Rated 3.9 out of 5 by 243
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Vdub Finally an improved alternative to the Nest
I am a pretty big tech geek, and the smart home / home automation stuff has become a big interest for me recently. I have been playing with gadgets to control my home's garage, sprinklers, lighting, and now temperature, all from my phone.
I had looked into the Nest and Ecobee smart thermostats and spent hours reading reviews about them. Both of them had some limitations that held me back from actually dropping the cash on them. When I first saw this new Honeywell thermostat, it finally had everything I wanted and pushed me to actually go out and buy it.
They already had the smartphone app developed for the 8580, and it is a sleek, solid, proven app, and the user reviews back that up. But the 8580 was just ugly in comparison, and the monochrome "sorta" touch screen left some to be desired, even though the scheduling and other features worked great. I upgraded from the 8500 (same thing but no wifi), and it had great features, but just didn't look very 21st century. So with the 9580, I finally have features, functionality, and a great companion app for my phone.
Now, why do I think this is better than a Nest? Some people value simplicity and minimalism, and sometimes I do too, but the Nest went too far with simplicity. The screen basically shows the temperature, and nothing else. I was considering going from my ugly 8500 to the beautiful Nest before this Honeywell alternative existed, but never could because it actually seemed like it would be a downgrade overall, due to how little you can actually control from the Nest. The whole reason I got into the home control stuff is because I'm a control freak after all.
To contrast, from the screen of my Honeywell 9580, I can adjust the temperature, switch modes (heating, cooling, and circulate, which is a unique mode I really like), change the settings, view the current indoor *and* outdoor temperature *and* humidity (it retrieves this information from the internet, no additional sensor/accessory required), change the screen background & text colors to match my decor (an admittedly gimmicky feature that ended up being quite fun to try to get a perfect match to my blue-ish wall hue), and full access to view/modify the scheduling.
The scheduling was a huge deal breaker for me on the Nest, as the "learning" feature, in my opinion, is garbage. I want to *tell* my thermostat how to behave, not guess how it's going to behave, and get annoyed when it always does the wrong thing because *nobody's* schedule is predictable enough for the learning feature to work. I have a typical 9-5 job, but still don't want my thermostat to do any thinking of its own for my benefit. Because once it figures out that I'm gone from 9-5ish, I will have a day off, or some family will come visit, or some other variable that will throw off the learning feature. And there isn't even a "hold temperature" option on the Nest for these cases, which is a feature even a $25 thermostat has. I much prefer the robust scheduling options of the Honeywell to the "great idea, bad execution" learning scheduling of the Nest.
The other big Nest deal breaker for me is the +-3 degree temperature swing. The Honeywell has a +-1 degree swing, which is perfect. It doesn't keep the AC/heater on too much, and maintains a desirable temperature. A higher temperature swing does mean energy savings *in theory*, but at the cost of comfort and control. The problem is, with the Nest I would just end up turning it to 67 if I really wanted 70, so that it doesn't end up feeling too hot in the summer (translation: no energy savings and giant inconvenience). Again, the control freak in me doesn't want my thermostat overriding my decisions "for my own good".
The Honeywell's circulate feature is pretty cool, and basically allows a happy medium between the fan only and cool/heat modes. Traditionally, your fan and heating/cooling go on and off together. Circulate will heat/cool until the target temperature like normal, but will have the fan only on-and-off randomly to keep better air circulation in your home. Honeywell states it is about "35% of the time" in this mode, but it's hard to keep track of how accurate that is from just casual observation.
The Honeywell app is great and reliable, and unlike my garage door app, never has force closures, connection issues, or other problems. The app can do all the things I mentioned that the wall control panel can do, plus can give you a 5 day forecast, which is pretty cool. Then there is the Honeywell website you can log in to to do all the same stuff. Also reliable and has the exact same functionality as the app.
The notifications aren't a new feature, but they are implemented nicely. I have it set up to remind me every couple months to replace my furnace filter.
Wifi setup is super easy. Once you connect the thermostat (no way around needing a C terminal connection though, which might be a problem if your wiring doesn't support it or the G-to-C workaround), all you need to do is select which wifi network is yours and enter your security password. It supports all the latest protocols (wireless n, WEP, WPA, WPA2, AES etc). To control it via the app or website, you just need to set up a free account and enter in your thermostat's serial number and you're good to go.
I will also briefly mention the Ecobee thermostat, which was my 2nd place consideration before deciding on the Honeywell. It has most of the things I liked about the Honeywell, and none of the drawbacks of the Nest. But what broke that deal for me was 1) an even higher price than these already existing thermostats, 2) not all features available on the wall panel were available on its app (and vice-versa), and 3) it was a 2-wire solution that means setup is more of a pain since you have to wire stuff down by your furnace to facilitate a lot of the functionality. So basically the Honeywell has all of the positives of the Nest and Ecobee, but none of the negatives.
So at this point you can gather I'm very happy with this thermostat and would highly recommend it. But is it perfect? No, there are a few minor suggestions I would give to Honeywell to improve future versions of this:
1) You can't edit the custom color scheme you have previously created without starting over. If I want to just lighten my text color slightly and keep the same background color, I have to start from one of the preset color schemes instead of starting from the current scheme. Not a huge deal, but sometimes it's quite difficult finding that "exact" color I previously found that matches my wall perfectly.
2) It would be nice to have a wifi-only mode which would allow you to maintain remote control of the thermostat when the internet (or Honeywell server) is down. My Samsung smart TV, for example, doesn't talk to any Samsung servers or use the internet in any way to use my phone as a remote, it talks directly to the TV through my home wireless network. An option like this would be cool to have for the thermostat. (You can still always control the thermostat from the wall regardless of internet connection.)
