Digital HVAC thermostats for the home

Slickone

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 1999
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Anyone bought one of these? Are they worth the money? The Honeywell 7 day is $100. I imagine they're pretty good? The one's I've seen take AA batteries. How long do the batteries last? Why can't they use the AC for power instead of needing batteries?
Hunter makes some too, that cost much less. Are they good?
My home is 1400sq ft, does not have a heat pump.
 

They work if you have the intelligence to program it, I have a Robertshaw thermostat, I got it free when I was working for them way back when, she's still going strong.
 

bob4432

Lifer
Sep 6, 2003
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i have a ritetemp touch screen unit. if you take the time to program it, it works wonders. i wish mine had some kind of backlight though, late at night i need to turn on a light to see. the hunter one you are talking about, i think, has the backlight.
 

Garet Jax

Diamond Member
Feb 21, 2000
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Originally posted by: bob4432
i have a ritetemp touch screen unit. if you take the time to program it, it works wonders. i wish mine had some kind of backlight though, late at night i need to turn on a light to see. the hunter one you are talking about, i think, has the backlight.

Second that. I bought one a couple of months ago and installed it that night. Programming is very easy. It has 7 X 4 optional programs (4 for each day). The best part is that it only cost ~$50 from home depot.
 

Slickone

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 1999
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The Honeywell I was looking at (3500A) for $100 has a backlight, and 7 day program. They also have a (opened) 3200 (5-2 day) on clearance for $30 (was $60), but no backlight. Yes, one of the Hunter's was backlit, though now that I think about it, the square shape of the Hunter wouldn't cover up the area of my current thermostat, so I'd have to paint, and it'd still show. The Honeywell is rectangle (like mine).
I heard of Robertshaw but haven't seen their thermostats at the hardware store. Are they better than Honeywell? They're not backlit, are they?

Edit: I have seen the Ritetemp at HD. I passed them off as not good since they were priced lower, and I wasn't familiar w/ the name. I'll look again.
 

Ornery

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
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Honeywell is what I wanted to go with. The guy who installed my equipment said, "Buy what you want, but I've seen too many Honeywell units fail." "The nasty part is spending so much for it, then having to spend that much again for a good one." I said, "Yeah, but I've had my old Honeywell thermostat for decades!" He said, "This is a whole new ball game, with the digital control." He suggested Maple Chase, so that's what I got. Only had it a couple years, so no track record to speak of.
 

arcas

Platinum Member
Apr 10, 2001
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I have a pair of Honeywell 3200s. They're 5-2 programmable (4 programs M-F, 2 programs Sat & Sun). If given the choice, I probably would choose a different model. My gripes:

1) No backlight though it's not difficult to hack a constantly-lit LED (something I'll do after the warranty expires in a few more months).

2) the keypad has a cheap feel.

3) The built-in thermometer seems to update fairly frequently (~5 or 10 second intervals) but the thermostat itself only seems to compare the current temperature to the programmed temperature every 60 or 90 seconds. I can bump the temperature up and sometimes a minute or two will pass before the thermostat realizes it needs to turn the heat on. This "feature" alone is enough to make me not recommend this model.

4) I've seen glitchy behavior a couple times. Once, the lower level thermostat's thermometer was reading 65deg. I set the temperature for 69 degrees. After 3 or 4 minutes, the furnace still hadn't come on. I rechecked the thermostat and it was reading 70 degrees! Trust me, the house was chilly so the real temperature wasn't anywhere near 70 degrees. I haven't been able to reproduce this behavior so I can't investigate further.

Anyway, IMO, you'd do well to look into other brands.



 

bernse

Diamond Member
Aug 29, 2000
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My Hunter unit is great. No frills, but works like a champ. I have it set back for bed. Starts up at 6:30 AM, sets back at 7:30AM, starts up again at 5PM, sets back at 10PM, repeat.

Probably saves us, oh, 15%+ on our gas bill.
 

Fiveohhh

Diamond Member
Jan 18, 2002
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I use a 5-2 got it for 40 at menards. I love it. my batteries have been it it since last fall and still going strong
 

cavemanmoron

Lifer
Mar 13, 2001
13,664
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i have a Lux 500 programable,it works great!


http://www.luxproducts.com/thermostats/tx500.htm


at True Value,

SmartTemp Programmable Heat/Cool Thermostat
Lux Products Corporation Model# TX500
$42.99
Quantity:





In Stock
Ships within 1 business day


View Larger Image



Program thermostat ahead of time to turn on periodically throughout the day. Great for while you are away on vacation or at work. This works for heat- only or cool-only settings to keep the temperature comfortable when you arrive home


True value hardware store, LUX 500 t'stat
 

Slickone

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 1999
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OK guess Honeywell isn't good. I'm surprised they're digital 'stats aren't good, considering they make some very hi-tech aviation equipment, including Bendix/King - the most widely used avionics.

Does Robertshaw, Ritetemp, or Lux make a backlit model? Hunter does. I guess adding your own LED couldn't be that hard.
Has there ever been a consumer reports on these things?
 

Fiveohhh

Diamond Member
Jan 18, 2002
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my lux is backlit. I don't there there is much technology involved in it though.. turns on and off at a certain temp. some of the honeywell ones if you set to be 70 at 6am they will turn on at 5:15 or so so that at 6 it it 70
 

Slickone

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 1999
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I noticed in this weeks Lowes ad, they've got a couple different Hunter models for $29 after $10 MIR, and appears to be a 5+1+1 day and a 7 day, both backlit. Though the ad seems to have errors since they don't match up with Hunter's website.
 

optoman

Diamond Member
Nov 15, 1999
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Originally posted by: Slickone
I noticed in this weeks Lowes ad, they've got a couple different Hunter models for $29 after $10 MIR, and appears to be a 5+1+1 day and a 7 day, both backlit. Though the ad seems to have errors since they don't match up with Hunter's website.


