Programmable Thermostats

Reviews of digital programmable thermostats

Recommended Settings for Programmable Thermostats

Energy Star was set up in 1992 by the Clinton Administration. It was formed through collaboration between the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Since its inception the Energy Star system of labeling household electrical appliances that typically save 20% to 30% more energy than other similar appliances has been adopted by Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and the European Union.

Despite controversy surrounding Energy Star’s use of unverified data and its testing procedures for fridges (with the ice maker turned off), the organization has set out clear and helpful guidelines for setting your programmable thermostat so as to make the biggest savings on monthly cooling and heating bills and to reduce the carbon cost of a home.

Below are Energy Star’s recommended programmable thermostat settings:

Winter (heating)

Wake 6am – ? 70° F
Day 8am – set back at least 8° F
Evening 6pm – ? 70° F
Sleep 10pm – set back at least 8° F

Summer (cooling)

Wake 6am – ? 78° F
Day 8am – Set up at least 7° F
Evening 6pm – ? 78° F
Sleep 10pm – Set up at least 4° F

Expected Savings

The savings you can make from following these recommended set points depends on local utility rates and also climatic conditions in your region. However, on average if a homeowner pays an annual fee of $2,200 for heating or cooling he or she can expect to save $180 from using Energy Star settings on an Energy Star approved device.

All the programmable thermostats featured on this website have been approved by Energy Star. It should also be noted that although we list devices that are under $30 we recommend getting a slightly more expensive device that has better functionality. These functions improve home comfort and energy efficiency, and considering you save $180 a year the extra expense is soon recouped in energy savings.

More about Best Settings for Programmable Thermostats

The above is just an example. It obviously has to be tailored to your needs. For example, I don’t need the heating or cooling to start at 6am because I don’t get up until 8am. Moreover, I leave the house at 9am so that is when I set the ‘day’ setting to start. I get home at 5.30pm, so this is when my evening setting starts. I go to bed at midnight so this is when I start the ‘sleep’ setting.

As regards the recommended temperatures, people might complain that 70° F is not warm enough in the winter and that 78° F is not cool enough in the summer. These are probably people who enjoy wearing shorts and t-shirts in the house in the winter and sweaters in the house in the summer. For the sake of saving both money and the planet from global warming suitable clothes for the season should be worn.

Moreover, improving home insulation will better retain heat in the winter and better stop heat getting in the home in the summer. Adding awnings to south facing windows and using shades or curtains has an appreciable effect in stopping solar gain. Other important measures are installing uPVC or vinyl windows; blocking drafts and holes, using a fan in the summer and putting insulation in the roof space.

You will find that as you improve your energy efficiency habits and start to see the monetary rewards you will try to set back the thermostat settings a notch or two to make further savings.

Thermostat Settings and Functions

It is important to remember to change your set point times if your schedule changes. Also when the clock changes. Honeywell thermostats make instant changes for daylight saving.

One function that you need to discover whether your programmable thermostat has or not is smart response. This is also called adaptive intelligent recovery and smart recovery. It is a function that starts the heating or cooling early so that the home is the right temperature for the start of a programmed period. To find out more about adaptive intelligent recovery see the post of that name. This function means that you don’t have to start the heating or cooling early so that you get home or wake up to a comfortable environment. It is important to know this before you make your program choices.

Another function to watch out for is temporary hold. This allows you to override the programmed settings if you are too hot or too cold or have changed your routine. Most good programmable thermostats will maintain the new settings until a new program period. This is worth checking. If the pre-programmed settings are not automatically returned to then you could end up leaving the heating or cooling on too high all night or all day while you are out.

Why Bother?

Even if saving money is not a high priority for you, then the added comfort a good programmable thermostat can bring will no doubt still interest you.

On a serious note, global warming is getting worse not better. New estimates place the disappearance of the arctic ice cap at just 2020. Rising sea levels, hotter and more irregular weather patterns will affect us all. The rich will not be immune to the devastating effects of global warming. Since the wealthy enjoy an ocean view it is likely that they will be impacted considerably.

