May 212014
 
Honeywell-Wi-Fi-Smart-Thermostat

These days Best Programmable Thermostats, come in two varieties: round and rectangular (everyone knows which ones are round ones :-) ). But we don’t care much about the shape, we are focusing more on programmable thermostats’ smart features. With characteristics such as electronic and touch screens, humidity sensors and even some which learn your own habits (these kind of smart thermostats can program themselves). Today I will write another review for Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat.

 

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat Features (Model number RTH9580WF)

Control from anyplace: Honeywell’s mobile application lets you program your thermostat from any internet connected device (your computer, tablet or smartphone), regardless if you are in another room or in another continent.

Easy Setup: The Honeywell Wi-Fi smart thermostat’s easy setup walks you through a few questions to really get your 7-day program uploaded and functioning and help you save money fast

Personalized Color Touchscreen: The bright, easy-to-read thermostat screen can be customized to match your paint, or support your favorite team

Smart and Flexible Scheduling: The Honeywell Wi-Fi smart thermostat provides flexible programming choices for commercial and household needs

Smart Response: Honeywell wi-fi smart thermostat actually finds out your own heating and air conditioning schedules to provide the ideal temperature, right when you need it

Advanced Fan/Comfort Control: This programmable thermostat enhances air flow so it helps control the temperature throughout your house

Auto Alerts: Excessive temperature notifications and filter replace reminders are delivered to your linked devices and are visible on your Honeywell Wi-Fi smart thermostat, which means that you may be home or away, you will never miss an alert

Reliable Mobile application: Honeywell mobile application is available for iOS and Android devices

Indoor Humidity Sensor: Your interior humidity is shown on the screen

Locking Touchscreen: Enhanced locking capabilities and password options make available intelligent security and convenience (kids or your guests won’t be able to change the settings anymore)

Compatibility: Compatible with heating, cooling and heat pumps. However, does not work with heat pumps with electric baseboard heat (120-240V)

The thermostat comes with the following items:

 

Installation and Setup

I have to acknowledge, the Honeywell wi-fi smart thermostat was a little smaller than I had expected. The thermostat’s dimensions are 3 3/8 inch tall x 4 1/2 inch wide x 1 7/8 inch thick. This programmable thermostat is not the smallest thermostat out there, but yet definitely not the biggest.

The Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat is created to be used having a 5 power line setup since the thermostat is actually operated by the HVAC system’s power instead of batteries. Still you can use with a four wire setup however it requires some re-wiring on the control board and also the loss of independent fan control, which means that you will need to keep this in mind.

A quick tip: We noticed when researching the four wire setup was the web address provided for video help in the quick start manual wasn’t correct. That’s why I add useful Honeywell wifi thermostat videos in here:

Determine your home’s heating & cooling system type

Watch this video to determine if your home’s heating and cooling system is compatible with a Honeywell Wi-Fi programmable thermostat.

Install your thermostat

With that being said, the 5 wire set up was a pretty hassle-free procedure. As explained inside the manual, basically, you remove your old thermostat and wall plate (if there is any), install the new wall plate, connect the wires and put the thermostat to the wall plate.

Watch this video first before the installation of Honeywell Smart Thermostat. The video explains how to determine the type of wiring you have, how to remove your existing thermostat, and how to install your new Wi-Fi smart thermostat if you have a C-wire. If you do not have a C-wire, you’ll be directed to videos for installations with other wiring options.

Connect Your Thermostat

Right after connecting all the required wires and turning the HVAC power on it was time to connect with the wireless network. Setup is easy, simply go through the on-screen directions and you’ll be advised once the programmable thermostat is linked. After connected you’ll be able to program your thermostat through the touchscreen or computer/mobile device.

Watch this video after you’ve installed your new Wi-Fi smart thermostat. This video explains how to connect your new Wi-Fi smart thermostat to your home wireless network.

Register Your Thermostat

Watch this video after successfully connecting your new Wi-Fi smart thermostat to your home wireless network. This video explains how to create a Honeywell Total Connect Comfort account with which you’ll be able to remotely view and set your Wi-Fi smart thermostat.

