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AKA06

join:2011-02-10

1 edit

Looking for a new thermostat

Looking to replace a failing thermostat. Thermostat will be controlling central AC and forced air furnace.

Current thermostat is a Honeywell model (5-2 programmable). Looking to replace it with a model around $100 max, if possible. My only requirements are reliability and accuracy. Features are a bonus. 5-1-1 or 7 day schedules would be great, but not a deal-breaker. At least 5-2 though.

This said, the two models I'm currently considering are the Honeywell 8000 series (any of the three models in that series) or the Filtrete 3M50. The Honeywell seems to have good reliability, though they don't seem to honor their 5 year warranty unless you have a contractor install it. The 3M50 seems to have fairly good reliability as well and has the bonus of including an installable wifi module, to enable data tracking and remote temp control.

If anyone is familiar with either of these two models and can provide feedback on their personal experience with them, it'd be appreciated. Alternatively, if you'd like to throw in an addition suggestion to consider, which fits my criteria, that's fine too.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

I find that if an item is available on Amazon.com, it usually will have the most user reviews possible to find under one roof.

»www.amazon.com/Filtrete-Wi-fi-Sc···04IFXVHM

»www.amazon.com/Honeywell-TH8110U···ell+8000

Now, from reading those two sets of reviews, I'd go for the 3M one.

Most complaints for the 3M are about the difficulty in installing and setting up (And the iPhone app). There doesn't seem to be much issues about reliability.

The Honeywell had 8 reviews with the word "warranty" inside and 7 of those are complaints that they couldn't get the warranty honored. That's almost 1 out of 10 reviews that complains about the warranty.



fluffybunny

@teksavvy.com
reply to AKA06

i have two of the 3M-50s for over 2 years. highly recommended.
you can also get their big brother : »radiothermostat.com



ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable
reply to AKA06

The Radio Thermostat (aka 3M50 et al) web interface and firmware have come a long way since the thread linked below, but I don't know if they've changed the cumbersome mounting, lack of fan programming, lack of display lighting options, and the rather unsophisticated (non-existent?) heat anticipator algorithm.

I have two Honeywells and a Radio Thermostat, and there are a lot of little differences that make the Honeywell a better thermostat. But if you're willing to put up with a bunch of quirks, it's hard to beat the features and price of the Radio Thermostat.

»Purchase an IP thermostat or zwave, insteon w/ controller?
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AKA06

join:2011-02-10

Thanks, ArgMeMatey.

As far as performance is concerned, that's certainly the impression I got; the Honeywell 8000s seemed like more polished device, whereas the RadioThermostat models were rough around the edges but had a good amount of potential, even if they didn't quite deliver on their promise.

Would you mind elaborating on your specific issues with mounting, fan programming and the heat anticipator algorithm?



ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable

said by AKA06:

Would you mind elaborating on your specific issues with mounting, fan programming and the heat anticipator algorithm?

For example I have the CT80 which mounts with four tiny screws in the corners. I have 4x4 boxes with single-gang mud rings. So my CT80 screws are screwed into the drywall around the box. Nice, huh?

On the other hand, the Honeywells have keyhole slots to mount directly on a mud ring. They also sell an OEM plate with multiple mounting holes. This let me change the stat orientation without opening the wall to turn the mud ring.

Fan programming ... My Honeywell 7-day stats let me program the fan to switch to ON or AUTO without turning on the heat or A/C. So for example I program the fan to start at 5 PM even if there's no call for heat or cooling. And the fan shuts off at 8 AM. Weekdays only, of course.

Heat anticipator ... the Honeywells let me set CPH based on heat type. It's not perfect but it did a better job of not overshooting the set point than the Radio Thermostat. I've seen no evidence that the CT80 even considers this an issue.

Also I didn't use it but the Honeywells have AIR (Adaptive Intelligent Recovery) so you can have the house at the set point AT 5 PM, rather than simply start calling for heat at 5 PM. Good idea but on the coldest winter mornings I got tired of the furnace starting at 4:30 AM since my setback temp is 60 F.

