Smart home gadgets and technology can help make homes more energy efficient than ever before. From thermostats and lightbulbs to plugs and sprinklers, there is almost no aspect of the home that can't be integrated with a smart home system. But which devices can help you save the most energy?
Emerson<p><strong>Why buy: </strong>The Emerson Sensi smart thermostat was our pick for best overall smart thermostat. It can save you up to 23% on your energy usage, and you can find it at a very affordable price of $140 on Amazon. The Emerson thermostat is also compatible with Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings.</p>
ecobee<p><strong>Why buy: </strong>Despite its relatively high price tag of $249, the ecobee SmartThermostat offers a ton of energy-saving features. The best part is that with it's new eco+ software, the SmartThermostat can help you save up to 23% on your annual energy costs. Plus it has built-in Amazon Alexa functionality so there's no need to purchase an Amazon Echo.</p>
Nest<p><strong>Why buy:</strong> The Nest Learning Thermostat is both Google Assistant- and Alexa-enabled. It can potentially save you as much as 10% to 12% on your heating bill and up to 15% on your cooling bill. This thermostat also has voice command for even greater convenience, and it automatically learns your heating and cooling preferences to optimize your energy usage.</p>
Philips Hue<p><strong>Why buy:</strong> The <a href="https://www.philips-hue.com/en-us" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Philips Hue</a> lighting system offers everything from starter kits and light strips to table lamps and bulbs. Though they can be a bit pricey, there's a lot that comes with it. They can be paired easily through a rather intuitive app, offer integrations with third-party devices, and even display a wide array of colors.</p>
Wyze<p><strong>Why buy:</strong> If you're looking for a far more cost effective option, look no further than the <a href="https://wyze.com/wyze-bulb.html" target="_blank">Wyze Bulb</a>. These smart Wi-Fi light bulbs will last up to 25,000 hours, and you can get 4 for under $40. Though it doesn't have the color option that the Hue does, it can pair with voice assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa to make for a convenient smart bulb setup.</p>
Sengled<p><strong>Why buy:</strong> These Sengled Smart LED bulbs are also an affordable smart light option to help automate your home's lighting. Compatible with SmartThings, IFTTT, Google Assistant, and Alexa, it integrates smoothly with just about any smart home setup. The outdoor bulbs are weatherproof and come with the motion sensor for optimal usage.</p>
Kasa<p><strong>Why buy: </strong>Though this <a href="https://www.kasasmart.com/us/products/smart-plugs/kasa-smart-wifi-plug-mini" target="_blank">Kasa Smart Plug Mini</a> is meant to handle one or two devices at a time, it is perhaps the best on the market. It's highly affordable and can work with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant by connecting to your Wi-Fi network. It also features schedule customization, timers, and even away modes to maximize your energy savings.</p>
Belkin<p><strong>Why buy: </strong>This <a href="https://www.belkin.com/us/p/P-WSP080/" target="_blank">WeMo Wi-Fi smart plug</a> remains affordable while still offering Alexa, Google Assistant, and even Apple HomeKit compatibility. The WeMo app allows you to control and schedule the plug from anywhere, and the plug itself comes in a compact, space-saving design that also allows for voice control.</p>
iDevice<p><strong>Why buy:</strong> In addition to a single plug, you can also install a smart outlet to connect multiple devices. The iDevices Wall Outlet is great for automating lights, lamps, switches, fans, and any other electronics. It is compatible with most smart home systems, and can give you independent voice control of both the top and bottom outlets.</p>
Rachio<p><strong>Why buy:</strong> One of the best smart sprinklers available on the market, the <a href="https://rachio.com/rachio-3/" target="_blank">Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller</a> gives you wireless connectivity and 8-zone functionality, which makes it easier than ever to properly manage outdoor water usage. It is on the expensive side, but includes a feature that predicts weather changes to adjust your water use accordingly.</p>
Orbit<p><strong>Why buy: </strong>A slightly more cost-effective option, the <a href="https://www.orbitonline.com/product/b-hyve-xr-smart-indoor-outdoor-sprinkler-controller/" target="_blank">Orbit B-Hyve XR</a> comes with great features, like an LED screen that shows live, real-time status updates. It uses WeatherSense technology to automatically adjust to the weather so you don't waste water. It also meets EPA WaterSense standards, and the B-Hyve app is available for free on iOS and Android devices.</p>
Sense<p><strong>Why buy: </strong>This is a top-of-the-line energy monitor, and comes in both standard and solar variations. They plug into just about any existing electrical panel and then connect to a smart phone application that provides real-time data whenever you want it. Sense is a bit pricey, but comes with far more features and functionality than any of the others.</p>
Efergy<p><strong>Why buy: </strong>This Efergy system provides a cost-effective means of monitoring your home's electrical usage. The device connects easily to any home electrical box for fast and easy installation that does not require an electrician. The downside to this particular system is that there is no smart phone application for live tracking, instead using a compact, portable display.<br></p>
Emporia<p><strong>Why buy:</strong> <a href="https://shop.emporiaenergy.com/collections/emporia-products/products/gen-2-emporia-vue-with-8-sensors-bundle" target="_blank">Emporia's Vue monitoring system</a> offers device detection that can show you the performance of individual appliances in your home. You can even set schedules for select appliances where applicable, providing a greater level of detail about your electric bill. With this system you can lower your energy costs and your emissions at the same time.</p>
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Honeywell is one of the most well-recognized names in the heating and cooling industry. They offer a range of different smart thermostat options, each providing its own set of functions and features with the Honeywell Home app. See how much energy you could save with their smart thermostats.
