Honeywell RTH7600D Best Programmable Thermostat Review
Save Money, Energy, and Time with a Honeywell RTH7600D Touchscreen 7-day Programmable Thermostat
One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to save energy and lower your monthly utility bills is by getting a programmable thermostat for your home.
A properly programmed thermostat could save you 33% on your heating and air conditioning bill.
Based on my research and experience, the Honeywell RTH7600D Programmable Thermostat is the best programmable thermostat available. It’s so reasonably priced, feature packed, and easy to install it’s really a no-brainer.
What to Look For in a Programmable Thermostat
At first glance most programmable thermostats look alike. But when you dig a little deeper you start to find some important differences. Here are some important functions that not all programmable thermostats have:
- Easy Setup
- Separate Program for weekdays and weekends or individual days
- Easy way to temporarily override programming
- Easily resume programming
- Automatically switch from heating to cooling and vice versa
- Smart Recovery – Saves energy when adjusting the temperature for next programmed time period
- Works with your system
- Filter Replacement reminder (ok this isn’t critical but it’s nice to have)
- Easy Installation
Setting Up Your Programmable Thermostat
The Honeywell RTH7600D programmable thermostat allows you to set heat and cool settings for 4 time periods throughout the day. The touchscreen is large and back-lit so it’s easy to use even at night. Setting up the thermostat is fairly intuitive but you may have to refer to the manual for more advanced functions like setting up the Auto Changeover feature (switches from heating to cooling automatically) but even that is not difficult.
To make it super easy, the Honeywell RTH7600D comes pre-programmed with EnergyStar® program settings. These settings (shown to the right) are expected to save you 33% on your energy bills.
Depending on your situation these settings may not be ideal for you. Luckily it’s super easy to update the times and temperatures.
Setting Your Own Times and Temps is a Breeze
It’s called programmable but you don’t need to be a programmer to set this thermostat up. The Honeywell RTH7600D gives you lots of flexibility in a simple interface.
You have the option to set different temperatures for four times in a day. They label the time periods “Wake”, “Leave”, “Return”, and “Sleep” just to give you an idea of the usual times you would change settings. You can change the times for each of the periods to suit your schedule.
You have the option to program individual days or you can group days. Most commonly you would group the weekdays together and the weekend days together. This is a great feature. My previous thermostat did not have groups so for weekdays I had to program Monday and copy the settings to each of the other days. Trust me it’s annoying.
With the Honeywell RTH7600D it’s really easy to group the days that you want to be set the same and just program the times and temps once. And if you want to change just one day (maybe you work from home on Fridays) you can do that too.
Override Your Program with the Touch of a Button (or in this case, a touchscreen)
Once you’re happy with your programming it’s a set and forget thing. But what if you decide to take the day off? You don’t have to reprogram the day. To override your program temporarily all you do is press the up or down arrow to adjust the setting to the temperature you want and it will stay at that temperature until the next time period. If you decide to resume your program settings before the next time period just touch the “Use Schedule” button and you’re back to your automatic settings.
So if it’s Winter and you’re going to be home for the day and your program has the temperature set to go down to 65 degrees you just go to your RTH7600D thermostat and press the up arrow until it gets to the temperature you want and you’re done. Now when the time rolls around for your “Return” time period to start, the thermostat goes back to the program settings.
If you want to override the settings permanently (for a vacation or something) you simply press the “Hold” button. Now your temperature will stay until you tell your thermostat to resume the program.
To resume your program settings just touch the “Use Schedule” button. It couldn’t be easier.
Automatically Switch from Heating to Cooling and Vice Versa
The Honeywell RTH7600D allows you to set your thermostat to “Heat”, “Cool” or “Auto”. The Auto setting is a feature Honeywell calls “Auto Changeover” and it allows the system to switch from heating to cooling and vice versa automatically. This is a really great feature.
If, like me, you live in an area that can have major temp swings in Spring and Fall you’ll wonder how you lived without this function. In the Spring for instance we get days where it’s chilly at night so we switch the system to Heat and then in the afternoon the next day it gets so hot in the house we switch they system back to cool. All within 24 hours. And it can go on like that for weeks.
With the RTH7600D’s Auto Changeover setting you just set the Heat and Cool temperatures and the system automatically selects heating or cooling based on the indoor temperature. So now you won’t come home to a blazing hot house because your thermostat was set to heat when you left for work.
Does it Waste Energy to Turn Your System Up and Down Throughout the Day?
