten quite a makeover, as you can see in the example above. Take a look at several heating control options allowing homeowners to control their HVAC systems remotely and with more control than ever...

The newest of the smart thermostats comes from ex-Apple employees via a company called Nest. Besides being wi-fi enabled to allow control from the web or mobile applications, this thermostat learns your patterns to develop an energy efficient schedule. By using sensors, it can even tell when you have left the house so that it can adjust the system appropriately. ($250)

10262011_Ecobee.jpgAs one of the first home integrated, wi-fi enabled thermostats to reach the market, Ecobee set the bar high in terms of features. Users are able to monitor the entire HVAC system from the thermostat itself as well as get local weather information. This unit also has accompanying mobile apps along with a web portal that allows control of your system from anywhere. Unfortunately, being that this was the first thermostat of its kind, the price is rather high. ($400)

10262011_Filtrete.jpgThe Filtrete wi-fi thermostat has the least frills of the connected units but it doesn't lose much ground on its more expensive cousins. Besides being the standard seven day programmable thermostat, it too has web portal and mobile app support (see a trend there?). It is the least attractive of the bunch in our opinion, and there isn't a color screen, but covering a dual zone home won't break the bank either. ($100)

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