Programmable Thermostat vs. Smart Thermostat: Which Should I Buy?

Nowadays, thermostats do more than maintain A/C or heater temperature. Newer, hi-tech models provide more precise temperature control and can help lower your energy bills. If you’re weighing the choice between a programmable thermostat vs. smart thermostat, here’s a perspective that may help you decide.

Why Isn’t a Regular Thermostat Enough?

A traditional thermostat is a basic control box that lets you raise or lower the temperature. If the inside temperature deviates from the set value, it sends a signal to your HVAC system. When a room reaches the set temperature, the thermostat:

  • Turns the heater off to prevent the temperature from continuing to rise.
  • Switches the A/C on if the temperature has exceeded the set value.

But no matter how reliable your thermostat is, you might not always have the ideal comfort level. What if there was a system that could learn and anticipate your preferences?

Programmable Thermostat vs. Smart Thermostat

What Is a Programmable Thermostat?

A programmable thermostat:

  • Allows you to program a set temperature for specific days and times. You can:
  • Program the temperature for seven days or,
  • Customize it for weekdays and weekends
  • Automatically adjusts the temperature based on settings you input.
  • By setting the thermostat back 7° to 10° for 8 hours a day, you can save 10% a year on heating and cooling.

Programmable thermostats provide savings based on this simple principle— the smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperature, the lower your cooling bill will be.

Based on your settings, a programmable unit automatically adjusts the temperature before you return home or wake up in the morning, avoiding any discomfort.

What Is a Smart Thermostat?

A smart thermostat provides a more intuitive approach to temperature control. It is different because it can:

  • Track and learn your behavior, and make changes to temperature settings on its own.
  • Be adjusted over the internet or using an app, via a secure Wi-Fi connection, using your:
    • Computer
    • Tablet
    • Smartphone
  • Allow you to monitor your home’s energy use and efficiency.

You don’t even need to be home to adjust a smart thermostat. You can access settings and make adjustments whether you’re in the next room or miles away. Set the temperature while you’re heading home, and it will already be comfortable by the time you arrive.

Detailed reporting is another advantage. You can view reports to see how long your A/C or heater runs each day or week. The system can provide monthly energy reports, compare time periods, and alert you of any unusual changes in A/C or heater performance.

Which One Will Help Me Save More?

There are a lot of sources claiming amounts that you can save with a smart thermostat. These estimates vary, but you can see savings by:

  • Setting the thermostat correctly.
  • Using the “eco” or auto home/away mode.

The unit makes controlling temperature more convenient because it can be set remotely. There’s no need to get up and adjust the thermostat manually.

Rebates from state and local governments can help you save even more. Some utility providers offer discounts for purchasing or installing smart thermostats.

Smart thermostats can also be uninstalled and taken with you when you move, and reinstalled in the new location. That means you don’t need to invest in a new thermostat or its installation.

Contact Black Hills Home Services

Are you still weighing the programmable thermostat vs. smart thermostat decision? Black Hills is licensed and bonded to help with all aspects of A/C and heater installation. We also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. To have all your thermostat questions answered, and to request service, call us at 888-445-0585 today.