Honeywell makes a very large line of programmable electronic thermostats. At first glance, this particular thermostat has nothing to distinguish it from any other programmable tstat from your local hardware store. (7-day programming, +/- 1 degree accuracy, etc.) However, this thermostat has some functions that make it quite a bit better. I've had RiteTemp's and Lux tstats, and this one is much better.
Most electronic thermostats kick on the system when you are one degree under, and then run it until you are one degree over. This (and all Honeywell electronic tstats) instead target a certain number of cycles per hour (based on system type), and try and hold the temperature as constant as possible. Since I installed this a few days ago, it has not budged off of the setpoint.
Another cool feature is the recovery feature. Basically, it measures how quickly your house is losing heat (or warming up, in the summer), and kicks on the system at the correct time so it is at your setpoint right at the time you program. This eliminates guessing how long it will take your house to heat so it will be toasty when you get home at 6PM. Instead, you just set the tstat for 6PM and let it figure out the rest.
The install guide is clear and presented me with no problems. Admittedly, I don't have a complicated system (1-stage heat/cool.) It tells you how to properly wire it, and is fairly straightforward on when you need to call for help. Most folks shouldn't have any problems.
IMPORTANT: Use the included wire stickers! Some installers do not attach, say, the white wire to the "W" terminal. Depending on whim, they can completely attach the wires at random. Bad things happen if you plug the wrong wire onto the wrong terminal. If a wire was on the "W" terminal before, it needs to go on the new W terminal, even if it is bright yellow.
I didn't have any trouble at all programming this one... in a few easy steps:
1) Hit the "Schedule" button.
2) Use the arrow keys and the "select" button to select which day(s) you want to program. Hit "Next Step".
3) Use the arrow keys and "Next Step" to go through the setpoints and times.
4) Hit "Done" when finished.
If you need to set any advanced options (like changing to a two-stage furnace or A/C, setting heat pump options, etc.): Hit "System", then hold down "Fan" for five seconds. Use the table in the manual and "Next Step" to pull up the option you need to change and use the arrow keys to change it. I set up the Filter Change Reminder that way. The fact you have to refer to the manual isn't that bad since they are options you won't have to change more than once.
I had a new Bryant small packaged system installed and decided to replace my older White-Rogers digital thermostat with Honeywell RTH7600.
Three days after the installation the thermostat is working fine. The numbers are large and clear, the programming was easy and intuitive. It is quite a bit smaller than the old White-Rogers and looks more elegant. I like that the thermostat can be taken off the wall and programmed while you sit in a chair.
I noticed a few issues, but nothing to prevent me from recommending this thermostat. These are the issues that I wanted to mention:
1. There is no back light button. For the back light to turn on, you have to touch one of the buttons on the screen. Once you do that, it activates the appropriate function (lowers temp setting, goes into fan functions, etc.) Then, you have to cancel that operation if that is not what you want. Therefore, just a simple checking of the temperature setting in the dark involves a bunch of button presses.
2. Advanced programming relies on codes. I needed to use the advance programming to set a reminder for filter replacement. The advanced functions use codes like 0120, 0170, 0300, etc. instead of words. Then, you have to select an appropriate switch for each function, e.g. "0" off, "1" 1 month filter reminder, "2" 3 months filter reminder, etc. I would prefer English words on screen rather than codes. However, codes are very clearly explained in the installation manual, so you better hold on to it if you need to use advance settings in the future.
UPDATE: It's been a year and a half since the installation and the thermostat is working fine. I decided not to do any advance settings for auto switch between the heater and A/C. It is still on it's first set of rechargeable LSD AA batteries (Sony CycleEnergy AAs). I am satisfied with this thermostat and, other than the lack of a backlight button, I do not have any concerns.
on February 1, 2009
I had bought this for use on my Carrier Heat Pump with Auxiliary heat. I had a hard time figuring out if it was compatible with this configuration but this is the unit you would want. It was only a couple of bucks more for the touchscreen so I went for it.