Honeywell T10<p>The <a href="https://www.honeywellhome.com/us/en/products/air/thermostats/wifi-thermostats/t10-pro-smart-thermostat-with-redlink-room-sensor-thx321wfs2001w-u/" target="_blank">T10 Pro Smart Thermostat</a> is one of the more popular offerings from Honeywell. It is a touch-screen smart home thermostat that helps provide energy savings and by working with their RedLINK Room Sensors to detect motion and focus heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and humidification in occupied rooms.</p><p><strong>Why buy</strong> - The Honeywell T10 has been shown to reduce pockets of warm and cool air that can make for uneven air distribution. Installation is very easy so long as you have a "C" wire connection. For ease of use and consistent energy-saving functionality, the Honeywell T10 is an excellent option.</p>
Honeywell T9<p>There are a lot of similarities between the Honeywell T9 and T10 Pro, making it difficult to determine the true difference at first glance. There are a couple of important distinctions, however, between the two that make the difference. The T9 thermostat works with Honeywell Smart Room Sensors to help customize your energy usage for different rooms in your home.</p><p><strong>Why buy</strong> - The differences between the T9 and T10 are minimal. The former comes with a C-wire adapter for easier installation while the latter does not. The T10, however, controls ventilation, humidification, and dehumidification whereas the T9 does not. For easier installation and a lower price, but more limited features, the T9 is your choice.</p>
Honeywell T5 Programmable<p>It may seem that all smart thermostats are created the same. There are, however, some more basic options meant to deliver energy-saving functionality at an affordable price. The <a href="https://www.honeywellhome.com/us/en/products/air/thermostats/programmable-thermostats/t5-7-day-programmable-thermostat-rth7560e1001-u/" target="_blank">Honeywell T5 programmable thermostat</a> can help you use energy more wisely with its smart response learning feature that allows it to remember your temperature preferences so it can adjust automatically.</p><p><strong>Why buy</strong> - Those looking for simplicity in their smart thermostat without breaking the bank will like the Honeywell T5. It offers learning capabilities and a large, bright display that makes it easy to program. Despite the lack of a smart phone app, users can create custom schedules in no time.</p>
Honeywell WiFi<p>Similar to the T10 in a lot of ways, the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Color Thermostat has a few distinct differences. This thermostat features a touchscreen with customizable full-color display and works with the Honeywell Home app, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.</p><p><strong>Why buy </strong>- This is the Honeywell smart thermostat with all the bells and whistles. Users can set custom schedules, control settings, and do just about anything else through the smart phone app. It also features custom learning, picking up on heating and cooling schedules accordingly to maximize your energy efficiency.</p>
According to the UN Environment Program, up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used globally each year, and because of the material they're made from, most municipal recycling centers don't accept them (more on this below).
The most sustainable option is to skip the bag altogether. You can also make your own reusable produce bags out of old T-shirts. But if you'd rather purchase them new, here are our recommendations for the best reusable produce bags on the market today.
