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Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat: Call it the anti-Nest

Michael Brown | Oct. 16, 2013
Honeywell's latest Wi-Fi thermostat, model number RTH9580WF, features a bright touchscreen display filled with information about your home's environment and your HVAC system's status. But after having a stainless-steel-and-glass Nest thermostat on my wall, this one was a visual letdown.

Honeywell's thermostat does have some nice features, though. One of these is a vacation schedule that can turn your HVAC system off when you anticipate being away from home for an extended period of time. If you're deploying the thermostat in an office environment, there's also a feature that lets you program the device with special settings for national holidays. You might not want to turn the system off entirely during such times, lest you end up with frozen water pipes on a cold winter day. But you can save a lot of energy by ignoring the needs of human beings when you know they won't be around to care.

Unfortunately, you can program these settings only at the thermostat itself. The Web portal seems designed for a lowest-common-denominator thermostat, such as Honeywell's model RTH8580WF, and doesn't take into account the features that this more-advanced model has to offer.

The second-generation Nest is prettier and easier to install, but Honeywell's thermostat provides a lot more information at a glance. They're equally smart and comparably priced, but the Nest's elegant aesthetic carries the day.


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