Amazon shipped it out to me from a warehouse that is only about 20 miles from my home in Indy and for some reason it took 10 days from the time of shipping! That was a disappointment but once I got it here it was easy to install and setup even for my complicated setup. I read some reviews that complained about the back light feature not being easy to turn on and I do agree with that problem which is the only reason for the 4-stars instead of 5. To get the back light to turn on, you have to hit a button on the screen which ends up changing something that you may not have wanted to change or gone to a menu that you did not want. What they need to do is design a button on the top of the unit (outside of the touchscreen) that you could easily find in the dark which will light up the screen.
Once installed, setting the unit up and programming the features as well as setting up the schedule and temperatures was a piece of cake. I'm not sure why others had problems I thought it was easy (although I am an engineer!). Also, I read a review that mentioned a loud "clicking" noise the unit makes when kicking on and off. I disagree with this as the standard Carrier thermostat that came with my furnace was noticeably louder than this Honeywell unit so I am pleased with that.
I would recommend this unit to anyone but just don't expect the back light feature to be useful as I still have to turn on the hall light to see what I'm doing so the feature is pretty much useless. Its easy to install, easy to operate, and should end up saving me a lot of money on my electric bill!
About a year earlier, I purchased and installed a Lux TX9000TS Touchscreen 7-Day Programmable Thermostat. It's a good thermostat and has many similar features. My house has two zones with central heat and air conditioning, and I felt that the Honeywell was better suited to my second zone. While both are good thermostats, there are some notable differences.
Both thermostats are described in detail by their respective manufacturers, and both offer flexibility with the ability to program four temperature settings for each day of the week. Both have touch screen displays that can show comprehensive information and allow you to change settings with relative degrees of ease. Both fall short in some areas, and both exceed the other in some ways.
An important feature for any thermostat is ease of use, the ability for a user to change the temperature without reading a user manual, and the ability to program the thermostat without a confusing array of steps. Traditional thermostats have a single knob or lever that allows a user to point a line or arrow to a specific temperature. Ironically, both of these thermostats have situations where even raising or lowering the temperature by a few degrees can be a show stopper for an untrained user.
The Lux model has a clean and concise user interface. It has a pleasant looking blue LCD touch screen with larger numbers and less crowding. It has a separate button for back lighting. It displays the current temperature, and touching the temperature lets you see the set point and up and down arrows to override it. The problem with that is that despite its elegant appearance, not seeing the set temperature leaves untrained users at a loss. When I was out of town, another resident of the home had a party and nobody there could figure out how to start the air conditioning. The temperature had been left on hold. Since the button for the light is not on the touch screen itself, it's easy to miss by somebody searching the screen for it.
By contrast, the Honeywell has a busier screen with more information. It displays both the room temperature and the set temperature. The up and down arrows are always visible. Touching the screen once lights up the unit. The down side to the latter feature is that the first press of any button will not perform its function until the unit lights up. That's potentially confusing, but not a show stopper. The feature on the Lux is preferable for somebody who knows how to use it, but the Honeywell is better for typical users.
One of the reasons I bought this unit is that it works with heat and air conditioning and does not need to be switched from one to the other. As the seasons cool down, the local temperature drops down to the mid to low 50s, Fahrenheit. But I still get days when the afternoon sun will raise the temperature of some rooms to over 80 degrees. If the air conditioner is needed in the evening, the room is comfortable on its own at bed time, and the heat is needed in the morning, the Honeywell seems to make the most sense. The catch, however, it the notion of the set temperature. If you want AC to go on when the temperature is above 80 and you want heat to go on when the temperature is above 66, the thermostat can handle it fine. If the temperature is outside of that range, it's clear which set point is relevant.
But if the temperature is within that range, there are two concurrent set points, but only one is shown. If the last function was heat, then the up and down arrows show the heat set point and let you change it. Likewise for AC. But if you want to change the "other" set point, (for example, you have a hot day followed by a cold night, but not cold enough for the heat to go on) the arrows alone won't help. When you press an arrow, the set point temperature will flash, and will have the word "heat" or "cool" under it. The word "system" will also flash on the bottom left corner. If you press "system" while it is flashing, it will toggle the heat/cool set points that the arrows are adjusting. That was far from obvious and the user manual didn't help. Almost all users would be at a loss to change the temperature for whichever was not the last function used.
