Smart, or programmable thermostats, have found their way into many homes. Unlike a regular thermostat that simply lets you adjust the temperature in your home, smart thermostats let you set a temperature that can be programmed to change with the time of day. They can also learn from your behaviour, show your energy consumption in real-time, and let you control the climate in your home remotely. There are dozens of smart thermostats on the market today; from the high-tech, remotely controllable designs, to simple and more budget friendly options. Picking the best from the rest may be a bit confusing unless you know what to look for, or have different needs. Here are some of our favourite picks, in no particular order, based on ease of install, design, and intuitiveness.

The Nest Thermostat

Easy to install and program, the Nest is a leader in smart thermostats and is one of the most intuitive systems you can get. It has a sleek, beautiful design and bright LCD display panel. It also features an app that can be downloaded onto your smartphone or computer and used to program your thermostat remotely via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The Nest is one of the most adaptable thermostats on the market. It features some of the most advanced learning capabilities and knows when you go to sleep, and when you like to get up, so it makes sure the temperature is right when you do. Don’t worry, the sensor is intelligent enough to know the difference between humans and pets. You can also create short schedules, or a vacation schedule, keeping your house at an ideal temperature, cutting down on your energy bills or it can learn your routine and automatically create its own schedule.

The Ecobee3 Thermostat

Ecobee3 is so designed to work with homes whose architectural design does not give the option for a centrally located thermostat. The Wi-Fi enabled smart thermostat uses motion control to determine if anyone is home or not,. The Ecobee3 uses remote sensors placed in different rooms to help it understand when you’re actually out of the house, in a different room, or just sleeping. This thermostat also adapts to suit your activities, and while nearly costing the same as the Nest, depending on the model, it does have a more budget friendly version. The Ecobee3 Lite is the cheaper option without the remote and motion sensors but retains most of the important features like programming and scheduling.

Hive Thermostat

Glossy with a mirror-like finish, the hive thermostat comes in a variety of shell casings so you can blend it with your home’s decor. Regularly updating technology means that some of the features mentioned may only be found on certain generations and models. Equipped with all the basic features of any smart thermostat, Hive has a geolocation feature, similar to Nest, which can remotely alert you if you leave the house with the heating on. While not quite beating Nest on an intuitive level, hive makes up by being really affordable with almost the same features.

Heating or cooling has become an essential part of every home’s economics, and the aim of getting a smart thermostat is maximum comfort for your lifestyle and needs.