The basic premise of WiFi thermostats – and what differentiates them from traditional ones – is the ability to connect them to the internet and program them remotely.
Low cost. It is one of the cheapest WiFi thermostats in the market.
Easy scheduling and navigation using the app or web portal.
Fairly flexible scheduling.
Is compatible with a wide variety of home automation devices and platforms. This is a big advantage for those looking to make their homes smarter.
Poor user interface on the thermostat panel.
No humidity sensor.
No energy monitoring.
But these extra features often do not appeal to homeowners who like to keep things simple. For them, there are less smart and hence cheaper options in the market.
One of the best of these simpler options is the Honeywell RTH6580WF WiFi thermostat.
Current going for $100 or less, this is one of the least expensive remote controlled thermostats you will come across.
Honeywell generally has affordable smart thermostats (most selling under $200) but this one outdoes them all.
That said, should you be worried about the experience considering the really low price?
A quick look at verified customer reviews indicates that most are very happy with this unit.
This WiFi thermostat lacks intelligent features but works extremely well if you are looking for a thermostat that you can conveniently control from your couch, your office or another state.
It is ideal for those who prefer simplicity and reliability over the complexity inherent in modern smart thermostats.
HVAC System Compatibility
All Honeywell WiFi thermostats are designed to work with almost any 24 volt HVAC systems in residential homes. It will work with a heat pump, hot water system, gas or oil system, electric HVAC system or multistage heating and cooling system.
There are two main compatibility exceptions, which actually apply to most smart thermostats, not just those from Honeywell. The first is line voltage systems such as baseboard electric heat. These systems are usually rated at 110V or higher.
Open your old thermostat and check the voltage rating to ensure it is compatible with Honeywell RTH6580WF. The second exception is millivolt systems. These systems are often used for wall or floor heating and are not compatible with Honeywell thermostats.
Line voltage and millivolt systems are pretty rare in homes. This makes it highly likely that your HVAC system is compatible with the Honeywell WiFi thermostat. To be completely sure, pop open your current thermostat to observe the wiring.
Head over to Honeywell’s wiring compatibility checker (https://yourhome.honeywell.com/General-Pages/Wi-Fi-Programmable-Thermostat-Home-Compatibility) and see if you have the right wires required to install the thermostat.
If you are still having trouble checking compatibility, snap a picture of your wiring and send it to Honeywell’s customer support for further advice.
Honeywell RTH6580WF has been designed for easy installation that does not require hiring a professional. However, you could run into a bit of trouble if you do not follow all the instructions when setting it up. Firstly, make sure that your system has a C wire. We have talked about the low-voltage common wire before and its important function of delivering a steady current to the thermostat.
Some smart thermostats do not always need it (Sensi and Nest) and others provide a workaround (Ecobee). Honeywell WiFi thermostats cannot function without the C wire being present. If you install the thermostat without confirming that there is a C wire, you will end up with a blank thermostat that will not start.
Also make sure you do all the wiring right. The instruction manual provides step-by-step instructions, showing you which wire goes where.
Overall, customers praised the thermostat’s ease of installation. Those who ran into problems during set up got a lot of help from Honeywell’s customer support. Most customers noted that setting up the WiFi connection was sometimes problematic. You may need to change your router name or change security settings to get the thermostat to successfully connect.
Honeywell RTH6580WF uses WiFi for connectivity. Once successfully connected to your home network, you can access and control the thermostat from anywhere using an app on your phone.
As noted above, a significant number of customers had some trouble setting up a WiFi connection. Make sure you follow the provided instructions properly. If it fails to connect, the manufacturer recommends restarting the thermostat.
Another reason it may be failing to connect is incompatibility with your router. Ideally, your router should broadcast in both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Honeywell RTH6580WF is compatible with the first range only.
Additionally, it only works with specific security protocols including OPEN, WEP PSK and WPA2 AES PSK. Try changing your network’s security settings and see whether the thermostat will connect.
It goes without saying that you should only connect to your home network for security purposes.
Avoid any open or guest networks as they could compromise the security of your system. Another important point to remember is the time and date setting.
Unfortunately, this WiFi thermostat does not set the time automatically even after connecting to the internet. If you skip setting the proper date and time during setup, the thermostat will not function as expected when it comes on.
Once you set up the WiFi connection, you are ready to enjoy the full benefits of having a WiFi thermostat. Note that the thermostat will still work even without a WiFi connection. It will function like a traditional thermostat without any remote access capabilities.
The user interface is another source of complaints from some customers.
The general consensus is that this thermostat’s interface is tedious. The 90s-era LCD screen is basic, but that is not the main issue. The problem comes in when you try to navigate around the menus and settings using the physical buttons.
The home screen displays the current temperature, the current system mode (cool/heat/off) and the time.
The top right corner displays WiFi status and strength. Aligned with the four buttons below the screen are four more options: scheduling, fan, system and additional settings. On the right, there are three more buttons to help you set various options and functions.