The only chance we have to prevent eco disaster is to count our carbon dioxide emissions. The residential sector accounts for a large proportion of America’s entire energy bill, and much of that is taken up with indoor climate control. This electricity mostly comes by burning fossil fuels in power stations. Thus, the best way to reduce the carbon footprint of a house is to use less electricity and this means improving home energy efficiency. One of the best ways to do this is to install a programmable thermostat.

Sat, June 2 2012 » Environment » No Comments

Honeywell RTH230B

Honeywell RTH230B

Find the best price for the Honeywell RTH230B 5+2 Programmable Thermostat

Specifications

  • 5+2 programmable thermostat with 4 periods per day
  • Large display with soft touch button interface
  • Temporary hold
  • Continuous or automatic fan modes
  • Accurate to +/-1 degree Fahrenheit
  • Display in Fahrenheit or Celsius
  • Battery change warning
  • Filter change warning
  • Energy Star approved
  • Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Price: $27

Compatibility

  • Central gas, oil or electric furnaces, air-con, millivolt systems
  • 1 stage heating and 1 stage cooling

Review of the Honeywell RTH230B 5+2 Programmable Thermostat

The Honeywell RTH230B is one of Honeywell’s most affordable programmable thermostats. They have pared down the functions on this thermostat to deliver the reliability of a Honeywell thermostat but at a very attractive price.

The Honeywell RTH230B has 1 program setting for weekdays and 1 setting for the weekend. This will suit families who have 1 schedule for week days and another for the weekend. The problem with the 5+2 is that on Sunday you might want the heating or cooling to come on later if you enjoy a lie-in but unlike Saturday night you might want to return the evening setting to the same as the weekday because you go to bed early to prepare for the following week.

Both of the program slots are divided into 4 sections that represent morning, afternoon, evening and night. By adjusting the start and stop times and temperatures for these periods of the day you make savings on your heating and cooling bills. This is what the Honeywell RTH230B can do as well as more expensive programmable thermostats. By being able to program the heating / cooling for different times of the day you no longer have to rely on manually making changes before you go out or go to bed. It is forgetting to manually adjust a normal thermostat that causes homes to be carbon inefficient. By just setting back the thermostat temperature 1 degree for 8 hours you save 1% in fuel bills for that 24 hour period.

This programmable thermostat is the same as other Honeywell thermostats in that it keeps the room temperature within 1 degree Fahrenheit of the set temperature. Honeywell thermostats don’t have swing control. Rather they limit the number of cycles per hour to prevent damage to the HVAC systems. For homes that are adequately insulated this system works well and makes a home comfortable. For homes with poor insulation or located in an area that has very hot summers and / or very cold winters the Honeywell alternative to swing control can have mixed results. The Honeywell system allows the user to set the number of cycles for cooling or heating per hour. See the post concerning swing control.

The only function on the Honeywell RTH230B is a filter change warning. After so many hours the thermostat flashes a warning to tell you to replace the filters. This saves you further money as it guarantees the HVAC equipment is running at its most efficient. The other thing to remember to do is to get a HVAC tune up every couple of years.

This programmable thermostat is straight forward to install and comes with clear instructions. In case you lose the instructions we have provided a link down the right hand column for the RTH230B user’s manual. This thermostat runs on batteries that are inserted into the front of the device. It cannot run off mains electricity.

The thermostat is also a cinch to program. It takes very little time to program because there are only 2 programs to set up. Thought should be given as to how these 2 programs are arranged. For people with more complicated lives a 5-1-1 thermostat or a 7 day thermostat is more suitable.

Programming is through soft touch buttons on the front of the thermostat. The simplicity of the user interface is considered a big plus by most users.

Drawbacks

As discussed, one of the drawbacks with this thermostat and with other Honeywell thermostats is the lack of a swing control function. Opinions greatly vary as to the wisdom of the Honeywell approach to balancing the desire to keep within the set point and to also prevent the heating or cooling continually cycling on and off.

