The thermostat that came with our new house was from the dark ages

The thermostat that came with our new house was from the dark ages

I just bought a new house this year, and it’s starting to get really cold outside here in Washington. Just like they say in the Game of Thrones – Winter is Coming. The thermostat that came with our new house was from the dark ages, so I took this as a great opportunity to look at a high tech Thermostat. But which one do I get? The new wifi thermostats are awesome, and now we can change the temperature without even getting out of bed. That’s really cool! So I talked to my technical friends at work, and we did some research. Here is what we came up with.

Lots of wifi choices
There are tons of choices in the wifi world of thermostats. The Nest is probably the most popular and is owned by Google, but I decided to buy a Honeywell wifi thermostat instead. It was a tough choice. My old roommate bought a Nest for his home and he loves it, but I didn’t like the minimal display (it only displays the temperature inside the home). The Honeywell model I purchased (model RTH9580WF)  does all of the same things as the Nest, but it shows both the inside and outside temperature on a beautiful color display (the nest does not). Regardless of whatever brand you choose, they all basically do the same thing. They allow you to change the temperature from your smart phone or tablet. For me, it came down to how good it looks attached to your wall. Plus the model I got was on sale at Amazon for $175.

The Nest Thermostat is awesome, but it only displays the temperature inside your home.


Honeywell Thermostat1
Here’s my Honeywell thermostat. It shows inside and outside temps, plus the date and time.

What a Wifi Thermostat gets you
I love checking my thermostat from my from my bed. If I am feeling a little cold, I can crank up the heat from the comfort of my bedroom by using my tablet without even getting out of bed. I also like checking the temperature of the house while I am away from home by using my phone. The app that comes with my Honeywell is super easy to use. 

Thermostat from my phone
Here’s my thermostat view from the app on my phone. I can change the schedule from here. It’s awesome.

The Honeywell takes a little getting used to at first. I will sometimes hear the furnace kick on about 30 minutes before the time it is supposed to. You see – if you have the thermostat set to turn up the temperature to 70 degrees at 6:00am, then instead of “turning on” at 6:00am,  the thermostat will try to “get the house up” to 70 degrees at  6:00am. This is much more different than my old thermostats.

How a Wifi Thermostat saves me money
Buying a Wifi thermostat will cost you more money at first than an older simple thermostat. But the savings come from the ability to check your temperature quickly. I am finding myself constantly tweaking the schedule to get it just right. If I can easily adjust the settings, then that means I can get the temperature dialed in just right for my liking. In the past, I would set the thermostat and walk away. If the temperature wasn’t right I would usually delay making any changes because I was too busy. Now that the changes are easy to make, I can customize it faster. For example, I lowered my temperature settings while I was in bed trying to sleep. 

What kind of Thermostat do you own, and what are your experiences? Tell us in your comments below.



Gary is one of the founders of RetireBook, and is the site engineer and also one of its writers. He has been working in IT for over 25 years, is a world traveler, and enjoys everything about living in the Pacific Northwest. He is full of energy, loves the outdoors, climbed several mountains, volunteers in his community, and has been saving his whole life for an early retirement that will be coming up in just a few short years.