Programmable Thermostats

Reviews of digital programmable thermostats

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


  • 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


  • 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.”


Fri, January 20 2012 » Honeywell, Under $60