I've seen these Nest things and so on. I don't want a learning stat, I want one where I can tweak their assumptions ad nauseam via a web interface. There are better web-accessible stats out there but nobody at this price.
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tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5

2 edits

I have a Honeywell 8110 on my first floor (main), its a nice, configurable touchscreen with random fan control. 3yrs old now, very reliable. Same set of lithiums in it, but I use a common wire. Have a Rite Temp 8030 on the 2nd floor, its been a good stat, other than I had to fix the copper contacts when the digitizer went dead. got the 8030 free..

The 3M brand is just and OEM'd Rite Temp thermostat. Older rite-temps were good, but have gotten cheap with later models.

I`m an hvac tech, and all I ever install are Honeywell stats. Rare to see a problem other than batteries.

Cant speak for the wifi side of it, havent had a need yet.

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)



dosdoxies
Premium
join:2004-12-15
Wallingford, PA
reply to AKA06

I have had the Honeywell VisionPro TH8000 series stat for over 5 years and have never had a problem. I like it because I could add the remote outdoor temp sensor. Nice to know how cold it is on those winter morning when I let the pups out.



supernac

join:2003-03-26
Springfield, MO
reply to AKA06

Another vote for the Honeywell visonpro 8000, installed one when I got my new system last month, its been great so far. Love the ability to program the fan.


scooper

join:2000-07-11
Youngsville, NC
kudos:2
reply to AKA06

The Honeywell 7500 / 7600 series thermostats are good also. And they are sold as DIY units - easy to install. Major difference between the 7500 and the 7600 - the 7500 has 3 buttons (discrete) - the 7600 uses a touchscreen to accomplish the same thing.


AKA06

join:2011-02-10
reply to tp0d

said by tp0d:

The 3M brand is just and OEM'd Rite Temp thermostat. Older rite-temps were good, but have gotten cheap with later models.

That's not quite correct. The 3M is a rebadged model made by Radio Thermostats. It's entirely possible that Rite Temp also packages some of those models under their own brand, but 3M and Rite Temp are not related.

AKA06

join:2011-02-10
reply to ArgMeMatey

said by ArgMeMatey:

Fan programming ... My Honeywell 7-day stats let me program the fan to switch to ON or AUTO without turning on the heat or A/C. So for example I program the fan to start at 5 PM even if there's no call for heat or cooling. And the fan shuts off at 8 AM. Weekdays only, of course.

This sounds like a nice feature, but I'm not sure if it's available on the 8000 series. From what I can tell, there are three fan options. First is fan always on. Second is fan set to auto (meaning it only runs when heat/AC are running). Third is circ, which is basically random circulation running about a third of the time.

I'd use the third circ option to lessen the load on the furnace or AC in the morning or the evening...but being able to schedule the fan would be even better. That said, I'm assuming the models you're referring to are NOT the 8000 series and, as such, don't support this feature.


Sly
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Chuckey, TN
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Callcentric

I have an 8000 thermostat and you can set the fan mode in the programming. I like the fan to switch from auto to circ on the weekends when I am at home more but not change the temp setpoint. At the required time the fan will switch to circ and then back to auto on the next programming step.


Critsmcgee

join:2011-12-02
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to AKA06

I picked up 2 of these Honeywell's last year for about $70 each. They are $105 now but still worth it. Having the humidity is very helpful to maintain the right temp inside. If you have a humidifier hooked to your hvac system this unit can control it as well. With this unit you can program multiple one/off setting per day. For example I have it set to heat the house an hour before we get up then go back down after we leave then heat the house up again an hour before we come home then back down for bedtime. There is also a vacation mode which is nice. You can even adjust the temp display in case someone in your house likes it cooler or hotter then others. It might show 70 but you adjusted it 2 degrees so it's really 72 so they are happy they think it's 70 in the house and your happy to save money on a/c knowing it's really 72 in the house.
»www.amazon.com/Honeywell-TH8321U···00LEU0YQ



pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to ArgMeMatey

said by ArgMeMatey:

The Radio Thermostat (aka 3M50 et al) web interface and firmware have come a long way since the thread linked below, but I don't know if they've changed the cumbersome mounting, lack of fan programming, lack of display lighting options, and the rather unsophisticated (non-existent?) heat anticipator algorithm.

