We purchased for review, the Honeywell RLV430A 5-2 programmable digital thermostat for the electric baseboard heaters used around the house.
At a cost of approximately $53 from Lowe’s home improvement center, they priced this programmable thermostat fairly. The RLV430A is much quieter (no clicking sounds as it operates the heaters), as this digital thermostat like its non programmable version (the RLV310A, reviewed here), utilizes an all-electronic switching mechanism (a triac) to switch on and off the 220 volt supply to electric heaters.
Like most of the Honeywell thermostats these days, this Honeywell line voltage thermostat is programmable. So it allows you to set up two different programs.
- One program for week days (of which there are 5 days).
- One for weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) (of which there are 2 days).
Thus the 5-2 designation. Each program supports setting the temperature for four periods during each day. For each period, you set the following.
- Time of day that the period begins.
- Temperature that you want the room to be during that period.
The weekend days can have a different schedule than the week days. As such, they have their own, separately programmable schedule periods. So this t-stat offers most if not all the features of low-voltage models, but in a line voltage ready unit.
The RLV430A is quite similar in appearance and function to Honeywell’s RLV310A. But unlike the RLV310A, this thermostat has the clock and programming features. Below, we summarize our experiences with this decent digitally programmable thermostat. We find that this t-stat continues the Honeywell tradition of easiness and usability in a modern, digital package.
Honeywell RLV430A Thermostat Cautions and Warnings
This is a line-voltage thermostat. That is, it switches the actual power line feed to heaters. So do not install this on a system that uses low voltages like 24 volts AC. It will not work. Why not? Because there isn’t enough voltage present in that case, to run the thermostat.
Also, please make sure you turn off the mains power to the heater before you begin installation. Heaters of the type that this thermostat is typically used to regulate, run on 220 volts. Therefore, the thermostat itself can have very lethal voltage inside the wiring box. So do be careful, and heed all installation instructions, recommendations, and warnings.
Benefits, Features, Advantages, and Pros of the Honeywell RLV430A Programmable Thermostat
Honeywell’s supplied installation instructions were easy to follow and straight forward, as was the case with the RLV310A.
Single Pole Switching
The Honeywell RLV430A has just two black wires. Hook these up as you would a regular light switch into one side of the electric heater supply line.
Installs in 20 Minutes
Installation of the RLV430A took under twenty minutes. We needed only a Philips screwdriver since we were just replacing an existing thermostat. We were NOT installing a new one from scratch.
The Honeywell RLV430A has No Ground Terminal
They package the Honeywell RLV430A digital thermostat in an all-plastic case; including its mounting plate. The mounting system further simplifies installation. Plus, the all-plastic build offers added protection against the high voltages inside. No need therefore, for a ground terminal.
Does Not Forget Programs in Power Failures
The Honeywell RLV430A, during power outages, retains all program data. It even keeps correct time for several hours.
Easy to Learn and Operate
Though this unit is programmable we found operating it quite easy to understand.
Not Too Many Buttons
This Honeywell programmable thermostat has numerous buttons; the most used of which are large and are outside the little door that hides the advanced feature buttons. When this door is closed, there are only three buttons exposed.
- UP and DOWN buttons.
- Mode key.
With so few buttons, the RLV430A appears simple to work. Indeed, it might seem harder if the other buttons under the cover were exposed. But it’s really easy to use, even with those extra buttons for programming.
The Honeywell RLV430A Offers Quick Temperature Change Response
The RLV430A responds right away when you change the temperature set point. It immediately turns on the heater full blast when you raise the temperature. Then it turns OFF when you lower the temperature. The cover just makes t-stat operation seem as easy as it actually is.
Only Small Temperature Swings
In terms of comfort, we like the tight temperature control of the RLV430A. How so? Because it allows just a 0.27 degree temperature swing before switching the heater ON or OFF.
Two Temperature Modes
Set the temperature type (C or F).
12 or 24 Hour Time Format
Choose AM / PM or military time for the display.
Heater Type Setting
You can tell this thermostat whether the attached heater has a fan or not. This allows the RLV430A to choose best on-off cycle times.
The Honeywell RLV430A Offers Potential Fuel Bill Lowering
The Honeywell RLV430A limits the size of the temperature swings. Indeed due to this, the users guide says that savings in heating bills should be big. This is important for electric baseboard heating. Why? Because each room costs a few dollars per day to keep warm as it is. So lots of energy savings potential with electric heating.
This digital t-stat comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
Disadvantages, Limitations, Problems, and Cons of the Honeywell RLV430A Digital Thermostat
Needs Back Lighting
We wish that the RLV430A display was back lit, This way, we could find the thermostat in the dark. We could locate it without turning on another light in the room.
Incompatible with Highly Inductive Heaters
Do not control large motors with this t-stat. The instructions warn against using this thermostat with non resistive loads. So do not operate very inductive or capacitive heaters (like some that have hefty fans). Honeywell could have built better protection against high voltage or current surges into this unit. But most non-fan heaters are almost purely resistive anyhow. So if yours are of this type, you’re safe. You’re safe so long as heater wattage does not exceed thermostat rating, which is 3500 watts maximum.
Non Adjustable Max Temperature Swing
The RLV430A offers a very narrow and non adjustable temperature span of approximately 0.5 degrees. That is, when the room temperature falls 0.27 degrees below the set point temperature, the heat turns on. Then, when the temperature rises to 0.27 degrees above the set point, this t-stat turns the heater off. This means that the heater comes on and off several times per minute. This can distract when all else in the room is quiet. An adjustable temperature differential would be most useful thus.
The Honeywell RLV430A is Not Totally Accessible
As is true with so many consumer electronics devices these days, no audio indication is given on the RLV430A. You hear no beeps when pressing the UP and DOWN, time setting, and programming buttons. This can complicate use of this thermostat by the blind and vision impaired. Having a sound accompany all button presses would go far toward making this thermostat blind-accessible.
Our Rating on the Honeywell RLV430A Thermostat
Overall, we’re quite pleased with this digital thermostat. The unit works exactly as described in the included manual. Plus, like the RLV310A non programmable thermostat reviewed previously, this thermostat showed that we have very noisy heaters. Nonetheless, having the programmable features of a digital thermostat built into a line voltage thermostat model is quite thrilling. This unit appears to have fallen a bit in price since we bought ours back in 2012. So it’s an even better deal now. So I’d rate this device at 98 out of 100.
Where to Buy the Honeywell RLV430A Thermostat
We found ours at Lowe’s home improvement center. It’s also available online at eBay or Amazon.
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References for the Honeywell RLV430A 5-2 Thermostat
- 2021-08-22: Revised the tags and internal links lists.
- 2019-03-17: Added more subheadings, tags, and keyword targeting.
- 2015-12-11: Added appropriate tags.
- 2014-12-15: Touched up the content.
- 2014-11-23: Added a Reference section, adjusted ad placement, and revised the text.
- 2012-02-29: Originally published.