Honeywell thermostats compare favorably to more expensive alternatives

New, reliable Honeywell thermostats may help homeowners better control their heating costs this winter.

In recent weeks, Nest thermostats, manufactured by a new company headed by a formal Apple employee, have been making a splash in a marketplace that generally doesn't offer much news. (After all, the manual thermostat I own today is similar to ones I had growing up.) However, while techies have been heralding the arrival of the new company, a number of reports indicate that the expensive model the company is making its name on may have viable competitors in more familiar options, such as standard options from top providers like Honeywell.

A February 8 article published in Slate called "How Honeywell could beat popular upstate Nest" popped up in my inbox this morning, sent by a faithful reader who no doubt was looking to give me a proverbial pat on the back for running similar content weeks ago.

In the piece, Farhad Manjoo discussed why he thinks that Honeywell – long one of my favorite manufacturers for the clean interfaces and ease-of-use they provide with their manual thermostats – could innovate beyond what is currently being offered by Nest.

The author cited Honeywell's Prestige model – a particularly pricey offering from the company – as one that already offers a number of superior functions.

"It can strike a balance between indoor and outdoor humidity in a way that prevents condensation on the windows," Manjoo said in the article. "It can continuously monitor and report on any drops in efficiency of my furnace or air conditioner, saving me money. It has an optional remote control that also acts as a temperature sensor, a concept that I found very cool."

But, since the Prestige model can also be out of the price range of those looking to capture immediate savings from a thermostat purchase, individuals who are in the market may want to look at Honeywell's low-cost offerings. Many manual and even programmable models are currently available from discount retailers for under $100, meaning those who implement these devices as part of a cost-cutting strategy could help their wallets – and their homes – more quickly with this purchase.

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