Picture of the installed Honeywell Large Dial Thermostat, T87N1026.

Honeywell T87N1026 Large Number Thermostat Review

The Honeywell T87N1026 large number thermostat offers a quick and easy-to-install climate control solution. It’s also simple to learn and operate.

It looks like the vintage Honeywell mercury thermostats in so many homes during the 60s and 70s.  But this unit, with its higher visibility and “feel-ability” is well-received by the disabled.  Indeed, those who cannot see a standard  thermostat really love it.

This unit has a 21st century all electronic control system.  Yet it’s case is a classic design.  It also holds room temps to within one or at most two degrees of the set point. Thus, gone are the days of chronic temp overshoot, where you feel at first too cold, then too hot.

Picture of the installed Honeywell large number thermostat, T87N1026.
Honeywell T87N1026 large number thermostat, front view.

Pros, Features, Benefits, and Advantages of the Honeywell T87N1026 Large Number Thermostat

Mercury Free

The old glass bulb switch that had a rather large drop of that toxic liquid metal has been eliminated. They replaced this with a solid state thermistor.  This gives faster response to changing indoor temperatures. Plus, it’s safer for the environment.

Easy to Read Outer Dial

Low-profile yet large display design.

Notched Dial

This makes adjusting up or down by 2° intervals a snap.  But more precise control is hard due to these notches.

Wide Temperature Range on the Honeywell T87N1026 Large Number Thermostat

Adjustable between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fan / Auto Switch

This switch changes the furnace fan between either always on operation. Or a mode in which the fan runs only when  heating or cooling is running.

Heat / Cool / Off  Mode Switch

Puts the HVAC system into either heating, cooling mode, or OFF altogether.

Large Numbers and Increments

High contrast, easy to read, big numbers on the four-inch diameter temperature dial.  They also raised these numbers on this Honeywell T87N1026 large number thermostat for easier seeing AND feeling. So, you can set this thermostat in the dark easily.

Easy Grip Temperature Setting Knob on the Honeywell T87N1026 Large Number Thermostat

This knob also has the notches around its outer edges. This supports easy grasping and turning.

Advanced Controls Hidden Inside

These hidden DIP switches set furnace type (gas, electric, forced air, steam, or hot water).  The T87N1026 also controls heat pumps and central air conditioning systems as well.

Simple to Hook Up

This thermostat features stay-tight screw terminals.  See the photo below for a functioning installation.

Includes a Wall Mounting Plate

This Honeywell thermostat along with its mating wall-mounting plate snap together.  You can can easily separate then as well to get quick access to the wiring and furnace type mode switches.

The Honeywell T87N1026 Large Number Thermostat Needs no Backup Battery

The Honeywell T87N1026  thermostat remembers all settings through power failures via the built-in battery power stealing design.  The included lithium metal batteries will likely outlive the thermostat itself.


At under fifty dollars, they indeed priced this thermostat on the cheap side.  Given all the types of HVAC systems it can control, the price is quite reasonable.

Tight Temperature Control

Vintage Honeywell thermostat models featured a spring-like sensing element and a mercury switch attached to it.  But the Honeywell T87N1026 large number thermostat gets rid of those 1960s parts. Instead, it regulates room temperature with all the precision of today’s state-of-the-art residential thermostats, with solid state technology.  Yes, it truly looks a lot like an old model Honeywell with just the added outer dial.  But it’s not that.  It’s a 21st century thermostat in a 1960s thermostat case.

Quiet Operation

We heard no clicking as the unit switched our air conditioner on and off.  If there is any noise at all, it’s barely notable.

The Honeywell T87N1026 Large Number Thermostat Responds Quickly to Temperature Changes

Your HVAC kicks on but a second or two after you set a different temperature on the dial.   No waiting for minutes on end for heating or cooling to start.


Minimal radio interference made during furnace switching.

Wall Plate Makes installation a Breeze

You make no direct wire connections to the control unit itself.  Rather, all wiring connects to the wall mounting plate.  Then, once you verify its correctness, you just snap the control unit onto the wall plate. Electrical connections are then made via the plug and socket, shown in the pictures.

Cycles Per Hour is Adjustable

Adjust the on-off cycles per hour count to either 1, 3, 5, or 9 turn ons.

Typical Current Handling Specs for a Thermostat

Switches up to one amp of furnace control current. This means that it’s plenty well sized for most home HVAC systems.

You can Easily Clean the Honeywell T87N1026 Large Number Thermostat

Clean up the plastic white case with a damp cloth.

More Decorative Front Cover Available

You may special order a fancier cover plate as well.

Picture of the Rear of the control unit for the Honeywell Large Dial Thermostat Picture of the installed Honeywell Large Dial Thermostat, T87N1026.
Rear of the control unit of the Honeywell T87N1026 large number thermostat.

Disadvantages, Problems, Cons, and Limitations

Non Programmable

Strictly manual.  You cannot thus program this model to change its heating or air conditioning settings unattended. So you must make any adjustments at the time you want them.

No Back Light

It’s hard to see the built-in thermometer in the dark. But you can adjust the tactile set-temperature dial without light.

Thermometer Dial Too Small for Some Vision Impaired Users

The thermometer readout appears no larger on this so-called enlarged thermostat, than on older models.  A bigger temperature reading scale would help a lot.

Furthermore, the outer set temperature dial has large and raised degree divisions.  But some blind users deem these little bumps too small read through touching them.  So, would love bigger numbers and markings.

No Multi-Stage Climate Control on the Honeywell T87N1026 Large Number Thermostat

Does not support multiple stage (auxiliary) heating and cooling systems. Maximum of one heating stage and one cooling stage.

Not Designed for Line Voltage Systems

Cannot directly control line voltage electric baseboard heaters without other supporting equipment.

Relay switching

Relays can be noisy in very quiet rooms. Plus, they’re prone to early failure in humid rooms.  So with advances in solid state power switching these days, we prefer the all-electronic switching in this product.

No auto Heat-to-Cool or Cool-to-Heat Switching

Does not automatically switch over from heating to cooling and vice versa based on room temperature and outside conditions. Instead, the user switches this manually.

The Honeywell T87N1026 Large Number Thermostat Has No Digital Temperature Display

The current temperature readout is a mechanical spring thermometer. It is not protected by any sort of shield on this Honeywell T87N1026 large number thermostat however.  So, you can too easily bend the red needle. Plus, you destroy its accuracy if you bend it too much. Thus, just avoid touching this needle.

Picture of the installed Honeywell large dial thermostat T87N1026 wall mounting plate.
The installed wall mounting plate for the Honeywell large dial thermostat, T87N1026.

Our Rating of the Honeywell T87N1026 Large Number Thermostat

This is a very basic, very reliable, very cost-effective t-stat. Moreover, it’s easy to operate for disabled users. The unit is simple to install and use. Furthermore, it’s easy to find online, and at the various home improvement stores in our area.  So, we’d rate this unit at 95 out of 100.

Where to Buy the Honeywell T87N1026 Large Dial Thermostat

Buy this thermostat at many online places.

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References for this Review of the Honeywell T87N1026 Large Number Thermostat

  1. Honeywell Official Web Site
  2. Honeywell T87N1026 Thermostat Manual
  3. Where to Buy

Revision History

  • 2019-02-25: Added subheadings and tags, fixed typos, and applied keyword targeting.
  • 2015-11-30: Added appropriate tags.
  • 2014-12-15: Tweaked the content.
  • 2014-12-10: Adjusted ad positioning, revised content, and added more whitespace for improved clarity.
  • 2014-09-28: Originally published.