Hoping to save money on your energy bill this winter? A programmable thermostat will help you do the job.

The colder winds of winter are whipping around the bend. It’s time to crank up the heat, and doing so with a traditional thermostat is sure to keep you warm.

If you’re searching to save money on your heating bill, a programmable thermostat is definitely the way to go, though. They're easy to use and uber helpful: set it to have the heat come on before you arrive, and your home will be toasty just in time.

Here are 3 of the top-rated programmable thermostats on the market, both smart and non-smart as rated by CNET, Lifehacker.com, Tom’s Guide and PC Mag.com.

Smart Thermostats:

1) Nest

Smart thermostats are programmable via your smartphone, tablet or PC. The great thing about this is that if you forgot to set things before leaving the house, there’s an easy way to do it remotely.

Nest’s Learning Thermostat is top-rated by PC Mag.com and a perfect choice for those individuals who want a programmable thermostat but don’t wish to actually program it. You install and use Nest’s Thermostat for about a week, while it learns your heating habits. You turn the heat up and down in this period while the thermostat learns what you like, and when.

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The device then creates a program for you, based on your habits. If you like it, keep it, or adjust it to suit your needs.

This device comes with numerous features including Bluetooth support, geofencing technology, compatibility with many third-party devices and other smart Nest products, a radio, multi-stage heating, support for voice commands with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, and the ability to switch into conservation mode when it senses that you’re not at home.

2) Ecobee

Tom’s Guide and CNET both vote Ecobee as the #1 smart thermostat. How is it different from Nest’s? You can program it room-by-room.

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Ecobee’s smart thermostat, like Nest’s, is a learning device. It will follow your habits and suggest a program to suit your needs, and be able to sense when you leave your home, and adjust heat levels accordingly.

It supports Apple’s HomeKit and goes so far as to promise to lower your hydro bill. To read more about it, click here.

Best Regular Programmable Thermostat:

Lux Programmable Thermostat (non-smart)

If you wish to spend less on a thermostat but still save on your energy bill and you don’t mind programing the device yourself, Lux’s device is a good choice. CNET has labeled it as one of the best affordable programmable thermostats on the market, and Business Insider also gives it good reviews.

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You can program this device for up to four different heating periods per day. Users can also view the current temperature and compare it to the desired, programmed one on an easy-to-use display screen.

Photo credits: Syda Productions/Shutterstock.com