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 302014
 
Honeywell Prestige 2.0

Honeywell thermostats have a worldwide reputation for both reliability and ease of use; and Honeywell THX9321R5030 Prestige 2.0 HD Thermostat is not an exception. This programmable thermostat is a great tool for easily controlling home heating and cooling. The Prestige thermostat is a 7 Day programmable, high definition color touch screen thermostat that practically programs itself by asking you intuitive questions instead of a manual programming interface. This thermostat’s enhanced thermostat features and extended warranty (5 years of warranty) puts this one into a different position in this game; and this can be defined as one of the best programmable thermostats in the market.

There is a known fact : many of the programmable thermostats are never being programmed. they keep running on the pre-set configuration!  The Honeywell Prestige 2.0 has “Interview-Based Programming wizard” to easily and confidently schedule thermostat temperatures and times. I am sure, the customers who has this thermostat at home, indeed program their thermostats :-)

Let’s look into the overall features of The Honeywell Prestige 2.0:

  • Date First Available May 7, 2012 (being 1,5 years in the market and having 4.4/5 stars rating is a big “plus” for me)
  • Hazmat# UN3091 Lithium metal batteries packed in / comes with the equipment (battery-powered thermostat)
  • Configurable for residential and light commercial applications
  • wifi capable (but you have to purchase the Redlink internet gateway – which connects to your router). Then you can set temperatures from anywhere by computer/phone/tablet app.
  • Controls humidification, dehumidification, or ventilation (works with RedLINK™ accessories including the RedLINK™ Internet Gateway)
  • Portable Comfort Control, Wireless Outdoor Sensor and Wireless Indoor Sensor (they don’t come with the product, needs to be purchased separately)
  • Flexible enough for many different setups; meaning Honeywell Prestige 2.0 HD Thermostat can control just about any combination of HVAC and IAQ equipment that you might have :
    • Up to 3H/2C Heat Pump & 2H/2C Conventional
      • Up to 4 Cool Conventional using the universal outputs [commercial only].
      • Up to 3 Heat Conventional using the universal outputs.
      • Up to 4 heat/2 Cool Heat Pump using the universal outputs.
      • Up to 2 stages of Geothermal Radiant Heat using the universal outputs.
  • Alerts and User Interactions Log – Keeps a searchable history
  • USB port for transferring Installer Setup, Customizable Reminders
  • Precise temperature control (± 1 F) for reliable and consistent temperature

 

Honeywell Prestige 2.0 HD Thermostat Installation and Setup

You do not need to be an expert to install Honeywell Prestige 2.0 Thermostat, especially if you already have a C power wire. Which means you need a C wire for the installation. With basic knowledge of wiring, you can do it yourself with a little bit of research. But as I usually say; better to be on the safe side : If you are not really comfortable with the installation, please hire someone for this work. Yes, hiring someone will cost you some money; but spending some money is much better than to end up with a furnace problem or -even worse- with a fire…

If you have all the required wires (including the C wire), installation is pretty easy and isn’t any harder than any other thermostat. If needed, the installation manual is available on line if you search for it (not putting the link here, cause I believe still you are looking for a thermostat to buy – not ready for the installation :-) ).

 

 

Features:

Honeywell Prestige 2.0 Thermostat comes with many features. All these small and well thought features shows us that this is a well designed programmable thermostat. Here is the features of Honeywell Prestige 2.0 Thermostat:

  • Large, easy-to-read backlit full color display shows current indoor temperature and humidity, temperature setting, date and time on the home screen. Also displays outdoor temperature and humidity on home screen (if wireless outdoor sensor is installed)
  • 7 day programmable, configurable for residential and light commercial (meets commercial code and is title 24 compliant.), up to 3 heat / 2 cool heat pump and up to 2 heat / 2 cool conventional
  • Schedule holidays and custom events, remote setback, economizer and time of day. Continue reading »
Jan 272014
 
ecobee EB-STAT-02 Smart Thermostat Reviews

[reminder : These reviews are from internet – from different stores’ websites. These are not my own reviews]

Definitely better than my Nest was., December 5, 2012 (4 stars)

172 of 179 people found the following review helpful

After weeks of putting up with two flaky Nest Learning Thermostat – 2nd Generation T200577 units, I gave up on Nest and decided to give this a shot. So far, it’s been pretty decent.

Since the two are similarly-priced, and there are lots of reviews about each model, I’ll offer a comparison.

INSTALLATION:
Without question, this is harder to install than a Nest. In saying that though, some people are going to find the installation much easier than others.

