screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-11-34-05-am

In today’s world, everybody’s looking for ways to save money. And if you can help the environment by saving energy at the same time, even better! One of the simplest ways to save money and energy in heating and cooling your home is to install a smart thermostat.

Smart thermostats make your home more energy-efficient by adjusting the temperature so you’re never heating or cooling more than is necessary, while still ensuring that you are always comfortable! With multiple smart thermostats available today, the key is finding the one that best fits your home, your schedule, and your comfort with technology.

Two of the most popular smart thermostats currently available are the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Ecobee3. In terms of price, ease of installation, and basic features, these two thermostats are very similar and both can save you money on your monthly utility bill. However, they do each have distinct features that set them apart.

First, the Ecobee has a clear advantage in larger homes. Like most traditional thermostats, the Nest has one central unit measuring the temperature of the home, usually placed in a hallway. But as anybody with a two-story home knows, temperatures can vary widely from one part of a house to another. While your downstairs hallway might be a comfortable 72 degrees, that master bedroom upstairs can be a sweltering 80. Not great for sleeping!

On the other hand, the Ecobee has multiple sensors that you can place in every room of your house, and it can be programmed to prioritize certain rooms over others, such as your bedroom while you’re sleeping. The Ecobee’s sensors can even detect which rooms you and your family members are in and automatically prioritize those rooms. For people with larger homes, especially multi-story ones, the Ecobee definitely has the advantage.

The next factor is schedule. The Nest works best for people who keep a fairly regular schedule. Over the first week after installation, the aptly-named Nest Learning Thermostat learns your habits—when you are home, when you are away, and what temperatures you like. It programs itself to match your schedule.

The Ecobee, on the other hand, relies on you to program it, as well as using its sensors to detect whether you’re home. For those with a less regular schedule, this may work better than the Nest’s system.

The final factor to consider is your level of comfort with technology. While both thermostats can be set up and operated fairly intuitively, the Nest is simpler to use and essentially runs itself. On the other hand, the Ecobee gives you more control and allows you to fine-tune things such as when the heat-pump comes on. The tech-savvy owner can use these features to increase efficiency and money savings.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which smart thermostat fits your needs best. But either way you can rest assured that by choosing one, you’re improving your home’s energy efficiency—and saving money on those monthly utility bills!