Eco Joy<p>If you're making the switch to more sustainable shopping bags and want a variety of products to use, the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Reusable-Sandwich-Biodegradable-Eco-Drawstring/dp/B003PK4W3I/ref=sr_1_36?crid=3TDUCB8ZOM7WI&dchild=1&keywords=produce+bags+grocery+reusable&qid=1613484643&sprefix=produce+bags%2Caps%2C189&sr=8-36" target="_blank">Eco Joy Cotton Reusable Produce Bags</a> set is a great place to start. The set comes with three mesh drawstring bags, three muslin drawstring bags, a large mesh tote and a zippered sandwich-size pouch.</p><p>Each product is made with organic, non-GMO cotton that's ethically sourced in accordance with Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) standards. The cotton comes from India and Turkey, and the bags are hand-assembled in Canada by the owner of Eco Joy, so you can feel good about supporting a small business while reducing your environmental impact.</p><p><strong>Customer rating:</strong> 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 300 Amazon reviews</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>Zero-waste; Handmade in Canada; WRAP compliant; Machine washable</p>
Organic Cotton Mart<p>Some shoppers prefer to use mesh bags when shopping for fruits and veggies. We recommend checking out <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Best-Reusable-Produce-Organic-Cotton/dp/B07CK2TJKL/ref=sr_1_16?crid=10A7NM0LQ0B7E&dchild=1&keywords=mesh+produce+bags&qid=1613483897&s=home-garden&sprefix=mesh+pro%2Cgarden%2C162&sr=1-16" target="_blank">Organic Cotton Mart's Reusable Cotton Mesh Produce Bags</a> if you're in this camp, as they're made with Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton.</p> <p>Mesh reusable produce bags can make the checkout process easier than muslin bags since you can see what's inside them without having to open them up. Plus, the tare weight (i.e., the weight of the empty bag that should be subtracted from the total weight of your produce to make sure you don't pay extra for using your bag) is printed right on the label of Organic Cotton Mart's bags, making everything that much more convenient.</p> <p><strong>Customer rating:</strong> 4.6 out of 5 stars with nearly 1,000 Amazon reviews</p><strong>Why buy:</strong> GOTS certified; Machine washable; Biodegradable
Simple Ecology<p>On the other hand, if you just want to purchase muslin bags, we like <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Ecology-Reusable-Organic-Shopping/dp/B004UJ0U0C" target="_blank">Simple Ecology's Reusable Produce Bags</a>, which are also made with GOTS-certified organic cotton. Simple Ecology also has a <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6AUMBG/ref=sspa_dk_detail_2?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B01N6AUMBG&pd_rd_w=MA3ZS&pf_rd_p=cbc856ed-1371-4f23-b89d-d3fb30edf66d&pd_rd_wg=hVunQ&pf_rd_r=G6RTQ1Z5DKEY325MAJZ9&pd_rd_r=5d298b3a-1be7-4ebd-a9e1-d5d672a40497&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExMzc4RVAxWjNLOTdCJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTc0NTAwMzBDMjFYOVJPTUpWSCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNjYyOTM4M0s4Vk81SVBPS1NFSyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2RldGFpbF90aGVtYXRpYyZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=" target="_blank">starter kit</a> that comes with several reusable grocery bags if you're looking for more variety.</p> <p>The benefit of using muslin reusable produce bags is that, unlike mesh, there are no holes for small items to slip through. This means that in addition to larger produce, you can use them to purchase bulk foods like lentils, beans and rice — or even powders like flour or spices — without worrying about anything leaking. They're also best for keeping leafy greens fresh.</p> <p><strong>Customer rating:</strong> 4.7 out of 5 stars with nearly 1,500 Amazon reviews</p><strong>Why buy:</strong> GOTS certified; Machine washable; Biodegradable; Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified packaging when purchased from manufacturer
ECOBAGS<p>Whether you're buying bread, fresh flowers, produce or all of the above, the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/ECOBAGS-Market-Collection-Reusable-Natural/dp/B08KFGPGN5" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ECOBAGS Market Collection Reusable Bag Set</a> is ideal for <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/farmers-markets-coronavirus-safety-2645581711.html" target="_self">farmers market</a> shopping or large grocery hauls. The netted bags are durable, flexible, and pack down small so they're easy to keep in your car or purse.</p> <p>ECOBAGS is a woman-owned certified B Corp, which means it uses sound social and environmental practices. These bags come in packs of three or five and have a few different handle lengths and color options, but they're all made with GOTS-certified organic cotton.</p> <p><strong>Customer rating: </strong>Not applicable</p><p><strong>Why buy:</strong> GOTS certified; Machine washable; Biodegradable; Certified B Corp; SA8000 certified for the protection of basic human rights of workers</p>
ecobee's line of smart thermostats can help to provide energy savings for a variety of different HVAC systems. Their thermostats provide intelligent automation for your heating and cooling system, allowing you to reduce your energy usage while staying comfortable. Keep reading for a breakdown of the different ecobee smart thermostat options.