First, the ecobee has a relatively large panel that needs to go “somewhere” between your furnace and thermostat. For my setup, my furnace and thermostat share different sides of the same wall. So, wiring could have been as simple as cutting the thermostat line somewhere in the middle, wiring up R/W/G/Y in the panel, and using the remaining wire to do +/-/I/O to the thermostat.

The tricky part is getting power to the panel. I decided I was going to run a common wire, and after changing out the physical wire, I realized that I didn’t know as much about 24V as I thought. Now, I *could* learn some more about HVAC wiring, or I *could* check and see if I have a 12V wall wort type of transformer.

Sure enough, I had a 12V transformer from an old Linksys router, and my power problem was easily solved. Then I connected my humidifier to the first ACC terminals, and I was set.

The Nest, on the other hand, required no wire cutting, and draws power from the existing wiring. However, it’s notoriously unstable. Om my particular system, it would complain about improper wiring for ten minutes or more, if the power had been cut. Others have reported the battery slowly discharging. Easy to install, not so easy to maintain.

INTELLIGENCE
The Nest tries to learn when you come and go, and when you adjust the thermostat, and creates schedules accordingly. In my experience, it creates them totally wrong — not noticing for hours when the house is empty, arbitrarily turning on the heat to a temperature it had never been set to, allowing a wide variance on either side of the temperature you set it at.

The ecobee, on the other hand, tries to learn how your house and furnace work. It isn’t going to learn that you like it to be 73 when you first wake up, but it is going to learn how long it takes to make sure your house is 73 when you tell it you wake up.

CONNECTIVITY
Both Nest and ecobee offer a web interface. Nest is bright, clear, and easy to use. It’s like using Apple’s iCloud service. On the other hand, ecobee is full of options that aren’t necessarily clear to laypeople, was designed for someone data-driven, and is as inviting as reconfiguring your home router for fun.

On the IOS / Android side, Nest presents a smaller (though fully-functional) version of their web interface. Brilliantly, ecobee did just the opposite. Their mobile application presents an interface that looks just like your thermostat’s interface. Very, very smart.

DATA
Nest shows you a cute daily bar that represents 24 hours in a day. When there’s a red slash, the furnace was on. Blue for A/C. Some days, you’ll get an arbitrary leaf.

Fire up Microsoft Excel 2010 if you want to get granular with the ecobee, because every five minutes, it logs:
*Date
*Time
*System Setting (heat / cool / off)
*System Mode (compressor, heating stage, etc.)
*Calendar Event
*Program Name
*Cool Set Temp
*Heat Set Temp
*Actual Temp (accurate within 1/10 degree)
*Humidity Set Point
*Actual Humidity
*Outdoor Temp
*Wind Speed
*Cool Stage1 (seconds)
*Heat Stage1 (seconds)
*Fan (seconds)
*Humidifier (seconds)
*DM Offset

So, you wind up with something that looks like this:
Date Time System Setting System Mode Calendar Event Program Mode Cool Set Temp (F) Heat Set Temp (F) Current Temp (F) Humidity Set Point (%RH) Current Humidity (%RH) Outdoor Temp (F) Wind Speed (km/h) Cool Stage 1 (sec) Heat Stage 1 (sec) Fan (sec) Humidifier (sec) DM Offset
12/3/2012 0:00:00 cool compressorCoolOff Kevin Up 72 68 71.8 0 49 45 0 0 0 120 0
12/3/2012 0:05:00 cool compressorCoolOff Kevin Up 72 68 71.9 0 50 45 0 0 0 0 0
12/3/2012 0:10:00 cool compressorCoolOff Kevin Up 72 68 71.9 0 49 45 0 0 0 270 0
12/3/2012 0:15:00 cool compressorCoolOff Kevin Up 72 68 71.8 0 50 45 0 0 0 180 0

It’s exportable as a CSV, or if you want to scour your info from ecobee’s page, it looks like they’ve got some RRDTool implementation running.

CONSTRUCTION QUALITY
The Nest is the one that’s going to impress. It feels substantial, it looks beautiful, and any monkey can use it.

This thermostat is the one that makes people say “…but it has a great personality, and really nice hair”. The interface looks and feels about a decade old, the touchscreen is more than a little temperamental about registering taps, and the unit itself ls flimsy plastic to Nest’s steel and glass.

VERDICT
I’m reserving some judgement to see how my next bill looks. The Nest actually increased my electric bill, and kept my gas bill at the same usage as my previous furnace, which was rated at 15% lower AFUE. Like the Nest, and its eight updates, I plan to update this.

If you put a gun to my head, I’d say the ecobee is the more serious thermostat. So far, I’d buy it again.