Alternate Wiring Videos for Honeywell Wi-fi Smart Thermostat

Watch this video if you do not have a C-wire, but you do have an extra wire in your bundle. This video explains how to use the extra wire to power your Honeywell Wi-Fi smart thermostat.

 

Watch this video if you do not have a C-wire or an extra wire in your bundle. This video demonstrates an alternative option to power your Honeywell Wi-Fi smart thermostat.

 

Special Features

An attractive feature with this programmable thermostat in addition to the connectivity is the capability to change the display color to suit your home decor or feeling (or to match your favourite team colors). Along with a number of pre-specified colors and the choice to make your personal customized colors virtually anybody can find a color selection to match them. Modifying the coloring is actually as simple as looking to the menu and choosing the choice to do so.

Customized scheduling is really a function that has become crucial in today’s programmable thermostats (regardless they are smart or not). The capability to alter the temperature at your residence only a few degrees when you are not home often means big financial savings on electric or gas bill. Personalized scheduling can be performed through the thermostat or on the web interface (or mobile app).

The function which forced me want to test this programmable thermostat was the computer user interface. The ability to check the temperature when you are out of town or to adjust the scheduling remotely is a great feature to me. To connect with the thermostat through your pc go into the web page listed in the quick start guide and go through the steps. Essentially you generate a free account, complete the necessary information and after that hook up to your Honeywell thermostat by using the MAC ID and a MAC CRC. Honeywell provides these numbers on a Thermostat ID Card. Once signed up and linked you’ll be able to setup your thermostat and a schedule.

Honeywell also offers mobile apps for iOS (apple devices) and Android devices where you can gain access to your thermostat from anywhere you want to. To utilise these all you will have to perform is download the free mobile application for your gadget and sign in to the site with your login and password which you previously created. The mobile app is absolutely beneficial if you are coming back home earlier then your usual schedule or going to be out through the night and want to modify the thermostat’s schedule.

 

Conclusion

So what’s the bottom line here? At about $200 (as of May 2014) the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat is on par or even a little lower price wise with compatible smart thermostats of its type. The display size is nice, the touch pad is successful and also the included capabilities are perfect. I’m a big fan of the internet connectivity and the capability to set and alter the thermostats programming from anywhere.

The single negative I can tell (and it is not unique to Honeywell) is basically that you need to do some creative or rewiring for older properties with 4 cable systems. In my view this should not really discourage anybody from having this (or any of the newer 5 wire thermostats), simply because in this times when new HVAC systems are certainly more efficient you would like to be able to utilize the financial savings you can gain.

Everything being said, I really like and enjoy this Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat.

amazon-buy-now

Jan 212014
 
ecobee2

I would like to give the most important point (at least for me) at the beginning : ecobee EB-STAT-02 Smart Thermostat is different from other programmable thermostats. The thermostat has 2 parts : the ‘brain’ and the thermostat itself. So, you will need to install 2 units;

  • the thermostat – to the wall
  • and the ‘brain’ or control unit – somewhere between the furnace and the thermostat

That makes this thermostat a little different from its competitors; however this complexity gives the extra capabilities to ecobee EB-STAT-02 Smart Thermostat.

 

ecobee EB-STAT-02 Smart Thermostat Installation and Setup

Getting the ecobee Smart Thermostat up and running a little intimidating, especially once you get a glance at the ten very detailed wiring diagrams in its installation manual. However most likely you will use only 1 of the diagrams (maybe this makes you feel a little better :-) ). I believe, better to work with an experienced professional (in high- and low-voltage) for the installation of this thermostat. Everyone says the result is well worth the lengthy process of installation (I haven’t tried this thermostat, so I am just telling you what I read from all over internet).