Another issue is the lack of a backlight on this model. While many people will simply set the thermostat and forget it, others like to refer to the device even at night time to check the temperature and possibly the time.

The Honeywell RTH230B programmable thermostat also lacks useful functions such as auto change over that allows for days when both heating and cooling might be required. It also lacks smart response that tracks heating / cooling times and finds the optimum time needed to bring a room to the desired temperature prior to the start of a programmed period. This means always waking up and getting home to a comfortable living area.

Honeywell RTH230B vs. Lux Products TX500E

For those people who want more functions in the same price range the Lux Products TX500E is also a 5+2 device but includes temporary hold, vacation mode, keyboard lockout and swing control. Moreover, the TX500E has adjustable swing control and a backlight.

Honeywell RTH230B vs. Hunter 44550

For another $10 or so a home owner can get the Hunter 44550. It is Energy Star approved and has 7 day programming as well as all the most useful functions such as swing control, temporary hold, smart recovery (same as smart response), auto change over, vacation mode, filter warning and armchair programming.

Honeywell RTH230B vs, Honeywell RTH2310B

The Honeywell RTH2310B is also a 5+2 programmable thermostat. It costs about $29. For the extra $2 the model includes a blue backlight

Amazon Reviews

The Honeywell RTH230B has received 83 Amazon reviews, of those 30 are maximum 5 star reviews; 20 people give the device 4 stars; 8 people give it 3 stars; 11 2 stars; and 14 1 star. Opinions are thus fairly divided on this thermostat.

One reviewer complained that the instructions told him to remove the jumper wire and the thermostat wouldn’t control the furnace. It turns out the jumper wire should be connected.

Another criticism was that the battery cover would be better off on a hinge rather than snapping on and off.

On a positive note people commented that the RTH230B is easy to program and the temporary hold or override is just a matter of putting the temperature up or down.

Keynote Quote

“If you’re in the market for a new thermostat, this is a nice simple unit, affordable, and easy to use.”

- Wiseguy 945

Fri, June 1 2012 » Honeywell, Under $30 » No Comments

Honeywell RTH2520B 7 Day Programmable Décor Thermostat

Honeywell RTH2520B Decor 7-Day Programmable Thermostat

Click here for the Best Price for the Honeywell RTH2520B 7 Day Programmable Décor Thermostat

Specifications

  • 7 Day programming with 4 periods per day
  • Interchangeable faceplates (titanium, charcoal and taupe)
  • Push button programming
  • Smart Response
  • Pre-set energy saving settings
  • Filter change reminder
  • Blue LED Back light display
  • Can cycle fan
  • Keeps settings even after power outage
  • Accurate to +/- 1 degree Fahrenheit
  • Daylight saving setting
  • Energy Star approved
  • Time display in 12 or 24 hour systems
  • Requires batteries
  • 1 year warranty
  • Price: $52

Compatibility

  • Single stage heating and cooling systems: gas, fuel oil or electric furnace (2 or 3 wires); central air (2 or 3 wires); hot water with or without pump (2 wires); millivolt system (2 wires); and central heating or cooling (4 or 5 wires)
  • Cannot regulate multi-stage heating and cooling systems, heat pumps or electric baseboard heat.

Review of the Honeywell RTH2520B 7 Day Programmable Décor Thermostat

The most noticeable thing about the Honeywell RTH2520B is its look. It is smaller than other Honeywell thermostats. It also has very different styling to other Honeywell units. The Honeywell RTH2520B is called a ‘décor’ thermostat because it comes with 3 different faceplates so that the owner can choose the color that suits the décor of the room the best. These colors are titanium, charcoal and taupe (as in picture). For those not familiar with ‘taupe’ it is a light grey/brown color.

However, stylish looks is not all that the Honeywell RTH2520B has to offer. It is a powerful thermostat that offers the user 7 day programming. For each daily program there are 4 periods to set up – wake, leave, return and sleep.