I have two Honeywells and a Radio Thermostat, and there are a lot of little differences that make the Honeywell a better thermostat. But if you're willing to put up with a bunch of quirks, it's hard to beat the features and price of the Radio Thermostat.

»Purchase an IP thermostat or zwave, insteon w/ controller?

The mounting is the same, there is no anticipator algorithm, fan programming is possible with the "Thermostat for Windows" program, display backlight is off except for when the touch pad is in use.

However the big feature for me is the free remote access, via WiFi, in a device that costs less than $100. I own 3 of these 3M50 'stats that are installed in my NJ house and Delaware house. They make it really easy to keep track of conditions when I am not physically present. There are free iPad and Android apps available to do simple control and the WWW. interface allows detailed programming.

I know Honeywell makes a remote access device but finding information on it and actually buying one, unless you are a dealer, is very difficult. The 3M50 on the other hand is popular and well documented.
--
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Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to AKA06

One major factor to consider is power. The 3M50 requires hardwired power while the Honeywell does not. Before you invest in the 3M50 make sure you have the proper wires to handle it. For me it wasn't an option as we didn't have a power wire. We when with Honeywell since all it needed was batteries.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by Draiman:

One major factor to consider is power. The 3M50 requires hardwired power while the Honeywell does not. Before you invest in the 3M50 make sure you have the proper wires to handle it. For me it wasn't an option as we didn't have a power wire. We when with Honeywell since all it needed was batteries.

Couldn't it be plugged to a power supply brick plugged to a receptacle?

Im thinking of getting one of those WiFi thermostats and my current thermostat runs off a battery. Since my alarm panel is right next to it and is powered by a power supply brick inside the closet behind it, I could run a second line for a thermostat for a second power supply brick (Two inlets in the receptacle).


dunworkin
Premium
join:2006-12-18
Bellflower, CA
reply to AKA06

My son says this is the only way to fly...
»store.apple.com/us/product/H9279LL/A



dosdoxies
Premium
join:2004-12-15
Wallingford, PA

said by dunworkin:

My son says this is the only way to fly...
»store.apple.com/us/product/H9279LL/A

250 bucks! That's some fancy flying!


Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to dunworkin

said by dunworkin:

My son says this is the only way to fly...
»store.apple.com/us/product/H9279LL/A

Given the OP's statement about $100 max I doubt this is even an option. I looked at that thermostat last year but it was more of a gimmick then useful for my needs.


Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

said by Draiman:

One major factor to consider is power. The 3M50 requires hardwired power while the Honeywell does not. Before you invest in the 3M50 make sure you have the proper wires to handle it. For me it wasn't an option as we didn't have a power wire. We when with Honeywell since all it needed was batteries.

Couldn't it be plugged to a power supply brick plugged to a receptacle?

Im thinking of getting one of those WiFi thermostats and my current thermostat runs off a battery. Since my alarm panel is right next to it and is powered by a power supply brick inside the closet behind it, I could run a second line for a thermostat for a second power supply brick (Two inlets in the receptacle).

Sure you can buy a low voltage power supply to fix it given your situation. With kids I couldn't just leave a cord hanging on the wall like that so I'd would have had to run it in the wall. Too much work for that it's worth to me but for you it sounds fine.

»www.amazon.com/Class-II-Transfor···r+supply


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable
reply to dunworkin

said by dunworkin:

My son says this is the only way to fly...

Does your son live alone? Ask him if he knows how the Nest would deal with this situation:

»www.theonion.com/articles/marita···at,1873/


fluffybunny

@teksavvy.com
reply to Draiman

The 3M-50 does NOT require hardwired power. I dont know where you got the info from. It has a battery compartment and takes 3 AA batteries (rechargeable are ok). If you want to run the wifi all the time you require power in which case a standard DC power adaptor or the wires from your furnace work ok for.



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by fluffybunny :

The 3M-50 does NOT require hardwired power. I dont know where you got the info from. It has a battery compartment and takes 3 AA batteries (rechargeable are ok). If you want to run the wifi all the time you require power in which case a standard DC power adaptor or the wires from your furnace work ok for.

If you want to run the wifi a 24v power wire is REQUIRED. If someone didn't want the wifi they'd buy a cheaper unit. Sure it will work as a run of the mill thermostat without 24v but why bother?!?!?!


