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Honeywell RTH9580WF or Nest Learning-Which smart thermostat to buy?

Updated on February 22, 2016
The Honeywell 9580 and Nest Smart Learning Thermostat
The Honeywell 9580 and Nest Smart Learning Thermostat | Source

The thermostat, like many of your household gadgets is something that you buy and plan to use for sometime.

As such making a careful upfront research is only a wise thing to do especially if you are not really sure to go for either the Honeywell 9580 or the Nest Learning thermostat.

These two thermostats are not something cheap that you would just put aside if you made the wrong choice. So which should you choose? The Honeywell RTH9580WF or Nest Learning thermostat?

In this hub, I will try to explain as much as possible in simple terms so that you will have a very clear idea on which of these two thermostats is better for your needs.

A simple thermostat
A simple thermostat | Source

What is a thermostat?

There are many uses of thermostats out there but in this hub I am only focusing on the home thermostat; specifically the Honeywell 9580 and the Nest Learning thermostats.

So what is a thermostat? Very simply put, the home thermostat is a device that senses the temperature of your home so that it adjust the cooling or heating of your home's temperature to ensure that it is at the temperature set by you.

In the traditional way, you just turn a dial indicating the level of temperature you want and that's it. However with the advancement in technology we now have the smart thermostat that is programmable, self learning and also can be controlled from outside your house via Wifi.

What is a smart thermostat?
What is a smart thermostat? | Source

What is the smart thermostat?

Contrast to the classic simple thermostat, the smart thermostat controls the cooling and heating of your home by themselves. They learn your behaviors and is able to know if you are at home and take note of the time when you normally leave your house.

In general, the smart thermostat is designed to address the usability problems usually associated with old fashioned programmable thermostats.

Once they have gathered sufficient data about you behavior, they start optimizing your energy consumption by optimizing the set temperatures and times. They can even be controlled remotely you are out of your house. As such if you have gone for a long trip and forgot to turn off your thermostat, you don't have to return home to turn it off. You just do it remotely via your mobile phone.

Another advantage shared many owners smart thermostats is the improvements in their energy usage especially for those that use a lot of energy because they run a consistent temperature all the time.

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The Nest Learning Thermostat and the Honeywell RTH9580WF are two of the most popular smart thermostats that you can find in the market today.

Both the Nest and Honeywell cost around the same amount and they use Wi-Fi to allow for remote access and control of your home’s temperature.

While both has similar functionality, the slightly more expensive Nest Learning Thermostat has some advantages over the Honeywell.

I will explain more on each.

The Honeywell RTH9580WF
The Honeywell RTH9580WF | Source

What is the Honeywell RTH9580WF WiFi 9000?

The Honeywell RTH9580WF is rectangular, bigger and more bulky than the Nest. It also has a more complex user interface. You make your settings by touching the screen.

Even though it is a learning thermometer, the Honeywell RTH9580WF does not have the same learning features as the Nest.

As with normal programmable thermostats, you need to enter your schedule manually for automatic temperature adjustments in the Honeywell. You’re limited to four schedules that you can create while the Nest learns about your schedules overtime.

The Honeywell RTH9580WF does not have motion sensors and you’ll need to manually lower the temperature if you were to leave home unexpectedly.

The Nest Learning Thermostat
The Nest Learning Thermostat | Source

What about the Nest Learning Thermostat?

As I have mentioned previously, the purpose of the thermostat is to manage the temperature of your house and Nest is designed around this principle.

The Nest Learning Thermostat is designed for easy operations. It is a round sleek looking gadget whereby you turn the outer ring to select an option or adjust the temperature. Once you are done, you just push the whole thermostat in to confirm your choice. It is that simple.

As with the name, the Nest is a smart thermostat that learns your routine. For example if you always change the temperature setting to a certain level each night before you sleep, Nest is smart enough to learn this behavior after a few days and it will start setting that temperature automatically at the same time each evening.

You also have the option to set schedules at multiple time periods each day. For example if you are someone who is going to be in and out of the house frequently during the day, you can schedule the thermostat to either raise or lower the temperature at your desired temperature just before you get home.

The Nest Learning Thertmostat learns your behavior
The Nest Learning Thertmostat learns your behavior | Source

For example if you come home for lunch each day, you can schedule the thermostat to either raise or lower the temperature just before you get home. Once you leave your house again, you can either let the Nest determine that you are “away” or set it yourself.

