Wireless or Programmable: Which Kind Of Thermostat Is Right For You?

Wireless or Programmable: Which Kind Of Thermostat Is Right For You?

All new technologies present us with a cost-vs.-benefit decision. Sometimes we make a detailed calculation, while other times we weigh out the pros and cons in our head, but the question always takes a similar form – do the conveniences and other advantages of this technology justify its cost?

It is a personal calculation. Different people come to different conclusions based on their personal lifestyle, and their individual needs or wants. Choosing between programmable and wireless thermostats is no different. Sometimes the key is in knowing what exactly the technology can do for you.

Programmable Thermostats

The programmable thermostat was the first set-it-and-forget-it thermostat that promised you would never need to touch the controls again. You program the settings of your cooling and heating system to deliver the right home temperature at the right time. Most people use it to reduce the cooling or heating, depending on the season, to coincide with the times the home is occupied or unoccupied.

So on a cold winter day, the thermostat is programmed to reduce the heat during the day when everyone is off to work or school, and then to increase the heat when everyone returns in the evening.

The programmable thermostat has proven to be a money saver for many people. But for others, it doesn’t provide enough convenience. For example, some thermostats only allow you to set one schedule, meaning you have to manually adjust it on weekends. Others do allow weekend scheduling, but even that is too inflexible for people with an active and varied lifestyle.

Wireless Thermostat

Wireless thermostats let you custom-schedule your cooling and heating in as detailed a way as you want, but they also allow you to remotely monitor and adjust the thermostat from your smartphone or tablet. If you’re coming home early you can adjust the temperature beforehand, for the whole home or just select rooms. Wireless thermostats provide personalized and on-demand comfort for those who really need that kind of convenience, such as parents of young children. 

Some wireless thermostats can provide remote access to many other aspects of your home environment, like humidity levels, and can provide remote alerts in case any element of your home environment has gone awry, even notifying you if your power has gone out. They provide real peace of mind for those who are more concerned about the condition of their home when they are away from it.


So what type of person are you? Are you a worrier? Do you have a predictable schedule or are you constantly on the go? Do you have a larger home with many rooms? How many people live there? Do you live in a harsher climate that experiences rapidly changing or extreme temperatures? All these questions ought to factor into your decision about which kind of thermostat is right for you.