Programmable thermostats (by these we mean thermostats which can be programmed but are not connected to the Internet) have been around for a long time now. And they have many advantages over standard models. For one thing, they save money on your utility bills by allowing you to set different temperatures for different times of the day and/or day of the week. You save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat lower when you are not at home or sleeping, and set it to a warmer temperature when you are awake. Of course, the inverse is true in the summer.

However, many people have found them too hard to program; some estimates state 40% of programmable thermostat owners did not actually program them. As a result, Energy Star stopped certifying these products many years ago.

Now, however, there are “smart” thermostats connected to the Internet and accessible through an app on your mobile phone which have significant advantages over more traditional programmable thermostats:

Here are a few of those key features:

Two caveats before investing in a “smart” thermostat.