How To Choose Between Smart And Programmable Thermostats

As technology advances, so does our ability to control and manage our houses. Thermostats serve an important function in keeping a pleasant atmosphere. 

If you’re like most homeowners in Columbia and Mid-Missouri, you’ve probably wondered if you should upgrade your thermostat. Maybe you’ve even looked into the options and found yourself wondering what the difference is between smart and programmable thermostats.

The answer is simple: both are good options for most people! But there are a couple of things to keep in mind when considering them, so we’ve put together this guide to help make sure you’re making an informed decision between smart vs. programmable thermostats. Let’s take a look.

What is a smart thermostat?

A smart thermostat or digital thermostat is a device that you may operate remotely and place in your house to manage the temperature.

You can even program the temperature to adjust automatically when you’re away from home or at work, or you can make changes on the fly if you want to cool down for an afternoon sleep or heat up for a dinner party.

It does this by interacting with the HVAC system over WiFi, allowing you to change the temperature from anywhere in the globe.

It also learns your preferences and adjusts itself accordingly, so you don’t waste electricity or get too cold when you’re not at home.

What is the finest feature of smart thermostats? They’re helping you save money! They can help you save up to 30% on your energy cost over time.

Smart thermostats also include a variety of other capabilities, such as remote access and security.

Benefits of Smart Thermostats

Have you ever had a day go off the rails because your thermostat was set to the wrong temperature?

The days of suffering through a day at work because your house is too hot or too cold are over. The world of smart home technology has made it possible to have the perfect temperature wherever you go, and we’re here to tell you why that’s so great.

No more adjusting your thermostat every hour.

With smart thermostats, you can set up schedules for when different temperatures are needed throughout the day. Want your bedroom to be warm at night but not hot? Set it up! Need extra heat in the kitchen? You got it! You’ll never have to worry about waking up in the middle of the night and having to adjust your thermostat again.

Convenience and Control

Smart thermostats offer more convenience than traditional models because they can be controlled remotely from anywhere using a smartphone app or web browser. You’ll never have to worry about forgetting to turn down the heat before leaving for work again! Plus, since they’re connected to your home Wi-Fi network, they allow you to program temperature changes or set timers from any computer or mobile device in range of your network signal—no more running back and forth between rooms with an old-school wall thermometer!

Energy Efficiency

Because your heating and cooling system uses the second most energy in your house, everything you can do to improve its efficiency will save you money on your electricity bills. 

Smart thermostats can learn your schedule and automatically alter temperatures, ensuring that the house is always at the perfect temperature when you need it while not wasting energy when no one is there. 

The typical American spends more than $2,000 per year on heating and cooling their house, but smart thermostats can help you save up to 30%.

Learning Capabilities

Smart thermostats grow more accurate over time as they learn your behaviors. So, if you’re not at home or asleep, your thermostat will detect how long it takes for your house to cool down and adjust appropriately. You won’t have to worry about getting home from work and finding yourself scorching in an un-air-conditioned home!

Disadvantages of Smart Thermostat

Do you know what’s great about smart thermostats?

They’re… uh… smart!

And do you know what’s not so great about them?

Here are three disadvantages of using a smart thermostat:

1. They are not always compatible with the current wiring in your home. To utilize a smart thermostat in an older home with knob-style control panels, you’ll need to update the complete system. This can be costly, so it may not be worth it for many households.

2. The devices might be glitchy and difficult to configure properly. If you’re not tech-savvy or have little experience installing new electronics in your house, this might be difficult for you—not everyone is comfortable or skilled enough to install and set up intricate gadgets like these on their own!

3. Smart thermostats are not inexpensive! While they may save you money on heating expenses in the long run, they cost roughly $150-$200 per (and occasionally more). That’s a lot of money if all you want is an easy way to regulate your heat without getting up from the sofa or leaving the room!

What is a programmable thermostat?

A programmable thermostat is a handy small gadget that, once set, will adapt the temperature of your home’s heating and cooling system to your preferences.