No. Years ago people would warn you that turning your thermostat down when you were at work and back up when you got home would waste any energy you saved because the HVAC system would have to work harder to recover. That’s no longer true (if it ever was). Modern programmable thermostats proactively start heating or cooling to get to the next program setting without causing any increase in cost or energy usage. Turning your thermostat back when you’re sleeping at night or away from home will always save you money (and use less energy).
The Honeywell RTH7600D takes smart recovery a step further. Using a feature Honeywell calls Smart Response Technology, the RTH7600D learns how long your furnace and air conditioner take to reach your programmed temperature settings, so the temperature is reached at the time you set. You’ll see the message “Recovery” displayed when the system is activated before a scheduled time period.
This feature forces the compressor to wait a few minutes before restarting, to prevent equipment damage. During the wait time, the message “Wait” is displayed on screen. So if you see that message you know your system is working and will come on when it’s safe to start running again.
Never Forget to Change Your Filter Again
Ok this isn’t a deal breaker but if you’re forgetful like me it’s a nice feature to have. The Honeywell RTH7600D will remind you to change your filter with a note on the screen. Oddly this is one of the advanced functions you can set when you first set up your thermostat. It’s not hard to do but you need to read the instruction manual to find the code that tells the unit what the recommended replacement time is for your filter.
So Easy to Install Even I Could Do it
Installing the Honeywell RTH7600D Programmable Thermostat is surprisingly simple. It’s just a matter of turning of the power and then removing the old thermostat and plugging in the new one. It just takes a screwdriver and a few minutes to connect the wires.
Here’s a video showing how easy it is to install a programmable thermostat. It’s a different model in the video but the installation is the same.
One important note… You’ll see in the video that she is labeling the wires with stickers. Make sure you do this even if you think you don’t need to. In the video that she’s putting a “G” on the green wire and “W” on the white wire and so on. It makes it look like the letter is the initial of the color of the wire. That’s true for the video and that’s how it’s supposed to work. Unfortunately it’s not always like that in real life.
The original contractor doesn’t always put the wires in the correct spots. I know this from experience. My thermostat was wired completely randomly. For instance, the Yellow wire was in the “G” spot. So I had to label my yellow wire “G”.
It’s nice that they provide the labels and I suggest you use them.
Will it Work With Your HVAC System?
The short answer is Yes! The Honeywell RTH7600D works with most home heating and cooling systems. The only system the Honeywell website says the RTH7600D will not work with is electric baseboard heat (120-240V).
Honeywell provides everything you need to install the RTH7600D. Well, everything except screwdrivers. You’ll need to have a Phillips screwdriver for the mounting plate and a small slotted screwdriver for the wire connections.
The box includes:
- RTH7600D 7-Day Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat
- Wire labels
- Wall anchors
- Mounting hardware
- User guide
Where to Buy the Honeywell RTH7600D Programmable Thermostat
You can find this thermostat in most home stores but whenever I’ve checked prices it’s always been about $20 cheaper on Amazon.com. Plus they offer free shipping.
If you have any questions please leave a comment and I’ll be happy to reply.
- Saves Energy and Money
- Easy Installation
- Automatically switched from heating to cooling and vice versa
- Simple setup and programming
- Override your program with a touch.
- Smart Response Technology makes sure your your system gets to your programmed temperature at the programmed time without any waste of energy.
- Works with most systems
- There is no backlight button so you need to touch the screen for the backlight to come on and that can activate settings accidentally.
- Some customers have complained that the backlight is not bright enough to see in the dark.
Honeywell makes a very large line of programmable electronic thermostats. At first glance, this particular thermostat has nothing to distinguish it from any other programmable tstat from your local hardware store. (7-day programming, +/- 1 degree accuracy, etc.) However, this thermostat has some functions that make it quite a bit better. I’ve had RiteTemp’s and Lux tstats, and this one is much better. (Read More)
I had a new Bryant small packaged system installed and decided to replace my older White-Rogers digital thermostat with Honeywell RTH7600.
Three days after the installation the thermostat is working fine. The numbers are large and clear, the programming was easy and intuitive. It is quite a bit smaller than the old White-Rogers and looks more elegant. I like that the thermostat can be taken off the wall and programmed while you sit in a chair. (Read More)
Easy to install, easy to program, saved me $$$, it came pre programmed but I wanted to change some of the advanced options so I called the customer service for the advanced codes setting and they were so professional and walked through the entire programming… after I installed it and called the CS, I had it up and running in 7 min (took my about another 7 min to install) so the whole deal between the installation, calling, waiting and programming took about 20 min!
Bottom line: Great product and great customer service… highly recommended.
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