Both thermostats work well and are generally easy to use if you read the manual. Many one-time settings for the Honeywell require cycling through cryptic code numbers and setting a value for each of them, making things easy with a manual but impossible without one. On the Honeywell, setting the year, month and date will allow the unit to know the day of the week. But the date is never displayed on the screen in general use, which raises the question of why you are not simply asked to specify the current weekday at setup time. Knowing the date allow the thermostat to keep track of daylight saving time, so it's ultimately for a purpose. But having a simple way of displaying (and changing) the date would have made sense. Setting things on the Lux is generally easier overall, but on a day to day basis, the goal is to rarely need any user interaction.
Both thermostats keep track of filter usage, but the Lux keeps track of the number of hours that the system was in use. It also give the user more information about recent energy usage in general. The Honeywell keeps track of the number of days of use between filter changes. I believe that means the number of hours/24 rather than on how many days the filter was used. Seeing a message saying "Filter usage count 288 hours" is less ambiguous than one saying "filter 12 days."
From a functional standpoint, both thermostats work well. If you've read the manuals, chances are that you will do well with either. The Honeywell has a more nicely presented professional looking manual, but it also needs one more than the Lux. Both have annoying quirks, and both have strengths over the other. In an environment with seasonal changes and big temperature swings, having a thermostat like the Honeywell can be an advantage. It has Smart Response technology to keep track of how long it takes to get the room to the set temperature so it can get there at the set time, rather than merely going on at the set time and taking however long it takes. That could be an advantage depending on how long your system takes to heat or cool, and depending on temperature range settings.
Either one of these thermostats could work quite well, but the Honeywell is theoretically closer to the ultimate goal of "set it and forget it."
on February 25, 2011
Bought for a heatpump with electric auxillary heat. I noticed that when the unit is bringing the house up to the programmed temp in the morning from 62 to 70 which are the recommended settings, the auxillary heat kicks on. Called Honeywell and they said I am correct and there is nothing you can do about it except buy a model in the 6000, 8000 or 9000 series which they call contractor models. with those you can override the 3 degree limit before auxillary heat kicks on.
Easy enough to install once you find that the heatpump information is covered later in the manual.
Read both manuals to setup the programs correctly. They have a short version in one but it skips most of the important steps.
on October 24, 2011
I purchased this thermostat to replace a 20 year old (original) mercury analog thermostat for our upstairs unit. The main reasons I chose this unit were price, features, brand name and overall reviews (touch screen was desired but not mandatory).
IN THE BOX:
The package came with everything necessary for installation, including wire flags to mark each wire with before you pulled them off the old thermostat so that you could more easily identify where they go into the new one (a very nice touch). The thermostat was, of course, included along with an installation manual and a user's manual, and a couple mounting screws with wall anchors.
We have a gas furnace and ac, so for us it was a four wire job (no flags were even necessary). It couldn't have been any simpler to mount and wire. If you have an electric furnace w/ emergency heat and/or a multiple stage unit your installation will be more involved, but if you take your time and flag the wires it still shouldn't be overly complicated (if you don't feel comfortable doing it, it's better to get a professional to do the job - please don't risk messing up your several $K system). The installation manual is pretty clear, however I can see a few places where a bit of confusion may arise for those who have never installed a thermostat before. Overall, this thermostat is just as easy to install as any other thermostat on the market (they're all pretty much the same), if not a touch easier due to the thoughtful inclusion of the wire flags.
Read the manual!! Sorry, I had to get that out of my system after seeing many of the unfounded poor reviews on here from people who claim this thermostat is unable to do things that it actually is able to do, if they had just taken the extra couple minutes to flip through the pages in the user's guide...
With that said, setup is a bit of a mixed bag - it's pretty easy to setup, however you MUST read the manual in order to set certain functionality, as it is code driven (the unit uses a numbering system to select functionality, and you must match the number up to that in the manual to select what features you want to activate / deactivate). Fortunately, once you set it up once, it's good to go. It could be a bit more intuitive, but to be honest, I thought the manual was easily understandible and I had no problems with the setup.
