Picture of an installed and operating RTH7600D Programmable Thermostat by Honeywell.

Honeywell RTH7600D Programmable Thermostat Review

The   Honeywell RTH7600D 7 Day Programmable Thermostat   for the central heating and cooling system costs $60 at Lowe’s.

Priced reasonably, this computerized touchscreen HVAC controller still clicks as it turns the HVAC system on and off.  It clicks just like the Robertshaw 9415 digital thermostat (reviewed  here ) that we replaced.

But this sound is neither loud nor distracting.  We located the thermostat in the living room.  That’s far away from any bedroom or other area where we need quiet.

Picture of an installed and operating Honeywell RTH7600D programmable thermostat.
Honeywell RTH7600D programmable thermostat, front view, installed and operating.

The RTH7600D is a programmable thermostat that allows you to set up seven different programs; one for each day of the week. Each program supports up to four temperature periods.  For each period you set the following.

  • The time of day that that period begins.
  • The temperature that you want the room to be during that period.
  • How you want the system fan to operate during that period.

You can program each day separately, including each weekend day.  Or, you can program a group of days that you can select, in blocks.  Handy if you want to utilize one program for the week days, and another for the weekends.

Warnings and Cautions

This is a low-voltage thermostat device.  So do not try to use it on a line-voltage heating system such as electric baseboard heaters.

Benefits, Features, Advantages, and Pros of the Honeywell RTH7600D 7-Day Programmable Thermostat 

Owners Manual Included

Honeywell’s supplied installation instructions with the RTH7600D were easy to follow.  We found them straight forward.

Quick Hookup

Honeywell thermostat models like this one, have nine screw terminals inside that supply control for multi-stage heating and cooling systems.  The climate control system here requires only six of these.  But hookup was nonetheless a breeze when the installation instructions are followed.

Easy Installation

Installation of the RTH7600D took under thirty minutes.  Plus we only needed a Philips screwdriver, since we just replaced an existing thermostat.  We did NOT install a new t-stat from scratch.

However, unlike the earlier thermostat, the Honeywell RTH7600D has a wall plate that you fasten to the wall first.  This plate is where you make the wiring connections.  Then, the t-stat just snaps onto it.  No ground terminal, as the RTH7600D is packaged in an all-plastic case; including its mounting plate. This simplifies installation.

Battery Backup for Internal Memory

During power outages, the Honeywell RTH7600D retains all program data.  It even keeps correct time with two good AA batteries installed.

Simple to Program

A 7-day programmable thermostat operation can get rather complex on some models. But even considering that, setting up this unit was straight forward.

Touchscreen Control

This unit has no actual buttons.  It instead, employs a touch screen, though which all thermostat functions are accessed.  So, there are no actual switches to wear out, corrode, or become dirty.

Rapid Response to Set Temperature Changes

It responds immediately when you change the temperature set point. That is, it  turns ON the HVAC right away when you raise the temp.  Also it turns the system OFF when you lower the temperature.  The climate system stays on until the room temperature reaches the new set point.

Tight Room Temperature Control

In terms of comfort, we like the tight temperature control of the RTH7600D. Why?  Because it allows no more than a plus or minus 1 degree temperature swing.  When the room temp goes outside of that, this t-stat switches the HVAC system.

Note that you cannot set this temperature differential directly. But you CAN adjust the number of on-off cycles per hour.  This provides an indirect adjustment of the temperature differential.  Indeed, the cycles setting is more effective for comfort than temperature swing.

Big Opportunities for Lower Energy Bills

The RTH7600D limits the size of the temperature swings in the room.  Thus, savings in heating and cooling bills should show up. These savings are important when paying to run central air especially.

One Year Warranty

This digital thermostat comes with a 1-year warranty and plenty of documentation.

Easy-to-Read Back Lit Green Digital Display

The bright green back-lit display is quite easy to read in either lighted or very dark settings.

Disadvantages, Problems, Limitations, and Cons of the Honeywell RTH7600D 7-Day Programmable Thermostat 

Relay Switching can Distract

Surprising that a climate controller so advanced as this one still needs switching relays.  Nowadays, we prefer solid state (and quiet) switching devices instead.  There’s really no reason that they could not have built the RTH7600D to be all silent.

Needs Constant-ON Back Light

It would be helpful if you could program the back-light to stay on at all times.  As it is, you have to touch the buttons on the screen each time want it to light up.  In some of the newer models though, like Honeywell’s WiFi Internet Enabled RTH8580WF Thermostat, the back light does stay on.  It just dims after some seconds of no activity on the touch screen.

Entire Screen Should be Touchable

Also, the touch screen is only sensitive to touches where the buttons are.  However, when the back-light is OFF, touching the right place to turn it on is hard.  Nice if the entire screen was touch sensitive, as it is on devices like the Apple iPod Touch and iPhone.

Numbered Settings Parameters Hard to Remember

The settings use number codes. E.g. Setting 120, setting 150, setting 300, and so on.  These take the place of more intuitive settings descriptions.  E.g. ‘Year Setting’, ‘Heating Fan Control’, ‘Select System Type’, and so on.

But with today’s advanced touch screen technology, the need for these old-fashioned numeric codes has long since passed.  The numeric codes mean that you must look up which code to change for a certain function.  So, if you lost the manual, you might not be able to program this unit completely.  Hopefully in later models of this t-stat, Honeywell will get rid of these numeric codes.  Hopefully, they opt instead, for plain-English menus and settings.

Not Blind Accessible

With so many devices these days, you get no audio noise when you press their buttons.  So it is true of the RTH7600D. Unfortunately thus, no beeps complicates use by the blind and vision impaired. Programming a schedule for it to follow is virtually impossible for the blind.

Our Rating

Overall, We’re pleased with the Honeywell RTH7600D programmable digital thermostat. The unit works exactly as described in the operation manual.  Plus, it provides a plethora of adjustments to please the casual user and the technically advanced as well.  We thus rate this thermostat at 96 out of 100.

Where to Buy the Honeywell RTH7600D 7 Day Programmable Thermostat

Look for this digital thermostat in the red and white plastic packaging.  Find it at your favorite home improvement store, such as Lowe’s.

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  6. How to Fix Honeywell Thermostat Not Following Schedule
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Suggested Reading

  1. Programmable Thermostat Pros and Cons
  2. Convection Oven Advantages and Disadvantages
  3. Installing Baseboard Heaters Tips, Help, Instructions
  4. Samsung 27 Inch Curved Monitor Review

References

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