Programming of the Honeywell RTH25230B uses the Honeywell system of menus that are easy to understand. This system is frequently compared to using an ATM machine for its ease of understanding. The overwhelming response from users is that it is easy to understand and makes programming a cinch. This thermostat uses button programming. Most of the buttons are hidden behind the faceplate.

The thermostat is suitable for self-installation. For those with a modicum of electrical know-how it can be installed in just 20 minutes. The device is suitable for most 24 volt single stage systems.

The Honeywell RTH2520B has an attractive blue LED backlight. This backlight comes on when the temperature up or down buttons are pressed. This does not change the temperature unless a button is pressed again. The backlight stays on for a few minutes after a button is pressed. The blue backlight is different to the green backlight found on the other thermostats in the RTH/TH range.

The thermostat has smart response. This function is also called early start. It is a function that gauges how long it is needed to pre-heat or pre-cool a room so the set point is reached by the start of a programmed period. This means that a home is always the right temperature when people get up or return from work.

To help a home owner makes the maximum savings on heating and cooling bills the Honeywell RTH2520B comes with default energy saving settings based on Energy Star recommendations.

There is also a filter change reminder to make sure that the filters are always changed on time so the HVAC works at its most efficient and that dust is not allowed to build up.

Other functions on the Honeywell RTH2520B include a feature to account for daylight saving changes. The thermostat also keeps programmed settings even after a power outage.

For those people who don’t like the look of ‘white thermostats’ the Honeywell RTH2520B offers an excellent alternative that does not compromise on performance or functions.

Drawbacks of the Honeywell RTH2520B 7 Day Programmable Décor Thermostat

As with all Honeywell thermostats in the RTH/TH range one of the main points of contention is the lack of swing control. The thermostat keeps a room to within 1 degree of the set point temperature but does so by cycling the HVAC systems more frequently than if a wider ‘swing’ were allowed. Depending on the insulation of a building and the climate conditions this can be more or less of a problem. Rather than have swing control this thermostat lets the user set the number of cycles for heating or cooling per hour. For more on this issue see swing control explained.

The Honeywell RTH2520B is also lacking a vacation mode. This is not an insuperable barrier, but it means that re-programming is necessary if a user wishes to go away for a few days and leave the thermostat on an energy efficient program. Also the thermostat won’t turn up the heating/cooling to make a home comfortable for when occupants return from their holiday. For a Honeywell thermostat with a vacation mode it is necessary to buy a Honeywell RTH8500D.

Another drawback with the RTH2520B is that the display only shows the set point temperature not the actual room temperature. This is only a minor disadvantage since the thermostat always keeps the room within 1 degree of the set point.

Honeywell RTH2520B vs. Honeywell RTH7500D

It is instructive to compare the Honeywell RTH2520B with the Honeywell RTH7500D. The 7500D is actually a few dollars cheaper than the 2520B but has more functions and better compatibility. The Honeywell RTH7500D has the advantage of having a temporary hold button and also an auto change-over function. The Honeywell RTH7500D will appeal to those people who don’t like changing batteries as it can be wired to draw its power from the mains. Finally, whereas the Honeywell RTH2520B is confined to only single stage heating and cooling, the Honeywell RTH7500D can regulate up to two stages of heating and 2 stages of cooling.

Amazon Reviews

The Honeywell RTH2520B 7 Day Programmable Décor Thermostat has received 17 reviews on Amazon. 8 people give the device the top 5 star ranking; 5 people 4 stars; 2 people 2 stars and 2 people 1 star.

Most reviews naturally make mention of the look of the thermostat. For many it is the smaller size and the attractive design and color of the Honeywell RTH2520B that makes it worth the money. Other people mention they like the blue backlight.

On the whole people found the Honeywell RTH2520B easy to install and program. 1 person thought that the buttons were a little on the small side.

A few people mention that the thermostat does not make a clicking noise when it activates the heating or cooling, unlike other Honeywell thermostats.

