Manufacturers of programmable thermostats for heat pumps include Honeywell, White-Rodgers, Lux, Braeburn, Robertshaw, Pro1, Ecobee, Nest, Leviton, Goodman, RadioThermostat Company of America, Nexia Home Intelligence and LockState Connect. Other manufacturers are Dwyer, ICP, RCS Technology, Carrier, Trane, Coleman, ICM Controls and Aprilaire.
In October 2014 CNET provided top marks to programmable thermostats by Ecobee, Nest and Honeywell. Products from each of these manufacturers feature Wi-Fi- and smartphone-controlled capabilities. Honeywell introduced home thermostats in 1953 and has decades of thermostat manufacturing experience and a broad selection of products. Ecobee was founded in 2007 and promotes its products as intuitive and beautiful. Nest Labs was recently acquired by Google, and its thermostats use learning algorithms that control and adjust the heat pump based upon how users come and go.
Heat pump programmable thermostats provide additional controls for auxiliary or emergency heat generated by more energy-hungry sources, such as electric resistive heating elements or a separate gas furnace. When the heat pump cannot extract enough heat from the outside environment to meet the temperature demand set on the thermostat, the auxiliary heat source is activated. Programmable thermostats for heat pumps allow the user to establish temperature thresholds and time periods for the use of auxiliary heat.