Some settings such as fan mode are straightforward while others such as scheduling are more complicated. Others even require pressing two buttons simultaneously. It will certainly take time to get used to the clunky buttons and unintuitive interface.
However, you do not have to go through this.
Once you have installed the thermostat, downloaded the Total Connect Comfort app and connected the thermostat to your Home WiFi network, you can forget about the tedious interface. See more on that in our remote control section below.
If not for anything else, the remote control feature of the Honeywell RTH6580WF is good for rescuing homeowners from the frustrating thermostat interface.
Aside from the app, you can also remotely control your thermostat from an online portal accessible via a laptop or desktop browser.
Before you can enjoy remote control, you need to create an account and register your Honeywell thermostat. Once registered, you can control various settings including temperature, fan and system mode. You can also view your current schedule and modify it as needed.
Note that you can also register more than one thermostat with the same account. This comes in handy if you have one thermostat for the living room, another for the bedroom upstairs and another for your vacation home. With the app, you can see the important details from registered thermostats and control their functions individually.
Most customers agreed that while the thermostat could prove frustrating especially for a first-time user, the app is simply great.
The Honeywell RTH6580WF WiFi thermostat lacks any sort of energy monitoring and reporting.
There are no daily usage statistics and you won’t see a monthly energy report showing you how much power the system used and how much energy you saved.
The only way to get a rough idea of how much energy you might save is to use Honeywell’s online energy savings calculator.
The lack of energy monitoring and reporting is not a deficiency unique to the Honeywell RTH6580WF. Rather, it is keeping in line with all Honeywell WiFi thermostats. None of them provide energy usage insights to homeowners.
If energy monitoring is a big deal for you, you want to search elsewhere.
Do not consider Sensi, though, because they also don’t have it.
But if you can live without the data, then the Honeywell RTH6580WF is good enough even without the monthly reports.
Scheduling And Automation
Don’t even think about setting up a schedule from the thermostat panel unless you have no active WiFi connection. The app or web platform is the best way to view and change your schedule. The thermostat has a flexible scheduling capability though not to the extent of smarter brands like Nest.
The thermostat comes with a default schedule. You can use it and later change it to fit your own schedule. The schedule allows only 4 programs per day with a maximum of 7 days. The default ones are wake, leave, return and sleep.
One convenient feature of the thermostat, and which is found in most other Honeywell thermostats, is smart response. Once the thermostat learns how long it takes to get to a desired temperature either in the cool or heat mode, it begins heating or cooling the house before the set time.
If you set a certain temperature for when you wake up at 7am, it will automatically go into heat mode before that time is that it is already at the preferred temperature when you wake up.
Some of the smart auto-scheduling features lacking include geofencing, activity detection and learning.
This is a sub $100 thermostat, so don’t have high expectations for it.
While other pricier thermostats are packed full of smart sensors, the Honeywell RTH6580WF only has the bare basics.
Only a temperature sensor is available to measure room temperature. There is no humidity sensor. If it cannot measure humidity, then do not expect it to detect when you are home (activity sensor) or when you are approaching it (proximity sensor).
But then again, most people buying this thermostat are looking for something simple with only the essential basics.
Smart Home Integration
These days, the ability of WiFi thermostats to connect wirelessly to other smart devices has become a basic feature available even in the cheapest thermostats.
So whether you buy a $200 smart WiFi thermostat or spend half that on this one, smart home integration capability is the same.
Your thermostat can be connected to Apple HomeKit, allowing you easy control of the thermostat and other connected devices from your phone.
It also connects to Alexa, making changing home temperature as easy as speaking a command to Echo.
You can also tell Google Home to change the temperature.
Other compatible devices and systems include IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings, Wink and others.
One thing we love about Honeywell is that they provide a wider variety of integrations than most other thermostats. As automated homes become more popular in the coming years, we expect Honeywell to expand their integrations even more.
To find out whether a certain device or smart system is compatible with your thermostat, look for the ‘Works With Honeywell’ logo.
- Low cost. It is one of the cheapest WiFi thermostats in the market.
- Easy scheduling and navigation using the app or web portal.
- Fairly flexible scheduling.
- Is compatible with a wide variety of home automation devices and platforms. This is a big advantage for those looking to make their homes smarter.
- Poor user interface on the thermostat panel.
- No humidity sensor.
- No energy monitoring.
- Weighs around 1.2 pounds and measures 5.8 x 1.5 x 3.5 inches.
- Requires 1 lithium ion battery, which is included with the thermostat during purchase.
- Rated at 24volts.
- Requires WiFi connection for full functionality.
The Honeywell RTH6580WF WiFi thermostat is an inexpensive unit that provides big value for your money.
It does not impress in terms of style and intelligent energy-saving features, but its reliability and ease of use makes it a good choice for those who want an affordable remote-controlled thermostat.