ecobee smart thermostat<p>The <a href="https://www.ecobee.com/en-us/smart-thermostats/smart-wifi-thermostat-with-voice-control/" target="_blank">ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control</a> provides maximum energy efficiency and ease-of-use compared to old thermostats. Voice commands makes it easier to program settings, control schedules, and change temperatures at a moment's notice all without having to leave your seat. Plus, the advanced eco+ system learns how to best heat and cool your home when energy costs are at their lowest while also reducing the strain on power grids.</p><p><strong>Why buy </strong>- Being able to create custom schedules is a major selling point for smart thermostats, but being able to control all of those same things through voice functionality is an even bigger benefit. Plus, thanks to its eco+ system the ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control is <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/best-smart-thermostat-2650260249.html?rebelltitem=3#rebelltitem3" target="_self">the EcoWatch pick</a> for best energy-saving smart thermostat.</p>
ecobee4<p>Depending on budgets, going with a brand-new smart thermostat may not necessarily be an option. That is why having access to a <a href="https://www.ecobee.com/en-us/smart-thermostats/certified-refurbished-ecobee4/" target="_blank">refurbished smart thermostat</a> can be a viable option. Plus, choosing a refurbished model is sustainable choice that saves e-waste and saves you money. Note, you may be able to find new ecobee4 models through third-party retailers.</p><p><strong>Why buy</strong> - Each refurbished ecobee4 provides top-of-the-line smart thermostat functionality without paying the premium that comes with a brand new unit. Built-in Alexa functionality means you have voice control of your thermostat with your Amazon Echo or smart home for complete smart home functionality.</p>
ecobee3 lite<p>The ecobee3 lite brings a lot of the same features and functionality that the ecobee4 offers at a slightly more cost-effective price. When looking for advanced temperature control, voice functionality, and energy savings, the ecobee3 lite has you covered. This model does not include any SmartSensor occupancy sensors.</p><p><strong>Why buy </strong>- The large, easy-to-use display, smart phone app functionality, and even Alexa voice control mean that users can control their heating and cooling from anywhere. Plus, ecobee's advanced eco+ system allows the 3rd gen system to heat and cool your home when energy prices are lowest and when it will cause the least amount of strain on electric grids.</p>
A smart home thermostat is a great way to make your home more energy efficient. We looked at some of the most popular smart thermostats on the market and found the five best smart thermostats. We reviewed them based on their features, energy savings, and costs to help make your search a little easier. See which smart home thermostats made our list below.
Emerson<p>The <a href="https://sensi.emerson.com/en-us/shop/sensi/products/sensi-sku-st75" target="_blank">Emerson Sensi Touch smart thermostat</a> is both ENERGY STAR certified and includes a top-rated mobile app. It provides smart alerts through the app to keep you up-to-date on any temperature shifts or problems with your system. It also offers humidity tracking to give you a more complete picture of your home's comfort level.</p><p>The Sensi Touch works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings systems. It includes everything you need for easy DIY installation, with step-by-step instructions in the app.</p><p>Emerson advertises that you could save 23% on your energy usage with the Sensi Touch system. While normally priced at $170, you can currently find it on <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Emerson-Thermostat-Touchscreen-Display-Certified/dp/B01N3CEUDH" target="_blank">Amazon</a> for just under $143. It was also selected as the <a href="https://sensi.emerson.com/en-us/blog/sensi-named-readers-choice-by-pcmag#:~:text=The%20readers%20of%20PC%20Magazine,for%20innovation%20and%20customer%20satisfaction.&text=Read%20the%20full%20review%20from%20PC%20Magazine." target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">PCMag.com Readers' Choice</a> for best smart home thermostat, and <a href="https://sensi.emerson.com/en-us/shop/sensi/sensi-sensi-touch-smart-thermostat-black" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">USA Today's Editors' Choice</a> for best overall smart thermostat.</p><p><strong>Why buy:</strong> The Emerson Sensi Touch offers advanced smart thermostat features and energy savings at an extremely affordable price, and includes a three year warranty. Their top-rated app makes it easy to stay on top of your home's energy use.</p>
