In the “old days” operating a thermostat was simple. You’d go to the thermostat and, using a dial or switch, you would set the temperature in your home to the desired level. If you wanted to change the temperature, you’d have to go back to the thermostat and repeat the process.

Enter the programmable thermostat. You could go to the thermostat and set it to different temperatures based on the time of the day. For example, you could set it to one temperature when you were home and awake, and to another temperature if you knew you would be at work, or asleep. These thermostats were great for making sure you were comfortable while lowering your utility bills, but you still had to go to the thermostat.

Today there are smart thermostats. These thermostats can be accessed and adjusted remotely from your smart phone or tablet. For example, if you set the thermostat down before you travel, you can turn it up via your phone or tablet while you are on the way home. These thermostats also have numerous features that can do even more to maximize comfort and lower utility costs. Here are a few.

Here are two other things to keep in mind when considering a smart thermostat.