Picture of the Honeywell 5-2 Thermostat RLV310A, Mounted and Operating.

Honeywell RLV310A Baseboard Heat Thermostat Review

We purchased two of the  Honeywell RLV310A Baseboard Heat Thermostat   for the electric baseboard heaters.  We detail our experiences with this line voltage yet digital thermostat here in this review.





At a cost of approximately $30 from Lowe’s home improvement center, the price seemed reasonable.

Picture of the Honeywell Thermostat RLV310A, mounted and operating.
Honeywell RLV310A baseboard heat thermostat, mounted and operating.

The RLV310A Honeywell line voltage thermostat is much quieter. E.g. No clicking sounds as it turns the heaters on and off.  How so?  It uses an all-electronic switching mechanism (a triac) to control the 220 volt supply to the heaters. Below sums up our experiences with this modern day manual yet digital thermostat.

Benefits, Features, Advantages, and Pros of the Honeywell RLV310A Baseboard Heat Thermostat 

Setup Instructions Included

Honeywell’s supplied installation instructions were easy to follow and straight forward.

Quick and Easy Installation

Installation took under a half hour. Plus, it required only a Philips screwdriver since we were just replacing an existing thermostat.  We did not install a new one from scratch here.

Warning

This digital thermostat controls the line voltage supply to the heater.  So if you do not shut off power to the circuit, the installer could receive a severe 220-volt shock.  Remember that this is not a low-voltage stat.  Thus, treat it with respect. Observe, to-the-tee, all warnings, cautions, and procedures in the manuals.

The Honeywell RLV310A Baseboard Heat Thermostat Features Single Pole Switching

The RLV310A has just two black wires (single pole switching).  Hook these up as you would a regular light switch.  That is, connect them into one side of the electric heater supply line.

No Ground Wire Needed

No ground terminal here, as they packaged this thermostat in an all-plastic case; including its mounting plate. This further simplifies installation.

Non Programmable, Simple Operation

There were no programming instructions included, as this digital thermostat is not programmable.  So the operating instructions are thus, quite simple, short, and easy to understand.  Though digital, this is strictly a manual thermostat.

Few Buttons to Learn

With just two buttons (to raise and lower the room temperature set point), the RLV310A is quite simple to operate.  It’s temperature readout is digital; not a dial.





The Honeywell RLV310A Baseboard Heat Thermostat Gives Fast Response to Temp Changes

It responds immediately when you change the temperature set point. That is, it  turns ON the heater full blast right away when you raise the temp.  Also it turns the heater OFF when you lower the temperature.  The heater stays on until the room temperature falls to the new set point.

Narrow Temperature Swing

In terms of comfort, we liked the tight temperature control of this unit. It allows no more than a plus or minus 0.35 degree temperature swing, before switching the heater.  This means that the heaters cycle on and off more often than with the mechanical t-stats we had prior.

Silent Electronic Switching

But with other noises around, you don’t really hear this cycling much.  Why not?   Because the electronic switching herein is totally quiet — no clicks.

Small Temperature Differential Means Energy Savings

This thermostat limits the size of the temperature swings in the room.  So the savings in heating bills should be high. Important when paying for electric baseboard heating.  Now each room costs a few dollars per day to heat. So a modest daily decrease makes for a big savings in a month.  We did not notice much energy savings.  Yet comfort levels in the heated rooms definitely improved markedly with the narrower temperature spread of this t-stat.

The Honeywell RLV310A Baseboard Heat Thermostat Never Sticks in the ON or OFF Position

We replaced the mechanical t-stat with this one, because the old ones stuck ON now and then. Then the room rose to 85 degrees in almost no time.  This happened due to those mechanical micro switches binding up with the bi-metal sensor material.  But the RLV310a likely uses a thermister to detect room temperature.  Not a mechanical sensor.  It also has a microprocessor to interpret the readings.  Finally, the processor electronically controls the heaters based on those readings. So this t-stat never sticks that we’ve seen.





Disadvantages of The Honeywell RLV310A Baseboard Heat Thermostat

Cannot Program this Thermostat

This automatic thermostat is not at all programmable. It would have been nice though, to be able to set the temperature differential.

Non Adjustable Temperature Swing

It offers a very narrow yet non adjustable temperature span of approximately 0.7 degrees total. That is, when the room temperature falls 0.35 degrees below the set point temperature, this t-stat turns the heater ON. Then, as the temperature rises to 0.35 degrees above the set point, it turns the heater OFF. Thus, the heater comes on and off several times per minute. Hearing this can distract when all else in the room is quiet.  Why?  Because the heater taps and pings each time it heats up and cools down.  But as mentioned, with quiet baseboard heaters, you don’t even notice this frequent switching action.

The Heaters Themselves can Make Noise

Our particular heaters hum, ping, and clank each time they come on. Now we did indeed stop the clicks from the old thermostats with this new one.  But we have increased the noise from the heaters themselves. Beware of this if you upgrade to a digital thermostat. This unit would likely create less noise in those virtually silent hydronic electric heaters.

The Honeywell RLV310A Baseboard Heat Thermostat is Somewhat Inaccessible to Blind Users

With so many devices these days, you get no audio indication when you press their buttons.  The same is so of this t-stat. Unfortunately though, no beeps can complicate use by the blind and vision impaired population. But since this thermostat has only two buttons, the absence of sound is not as big a deal.

Non Lighted Display

The temperature display does not light up. So you cannot see it without turning on another light in the room.

Our Rating for the Honeywell RLV310A Baseboard Heat Thermostat

Overall, though it’s non programmable, wel ike this electronic thermostat. The unit works exactly as described in the accompanying operation manual, and has revealed that we have very noisy heaters. This just may be the excuse we need, to upgrade the baseboard heaters to hydronic.  We rate this Honeywell product at 93 out of 100.  It brings precise digital operation to the easily worked manual line voltage t-stat market.





Where to Buy the Honeywell RLV310A Digital Thermostat

You can find this product at Radio Shaci, Lowe’s, Home Depot, and other home improvement and electronics centers.

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References for the Honeywell RLV310A Baseboard Heat Thermostat

Revision History

  • 2019-03-20: Added subheadings, tags, and key phrase targeting. Shortened sentences and paragraphs too.
  • 2017-03-11: Revised the tags list.
  • 2015-12-13: Added appropriate tags.
  • 2015-01-10: Added picture of mounted and operating RLV310A thermostat.
  • 2014-11-23: Adjusted ad placement, added a References section, and updated the content.
  • 2012-08-25: Original publication.
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