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Nest Thermostat

The best smart thermostats of 2020

13 Jan 2020
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Smart thermostats have revolutionised the way we heat and cool our homes, making it possible to adjust the temperatures of our living areas from just about anywhere in the world.

Pretty much all smart thermostats integrate fluidly with prominent smart home automation hubs such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Apple’s Home Kit, giving you a huge amount of flexibility in terms of how you’re able to control your thermostat.

If you’re looking to smarten up your home this year, swapping out your thermostat is a terrific place to start and can help you save a significant amount of money by reducing heating and cooling costs around the home and providing fascinating insights on your ongoing energyusage.

As with all device purchases, it’s important to consider which product will work best with your home and the other smart home products you may already be using.

It’s also important to check the smart thermostat will work with your home heating systems. For example, some smart thermostats work better with low voltage heating, while others work more effectively with high voltage systems.

Nest Thermostat
Image Credit: Android Central

Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation)

The original Nest Thermostat from 2011 changed the game. Fast forward to 2020 and the 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat ($385 AUD) continues to set the benchmark amongst smart thermostat devices.

The Nest Thermostat monitors your habits to control your heating. For instance, if you regularly go to bed at a certain time, the system will learn from your habits and start turning off the system at that time. The device will also automatically switch itself off once it recognises that you're no longer at home.

The Nest Learning Thermostats supports voice integrations with the Google Assistant, as well as Amazon Alexa. Its intelligent learning mechanisms and amazing app experience across iOS and Android continues to set the bar extremely high and it in our eyes, it remains as the best smart thermostat device going around.

Ecobee Thermostat
Image Credit: Ecobee

Ecobee 4

The Ecobee 4 ($380 AUD) includes a built-in Alexa speaker, This gives you the ability to ask the device for local weather conditions, or how bout getting your thermostat to order an Uber to your house. Not bad huh?

Despite its epic prepackaged Alexa compatibility which comes in handy, you’ll be pleased to hear the Ecobee 4 also works seamlessly with the Google Assistant and Siri.

As you would expect from a smart thermostat, everything can be controlled through your smartphone, so you can adjust the heating conditions in your home wherever you may be in the world.

With the device being incredibly easy to configure and operate, and with support for up to 32 sensors in your home, the Ecobee 4 is well worth considering, especially if you want a thermostat that can be directly controlled using your voice.

Nest Thermostat E
Image Credit: Nest

Nest thermostat E

The Nest Thermostat E($260 AUD)is the cheaper alternative to its elder sibling (The Nest Learning Thermostat).

The device itself is made using cheaper materials (plastic instead of a metal ring), however, apart from that, the device features are pretty much identical.

Nest's signature learning system powers the device, with the Thermostat E able to learn and analyse heating habits over time and then automate an appropriate schedule.

As with the Nest Learning Thermostat, the device has compatibility with the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, meaning you'll be able to seamlessly control things using your voice.

One awesome feature that both variations of the Nest Thermostat offer, is The Nest Home Report. Sent monthly via email by Nest, the report summarises your heating and cooling usage and is an incredibly convenient way to gain insights around your energy usage.

Overall, the Nest Thermostat E is definitely worth considering and the device offers pretty much everything the regular Nest offers, other than the premium design elements.

Honeywell T5
Image Credit: DigitalTrends

Honeywell Lyric T5 Thermostat

The Honeywell Lyric T5 retails at a slightly lower cost than its counterparts ($150 USD) making it our choice for the best bang for your buck smart thermostat.

It has all the features you've come to expect with a smart thermostat. You can control the device using the Lyric app on your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to program the device from anywhere in the world. It can also be integrated with Amazon Alexa, Siri or the Google Assistant

The device features geofence technology, which uses your smartphone GPS to track when you’re close to returning home so it can program your heating/cooling conditions accordingly.

Another rock-solid option considering its slightly lower price point


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winter energy

5 Ways to Reduce Winter Energy Usage

10 May 2020

Many of us watch our energy bills creep up during the peak of winter, but a warm home doesn’t have to go hand in hand with a massive power bill. These energy saving tips will help you discover how to save electricity in winter. Try our seasonal winter home energy saving tips and keep your energy bill manageable.

1. Stay old school, where possible

Being able to walk around your home without having to wear a lot of layers or carry a blanket is a wonderful luxury in winter. However, there’s a certain vintage charm to getting warm under a heavy blanket while the air outside your cosy blanket haven is still chilly.

Keeping things old school as much as you can, pulling out thermals, putting on socks, and cuddling up for warmth during a Netflix session, are some of our favourite power saving tips for winter.

Smart Home Devices

2. Go smart

Not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about how to lower an electricity bill in winter, but smart devices can help you save heaps when it comes to your power bill.

If you use household heating, a programmable smart thermostat can save households up to $180 per year in heating and cooling costs, according to Energy Star. Some of these smart home devices can even be operated from smartphones, for when you just don’t want to leave the warmth of your blanket.

Who would have thought having an awesome home automation setup would bring your energy bill down!

Standby Power

3. Upgrade to energy efficient appliances

Just like choosing smart devices to save power, you can upgrade to energy-efficient appliances to save power too.

In Australia, most household appliances are rated according to their energy efficiency. Since efficient appliances use less electricity, they’re way cheaper to run. Of course, you don’t need to toss out your washing machine, dryer, fridge, microwave, and kettle just to save electricity in winter.

If you have an appliance that’s costing you a lot to run, it might actually save you money in the long run to buy a new, more efficient replacement.

Look up the energy ratings for all your big appliances (and small ones too if you can) and find any that could do with replacing.

4. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs

Energy-efficient bulbs are a no-brainer when it comes to ways to save money on electricity in winter. In fact, you should use these bulbs throughout the year to keep your electricity bill down, no matter the season.

These efficient bulbs use less power to produce the same amount of light. They also last longer than traditional bulbs.

If you feel like splurging, check out smart bulbs, they can be controlled by your phone as well as being energy efficient, neat! The savings from swapping these bulbs alone aren't massive, but every little bit adds up when you know you’ll spend more power heating your home in winter.

5. Build up the washing pile

There’s no point in chucking on two jumpers and a pair of jeans into the washing machine during winter, how dirty could they really be? Before doing a load of washing or drying make sure you have a full basket.

It’s no secret that the washing machine and dryer chew up the most electricity in your house. Don’t let the chilly season increase your wash load because of the more layers of clothing being added to the basket.

Follow these simple tips on how to save electricity in winter and you should hopefully see some great results during the cold season.

Reducing your energy usage all year long will help you get in the mindset before June even comes around or if you want to be even more prepared for when summer rolls around.