The processor of the thermostat comes a separate control unit than the thermostat (which goes to the wall). You’ll have to install the control unit inside the HVAC closet, wire it to the furnace, then wire it separately to the wall unit with four low-voltage wires. This gives the Smart an amazing amount of flexibility, allowing it to control just about any type of system, and several accessories to boot; dual-stage cooling with a boiler, three-stage heating with dual-stage cooling and a humidifier, dual-stage furnace with a dehumidifier and two-stage heat-pump etc. you name it. This thermostat can work with any kind of heating / cooling system.

ecobee EB-STAT-02 Smart Thermostat reminder programquestions

ecobee EB-STAT-02 Smart Thermostat reminder programquestions

Continue reading »

Jan 132014
 

Honeywell-RTH6580WF-Wi-Fi-7-Day-Programmable-Thermostat-0

If you are planning to buy a wifi thermostat and that’s why thinking that you need to pay $180+, I have good news for you; the Honeywell RTH6580WF Wi-Fi Thermostat costs only about 110 USD (to be exact; as of January 13th – it is $114.99 at Amazon). $110 is not cheap of course if you compare to other regular thermostats, however if you consider the flexibility of wifi access, this is a good deal.

The Honeywell Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable Thermostat, RTH6580WF allows you to control the comfort of your home from anywhere – if you have internet access. The built-in Wi-Fi allows you to control the thermostat from a computer, tablet or smartphone by using the free Honeywell Total Connect Comfort App.

This universal thermostat has a large, easy-to-read push-button display with pre-programmed energy-saving schedule and a real time clock that keeps the time during a power failure with an option to automatically update the time for daylight savings. The 7-day programming provides maximum flexibility for the ones who doesn’t have a regular schedule and can save up to 33 percent on annual heating and cooling costs. The Smart Response Technology continually adjusts the heating and cooling of your home to ensure comfort at your programmed times. The thermostat has a 1-degree Fahrenheit range of accuracy, a secure alarmnet network and it automatically downloads software updates to ensure it’s always up-to-date.

Let’s go into the details.

Continue reading »

Jan 072014
 
Honeywell RTH6450D1009

I will continue the programmable thermostat reviews with a cheaper, but still powerful model today, “Honeywell RTH6450D1009 5-1-1-Day Programmable ThermostatHoneywell RTH6450D1009 Programmable Thermostat. This thermostat has all required functions as a programmable thermostat :

  • user friendly display (easy to to program)
  • different settings for weekdays – saturday and sunday
  • 4 program periods per day
  • ENERGY STAR rated
  • back-lit display (so, you can use it even at night – when no lights are on)
  • shows room and set temperature on the screen
  • Smart Response Technology (detailed explanation below)
  • Easy access battery compartment (you don’t need to remove the cover or remove the thermostat from the wall to change the batteries)

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a thermostat and only want to have a programmable one, Honeywell RTH6450D1009 is for you. Or maybe you want to have a fancier model for your living room (either Nest Learning Thermostat, or Venstar T5800), and have this one for the basement (if you have multi-zone heating / cooling). It is easy to install, easy to program, and does the work properly. Here is more detailed review.

Honeywell RTH6450D1009 5-1-1 Programmable Thermostat

Honeywell RTH6450D1009 5-1-1 Programmable Thermostat

Honeywell RTH6450D1009 Installation and Setup

You can install this unit in 15 minutes with a Phillips screwdriver and a mini-Flathead screwdriver; it takes 30 minutes at most if you give a break during the process :-) It is so unbelievably simple – especially if you have 2 wired system. Once you opened the existing thermostat, label the wires based on where they are hooked to the current thermostat and reconnect them to the new unit. Very simple, very easy to accomplish. I believe; if you can physically turn a screwdriver, you can install this unit. Continue reading »

Jan 062014
 
Venstar T5800

It was easy to find reviews for Nest Learning Thermostat (I think because it looks fancier then all other programmable thermostats), but it wasn’t the case for Venstar T5800. I spent some time to collect these reviews for you. Here are the reviews from various customers :

 

Venstar T5800 ColorTouch Touchscreen Programmable Thermostat, August 8, 2012 (5 stars)

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful

I am an owner of the T5800 and while I’m not a HVAC contractor – I work in a related business. I’m writing this review mainly to refute some of the things stated by the previous reviewer. . . .

