Programmable thermostats have been around for several years, and it’s well known that they can help you save money on your heating and cooling bills. However, the original versions tended to be difficult to program, requiring you to punch a lot of buttons in just the right combinations every time you needed to set or reset it. As a result, they haven’t been as popular with homeowners or as effective in increasing energy efficiency as you might expect.

But the Nest Learning Thermostat is here to change that. It’s quick to install, easy to use, and can pay for itself in about two years. Plus, it can make a real difference in your family’s comfort, and even make your home safer when connected with other Nest products.

First, as the name implies, the Nest Learning Thermostat actually programs itself. No more punching buttons until your fingers ache! For the first week or so, you simply set the temperature on the Nest manually, like you would do with an old-school thermostat. Turn down the heat when you go to bed, or turn up the AC when you get home from work—whatever’s appropriate for the time of year. As that week goes by, the Nest learns your schedule and begins resetting the temperature for you.

The Nest thermostat also knows when you leave the house, thanks to its motion sensor and a Nest app you can install on your phone (this does require your thermostat to be connected to wi-fi). While you’re gone, it will automatically reset the temperature to save energy. You can also control the thermostat while you’re away from home by using the Nest app. If there’s a problem, such as the temperature dropping too low due to a malfunctioning heater, the thermostat can also send an alert to your phone to warn you.

Speaking of warnings, Nest also sells a combined carbon monoxide and smoke detector, called the Nest Protect, which can be linked over wi-fi to your Nest thermostat. If the Nest Protect detects carbon monoxide in your house, it doesn’t just sound an alarm. Through the connection to your Nest thermostat, it can actually shut off your furnace to prevent further carbon monoxide from leaking in! If you’re sleeping soundly or your pets are home alone when the alarm sounds, that feature could save lives.

These are only a few of the great features available with the Nest thermostat. It can also control humidity, and through the app it records data such as when you’re using the most energy, so that you can make adjustments to improve your home’s efficiency even more. According to independent studies, the Nest thermostat saves homeowners an average of 10-15% on their heating and cooling bills. At that rate, in most homes it will pay for itself in about two years. Additionally, some local utility companies offer rebates for homeowners who install smart thermostats. If your area has a rebate available, your Nest thermostat could pay for itself even faster.

The Nest Learning Thermostat is an easy way to make your home more comfortable, save energy, and decrease your heating and cooling bills. And when combined with the Nest Protect, it could even save your life.