Aug 192014
Honeywell voice control thermostat

A programmable thermostat will help make your house much more comfortable as well as energy efficient through automatically adjusting its temperature, for example increasing the air conditioning while you are at home and turning the AC off after you leave for work or school. However all those advantages are simply possible when the programmable thermostat is easy to set up. Because of this reason ease-of-use is a crucial criteria in our tests of programmable thermostats. A number of models made our latest suggested list, such as a new product from Honeywell which is both user-friendly and revolutionary. Many other programmable thermostats still left our testers scratching their heads. Listed below are the important points.

From the time the appearance of the Nest learning thermostat in the year 2011, companies have been fighting to design the smartest programmable thermostat. Our latest review  includes voice-activated models and those with “geofencing” or the capability to track where you are and modify temperatures accordingly, for example turning up the AC right before you get home. These functions are really cool, but only as add-ons to a device that’s also really simple to use.

Because of these reasons we actually like the Honeywell RTH959OWF, which can be managed from another location via your mobile phone, tablet or computer. Its touch screen color display provides sharp contrast and its prompts are user-friendly. Additionally we had no difficulty connecting to our own Wi-Fi router or downloading the easy-to-use application. This is the industry’s very first voice-activated programmable thermostat, that we found logical and responsive. Between the tested models, the American Standard AccuLink AZone950, also satisfied our testers with its extensive touchscreen display screen and equally user-friendly controls.

In case you don’t worry about managing your home’s temperature from the mobile phone, you can save a lot by selecting a programmable thermostat model without remote access. For us, Honeywell is the obvious winner within this category. The Honeywell Prestige HD YTHX9321R, provides a remarkably sharp display and its ease-of-use rating was the best of all tested models. Its tabletop remote enables you to control thermostats in other places of the house. More affordable models from Lux and Robert Shaw also made our winners list of programmable thermostats without remote access. For more details, and reviews see our complete programmable thermostat list page.

Apr 232014
Nest or Honeywell

This particular review is actually a comparison between Honeywell RTH8580WF thermostat and Nest 2nd Gen programmable thermostat, the main 2 thermostats which dominating the market these days.

With small number of choices on the thermostat market for a 7-day programmable thermostat having an user-friendly interface, an effective appealing small physical style and design, Wireless features, along with a reliable manufacturer, the Honeywell RTH8580WF thermostat has shown to be a lifesaver, and in my personal opinion, the best return for the money within these types.

Nest Learning Thermostat - 2nd Generation - 1Nest Learning Thermostat – 2nd Generation – 1

The history starts in Christmas time 2012 when I requested a Nest 2nd Gen programmable thermostat. The product was gorgeous, simple to use, and apparently the obvious option for almost all home owners trying to upgrade to a better thermostat. Nest is additionally very popular with homeowners who have an Apple device and take pleasure in the capability to check out and modify schedules from an Apple device remotely. Sadly, my personal passion for the Nest decreased rapidly. A phone call to Nest support team within the initial few days of ownership verified that the “set temperature” is simply regarded as “a desired ambient temp.” Which means that as opposed to Honeywell thermostats, THE NEST HAS A 3 or 4 DEGREE +/- SWING! This became cause many issues with programming within the forthcoming several weeks with Nest kicking ON the heat when it was cold (as it should), but then STOPPING the heating system 2-3 degrees BEFORE getting to my set temp! This particular main flaw (for me) became the downfall of the Nest. Almost all elements of interacting and looking at Nest are enjoyable using a truly amazing web/iPhone user interface, along with usage of very good quality glass and metal parts, which establish a legendary design/interface which sets apart the Nest from the competitors. This 3 degree +/- temperature swing from the set temp designed by Nest engineers to “help conserve power and reduce yearly heating and cooling expenses” with no solution to edit this from the set temp, well, next, I had to look elsewhere for a programmable thermostat which is in fact functional with regards to heating and cooling my home to an appropriate temperature.

After a couple of nice and useful calls with Nest customer service who eventually couldn’t fix my problem, I ended up returning my Nest to Amazon and starting my search for a alternative product.

Choosing an ideal product right after having a Nest turned out to be a really complicated task. Initially, absolutely nothing seemed to compare! It took a few days to eliminate thermostats by Venstar and Ecobee since the price tags were higher, the design and style was just alright, and what eventually affected my decision was the concern of incompatibility with my simple heating/cooling system and potentially requiring a professional to come in and perform the install. Following the problems with Nest, further complicating things with a costly install did not sound appealing.


I finally decided on the Honeywell RTH8580WF. For $149 price tag on Amazon (as of today – the price is $122 (April 23th)), I was capable of getting all the functionality of the Nest with simply a slightly sacrificed design. The screen is very large, sharp, and simple to understand – use. The touchscreen display is effective despite it appearing just a little dated in comparison to modern devices like the iPhone or iPad, on the other hand I appreciate that by default the product continuously glows a dim green color which can be read at night time or day and brightens up whenever you touch the display to make an adjustment. This particular setting can be turned off in order that the display is dark constantly unless the screen is touched (I guess you may want to turn it off, if the thermostat is located in your bedroom).

The web interface for the Honeywell is excellent. I had very low expectations in this department before having the product. For whatever reason though, it is simple to use, enjoyable to work with, and quite reliable. The setup procedure to get the Honeywell on my network was super easy. After installing the thermostat on the wall and connected, it did not take very long to get the system registered on Honeywell’s internet site and get started scheduling out my week from my personal computer.

The only possible issue that you may have is the ‘C wire’. My old thermostat used four wires: White, Red, Green and Yellow (W,R, G, Y). Nest also only required the same four wires to run. However, for Honeywell a “C wire” is REQUIRED to power the unit. Once I managed to add the ‘C Wire’ the unit started working and has been working like a charm ever since.

My only issue regarding the Honeywell is the fact that 7-day schedule for the week can’t be modified through the iPhone application. This is a minor complaint overall. The present temperature may still be modified through the Honeywell application, etc. just fine, and the application has a decent user interface and it is quite simple to use. It also displays the present outside temperature for my neighborhood combined with the five day forecast! Nest was lacking this built into their application.

Overall, I would personally highly recommend the Honeywell RTH8580WF programmable thermostat to any home owner planning to upgrade to a WiFi smart thermostat. In case you do not want or require the WiFi accessibility, the product is very attractive to look at on the wall and work with. Honeywell customer service was very punctual, polite, and very helpful when I called, precisely the same excellent support I received with Nest.

If you’re ok with the +/- 3 degree swing from the set temp of your thermostat and want a remarkably gorgeous piece of art and functionality on your wall, choose the Nest. On the other hand, in case you are like me and wish to be comfortable without continuously manually switching the heat on/off, choose the Honeywell which maintains your house within +/- 1 degree of the set temp.

I would like to talk about some customers’ concerns that I’ve read in a few reviews regarding a number of thermostats continuously switching on/off to preserve a set temperature and this being damaging to the heating unit. I haven’t noticed this to be an issue in my house with this Honeywell thermostat. The product simply switches on/off when needed – like a thermostat should.

I hope this review will help someone out there who is planning for an upgrade to a smart programmable thermostat.