Thermostats: Programmable thermostat

Reviewed by:
Scott Gibson, Contributing Editor
The Vision programmable thermostat has a feature that makes savings in heating costs more likely -- it's easy to use (at least according to the manufacturer, Honeywell).

The thermostat's menu-driven programming allows separate settings for each day of the week, four periods per day. Choices are made via a touch screen, and Honeywell is so confident that the device is easy to use that it boasts "no owner's manual needed." (A 64-page manual with installation and setup instructions is nonetheless included). A backlit display shows room temperature, current time and set temperature, and it includes reminders to change furnace filters or low batteries.

Among its features is a capacity to sense the length of time a heating system needs to bring room temperatures to a desired level and make appropriate adjustments. It works with a variety of heating systems, including heat pumps, hot water boilers, warm-air furnaces and air conditioning units. It does not work with electric baseboard heating systems. In October 2004, model TH8320 was available for about $136.

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