Keynote quote:

“This unit comes with changeable covers in Taupe, muted Silver, and Black to coordinate with a variety of wall colors. Installation & programming took a total of 20 minutes. This unit has a backlight for night use, has been reliable, and is very easy to operate.”

Bobby

Fri, January 20 2012 » Honeywell, Under $60 » No Comments

Honeywell RTH6350

Honeywell RTH6350

Click here for the Best Price for the Honeywell RTH6350 5+2 Programmable Thermostat

Specifications

  • 5+2 programming (1 slot for weekdays and 1 for weekend)
  • 4 periods per program (wake, leave, return, sleep) with option to skip periods
  • Push button programming
  • Smart response
  • Temporary hold
  • Back light digital display
  • Energy saving default settings
  • Can cycle fan
  • Armchair programming
  • Accurate to +/- 1 degree Fahrenheit
  • Keep settings even after power outage
  • Energy Star approved
  • Runs on 2 AA batteries
  • 1 year warranty
  • Price about $47

Compatibility

  • Air-con, heating only, cooling only, hot water, steam or gravity, 750 Millivolt system, gas fireplaces.
  • Single and multi stage heating and cooling. Heat pumps with or without auxiliary.

Review of the Honeywell RTH6350 5-2 Programmable Thermostat

The Honeywell RTH6350 combines many of the best points of the Honeywell RTH series with the simplicity and cheap price of a 5+2 thermostat. Although the Honeywell costs more than other 5+2 thermostats such as the Lux Products TX1500E it is a good option for a first time user of a digital programmable thermostat.

Honeywell promises that you can install the RTH6350 within 15 minutes. This might be an exaggerated sales claim, but the unit is certainly simple to install, especially in homes with standard wiring. Moreover, Honeywell has the best programming system. The user is presented with a set of simple menu options, rather like an ATM, that guides the user through the program set up.

A 5+2 programmable thermostat is limited to two programs. One is for weekdays and one is for the weekend. It means that if your schedule changes during the week, or you tend to go to bed at different times on Friday, Saturday or Sunday then the Honeywell RTH6350 will not be able to efficiently control the heating or cooling of the home so as to maximize savings on bills.

The Honeywell RTH6350 features smart response that uses PID technology to accurately pre-heat or pre-cool a room so that the set point temperature is reached at the start of a programmed period. This is an important function that takes the guess work at of programming and stops people turning up the heating or cooling in the belief they will make the room more comfortable quicker.

The display of the thermostat has a back light that comes on every time a button is pressed. This means buttons need to be pressed twice to make a change (once to activate the light and once to make the change). The display shows both the room temperature and the set point temperature.

As with all the models in the Honeywell RTH series the RTH6350 is able to retain its program settings even in the event of a power outage. Also it holds the room temperature to within 1 degree Fahrenheit of the set point temperature.

Drawbacks of the Honeywell RTH6350 5+2 Programmable Thermostat

As mentioned, perhaps the main drawback of the Honeywell RTH6350 is the fact that it only has 2 program settings. It is thus only suitable for people who vary their schedules very little.

In terms of functions, the Honeywell RTH6350 doesn’t have a vacation mode. For this you need to go up the range to RTH8500D. This function lets you the set the thermostat on a timer so the house is the right temperature for your return from vacation. It is a small annoyance for some people, for others it is a very useful function. The same can be said of auto change-over which is also missing on the RTH6350. This function detects the changing of the seasons and automatically switches between heating and cooling as required. This function is only useful at the times when the seasons are changing.

Other functions not present on the Honeywell RTH6350 but present on other Honeywell RTH thermostats are battery change and filter change warnings. It is recommended that you change the batteries once a year. Perhaps at the same time every year so you don’t forget. A similar regime should be set up for changing the HVAC filters.

An important drawback of the this Honeywell thermostat as with all the Honeywell thermostats in the RTH range is that it keeps the room temperature within 1 degree of the set point. It doesn’t have a swing control setting like thermostats by Lux Products and Hunter. In extreme weather what might be seen as a sign of an accurate thermostat in facts becomes a problem as the heating/cooling cycles several times every hour. This is called short cycling and can cause damage to HVAC systems.