I was just going to post this. Picked up the 5+1+1 the other day and it works quite nicely. The temperature is about a degree off but the walls are warmer then the air still. We had a couple 30 degree nights last week so it was the first time we used it. Backlite is nice, indiglo. Definitly worth the $30. Can't see why I would buy a Honeywell that was almost 3 times the cost.

If you have anymore questions on this then PM me.
 

optoman

Diamond Member
Nov 15, 1999
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It says the batteries will last approx. one year, 2 AAs.

Only gripe I have with it so far is that the cover takes a little effort to pop open. Just need to squeeze the plastic housing a little harder than I would of liked.
 

FeathersMcGraw

Diamond Member
Oct 17, 2001
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Depends on the model and your HVAC wiring. Some thermostats will use in-wall power and the battery serves as a backup in case of power failure, others rely on the batteries alone.

The only advantage of the Honeywells that I saw was its adaptive technology on the higher-priced models; instead of simply turning on the HVAC at a given time until the temperature stabilizes at the desired setting, it uses some intelligence based on previous heating/cooling cycles to turn on the HVAC before the specified time so the temperature is actually at the desired level at the time you program it (of course, this means that your system actually runs a little longer than what you've programmed it for).

I have the 7-day, non-backlit Rite Temp model, and it works like a champ. I actually have it turn off a half hour before I go to sleep since the house temperature doesn't drop off immediately.
 

Doggiedog

Lifer
Aug 17, 2000
12,780
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Originally posted by: FeathersMcGraw
Depends on the model and your HVAC wiring. Some thermostats will use in-wall power and the battery serves as a backup in case of power failure, others rely on the batteries alone.

The only advantage of the Honeywells that I saw was its adaptive technology on the higher-priced models; instead of simply turning on the HVAC at a given time until the temperature stabilizes at the desired setting, it uses some intelligence based on previous heating/cooling cycles to turn on the HVAC before the specified time so the temperature is actually at the desired level at the time you program it (of course, this means that your system actually runs a little longer than what you've programmed it for).

I have the 7-day, non-backlit Rite Temp model, and it works like a champ. I actually have it turn off a half hour before I go to sleep since the house temperature doesn't drop off immediately.


I just bought 2 Rite Temps this weekend bc of this thread. $89 for the backlit one and a $59 for the non-backlit.

Going to install them this weekend.
 

kranky

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
21,014
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106
I've had a Hunter for about 3 years and it's probably paid for itself 5 times over by now. The batteries last about a year and for whatever reason when the batteries need to be replaced the furnace or AC will start to short-cycle. At first I couldn't figure out what was going on but now I know what that means.

Mine doesn't have a backlight but I never missed having one. The thing is programmed and I rarely if ever fool with it unless we're going on vacation.
 

Slickone

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 1999
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Originally posted by: optoman
Originally posted by: Slickone
I noticed in this weeks Lowes ad, they've got a couple different Hunter models for $29 after $10 MIR, and appears to be a 5+1+1 day and a 7 day, both backlit. Though the ad seems to have errors since they don't match up with Hunter's website.
I was just going to post this. Picked up the 5+1+1 the other day and it works quite nicely. The temperature is about a degree off but the walls are warmer then the air still. We had a couple 30 degree nights last week so it was the first time we used it. Backlite is nice, indiglo. Definitly worth the $30. Can't see why I would buy a Honeywell that was almost 3 times the cost.

If you have anymore questions on this then PM me.
Thanks, I'll PM if I have any technical questions.
The sales ad is definately wrong. Maybe I should post this in Hot Deals. :) I picked out the one that matched the ad's picture identically, title (Autosaver 7 day), and description, but it's price was $67.72, not $39 as in the ad. The one I picked out was Hunter model #44550, Lowes SKU #90432 (note last two digits, it's not 90423, which is the other one in the ad). But the SKU for the one I picked out (as I said, same pic, title, description) is incorrectly shown in the ad as #126339, which is actually a 5+1+1.

After mine rang up $67, I explained to the cashier @ CS desk, then the store mgr (woman) that what ever model # it is, I wanted one shown in the sales ad (7 day) for $39 and to please find it for me. I've been hanging around AT Hot Deals too long to not give it my best shot. She said she'd go get it, and came back with #126339, a 5+1+1. I explained that it's not a 7 day. She said yes, 5+1+1 = 7. :confused: I disagreed and very briefly explained it to her. She went back again for 10 mins and finally came back with the original one I picked out (7 day), and said there's an error in the ad (duh), and would give it to me for $39, but couldn't do $29, and that the rebate might not print out for that model. I accepted. But a rebate printed out afterall! Actually two $10 rebates printed out. They look very similar, but are worded a little differently, and have different offer periods (but both include current date). Both mail to Lowes, but to different depts. They say the rebate includes this model. So it seems maybe I'll get the $67.72 Tstat for $19 + tax after MIR.

And as I said, the other $39/$29 one in the ad is #90423, also a 5+1+1.

Mine, and the other one they had on the shelf, are opened/returned. I hope all parts are there and it works. Several of their Honeywells had been opened too. I wonder if people return because they don't know how to install it, or they don't work right.




Originally posted by: Pepsi90919
Originally posted by: Slickone
OK guess Honeywell isn't good. I'm surprised they're digital 'stats aren't good, considering they make some very hi-tech aviation equipment, including Bendix/King - the most widely used avionics.
they also own FRAM.
And Ford owns Volvo, Jaguar, and Aston Martin. It doesn't mean a whole lot. If you're saying Honeywell doesn't make quality avionics, I urge you not to ever fly again. At least one item in the airliner you're in will be made by them.