Consumers with manual thermostats can cut their energy bills by as much as 10 percent a year by switching to a programmable thermostat, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. When cold weather sets in, the thermostat can be set to automatically lower the temperature during sleep or during the day when no one's home. Cheapism.com's research into the best cheap thermostats found several reliable and easy-to-use programmable thermostats under $50. Smart thermostats that can be controlled remotely cost more upfront, but this roundup includes two strong picks for homeowners who want Wi-Fi connectivity without the bells and whistles that push prices well into the triple digits.
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