The main thing I must say is – if you don’t know what you are doing – hire a professional. I’ve always said “the devil is in the details” and while it may be a breeze to replace a thermostat (all you need is a small screwdriver) there is always a possibility that some little things may (or may not) get in the way of a successful installation.

This thermostat requires a constant supply of 24 volt power, and you must have a wire called a “common” coming from your system transformer and running to the “C” terminal on the thermostat. This “C” wire along with the “R” wire provide the power and they shouldn’t be touched together or jumpered together unless you are interested in sparks, flames, or melted plastic. If you are running a furnace and an air conditioner – and you have 4 wires coming to your thermostat (the most common scenario) – you will NOT be able to use the T5800 out-of-the-box. This doesn’t mean it’s game over. There is a product called “Add-A-Wire” that you can purchase very inexpensively that will allow you to duplex 2 functions on 1 wire and then use the free wire you created as your common. You could also run another wire.

For the reviewer to say that you can just jumper things together is akin to saying you can put a paperclip in an electrical outlet and everything would be fine. Specifically, jumpering “R” and “C” together would most certainly fry your transformer. The fact is – a thermostat installation might not be a DIY project. If you aren’t sure of what you are doing, pay the money to hire a professional, or do a little more research. Don’t criticize the product or the manufacturer because of your own ignorance. It sounds like in this case, Venstar bailed this person out. Kudos to them as they really weren’t on the hook to do anything (IMO). Continue reading »

Dec 312013
 
Nest Learning Thermostat - 2nd Generation - 1

Energy-Efficient and Quality Built Thermostat., October 15, 2012 (5 stars)

830 of 914 people found the following review helpful

I originally purchased the 1st generation of this thermostat. The only thing I didn’t like about the 1st gen thermostat was how far it protruded from the wall. On my final day for the return policy of the 1st gen, the 2nd gen was advertised to be released soon. So, I didn’t hesitate to uninstall the old thermostat to send it back, pre-order and wait on the 2nd gen. The 2nd gen thermostat’s profile in my opinion is perfect for the look and style I desire in my home; It makes my home appear a little more modern, but not too much. The install was easy and it looks great just as with the 1st gen. I noticed a $35 drop in my $120 per month power bill w/the first gen. I have a 2200 sq/ft home w/3bdrm and 2bth that’s occupied by only myself and my wife. My AC system is a basic singles stage AC and a two stage heater; I hooked up six wires: O,R,B(C),W2,G & Y. I live in FL and the AC runs at 82 during the day and 78 at night. I’m hoping for about the same performance if not better with this thermostat. I’ll admit I did try to go with a programmable Honeywell thermostat which ended up not being compatible with my system while waiting on this order. So my options were keep to my pre-order with the 2nd gen nest or keep the old thermostat from over ten years ago with no features. I’m glad to have decided to go with the 2nd gen Nest.

There are Nest only exclusive cost-saving features on this device. So please no ranting on how this is just another overpriced thermostat for those who are reading reviews and are against this product. Move on to another product where people care instead of being a Debbie downer. My two favorite features of this unit are the auto-away and air-wave technologies (for the A/C) which are probably the two most cost saving features for me. Air-wave shuts down the compressor before the push box. Since the coils are still cold from the compressor running, the thermostat knows how long it takes for your home to get from one temp to another. Depending on this time, the thermostat knows when to shut down the compressor to save power while still getting the home to the desired temp. Auto-away is a feature that shuts off the AC within a programmable range if it detects no one is home. My unit is in a hallway that doesn’t see much traffic (I spend most my time in a back office) and this unit still managed to not go into auto-away mode while I’m home. A side note on auto-away though is that it must be trained within the first two weeks before it has an idea of your home activity. Once the unit trains itself, the power saving features will all be automated unless you manually disable them. Continue reading »