The days of the extremely expensive WiFi thermostat installation are over. The Nest set a series of events in motion that forced the thermostat giant, Honeywell, to put a more competitive product on the market. The Nest put their new WiFi enabled, learning thermostat in the face of Americans across the country. Not only was it in all of the mega-box stores, but they did their part of advertising as well.
As a seasoned HVAC contractor, I was happy to see someone giving Honeywell a run for their money. After all, that is what makes the free market work. Honeywell has come out with several new WiFi capable thermostats for any budget. The Focus Pro thermostat is the base model and works just fine with a more traditional thermostat feel. It has push buttons for operation and can be used with a “Gateway” or directly to your router. (We will get into those differences in another post) The Vision Pro 8000 series is the work horse of their WiFi line. This thermostat does it all. It can control several stage Heating and AC systems, can be attached to an outdoor sensor, as well as indoor sensors. It has adaptive recovery, and can automatically switch from AC to Heating, and vice versa. This thermostat is a touch screen with a back lit screen. This model is what I have controlling the zones in my own home. It does not look like anything amazing, but it works perfectly with so many features.
The next level up is the Prestige. This thermostat is much more aesthetically pleasing, with a color LED screen and three colors to choose from. It does not have the capabilities of the Vision Pro, but it can handle its share.
The last, and not least, thermostat is the all new Lyric. This thermostat is fun to have in your home. You link your phone to the system and the thermostat knows when you leave the house and when you get close enough to the house for it to turn the heat back up. You never have to touch a thermostat again. This technology is new to the industry and it brings a little flare to the thermostat world.
These thermostats are great for those of you who have second homes. It will send you an email alert if your heat drops below a preset point. This will allow you to get a heating contractor to your home without it freezing and causing thousands in damages. Take it from me, this last winter was a rough one in the northeast, and we did our share of freeze ups. The WiFi feature of these thermostats give you peace of mind when you are away from your home and allow you to keep the heat lower in the house while you are away because you can turn it up the day before you arrive to get the house comfortable. It’s an exciting time in the heating industry.
These thermostats all come with the ability to program your day, which can save about 3% on your heating bills. The more zones in your house the better. With the cost of fuel to heat your home, it is imperative to squeeze out every bit of efficiency you can out of your heating system.