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Thermostats

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What's behind our thermostat Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 32 models in thermostats to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    This is based mainly on programming ease and and display visibility. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
  • Ease of use
    Denotes ease of setup and making routine adjustments and changes to setback programs, including overrides.
  • Ease of remote access
    Denotes ease of setup for Wi-Fi or other types of remote access.
  • Display
    Includes clarity and visibility of information.

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Recommended thermostats

Recommended thermostats are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
Programmable thermostats can trim about $180 a year from your energy bill by automatically reducing your heating or cooling when you need it least. Some thermostats tested by Consumer Reports were easy to set and use but others were so complicated that you might end up spending more on energy, not less. Consumer Reports’ unbiased thermostat reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our thermostats buying guide to discover the features that are most important to consider when looking for the best thermostat. We also provide unbiased thermostats Ratings to help you choose the best thermostat for your needs.

Thermostat buying guide

Thermostat buying guide

Programmable thermostats can trim about $180 a year from your energy bill by automatically reducing your heating or cooling when you need it least. Some thermostats tested by Consumer Reports were easy to set and use but others were so complicated that you might end up spending more on energy, not less.

That's why you won't find the Energy Star on any thermostats, which stopped certifying them in 2009 mostly because they were hard to use. New standards that factor in ease of use are being developed. But you don't have to wait. Manufacturers have made some thermostats less daunting by adding colorful interactive touchscreen displays.

Most thermostats can keep rooms close to the set temperature so our testers rated ease of use based on how simple each thermostat was to set up and make routine adjustments to before reading the manual and then, if needed, with the manual. All of the thermostats in our Ratings have basic pre-programmed settings.

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