Picture of the Honeywell RTH8580 Wireless Thermostat, Installed and Operating.

Honeywell WiFi Wireless Programmable Thermostat RTH8580WF Review

The RTH8580WF Wireless Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat from Honeywell is 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 RTH8580WF incorporates most of the hallmark features of today’s best digital thermostats, with the added capability of programming it via Wi-Fi and the Internet.  All common furnace types can be controlled 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 thermostat device, you can monitor from anywhere, your home heating and cooling climate control systems on the Internet.  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, and a myriad 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 RTH8580 Wireless Thermostat, Installed and Operating.
Honeywell RTH8580WF WiFi Thermostat, Installed and Operating

Features, Benefits, Advantages, and Pros

Most features in this Honeywell wireless programmable thermostat can be programmed from its large, bright green LCD touchscreen.

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.

Extensive documentation provided in a few booklets packaged within, including quick start, installation and users guides, wiring labels, and detailed procedures showing how to connect this Wi-Fi thermostat to the Internet.

The mounting wall plate, and all necessary hardware and wiring tips are included.  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.

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.

The built-in clock keeps time very well, and automatically adjusts itself for daylight savings time if that feature is enabled.

When the Internet features are enabled via wifi, Honeywell notifies you via email if temperatures in your home or business rise or fall too far, or if connectivity to the RTH8580WF is lost.

Monitor and control your home heating / cooling equipment from anywhere you have Internet access, via smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, and media players; with web browsers like Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari.  Via the password-protected website, you can check both the indoor and outdoor temperatures, whether your furnace is running currently or not, the fan is running, and if it’s following the programmed schedule, or in manual temperature override mode.  Great for world travelers or anyone who spends lots of time away from home; either near or far.

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.

Each day can be programmed in up to four periods (Wake, Leave, Return, and Sleep).  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.

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.

A message center is provided across the top of the touchscreen, where status information and indicators are displayed.  The status of the wifi connection is shown here for example.

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 are available, to 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.

Smart response technology enables RTH8585WF to learn how quickly your specific heating / cooling system can raise and lower the actual temperature, and it then predicts the best times to activate the controlled systems prior to the next scheduled temperature change.

The case is white in color with a medium green LCD display, the most prominent part.  It fits well into most home interior decoration schemes.

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.

Limitations, Disadvantages, Problems, and Cons

Requires that the user provide Internet access via WiFi.

This can be awkward to set up initially.  Cannot be done via the touchscreen.  Requires a computer instead, that has a web browser for initial Internet connectivity setup.

Depends on a web site / Internet infrastructure provided by Honeywell (the Honeywell Total Connect Comfort Solutions web site) for remotely controlling thermostat functions.

Has relay switching, which can become irritatingly noisy; particularly when you locate the RTH8580WF in a bedroom or other place, where quietness is a mandate.

A low voltage control system, this thermostat works best on 24-volt climate control systems; not line-voltage ones such as baseboard heaters.  For these applications, additional switching equipment, to isolate this thermostat from high voltages are required.

You cannot access every feature via the Internet.  Nor can you do so locally on the touchscreen.  For instance, you can set the internal clock locally, but not from the Internet.  On the other hand, you can set up the Wi-Fi connection via a web browser, but not on the touchscreen.  We’d prefer ALL functions be completely accessible via both the web and the built-in display.

Many of the thermostat operating parameters are set using numbered function codes, and can only be adjusted locally, via the touchscreen.  They cannot be changed via the Internet.  We’d like to see the parameters enumerated in plain language, instead of number codes, and would also appreciate being able to change any parameter via the web as well as at the touchscreen.  The current year setting, for example, would better be described as, “Year setting,” than, “parameter 080.”  Without the manual, it’s virtually impossible to determine the meanings of each of the number-encoded settings.

Picture of the Honeywall Total Connect Comfort Web Site Device Control Page.
Honeywell Total Connect Comfort Web Site Device Control Page

Our Rating

The RTH8580WF is perhaps the most useful home automation control device we’ve ever seen.  Given all its features and functions, we did not mind paying the roughly $170 for it at Lowe’s   Once you set it, you can generally forget it; unless you’re one of those who must constantly be fiddling with controls.  If that’s the case, you’ll have plenty of settings herein to tweak either locally or remotely.  Of all the digital Honeywell thermostat models, this Wi-Fi version is probably the most complex.  However, with its very rich feature set, a bit of complexity is unavoidable, and we don’t mind it.  So, we rate this thermostat at 98 out of 100.  Honeywell has created yet another winning control device herein.

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Revision History

  • 2016-12-13: Added links to References section and fixed some spelling errors.
  • 2015-11-30: Added appropriate tags.
  • 2014-12-15: Tweaked the content and added a featured image.
  • 2014-11-23: Adjusted ad placement and tightened the prose.
  • 2014-10-12: Originally published this piece.