Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF WiFi Smart Thermostat, displaying the Home screen.

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat RTH9580WF Review




The Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat RTH9580WF/1005 represents a clear advance from the RTH8580WF model, reviewed earlier.  They’ve upgraded the screen from the ubiquitous monotone green with black lettering, to a full-color, brighter, higher contrast, LCD display.  The color scheme displayed can be customized to match your specific room décor.  Plus, the screen features a new indoor and outdoor humidity reading.  Connecting the thermostat to your Wi-Fi network has also been simplified.  No longer must you first connect a computer to the setup Wi-Fi network provided by the earlier, less smart thermostat version.  Now, you enter the necessary connection information via the full-color touch screen on the thermostat itself, including password entry via a screen-based keyboard.  If you had become familiar with the Total Connect Comfort website (see References section below for link) when remotely controlling your older Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostats, then, you’re still in luck, as the RTH9580WF still relies on that site for the remote control and configuration functions. There’s also a Total Connect Comfort app, available for free, at Google Play and iTunes app stores.

This revised version of Honeywell’s signature wireless programmable thermostat is once again, a state-of-the-art digital climate control regulator, that features extensive program attributes, can be set for different programs on each and all of the seven days of the week (7-day thermostat), has battery backup, and it will not forget user programs; even if the batteries die. The RTH9580WF incorporates most of the hallmark features of today’s best digital thermostats, with the added capability of programming it via the Internet, as connected via Wi-Fi.  All common furnace types can be regulated too.  E.g. heat pumps, gas, oil, or electric units, along with single or multiple heating and cooling stages systems.  Up to a maximum of two stage heating and two stage cooling is supported.

With this Internet-enabled thermostat, you can monitor from anywhere where Internet access is available, your home heating and cooling climate control systems, via most any popular web browser as well as the free app for mobile devices.  From there, you can also create and modify program schedules, turn your furnace on and off, operate its fan, set the temperature, override the current program, check filter status, receive critical and reminder style maintenance alerts, and operate a bunch of other climate control settings. This is the latest in our series of programmable thermostat reviews, and is thus far, the best wireless thermostat we’ve tested.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF Smart Thermostat, front view, showing full-color screen in action.
Honeywell RTH9580WF Smart Thermostat, front view, showing full-color screen in action.

 

 