ecobee<p>The ENERGY STAR-rated <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/ecobee-smart-thermostat-reviews-2650387180.html" target="_blank">ecobee SmartThermostat</a> with voice control is our choice for the best energy saver. This thermostat is the company's next-gen successor to the ecobee4. It's compatible with most popular smart home systems, including Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, AND Samsung SmartThings.</p><p>Another huge bonus for the ecobee SmartThermostat is that it comes with Amazon Alexa voice assistant built in, so you can change your temperature settings with voice commands. Your thermostat can serve as a smart speaker, an intercom, and even make phone calls.</p><p>It includes an ecobee SmartSensor room sensor with occupancy detection to better adapt to an individual room's comfort needs. Best of all, the ecobee SmartThermostat could potentially save you 23% on your annual energy costs.</p><p><strong>Why buy:</strong> The ecobee SmartThermostat includes the new eco+ feature. This lets the thermostat automatically learn and adapt to your schedule to heat and cool your home when energy rates are the cheapest, saving you money and reducing the strain on electric grids.</p>
Google Store<p>The 3rd generation <a href="https://store.google.com/us/product/nest_learning_thermostat_3rd_gen" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Nest Learning Thermostat</a> features an advanced learning system that makes it a "smarter" option than most other brands. With advanced geofencing and learning algorithms, the Nest thermostat learns your habits and creates a fine-tuned cooling and heating schedule suited to you after just a few days.</p><p>The Nest Learning Thermostat is also one of the most stylish smart home thermostats out there. Customers can choose from seven different colors and a stainless-steel rim. There is bound to be a Nest that fits your home's interior look. It also has a simplistic display monitor; this feature makes it more attractive than most other brands in the market.</p><p>Nest's only downside is that it is not compatible with all smart home setups. If you are planning to use the Google Home app and smart hub, the Nest is perfect. But it may not be compatible with some other brands such as the Apple HomeKit system.</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>The Google Nest Learning Thermostat is the best-looking design of any smart thermostat on our list, and can save you 10-12% on heating as well as 15% on cooling systems, or $130-$145 each year off your energy bill. Read our full review <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/nest-thermostat-reviews-2650256382.html" data-linked-post="2650256382" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>
Honeywell<p>The <a href="https://www.honeywellhome.com/us/en/products/air/thermostats/wifi-thermostats/t5-smart-thermostat-with-c-wire-adapter-rcht8612wf2005-u/" target="_blank">Honeywell Lyric T5+</a> Wi-Fi smart thermostat is an affordable and dependable smart product that can help you reduce your energy use and costs. The Honeywell Lyric T5+ comes with a geofencing feature that helps to adjust your home's temperature when it detects that you are not home, using less energy. You can easily adjust the temperatures by changing your "Home" and "Away" settings. It also offers intelligent comfort control to learn your schedule and temperature preferences so it can better calibrate your comfort settings.</p><p>When it comes to compatibility, the Honeywell Lyric T5+ works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Cortana, and Siri in Apple HomeKit for full voice control. The Honeywell Home app also allows you to track and control your home's heater and air conditioner remotely, as well as any other connected Honeywell Home gadgets. It also includes an optional power adapter in case your home does not include a C-wire connection.</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>This Honeywell option is great if you are looking for a smart thermostat to do the basics without breaking the bank. The Lyric T5+ is also compatible with many utility rebate programs that reward you for installing energy-saving products.</p>
Mysa<p>Unlike the other thermostats on this list, the <a href="https://shop-us.getmysa.com/products/mysa-baseboard" target="_blank">Mysa smart home thermostat</a> is compatible with baseboard heaters. With the Mysa Smart thermostat, homeowners with high-voltage heating can enjoy the benefits of a smart home approach to saving energy. The thermostat is also compatible with Apple HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant.</p><p>The Mysa thermostat has a geolocation feature to adjust the temperature when you are not home. You can also set it to vacation mode when you are not home for extended periods of time. Mysa also offers a smart thermostat for electric in-floor heating.</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>A Mysa smart thermostat is a good choice for anyone with electric baseboard heating who wants to reduce their energy use. They are the only smart thermostat option on our list that works with high-voltage electric heating, and could potentially save up to 26% off your energy bill. Plus, the thermostat has a very sleek design.</p>
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Google and its line of Nest thermostats are designed to provide energy efficiency and ease of use. With the ability to control it from a smart phone, users can get the precise temperature that they want with just a few taps. Best of all, they are compatible with most HVAC systems, allowing for easy installation. Learn how a Nest smart home thermostat can help make your home more eco-friendly.
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