Smart Vs. Programmable: Which Thermostat Is Best For Your Heating System?

The terms smart and programmable are often interchanged when referencing a thermostat. However, make no mistake about it — they are not one and the same. Smart and programmable thermostats share the goal of helping you keep your home warm, the methods they use to go about the process, however, are different. Discover some of the differences between these two options to determine which is better.

Energy Savings

If your goal is solely energy savings, both a smart and programmable thermostat will deliver. Both of these thermostat options give you greater control over the temperature setting on your furnace so that you are less likely to overheat your home, and as a result, use more energy and pay more money than necessary. Even better, both of these thermostats can help you keep your cost lower in both the short and long term. 


In terms of flexibility, there is a difference between a smart and programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you preset the temperature based on the day of the week and time of the day. Even if the temperature outside is unusually warm, the furnace will maintain the preset temperature. With a smart thermostat, the thermostat monitors the outdoor temperature and adjusts the temperature in your home based on usage habits. As a result, you gain more flexibility in terms of how you heat your home. 

Wear and Tear

Wear and tear impact the lifespan of a heating unit. The less wear, the longer the life. Smart and programmable thermostats aren't the same when it comes to this factor. A smart thermostat can actually extend the life of a furnace since these thermostats are only designed to power on when necessary, regardless of the preset temperature on the unit. In addition to lifespan, less wear can make maintaining your furnace easier because it reduces the risk of a malfunction.

Mobile Access

In today's world, most times it seems as though people are always on the go. A smart thermostat can cater to your needs even if you're always on the go. As previously mentioned, programmable thermostats don't veer from their preset settings and you have to manually adjust them. With a smart thermostat, you can connect to the unit from your smartphone or other internet-enabled devices. So, if you're running late from work and you want to turn the heat down, you can do so right from your desk at the office. 

If you still have questions about which type of thermostat is best for your heating needs and to protect your furnace, it's best to ask an heating maintenance professional to ensure you make the best decision.