If you let Nest do it, it is smart enough to learn this behavior and it will start setting that temperature automatically at the same time. Nest will know that you are away because it has build in motion sensors. That way, your home's temperature can be adjusted automatically so that you save energy and money.

However before Nest is able to do all that, you have to give it some time to understand your behavior. The other good thing about Nest is that it will not stop learning but continue learning as long as you use it. As such it will constantly be adjusting its itself to match your personal preferences.

As one of the objectives of the Nest is to reduce your energy costs, Nest will show a small leaf icon when you choose energy efficient temperatures. You also get leaves in your monthly energy usage report if you are energy efficient. You also get to see comparison usage reports of others in your state as well as your ranking against your neighbors in the monthly report.

Honeywell 9580 vs Nest Learning Thermostat

Honeywell 9580
Nest Learning
Learning capabilities
Adapts to the changes in the furnance temperature
Adapts to your schedule
Display activation
The display is always on and will be dimmed when idle
The display will light up when motion is detcted
Temperature display
Fahrenheit / Celsius
Fahrenheit / Celsius
Controls on unit
Touch screen UI allows you to make adjustments
Adjust temperature and other setting by turning the dial
No reports
You get usage reports and will even be awarded "Leaf" badges on efficient days
Temperature range
+/- 1 degree
+/- 3 degrees
Multiple time period
Four - wake, leave, come back, sleep
Compare energy usage with other owners
Can compare your energy usage to other Nest users to highlight the difference in energy efficiency
Is the smart thermostat worth it?
Is the smart thermostat worth it? | Source

Is either of the smart thermostats worth it?

For me I felt it is worth it. There are many factors at play to really give you an accurate potential savings. However some owners especially those staying in harsh climate areas have reported breaking even in a short one season period time frame!

A for me, I am happy with a lower energy bill and the benefits such as better control over scheduling, ease of use, and features like alerts and on-unit temperature displays. These little things add up to make life just a little bit more easy and enjoyable.

Which smart thermostat is better?
Which smart thermostat is better? | Source

Which of these two smart thermostat should you buy?

That all depends upon individual needs. For some people like me who prefer the simplicity, I went for the Nest Learning thermostat. However all products has its pros and cons that is dependent upon the individual.

Here are some suggested guidelines on why you should buy one or the other.

Get the Nest Learning Thermostat:

  • You are into energy smart temperatures and savings
  • You like to see how efficiently your energy usage is as compared to your neighbors and others in your state
  • You can see how much energy you use everyday and find out how to use less
  • You like the simple design
  • You like the convenience of the thermostat adapting to your lifestyle without having to make changes
  • You like the ability for the thermostat to also work with other devices such as the security camera, keyless lock, smoke alarm etc

Nest (T3007ES) Learning Thermostat, Easy Temperature Control for Every Room in Your House, Stainless Steel (Third Generation), Works with Alexa
Nest (T3007ES) Learning Thermostat, Easy Temperature Control for Every Room in Your House, Stainless Steel (Third Generation), Works with Alexa

Highly recommended. The Nest Learning Thermostat is very convenient gadget that helps you save money in the long run. It is also able to work with other smart gadget which makes life easier.


Get the Honeywell 9580:

  • If you don't mind a more complex user interface that allows you tighter controls over your home temperature. In addition to the controls via the web app and the mobile apps, you can set almost everything on the unit itself
  • You prefer to do the settings on the unit itself rather than doing it via your smart phone or through the internet
  • You have a tighter temperature control as the Honeywell RTH9580WF can keep your home’s climate within +/- 1 degree of your desired temperature as compared to the Nest's +/- 3 degrees over your desired temperature. For example, if you set your Nest to 72 °F (22 °C), the temperature may drop as low as 69 °F (20.5 °C) before the heat kicks back on
  • You like to be able to view the info at one go
  • You like to get email alerts when your house has lost power or is colder than your predefined limits

Honeywell RTH9580WF Smart Wi-Fi 7 Day Programmable Color Touch Thermostat, Works with Alexa
Honeywell RTH9580WF Smart Wi-Fi 7 Day Programmable Color Touch Thermostat, Works with Alexa

If you prefer manual temperature adjustments, then get the Honeywell RTH9580. The screen also have more information displayed that you can read off at a glance. It is also approximately $70 cheaper than the Nest at the time of writing.


Is the Honeywell 9580 or Nest Learning Thermostat better for you?

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