I'm a big believer in practical connected tech, and there are few better examples than a smart thermostat. I've been using the Nest Learning Thermostat (opens in new tab) since my last move, but the principle is the same with the ecobee3 lite (opens in new tab); control your home's temperature from anywhere, and be as energy-efficient as possible without having to put any thought into it.
Your thermostat is one of the biggest offenders on your monthly power bill, and a huge amount of that energy is wasted on heating and cooling your house when nobody's home, because let's face it — you probably don't remember to turn your thermostat off every time you leave the house. The ecobee3 lite knows when your home is empty and automatically turns off your HVAC system. Of course, you can tell it to maintain a minimum and maximum temperature if you prefer, too.
It doesn't stop there, though. You can control your ecobee from an app on your phone, or even through a voice assistant — it supports just about everything, including Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, and even Cortana. I never appreciate this feature more than when I've been gone all day and don't want to come back to an icebox of a home. I can just tell my phone to set the temperature to a comfortable 70°, and just like that, my house is nice and toasty when I return, without having to leave the heat on all day.
The ecobee3 lite is $132.05 right now (opens in new tab) when you clip the on-page coupon, down from its usual $169, which is a great deal on its own, but chances are that you can stretch those savings even further through your electric company. Many of them partner with companies like ecobee to offer rebates for smart thermostat owners, and in my case IPL offers up to $120 back for ecobee owners. That's just shy of getting the ecobee3 lite for free, though you'll want to check with your provider for the most accurate numbers — ecobee has a handy rebate finder (opens in new tab) on its site.
Smart thermostats are one of those things you never knew you needed until you have one and can't imagine going back. The ecobee3 lite is about as cheap as they come, and it'll pay itself off in just a matter of months, especially if you land a hefty rebate through your electric company. You can also grab the ecobee 4 for $189 as well.
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