It’s like having a personal assistant that knows the temperature you want in your home. They may put on the heat before you go to bed and turn it off before you get up in the morning. They will ensure that your home is constantly at the optimal temperature for comfort and productivity, regardless of the season!

Benefits of a programmable thermostat

These days, we’re all about saving money—and that extends to our homes, too. If you’re looking to cut down on your energy bill, it’s time to invest in a programmable thermostat. 

Here are three benefits of programmable thermostats that’ll convince you this is the right decision for your home:


Programmable thermostats are simple to use and comprehend so anybody can control one. It’s ideal for folks who are inexperienced with mechanical devices or just do not have the time to learn how to operate them properly!


A programmable thermostat is often half the price of a smart thermostat while offering many of the same capabilities. It may be programmed to automatically alter the temperature based on specific times or periods of the day, saving you money on your energy costs. 

Energy Savings

Programmable thermostats are an excellent method to save energy and money on heating and cooling expenses. A programmable thermostat allows you to set various temperatures at different times of the day, saving you up to 10% of your electricity expenditures.

Disadvantages of a programmable thermostat

Programmable thermostats are great for saving energy, but they can also be a little annoying. Here are four disadvantages of programmable thermostats:

1. They’re not always accurate

2. You have to remember to change the time when Daylight Savings Time comes around

3. They’re hard to set up and get working properly

4. You need a smartphone or computer nearby in order to use them

What is the Difference Between Smart and Programmable Thermostats?

Smart thermostats have a lot of advantages over programmable ones. They’re smarter, they’re prettier, and they’ll probably make you more money.

But we can’t deny that programmable thermostats have their perks, too. They’re super cheap and don’t require any installation or fancy wires. 

So if you’re looking to save some cash while making sure your home stays nice and cozy this winter, check out our comparison chart below for programmable thermostat vs smart thermostat:

Smart ThermostatProgrammable Thermostat
How does it work?Automatically adjust your home’s temperature based on your settings and when you’re home or away.Have a manual temperature setting and can be adjusted as needed
InstallationRequires an electrician to installRequires no installation at all
ExpensiveMore expensive than a programmable thermostatIt costs less than a smart thermostat
How to operate?Have an app that allows you to control the temperature from anywhere with an internet connectionAre controlled by a wall switch or remote control
ConvenienceRequire more skills and knowledge to use Easier to use than a smart thermostat
Energy EfficientProvide energy reports and insights to help you make well-informed decisions about your energy consumption.Lack of the adaptive capabilities of smart thermostats.

Programmable vs. Smart Thermostats: Which is Right for You?

You’ve definitely heard of smart thermostats vs programmable ones in the market when you hunt for a new thermostat. Both are intended to help you save money on your monthly electricity payment, but they do so in different ways. There are various reasons why one may be better than the other for your home—and one may be better for your lifestyle.

You set a programmable thermostat that turns your heat or air conditioning on and off as required. They’re ideal for folks who don’t have the time or desire to accomplish much more.

Smart thermostats are a little more advanced, but they provide you with far more control over the temperature in your house. You may use a smart thermostat to change your heating and cooling schedules, monitor your current energy use, and set up alarms to notify you if something is wrong with your system. The disadvantage? It takes some practice to become used to using it.

A programmed thermostat is a good choice if you want something simple that works right away. Consider purchasing a smart one instead if you want greater control over how your heating and cooling operate in your house!

Have A Question About Installing Or Repairing A Thermostat?

Master Tech Plumbing is here to help! We offer reliable, responsible HVAC services in Columbia and Mid-Missouri. We’ve been proudly serving the community for over 30 years. And we’re here to help with all kinds of plumbing issues—from installing new faucets and toilets to fixing leaky pipes and broken toilets. Our technicians are carefully selected for their experience, professionalism, and integrity. 

We even offer 24-hour emergency service. If your water heater breaks in the middle of the night, we’ll be there fast to get things running smoothly again.

So if you want to know more about our HVAC services or want the best advice, give us a call today at 573-777-3660!

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