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable
reply to fluffybunny

said by fluffybunny :

The 3M-50 does NOT require hardwired power.
...If you want to run the wifi all the time you require power ....

There are better stats available at lower cost without networking.

Why would someone spend the money on the WiFi stat without intending to use the WiFi all the time?
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Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

What I can't understand is why someone needs to "adjust" by whatever method the thermostat so frequently. After all it's a set point for heat and cool. I change mine twice/year. Heat to cool and cool to heat.



ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable

said by Jack_in_VA:

What I can't understand is why someone needs to "adjust" by whatever method the thermostat so frequently.

People who are away from home for extended periods, whether they consider that eight hours, eight days or eight months, think they are saving energy by adjusting the settings when the place is unoccupied or when everyone is asleep.

As we all know these issues involving thermal mass and total run time have been the subject of considerable debate.

If you look at the Radio Thermostat forums, you will see a lot of posts from people who are away from their homes and vacation homes.

People who are normally at home all the time probably benefit little from this stuff.
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Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

said by ArgMeMatey:

said by Jack_in_VA:

What I can't understand is why someone needs to "adjust" by whatever method the thermostat so frequently.

People who are away from home for extended periods, whether they consider that eight hours, eight days or eight months, think they are saving energy by adjusting the settings when the place is unoccupied or when everyone is asleep.

As we all know these issues involving thermal mass and total run time have been the subject of considerable debate.

If you look at the Radio Thermostat forums, you will see a lot of posts from people who are away from their homes and vacation homes.

People who are normally at home all the time probably benefit little from this stuff.

Yes there has been considerable debate and given I've been involved in very extensive energy savings situations involving millions of dollars and many jobs this one IMO is just something to discuss and argue on a forum because it serves no useful purpose in real life.

When I upgraded my Heat pump a couple of months ago to a 16i 2-stage I had them remove my programmable thermostat and put a basic Honeywell electronic one in place of it. I heat in winter, cool in summer. Two settings.

scross

join:2002-09-13
Cordova, TN
reply to AKA06

I haven't read this whole thread, but I have scanned it and I haven't seen the following mentioned yet. I recently had new A/C installed, and as part of that they included a Honeywell 4000 thermostat, which appears to be a decent enough unit. However, I'm currently on a TOU (time-of-use) rate pilot program with my local utility company, where (for example) summer-time peak rates are from noon to 8 PM on weekdays, so you want to program your thermostat to take advantage of this and avoid excess A/C usage during the peak periods.

So I went in and programmed my new 4000 accordingly, setting it for higher temps from noon to 8 PM, and lower temps outside of that window. So far, so good. Unfortunately, it turns out that this thermostat intelligently anticipates how long it's going to take to reach that lower temp (it calls it "recovery" mode), meaning that instead of actually honoring the 8 PM time, it might instead kick in at 7:45 or 7:30 or whatever (when I was watching it closely I saw it kick in as early as 7:00), which goes against the grain of the whole TOU thing. So now I've got it set to 9 PM instead, hoping that this minimizes this behavior, although I'd really like to set it back more.

As far as I can tell, there is no way to adjust this behavior or even to turn it off. I have a 3M50 (which as far as I can tell doesn't do this "recovery") and plan to install it soon. If you are on TOU rates or think that you might be sometime in the near future, then this behavior is something to watch out for.


AKA06

join:2011-02-10
reply to Draiman

said by Draiman:

said by dunworkin:

My son says this is the only way to fly...
»store.apple.com/us/product/H9279LL/A

Given the OP's statement about $100 max I doubt this is even an option. I looked at that thermostat last year but it was more of a gimmick then useful for my needs.

I too have seen the Nest. Great design, and again, a lot of promise. However, I'm not convinced it lives up to it's promise. Not for the price, anyway. Seems like most of the main features are in less expensive thermostats like the 3M50. Yes, it can learn and use internet info like temp to decide on a temp, but I've seen mixed opinions about how well it actually does that task.

I guess I'm just hard pressed to spend that kind of money on a thermostat. Not that it's not in my budget - I just don't see the reason to. I figure my needs can be met, beyond a basic model, for under $100.