Features, Benefits, Advantages, and Pros

  • All features accessible via full color touch screen.
  • Smart response technology.  The thermostat learns your particular furnace’s patterns heating and cooling times, and schedules and adjusts furnace output such that the system achieves the desired temperature at the programmed times of day or week.
  • 7-day granular programming.  Each of the seven days in the week can have a unique program schedule.  However, the unit also comes packed with preset programs that will save significant energy costs in the typical home, without alteration.
  • Business and residential modes.  These select the number of and times of the default program daily periods.  However, you may modify these programs at will, if so desired.
  • Program schedule setup wizard.  The unit will guide you through setup and modification of program periods, or you can directly edit the programs yourself, without the wizard prompts.
  • Vacation hold mode.  You may establish temperature settings to be maintained while you’re away on vacation, and these last until your scheduled return date. At that time, the thermostat reverts to regular programming.
  • Automatic firmware updating.  The thermostat receives software updates from Honeywell as they’re issued.  No manual intervention is required. The unit must be connected to Wi-Fi with Internet access for this feature to work.
  • Extensive documentation provided   online.  You’ll also find a Quick Start Guide packed with the thermostat, along with wiring labels.
  • All necessary mounting parts included.  The mounting wall plate, and all necessary hardware and wiring tips are included.  Note however, that the term “wireless” here refers to the wireless way, via the Internet, in which this digital thermostat can be remotely accessed and controlled.  Note that wires are still required, in order to connect this unit to your furnace / HVAC system.
  • Battery backup.  A coin type battery is also included, which lasts at least one but probably over two years, given a fresh battery and typical household temperatures, and preserves programs and settings in the event of a mains power failure.
  • Internal clock.  The built-in clock keeps time very well, and automatically adjusts itself for daylight savings time if that feature is enabled.  If the thermostat is connected to the Internet and correctly registered with the Total Connect Comfort website, the internal clock synchronizes itself with Internet time.
  • Auto alerts.  When the Internet features are enabled via Wi-Fi, Honeywell notifies you via email or on the app, if temperatures in your home or business rise or fall too far, or if connectivity to the RTH9580WF breaks.
  • Anywhere monitoring and control.  Monitor and control your home heating / cooling equipment from anywhere that offers Internet access, via smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, and media players; with web browsers like Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari, and now, the mobile device app.  By way of the password-protected website or the app, you can check both the indoor and outdoor temperatures, whether your furnace is running currently or not, the fan is running or off, and if your climate control system is following the programmed schedule, or in manual temperature override mode.  Great for world travelers or anyone who spends much time far from home.
  • Wireless access.  This wireless home thermostat incorporates similar features to Honeywell’s RTH7600D model. This one however, adds wireless Internet access to those features.
  • Multiple thermostats   can be set up in various parts of your home and controlled from afar via the web site.
  • Both home and business program periods.  Each day can be programmed in up to four periods (Wake, Leave, Return, and Sleep for residential, and occupied and unoccupied periods for business).  If you do not wish to enter a particular period, say, if you only one two temperature changes per day instead of the maximum of four, you can null out the periods to exclude from the daily programs.  No programming is required however, if you’re content with the provided default schedules.
  • Backlight timeout setting.  The touchscreen backlight can be programmed to remain on at a low intensity all the time, and brighten briefly whenever someone touches the screen. Very handy for locating the thermostat in the dark.
  • Reads indoor humidity.  The touch screen shows, along with the current indoor temperature, the current humidity.
  • Scheduled or manual program following.  Programmed schedules may be overridden on either a temporary basis (until the next scheduled period begins), or permanently (until the user returns the thermostat to the “following schedule” mode).  There’s also a Vacation Hold capability, in which you can suspend normal programmed settings while you’re away on vacation for extended times.  In vacation mode, you set the desired temperature to maintain the environment for 24 hours a day, until the date and time that you set, when normal scheduled operations are to resume.  You configure the number of days from the current day, in which vacation hold is to remain in effect.
  • Filter reminders   alert you when it’s time to change the air filter.
  • Includes compressor protection   (prevents HVAC unit from being turned on and off too many times per hour), and automatic changeover from heating to cooling and from cooling to heating.
  • More plain-English configuration parameters.  The older models featured parameter numbers for things like disconnecting from Wi-Fi and setting the system time.  Now, many of these parameters are clearly spelled out in the improved menus and screen faces.
  • Simple cleanup.  Can be cleaned with a damp cloths using very mild detergent solutions with water.  There’s also a lock-screen feature, that can be engaged, to prevent unintended activation of functions while you are cleaning the touchscreen.
  • Contains no mercury.  But does have a lithium battery which, according to the instructions, may require special handling procedures when disposing or recycling.
  • One year limited warranty.

Limitations, Disadvantages, Problems, and Cons

  • Some sort of broadband Internet connectivity needed.  Requires that the user provide Internet access via Wi-Fi.
  • Requires cloud-based infrastructure.  Depends on a web site / Internet infrastructure provided by Honeywell (the Honeywell Total Connect Comfort Solutions web site) for remotely controlling thermostat functions.
  • Set anywhere parameters suggested.  Many of the thermostat advanced operating parameters are set using plain-English screens, locally only, via the touchscreen.  They cannot be changed via the Internet.  We’d like being able to change any parameter via the web as well as at the touchscreen.
  • Requires a C wire.  If you’re replacing an older thermostat with this one, you may have to provide a power lead (C wire) from your heating / cooling system, to this thermostat.  This thermostat will not function without an active C wire.
Picture of the Honeywall Total Connect Comfort Web Site Device Control Page.
Honeywall Total Connect Comfort Web Site Device Control Page

Our Rating

The RTH9580WF surpasses the 8580 as the most useful home automation thermostat control device we’ve ever tested.  Given all its features and functions, we did not mind paying the roughly $180 for it.   Once you set it, forget it; unless you’re one of those who must constantly play with the controls.  If so, you’ll have plenty of settings herein to tweak either locally or remotely, via the Total Connect Comfort web site, or the mobile app.  Of all the digital Honeywell thermostat models, this Wi-Fi version is certainly the most complex, yet among the simplest to get up and running with default settings.  However, with its very rich feature set, a bit of complexity is unavoidable, and we find this imminently understandable.  So, we rate this thermostat at 96 out of 100.  As it did with the predecessors, Honeywell has created yet another exemplary Wi-Fi-read smart thermostat here.

Suggested Reading

References

Revision History

  • 2016-12-14: Added links to the Suggested Reading section.
  • 2016-12-13: Added links to the References section.
  • 2016-02-13: Added a Suggested Reading section.
  • 2015-10-20: Added appropriate tags.
  • 2015-09-05: Originally published.

 




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