It’s obvious that the efficiency and general health of your cooling and heating systems play the biggest role in keeping your home comfortable, but often overlooked is the “brain” that controls those systems.

Even if that old switch or radial dial thermostat still works just fine, the benefits of a newer smart thermostat make it a worthy purchase:

Cost
Most smart thermostats cost $200 or less and are easy to install. Many manufacturers tout savings of 10% to 20% on monthly energy bills, meaning you typically will recoup the cost of your thermostat within a year.

Connectivity
Use your mobile device to monitor and even change the temperature and other settings on your thermostat while you are at work, on vacation or elsewhere.

Intelligence
Smart thermostats are just that. Many models observe, analyze and predict your activity as it relates to the temperature of your home. A smart thermostat can use this data to better adjust to your temperature needs, adapting to your lifestyle with little or even no manual programming. Many also include weather tracking, which can be used by the thermostat to adapt to changes in the weather as they occur.

Convenience
Most newer smart thermostats are compatible with one or more voice-command platforms such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. Raising or lowering your home’s temperature is as easy as telling your voice assistant that you want it warmer or cooler.

Tracking
The software and apps that accompany most smart thermostats offer robust, on-demand reports on the energy you use, when you use it and how you use it. These reports can help you identify poor energy habits, or even spot issues with your heating and cooling systems and other equipment.