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I can’t wait until summer arrives!  A home grown heirloom tomato, watermelon and feta salad, drizzled with olive oil, is when I know it’s summer.  Soon thereafter it’s air conditioning season in many areas of the country.   That’s when Smarty Pants becomes really valuable.  So go earn GET WITH THE PROGRAM.  It will pay for itself before Labor Day if you go get one soon.

There are so many choices today.  I’ll break ‘em down into three categories and let you know our unofficial and unbiased preferences.

The Least Expensive but Very Functional award goes to Honeywell’s 5-2.  They typically go for 50 bucks or so from Amazon, Lowes, Home Depot or Best Buy.  Allow a couple of hours to install any of these.   They all come with pretty good instructions.  Keep your old thermostat so if you move to a new place you can put it back.  That means you can take the savings with you wherever you go.  The 5-2 setting fits most lives where we work during the week and catch up on sleep on the weekend.  If your schedule is more complex get a 7-1-1 but they are more complex to program.

 Our Most Aesthetically Pleasing programmable thermostat award goes to Nest.  If you haven’t heard, it’s really well designed.  It’s the iPhone of thermostats.  Our Creative Director uses it and likes it.  The device is cool and the iPad/iPhone app allows you to easily see when your AC/heat have been on and turn them off from afar.  It’s a bit pricy but cool.  It also has embedded learning software.  Pretty cool if you don’t want to program.  Since this one and the one below need to be connected to the web, add another thirty minutes or so to connect that side.

Best Programmable and Mobile Controllable.  I have the 3M Filtrete 7 Day Touchscreen WIFi Programmable Thermostat.  It’s less expensive than the Nest but can still be controlled from an iPhone.   It runs around $100.  I can program it from a browser and control it from my iPhone.

All of these allow you to put your thermostat on a diet.  That leaves plenty of room for eating all the fruits of summer’s Fresh Beets.