The one thing that did bother me a bit was the fact that the date can only be found and changed under the numbered setup, instead of being programmable with the time under the 'normal' screen setup. I guess this should only have to be set once, though, so it's not really THAT big of a deal in hindsight (just a bit frustrating at the time).
Programming could have be bit more intuitive in my opinion, though it isn't difficult (and you don't have to do it often once you get it set where you want it While the manual wasn't required for me to do this, it would have probably been helpful on my first run. This thermostat has individual daily settings, each with four time slots for when you sleep, wake, are away, and return home, and each slot with their own high temp and low temp range (the thermostat can be set to change over from AC to Heat, or vice versa automatically as necessary in the setup codes, though we kept ours manual). You can select multiple days at once to program identically, which is a nice feature and saves a bit of time. Overall it's not difficult, however it was just a bit more tedious than our downstairs unit (a higher end non-touchscreen thermostat from another make).
SCREEN QUALITY (TOUCH AND VIEW):
The screen is easy to read, well lit and thus far I have experienced perfect touch sensitivity. The green glow may be 'outdated', but it does a nice job illuminating and we purchased this thermostat knowing that's what it had, so I don't understand why some other reviews have even mentioned that as a gripe... It's nice that you can touch the screen once anywhere in the 'touch sensitive' areas (along the bottom and right side) to light it for viewing, then touch it again to change settings. This seems like it should be a given, though I've dealt with touch screen units in other homes that require a touch it to light it, however that first touch changes settings at the same time). The buttons are large enough for me to comfortably navigate without worrying about hitting the wrong button or multi-button pressing (I have good sized hands).
The thermostat has worked very well for us thus far. We haven't had any of the constant cycling on/off issues that have been expressed in other reviews, however I installed it in late September so we missed the really hot season; we'll see how it does as it begins to get really cold now. I am not worried about it though - it keeps us comfortable and does exactly as it has been programmed to do. The temperature is also a LOT more accurate than our previous mercury model...
MATERIAL / BUILD QUALITY:
Overall the quality of materials is good. The plastic housing is a bit flimsy - once mounted on the wall the thermostat still has some give and play, though it's sufficiently stiff as to not allow movement during regular button pressing and such, and the electric contacts seem to be firmly in place.
After I installed the thermostat, I did notice that the screen was not positioned correctly. It seems that the screen is held into place using just the pressure from the cover. I was able to use my thumbs and gently slide it back into the proper position, and it is held firmly enough so that it shouldn't be a future issue (unless handled somewhat roughly), but it does seem that they would have secured it better with clips or something.
For the price of this thermostat (keep an eye out for the dicounts) it is practically unbeatable, and I have no gripes or regrets purchasing it. We wanted a simple second zone therostat with daily programming and at least two time slots per day. I did my research, and the Honeywell RTH7600D has met or exceeded all of my expectations so far. While setup requires the manual, you should only have to do it once. Programming takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do a few slots it's pretty easy. The touch screen is sensitive and well lit. Functionality is exactly as it should be.
This has been a great unit for us, and it's certainly nice not having to slide the temperature adjuster every morning, then slide it back right before we go to bed (and wait for the temperature to get back into a comfortable range).
on July 25, 2009
I bought this thermostat mostly for its modern appearance, as a replacement for my dated looking programmable thermostat. I also hoped that it would be able to regulate the temperature better than the old one, which struggled to keep the temperature correct on the schedule I programmed.
I'm not technically inclined, but installation was a breeze. The hardest part was separating the thermostat from its backplate, which there is no obvious way to do other than just pulling and hoping nothing breaks. That seemed to be the correct approach though, for both my old and new thermostats!
There is a helpful quick installation guide, which walks through the wiring in a very clear and simple way, from the point that I removed the wires from the old thermostat to when I placed them in the new. The whole installation took less than 15 minutes, including drilling one new hole in the drywall.
The width of the new thermostat is less than that of the old, resulting in some exposed wall painted in the previous color that the wall had. I will have to touch up some time soon.
