Smart Thermostat Vs Programmable Thermostat: Pros & Cons

Home & garden by  Barsha Bhattacharya 19 October 2023 Last Updated Date: 18 November 2023

Smart thermostats effectively track energy

Smart thermostats effectively track energy use and manage schedules using apps, sensors and other features. In addition, they may save money by automatically adjusting temperatures as necessary – saving both energy and money!

Smart thermostats’ ease of use makes them attractive to homeowners, tenants and others who wish to take control of their climate control at home. Some smart thermostats even feature music streaming and integration with voice assistant programs.

For a comprehensive guide on how to harness the benefits of smart thermostats and their versatile features, check out more information on installation and usage tips here.


Smart thermostats offer unrivaled convenience yet can also be more costly than basic programmable models. Smart thermostats cost anywhere between $150 to $200 annually, depending on their features and model – a major investment for many homeowners.

Smart thermostats offer significant energy savings and can pay for themselves quickly with 20% on energy savings when properly utilized – this can pay for itself within months, leaving money left over for other energy-saving innovations that might add value to your home.

Smart thermostats can help you keep a close watch on your family’s habits over time and use an algorithm to develop a heating and cooling schedule designed to save the most energy possible.

When no one is home, the thermostat automatically switches into a more cost-effective “absent” mode; sensors detect when you have left on vacation so as not to waste energy heating or cooling an empty house.


Smart thermostats grant you to control the temperature from an app on your smartphone, providing quick and easy control when running late for work or when someone in your family needs to make adjustments throughout the day.

Smart models usually offer additional ways of interfacing with them, including voice controls through Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri. Some models even include voice recognition to change the temperature by simply saying, “Hello, thermostat.”

The best smart thermostats learn your schedule over time and create a heating or cooling schedule that saves energy without you needing to set it yourself. They also send weekly or monthly energy reports detailing how much energy was consumed in your home so you can track heating and cooling costs more accurately.

Remote thermostat control can also come in handy while on vacation or after long soccer practices where kids work up a sweat. Adjust the schedule and temperature from an app on your phone so the house will be cozy when you return home.

Energy Savings

Smart thermostats may cost more than their programmable counterparts, but their energy-saving potential makes them worthwhile. Some models even allow users to track and adapt usage according to fluctuating energy rates for maximum savings potential.

Smart thermostats should save 8% in energy costs compared to standard programmable models in most climates, though this figure may fall below the typical savings of 12%. That may be because homes that remain occupied most of the time tend to experience smaller savings compared to empty houses that remain mostly vacant during the day.

These features only work if they’re properly utilized; studies have revealed that many homeowners fail to program their thermostats or utilize home functions such as overriding the schedule – especially those without WiFi connectivity and smartphone apps, which often feature more cumbersome interfaces with buttons or touch screens.

However, many smart thermostats feature intuitive user interfaces and user-friendly mobile apps, making them more likely to be utilized appropriately and saving more energy in the process.


Installing a smart thermostat may be similar to that of traditional programmable thermostats; however, some brands and models require an external power source known as a C wire (common wire) in your home to power the internal processors, wireless connections and displays of these smart thermostats.

If no such C wiring exists already in your home, professional electrician services will likely need to be hired in order to run new wiring for them.

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Barsha Bhattacharya

Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.

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