Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat Review: A Great Nest Alternative?

Honeywell’s Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat is just what you’ve been waiting for. This energy efficient thermostat can be controlled from any room (or bed) in the house, and even better, anywhere in the world. Almost home? Get that heat cranking. Forgot to shut off the air? Do it from work. Wake up in a sweat? Don’t get out of bed, cool your home from your computer or iOS/Android app. You can also put an end to manual control and have the Honeywell build a smart thermo-schedule based on your habits.

As a techie, I couldn’t wait to rip out my archaic thermostat and replace it with a color touchscreen. We’re living in the future, I want to feel like I’m living in Iron Man’s house! The touchscreen gives you access to all of your standard heating/cooling thermostat controls as well as more advanced tools like daily scheduling, vacation scheduling, and fan control. Best of all, it’s easier than ever to control! Since it’s Wi-Fi, the main screen proudly displays the outside temperature and humidity.

The screen on Honeywell’s Smart Thermostat is always on. The theme/color can be changed to best match your decor; you can choose a preset or completely customize it yourself. An appropriate dim level can be set so it’s not too bright when it’s not being used.

Scheduling is a breeze, but so is changing the temperature from your phone. Changes occur immediately. In scheduling mode, the Honeywell gets your home to the desired temperature by learning how long it takes and starting that much earlier than your scheduled time. It could potentially start heating/cooling an hour early.

Setting up the Honeywell Smart Thermostat (or any thermostat for that matter) can be a little intimidating and discouraging. Honeywell provides pretty good videos and resources to guide you through the process. The Smart Thermostat requires its own power so you need a “C” wire, though there’s a workaround if there’s a “G” wire and an extra wire. If those methods don’t work it also comes with an AC adapter that can be plugged into the wall for power. Once it’s installed, the setup is cake –enter your WiFi information, answer a couple questions about your set up, and that’s it. You can stick to manual entry or set up scheduling for each day of the week.

Using the web interface, you can set up all sorts of alerts for your thermostat and have it email multiple addresses. You can choose upper and lower temperature thresholds and humidity thresholds as alerts. You can be alerted when a thermostat loses WiFi connectivity or when a temperature change failed to send to the thermostat. You can even be alerted when it’s time to change your air filter.

The Honeywell Thermostat management systems are pretty robust, yet quite simple to use. You can set up Honeywell WiFi thermostats in multiple locations, and multiple thermostats in each location. You can easily control all of the locations and zones from the web or app. When using at the iOS app, Android app, or web interface, it’s as if you’re looking directly at your thermostat.

I have little experience with the Nest, a similar WiFi-enabled smart thermostat, but I have played with it and done some research. The Nest, also, is really nice. It has a much more Apple-like presence. The all black cylinder illuminates as you approach the device. It’s very simple in design and usability, and gets a little more advanced when you dig deeper. Honeywell has a much more straight forward user interface, and it also seems that Honeywell offers more flexibility and precision in fine tuning settings.

The Honeywell Thermostat is quite the worthy investment. Not only can it help you save its worth in gas and electric bills through efficient scheduling, but it can really enhance your quality of living. Over these past few weeks, there’s been no greater feeling then getting in to bed and deciding I want the room a little cooler or warmer, and within seconds, without getting up, my room is on its way to the perfect temperature. I can have that desired temperature “hold” for any amount of time before it goes back to the schedule, or I can keep it running all night. Similarly, when I wake up, if my place isn’t at a good get out of bed temperature, I refer to my iPhone and wait a couple extra minutes until it is. It’s beautiful! The Honeywell WiFi Smart Thermostat (RTH9580WF) is currently available from Home Depot for $199.99 (compare at $259.99 from Amazon). You can learn more and check compatibility at wifithermostat.com.

Buy It!

The Good: Can control multiple zones and locations from iOS/Android/Web, Great interface, Easy to use, Can change color scheme, Scheduling, Vacation mode, Alerts, Weather updates, Helpful install videos.
The Bad: Intimidating install process, No option to turns screen off, Can’t schedule alerts from iPhone/Android app