Comparison with the Lux Products TX1500E

The Lux Products TX1500E is a cheaper thermostat and it is a more powerful thermostat in that it has a program slot for both Saturday and Sunday (5-1-1). The Lux Products TX1500E also has a programmable vacation mode that could also be used as an extra program slot – thus making it an 5-1-1-1 device.

The Lux Products TX1500E has smart response and temporary hold like the Honeywell RTH6350 but also has a keyboard lock out. The display on the Lux Products TX1500E also shows the relative humidity in a room.

The main advantage of the Honeywell RTH6350 has is that it is very easy to install and program. Honeywell is probably the most user friendly brand of thermostat.

Amazon Reviews

25 people have reviewed the Honeywell RTH6350 on Amazon.com. Of these 25 reviewers 13 of them give the thermostat the highest score of 5 stars, 5 people give give it 4 stars, 2 people 3 stars, 3 people 2 stars and 2 people 1 star.

One reviewer complains that they thought the Honeywell RTH6350 has auto change-over. On the official Honeywell site the RTH6350D is listed as having auto change-over. It says the same thing on the box but once the thermostat is removed from its packing there is a sign saying that if auto change-over is required then the Honeywell RTH6450 is the thermostat to buy. One presumes Honeywell will rectify these mistaken claims both on its packaging and on its website.

Another issue is with nomenclature – it is hard to tell if the Honeywell RTH6350 is same or different to the Honeywell RTH6350D. They are in fact the same – Honeywell uses these names interchangeably on its website. This is another thing they need to improve about their website. Clearly any prospective buyer should do some research and read instruction manuals, links for which are provided down the right hand side of this site.

Reviews mention how easy it is to install and program the Honeywell RTH6350 and how convenient it is that program periods can be skipped. At the same time, the theme of Honeywell thermostats not having swing control comes up. One reviewer notes that the precision of the thermostat (to within 1 degree of the set point) leads to more cycling of the furnace than with other programmable thermostats. Another reviewer mentioned that the Honeywell RTH6350 is not suitable for controlling heat pumps because it turns on the auxiliary too quickly. If you have a heat pump it is worth looking at the Lux Products BBHP2110 Smart Temp for Heat Pumps. It is a 5-1-1 thermostat especially designed for heat pump management.

Keynote quotes:

“Programming literally could not be easier.”

Steve Young

“The packaging and website both claim that the 6350D has auto changeover from heating to cooling. However, that is NOT the case.”

Daniel Miller

Sun, December 11 2011 » Honeywell, Under $50 » No Comments

Lux Products TX500E Smart Temp

Lux Products TX500E Smart Temp

Click Here to find the Best Price on Amazon for the Lux Products TX500E Smart Temp

List of Specifications

  • 5+2 Thermostat with 4 periods per program
  • Adjustable swing control of up to 5°Fahrenheit
  • Mercury free display
  • Temporary hold
  • Vacation mode
  • Patented Lux Speed Dial
  • Filter change warning
  • Battery change warning
  • Pre-programmed Energy Star recommended settings
  • Keyboard lockout
  • Can cycle the air
  • Shows temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius
  • 1 year warranty
  • Price: $28 (click the link above to check the latest price on Amazon.com)

Compatibility

  • Forced air and central air systems and heat pumps without auxiliary heat. Also hot water baseboard and steam heat radiators, and 750 millivolt systems (gas fireplaces/wall heaters). 2 wire hot water systems only
  • Single stage heating and single stage cooling.

Review of the Lux Products TX500E Smart Temp

The Lux Products TX500E is the model down from the popular Lux Products TX1500E. It is very similar to this model. The main difference is that the Lux Products TX500E is a 5+2 thermostat whereas the Lux Products TX1500E is a 5-1-1 thermostat. In layman’s terms this means that the Lux Products TX500E has only 2 programs to set up – one for weekdays and 1 for the weekend. The Lux TX1500E is the next model up offering 3 programs – one for weekdays, one for Saturday and one for Sunday.

