ConsumerReports likes Honeywell’s ‘innovative’ thermostat

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Friday, July 18, 2014

YONKERS, N.Y.—ConsumerReports has included Honeywell’s new voice-activated thermostat in its latest recommended list of home thermostats, according to a July 17 report from that nonprofit, consumer-products ratings publication, based here.

Ease-of-use is a key criteria in ConsumerReports’ tests of programmable thermostats, the publication said. It said, “Several models made our latest recommended list, including a new product from Honeywell that’s both user-friendly and innovative. Other programmable thermostats left our testers scratching their heads.”

Ever since the arrival of the Nest learning thermostat in 2011, manufacturers have been competing to create the smartest programmable thermostat, according to ConsumerReports.org, the publication's website. “Our latest roundup includes voice-activated models and those with “geofencing,” or the ability to track your location and adjust temperatures accordingly, say cranking up the AC shortly before you get home. These features are pretty cool, but only as add-ons to a device that’s also very easy to operate.”

“That’s why we really like the Honeywell RTH959OWF, $300, one of 14 models in our thermostat Ratings that can be controlled remotely via your smart phone or computer. Its touchscreen color display offers crisp contrast and its prompts are intuitive," the website report continued. "We also had no trouble connecting to our Wi-Fi router or downloading the easy-to-use app. And it’s the industry’s first voice-activated programmable thermostat, which we found logical and responsive.”

Also, the report continued, “If you don’t care about controlling your home’s temperature from your smart phone, you can save a lot by choosing a model without remote access. Honeywell is the clear winner in this category. The Honeywell Prestige HD YTHX9321R, $250, offers an exceptionally sharp display and its ease-of-use score was the highest of all tested models. Its tabletop remote lets you control thermostats in other parts of the home.”