UPDATE: 02/26/13
I noticed a request or two for an update, so here goes…

Now that I’ve had the Ecobee for a while, my gas usage is down 30% year-over-year. Part of that is a more efficient furnace from last year. But when comparing to the Nest I had, my gas usage went down in spite of the weather getting colder. So the actual Ecobee-vs-Nest savings is fairly substantial.

What I like the most, though, is that the Ecobee lets you get very granular. Want the fan to operate for 15 minutes out of every hour? No problem. Want to set up different temperatures every half hour? Done. Need the humidifier to operate independently of the heat? Just connect the wires to the brain board.

So in addition to saving gas, I’m also able to circulate the air — keeping the temperature even throughout the house, and filtering it — and make a nighttime schedule that drops from 72 to 65 so gently, you’d hardly notice. There’s something psychological about hearing the air circulate, I guess.

As far as intelligence and reporting, there’s so much, it’s probably easier to type out what’s on the HomeIQ page:
First, you get the crazy metrics I pointed out above, presented in a graph.
Then, another runtime report that charts how long your HVAC system ran, and another tab that adjusts the runtime to external temperature.
And then… insights (and I’m typing these out as they appear):
Your Ecobee saved you 4%
Your Ecobee rating: **** / ***** (This is a calculation of how your house retains heat)
Your system ran 7% less than the average for your state / province
In January, your heating ran for 124 hours. This was 43 hours more than the previous month.
Your performance is influenced by a number of factors:
1) Weather — In January, your average weather was 27.1 degrees Fahrenheit. This was 5.7 degrees colder than the previous month.
2) Weekly Schedule — In January, your average heat setpoint was 70.2 degrees Fahrenheit. This was 0.3 degrees warmer than the previous month.

It’s all displayed as infographics, and looks really sharp. Compared to “You got a leaf for today”, Nest really can’t hold a candle to it.

All things considered, this is the thermostat for any true geek who wants to build an insanely custom HVAC system, or for someone who enjoys never having to check the thermostat, because the temperature is so well-balanced after investing some programming time. I’d absolutely buy this again.

 

I LOVE this thermostat!, May 12, 2011 (5 stars)

95 of 105 people found the following review helpful

Synopsis:
Yes, this is a pricey thermostat – there is no disputing that but, this isn’t a clunky time clock that just adjusts the temperature set point a few times a day either. Plain and simple, it’s a computer to monitor and control your home environment and it does this very well. Continue reading »

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 022014
 
Venstar T5800

Currently more and more people are looking for the best programmable thermostat that can do the work properly – which stands for enhancing the comfort level at home or office, and also providing the most savings on the monthly energy bills. And at the same time, people are looking for the beauty on the devices. With the information below you will understand why Venstar T5800 Venstar T5800 is considered to be one of the best programmable thermostats currently available on the market. That’s why this thermostat has the highest rating on Amazon under Programmable Thermostats section – it has got 4.7 out of 5 stars, which is awesome!

Venstar T5800

Venstar T5800

Venstar T5800

Venstar T5800

The current programmable thermostats try to give you more control over your heating/cooling whether you’re at home or away and help you monitor the amount of money you’re burning with energy bills. One of the popular one is Nest Learning Thermostat – 2nd Generation, that I already wrote a detailed review. Today, I will try to do the same with Venstar T5800 thermostat.

Venstar T5800 Installation and Setup

Installing the thermostat is pretty straight forward. If you are a little handy, you can do the installation yourself easily. However, if you are not really sure about the process, you can definitely call one of your handy friends to help (:-) ) or your HVAC contractor for help. The process shouldn’t be longer than half an hour.

I want to mention an important point for the installation; the Venstar T5800 requires a 24-volt “common” wire to its C terminal because the thermostat needs a constant supply. You may not know if you have C wire or not at the beginning. That’s why, pay close attention to the wiring when you are removing the old thermostat. When you remove the old one, put labels to each wire so you will not get confused with the new ones installation. If you don’t have a C wire; there are couple options : Either to run an additional wire, or you can purchase the optional Add-A-Wire accessory from Venstar to complete the installation.

Venstar T5800 wiring installation

Venstar T5800 wiring installation

Even though I don’t read the documentation usually, I always appreciate good one… If I need to read, it is much better to have a detailed documentation. Venstar provides an illustrated, 57-page booklet with both a table of contents and an index. Venstar gets a big plus from me for this :-) If you want to have a quick look of the Venstar T5800  user manual / installation instructions, here it is : Venstar_T5800_owners_manual_and_installation_instructions

Venstar T5800 Features

I will divide the Venstar T5800 feature list into 2 parts:

  • first part covers the usual features that you expect from a programmable thermostat
  • and the second part of this list covers the special features Continue reading »