High-definition screens, web-enabled controls, smart capabilities—you'd expect to find these features on the latest televisions and tablets. But increasingly they're also on thermostats, as manufacturers look to up the wow factor of these relatively mundane products, while also making them easier to use. These features, which were on some of the top-rated thermostats from our latest tests, are also on new models introduced by Lennox and Honeywell at the International Builders' Show.
Lennox's icomfort Wi-Fi thermostat "allows users to save energy anytime, anywhere," the company claims. Besides its remote-access capabilities, the icomfort lets you switch to energy-saving mode with one-touch on the thermostat, app, or website. It also has an on-screen weather feed. And you can customize the thermostat's look to blend in with the surrounding wall or even upload a photo. It costs $300 to $400 installed, but isn't compatible with radiant heat systems and is available only through Lennox dealers.
Modestly called the "world's smartest thermostat," Honeywell claims the Prestige IAQ 60 thermostat, $300, can be programmed in less than a minute, either at the thermostat or using its Total Connect Comfort app from any web-enabled device. Like the Nest thermostat, Honeywell claims the Prestige analyzes how long it takes to heat and cool a home to make sure your home is the temperature you've chosen at the time you want. It's also 60 percent smaller than previous models and is available with white, black, or silver frames.
—Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman