Honeywell has been a leading innovator in the world of Thermostats for over 100 years. In fact, the company got its start through a clever thermostat for coal furnaces. Chances are you, or somebody you know has at least some form of Honeywell Thermostat in their house (we have 4 – 1 for our forced air furnace and 3 for the baseboard heaters in the upstairs bedrooms.) Now, Honeywell brings their smart home game to Best Buy with Two choices – The Lyric and the 7-Day Smart Programmable Thermostats.
Both Thermostats are part of the growing Smart Home trend – They can be controlled off your smartphones or tablets using the applicable Apps (both are compatible with the iOS and Android networks.)
The 7 Day Smart Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat is a fashionable and large faced Thermostat. Featuring a bright, vibrant display, it can be customized in dozens of face colors to help match the decor of wherever you’ve got it placed. A helpful app allows you to control the thermostat from wherever you are, and features a few more helpful additions, like the Smart Response system which has the ability to automatically adjust your heating/cooling to your desired temperature. This is a helpful feature for people like me who prefer a specific temperature in the morning and a different one in the evening. It also displays your local weather, and alerts you to things like your air filter needing a change.
One thing to keep in mind with this thermostat, however, is that it has a couple installation prerequisites. First, it isn’t self-powered, and reminds a 24V input wire. In other words, you must be running a 3 wire system (typically, a dual Hot/Cold furnace has this, while many heat-only furnaces do not.) The second is that it doesn’t run with electric baseboards, and it does tell you this right on the box.
Perhaps the most intriguing of these two is the Lyric. The Lyric is a small circular shaped thermostat that weighs around 630
grams out of the box. It features a small HD display that communicates with you and an easy interface that lets you do things as simple as telling it when you’re away from home. It can even remind you when your furnace filter needs a change and isn’t operating at optimal capacity as a result.
Importantly for many homeowners – It solves a problem many furnace owners (including myself) have – No need for a third wire. While it is possible for you to use your C wire to self-power the Lyric, it isn’t necessarily. It can be installed with a single AAA battery which means that 2 wire furnace owners that only run heat wiring can install this and use it. There are very very few smart thermostats out there for 2 wire system owners, so this automatically makes it an intriguing option.
The Lyric also features a few great options. The app has the ability for you to pre-designate temperature settings on it that you can activate with the touch of a button. Away for the winter and want to maintain just enough so that you can keep the pipes from freezing? You can set that. Want your AC to run while you’re working out downstairs? Absolutely. Perhaps one of the neatest features with the most potential is the Geofencing option. In it, you can do things like have your phone communicate with your thermostat when you’re a certain distance away from home, and have it automatically kickstart your furnace so you arrive to a warm home.
Admittedly, there have been troubles with the Geofencing feature, and because of this, the App may not respond to 100% of requests. However, contacting Honeywell Customer Support should fix up some of the problems, or they should be able to help you through them in any regard.
As always, be sure to do a little research into whether or not the thermostat you’re choosing works with your furnace. You need to understand how many wires your furnace system has, and in a lot of cases (like the 7-Day, for example) it needs its own 24V output wire on a 3 wire system. The smart rule of thumb generally tends to be that if your furnace only runs 2 wires, you probably can’t install smart thermostats because it needs the 3rd (usually the C Wire) to power it. However, with the Lyric, as you can see, it’s not necessary since it can run on a battery. Just remember that batteries only have a limited shelf life. If you’re going to be using this to heat while you’re away from home for an extended period of time, you might want to just replace the battery before you go. On average, the battery is expected to last around a year otherwise.
Additionally, call a professional if you don’t feel comfortable installing this yourself. Honeywell provides directions on installing and leveling the thermostat on the apps, but even then, it’s still not enough to make somebody like me do it. Thankfully, my licensed professional (my electrician dad) is just a phone call away.