Programming the thermostat was a little more challenging. It is not that it is hard, just not intuitive enough to do without reading over the manual. Once I got the hang of it, it took a few minutes to actually program. I was able to choose groups of days of the week, and specify typical settings for them. I have a schedule for Mon-Fri, and for Sat-Sun.
It is worth mentioning that there are default programming settings, based on Energy Star recommendations. I'm sure the summer settings would save energy, but they would not make for the house being very livable for us, as we prefer a summer temperature in the 70s, not 80s. I'll try the heating settings come winter, as they may be more realistic.
Once installed and working, the thermostat has a feature that ensures it reaches the right temperatures *at* the times I specified. It got it wrong the first day (it was a little warm when we came home), but by the second day it had adjusted itself to the conditions of our house, and now the temperature is very reliable, and very constant (does not swing at all). The thermostat does an EXCELLENT job of regulating temperature.
on May 12, 2011
After using this unit for two years I am switching to another brand. The lack of "swing" setting in this unit is the reason. My AC and furnace units cycle on and off very frequently. This thermostat seems to have a swing value of .25 degree or less which helps in maintaining the temp accurately but at the cost of heavy stress on the HVAC system. I noticed that sometimes the furnace shuts off just a few seconds after turning on without ever starting the blower. This is because the thermostat is too sensitive to temp changes. It detects small change is temp and sends on/off signals to the furnace without any regard to efficiency. Bad design in my opinion. There is a setting that limits the number of cycles (under 0240 code in installation guide) but it doesn't work.
- Need to keep installation manual handy to understand cryptic codes to change settings.
- Outer bezel moves even after fitting snugly. Could be due to cheap build quality.
- Backlight stays on only for 5 secs. No way to change the duration.
- Looks bulky and dated. Would prefer sleeker look and blue light instead of green.
on August 30, 2010
Great purchase at a reduced price. I previously priced this product at over $119 retail price, and then at $100 after receiving a HVAC Technician's discount before finding it on Amazon for $85.
A programmable thermostat is great for homes when it is necessary for your A/C system to run while you're not home or asleep. Personally I have a pet, so I need for my home to remain cool while I'm at work or else I would just turn the system off until I come home. This product is great because I can set the temperature at a reasonable level without it constantly running, skyrocketing my electric bill, and having the house nice and cool right before I return home from work. The touch screen is a nice "touch", which lights up appropriately, even in the dark. The programming features allow you to set the temperature for several hours of the day and even raise or lower the temperature when you sleep, for everyday of the week.
Installation is not difficult, although it is very important to note and document the location of all wires on your old t-stat before removing them, so you can place them correspondingly on the new one. It is also important to know what type of system you have (heat pump, "straight cool", gas furnace, 1 stage, 2 stage...etc.) so you can program the t-stat to work with your system. Even as a HVAC Technician, I forgot to program the Honeywell to work with my heat pump system, so if you decide to do it yourself, remember that little piece of advice to save you some confusion as to why your system is running in heat instead of air conditioning.
If you are on the fence, I would encourage you to give it a try!
NOTE: If you decide installing the thermostat is too difficult for you, I would suggest NOT calling a A/C company unless you want to pay an exaggerated price because you did not buy it from them. For this type of thermostat companies may charge up to $400 or more for purchase and installation. Try talking to an individual A/C Technician that you feel comfortable with and explaining your problem and see if he or she would be interested in installing it on their own time, since it only takes about fifteen minutes to install. You would definitely come out spending less money working with an individual technician opposed to the A/C company itself should you require the assistance.
on January 16, 2012
Honeywell says how great this Thermostat is since is HOLDS a temperature within .5 of a degree rather than the normal 1-2 degree swing before the furnance kicks back on. Well the RESULT of this wonderfull feature is your furnance will go off then 60 sec later go back on, then off, then on, etc. I can only imagine what this does to my gas bill and the furnance health. I'm sure it will dramtically shorten the life of my AC compress if I don't replace this before summer.
Stay way, really no more features than a 20 yr old Thermostat except it cycles the furnace ALL DAY LONG (Ouch!).