If you keep regular hours during the week and also get up and go to bed at the same time at the weekend then the Lux Products TX500E has enough programming sophistication to allow you to match your schedule with the heating and cooling in the home to save money.

As with the Lux Products TX1500E the Lux Products TX500E has a programmable vacation mode. This is designed to be used as an alternative setting for when you are away from the home on holiday. However, it can also be used as another program setting; thus, making the thermostat effectively a 5-1-1 device.

The Lux Products TX500E Smart Temp has useful pre-programmed default settings. These are settings based on Energy Star recommendations. If the default settings are followed Lux Products estimate it is possible to save $500 a year on your heating and cooling bills. These default settings only work if there is no other program in the device. They are useful to those new digital programmable thermostats as they can form the basis for settings. The closer you stick to the pre-programmed settings the more money you know you are going to save.

Another handy function of the Lux TX500E Smart Temp is temporary hold. This allows you to pause the programmed settings if you are too hot or too cold. It is a 1 button function. The hold remains until you press the button again or another scheduled period starts.

Despite the cheap price for the Lux Products TX500E it still includes an adjustable swing control that let you decide on a margin of up to 5° Fahrenheit (3°Celsius) within which the thermostat does not activate the heating or cooling. For many people this is an important function as it stops the HVAC clicking on and off constantly trying to maintain an exact room temperature.

Comparison with the Honeywell RTH221B

The Lux Products TX500E costs only $6 more than the Honeywell RTH221B and yet it is very much superior to the Honeywell thermostat – it offers more program slots and more functions. The Honeywell RTH221B has only 1 program slot and the only function is temporary hold. Whereas the Lux TX500E has 2 program slots and has not only temporary hold but also vacation mode, keyboard lockout and swing control. For the extra $6 the Lux Products TX500E Smart Temp is great value.

Drawbacks

For the price, the Lux Products TX500E is unbeatable value. It does however have its limitations. Firstly, if you have a changing schedule during the week this thermostat doesn’t allow the programming flexibility to fit your schedule.

Secondly, the thermostat is reliant on batteries. It is also limited to single stage heating and cooling systems. Generally speaking Honeywell thermostats have much better compatibility than Lux Products thermostats.

For those who like to wake up to a comfortable home and return from work to a comfortable home this might not be the most suitable programmable thermostat because it doesn’t have adaptive intelligent recovery. You have to manually fiddle with the settings so that the thermostat pre-heats/cools a room. This is a matter of trial and error and not as cost effective as a thermostat with PID technology (smart response, auto recovery, adaptive intelligent recovery).

Finally, the Lux Products TX500E doesn’t have a backlight so at night time it is necessary to turn on the light to check the settings.

Amazon Reviews

There are 37 reviews of the Lux Products TX500E on Amazon. 16 people give the thermostat the full 5 star rating; 11 people give the device 4 stars; 6 people give the thermostat 3 stars; 1 person rates it as 2 stars and 3 people give the thermostat the lowest score of 1 star.

On the positive side reviewers of the Lux Products TX500E mention how easy the device is to install and program. The general consensus is that the thermostat is reliable and easy to use.

Small criticisms include that the display writing is too small and that the thermostat only accepts AA alkaline batteries not rechargeable batteries. Another user wished that the thermostat would show the real temperature as well as the set point temperature.

A more serious criticism was made by one man who had bought a number of TX500 units and noted that they started to play up (the ‘on’ and ‘off’ buttons wouldn’t respond immediately) after 5 years. However, he notes for the cost you can buy 2 units at the same time and keep one as a backup.

Keynote quote:

“Bought this just a few weeks ago and hooked it up myself, nothing to it. The product works great and I was able to program in the settings that met my needs. I would recommend this product. Great product and you can’t beat the price”

Stuck with the pans – Kansas

Mon, November 7 2011 » Lux Products, Under $30 » No Comments