3) Ability to control the circulation sensitivity would be nice. So you can adjust up/down from Honeywell's stated default of 35%. Again, not a big problem, just a wish list item.
4) I love that you can adjust the backlight brightness, but it would be even greater if you could tie the brightness to your scheduling. So while the thermostat turns down while away at work and while sleeping, it could turn the brightness to 1 during these times to reduce power consumption.
5) Auto-login feature for the app. You can have it remember your login name/password, but you still have to go through that screen. An option to have it log in and go straight to the control screen with no input would be great.
6) The pro-install (2-wire with air quality control) version of this thermostat comes in white, black, and silver. This consumer version only comes in the worst of those three options, silver (really a 2002-era color). White/black options would be great!
So to summarize, the pros bring it to 100 out of 100, and the cons bring it to about 98 out of 100, which on a 1-5 scale is a solid 5. It's pricey for a thermostat, but compared to the Nest (at the same price with significantly less to offer) and the Ecobee (at a higher price with slightly less to offer), it is definitely the current best value in the smart thermostat area, at least until the next great thing comes out.
June 13, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by HBTony This Thermostat Rocks...!
I'm a techie geek and compared the reviews of the NEST and this one. I selected this one from Honeywell.
Easy install, it took all of 10 minutes. The app on the iPhone and iPad just work. I like the fact it remembers the login. Scheduling is a breeze and this is where the savings over cost come in.
My old thermostat was causing my 80% efficient furnace to short cycle, and this no longer happens with this one.
It's simple and just works.. While I read few reviews of it not reflecting the proper temperature I have not encountered that issue, it matches my other temperature sensors in the house. It does pull the outside temperature and 5 day forecast from the web and will vary from you outside sensors. This is to be expected.
I'm not a big review commenter, the unit is pretty pricey but I've seen the savings already just from the scheduling control.
December 17, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Chris56 Works great!
This thermostat was really easy to install and set up. The app was just as user friendly. I followed the instructions and had it all working in less than 30 minutes. I love the fact that I can check on the house temperature while I am away from home. (Teenagers at home) The color schemes really integrate it with the decor. I would recommend this product to anybody. If a 56 yr old woman can install it, anybody can.
September 23, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Exit32 Easy to install and performs flawlessly
I have two independent HVAC systems in my house, so I purchased and installed two of these Honeywell WiFi thermostats. Installation was a snap, and setup was easy after reading the instructions. Having the ability to control my home's temperature remotely via the smartphone app is very cool and works very well. It's also nice that I'll receive e-mail alerts from Honeywell if my home's temperature drops below 50 degrees (my setting) when I'm on vacation during the winter months. Very impressive product!
February 19, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Busimus Easy to use and set up.
The product is sleek and modern looking. As advertised it is easy too install and very easy too operate. I was considering a Nest Thermostat but saw this one and it's features. For the price you are getting everything but the kitchen sink. The app that is used in conjunction is easy to use as well. One of my favorite features that is not on many t-stats is the ability to run the fan on it's own at predetermined times. It's great for circulating the air to keep a more even temperature throughout the house. It also has the ability to heat and cool at the same time. Two set points for areas that change temperature dramatically. In other words, you don't need to switch too heat or cooling manually, it does it on it's own. If it gets too hot, the A/C kicks on...just as if it gets too cold, the heat will kick on. All without having to switch between modes manually.
After using it for several days i'm very pleased with it. And I think you will be too!
May 11, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Phil Very cool and really easy
The installation process turned out a lot easier than expected. My old thermostat did not have the C wire hookup but it did have the extra wire so it turned out to be pretty easy to install. The unit is smaller than my old one so I had some drywall and paint touchup to do.
The unit itself is very readable and very easy to use. However, the Honeywell Apps for iPad and iPhone were really nice. Setting the schedule was extremely simple.
The reason I picked this one over all the others (including the Nest) was the circulating fan. What a great feature to moderate house temperature. The circulating feature will run your fan periodically so that you can keep temps on two levels more consistent.
I rated the value high, even though it is expensive, as it had more capabilities than the Nest for the same price.
June 8, 2013
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by panola Cycles on/off much too frequently
Unlike most thermostats, the RTH9580WF has no Span / Differential / CPH setting and the default factory setting causes the furnace to cycle on and off much too frequently. Since installing this thermostat, the furnace will cycle on and off an average of 11 times per hour where our old thermostat would cycle about 3 times per hour under the same conditions ( 20 degrees outside, relatively new house with modern windows and insulation).
Ideally any good thermostat allows the user to set the temperature Span or Differential setting with the factory default setting being +-1 degree before cycling. For example, if it was set for 66, it wouldn't kick on until the temp dropped to 65 and then turn off when the temp reached 67. However when the RTH9580WF is set at 66, it never leaves 66. It appears to turn on when the temp drops a quarter of a degree and turn off after raising the temp a quarter of a degree. It really is ridiculous and it's a shame because the thermostat has many other nice features.
November 15, 2014
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by mark It was not as good as it should have been
This has no adjustments or dead-bands between first and second stages of heat so with my heatpump has a 74 degree heat set-point and it was 74 in my room, it had the heat pump plus axu heat running at the same time . That wont save any money on the elect bill. They should had at least a 2 degree adjustment between the two. Honeywell at one time was better then this. As for the rest of this stat it was nice. I took it back a bought a Venstar
March 13, 2015