The Difference Between WiFi and Programmable Thermostats



The advances in technology in the last 20 years — and even the last 10 years — have changed our society in big ways. The world of heating and cooling is no exception. Thermostats, in particular, have gotten smarter as our technology has grown. If you’ve been in the market for thermostats, you may have heard terms like “programmable thermostats” and “WiFi thermostats.” While both are convenient in different ways, they’re not interchangeable, and some homeowners might prefer one over the other. It comes down to understanding what they are and what works best for you.



WiFi Thermostat

Everything seems to be plugged into the internet these days, and in some cases, that includes your thermostat. WiFi thermostats are thermostats that connect to the internet, allowing you to check them remotely, typically from a smartphone app. Forget to adjust the heat before going on vacation? No problem. You can pull up the app on your phone and change it from wherever you are. The benefits of this type of “smart” thermostat are obvious in terms of both energy efficiency and home comfort.

During the winter, you may need to have the heat on in order to stay comfortable, but if it’s too high for too long, your heating bills will spike. Besides that, it can seem wasteful to leave the heat cranked up even when no one is home. With a WiFi thermostat, you don’t have to. You can turn down the heating before you leave the house and turn it back up from your phone before you leave work for the day. If you like to turn the temperature down before you go to bed at night, you can turn it back up from bed so that the room will be comfortable when you start your day.



Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats have been around a little longer, but they’re still a highly efficient option. Programmable thermostats are designed to automatically adjust the temperature of the home based on preset programs. For instance, you might have a standard weekday program that turns down the heating during the day when everyone’s out of the house and a different program for weekends when everyone’s likely to spend more time at home. You may also have a vacation setting. These thermostats also often come with “zones” so that different areas of the house receive different levels of heat or air conditioning based on how often they’re used.


Both programmable thermostats and WiFi thermostats are a boon in terms of energy efficiency. With these thermostats, you’ll use only the heating and cooling you need and won’t have to pay for HVAC costs that you weren’t able to enjoy. On the one hand, WiFi thermostats can offer more exact, customized heating and cooling than programmable thermostats. On the other hand, programmable thermostats aren’t tied to your internet connection, so they’ll continue to work even if your internet is having issues. It comes down to the personal preference of the homeowner. For more information on the thermostats that Air Solutions in Bryan-College Station offers, contact us today.

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College Station, TX 77845

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