Honeywell Home T9 thermostat review: smart sensors, frustrating limitations

In the world of smart thermostats, what separates the best models from the rest of the field is the ability to measure temperature in more than one place in your home. That allows you to regulate the heating and cooling functions in the areas where you really are, instead of where the thermostat is mounted. It is the best alternative to having multiple HVAC systems (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) zoned. To do this, smart thermostats use small wireless remote sensors that can detect temperatures and then integrate that data into their algorithms.

Ecobee was the first consumer-based smart thermostat that used this type of function. Its sensors can measure the temperature and detect the presence, so the thermostat configuration "follows" automatically. Nest added remote sensors as an option for its thermostats last year, but Nest sensors are very limited compared to those of Ecobee; They can only measure the temperature and cannot detect the presence at all.

Now. With the Honeywell Home T9, Resideo has its own consumption thermostat that supports remote temperature sensors. (Honeywell Home shares a name with the iconic thermostat brand, but it actually has a Resideo license, which came out of Honeywell last year.) The $ 199 T9 comes with a remote sensor in the box and can support up to 20, compared to the 32 sensors that Ecobee can handle and the maximum of 18 that Nest supports. In addition to measuring the temperature and detecting the presence in a room, the T9 sensors also have the ability to measure humidity, something that Ecobee and Nest can only do from the primary thermostat.

In addition to the remote sensors, the T9 has all the features you would expect from a smart thermostat, including compatibility with a variety of HVAC systems, time-based or gentile programming, and a smartphone application to control your system when you are not at home. It is also compatible with Amazon's Alexa Assistant and Google's Voice Control Assistant, with support for Apple's HomeKit platform promised by the end of this year. If you are looking to integrate it with other smart home products, the T9 works with Samsung's SmartThings platform and IFTTT, which gives you an advantage over Nest thermostats.

But despite checking all the function boxes, using and living with the T9 is not a pleasant experience as with Nest or Ecobee.

The installation of the T9 is very similar to the installation of any other smart thermostat: you match the wires of your thermostat old to where they need t o go for the new one. My simple air conditioning system, with only a single stage oil-based furnace for heating and a single stage central air conditioning unit, was supported from the outset. But if you have other more complex systems, you may have to install additional wiring or spend more time setting up the T9 (or any smart thermostat). The Honeywell Home website provides a compatibility checker so you can determine if the T9 will work before you buy it.

where the T9 differs Nest or Ecobee is its shape: it is a vertically oriented rectangle that is narrower than tall. That means it didn't cover all the holes in my old thermostat. Then, depending on the shape of your current thermostat, there may be some repair and painting work on the wall. Resideo says the T9 was designed to hide the holes in Honeywell's thermostats. And unlike Nest or Ecobee, a backing plate to hide old holes is not included in the box. Resideo sent me a prototype of the backup plate that will eventually be sold to customers to hide the holes, but was not yet available for purchase at the time of publication.

Apart from that, the design of the T9 is modern and attractive. and the large full color touch screen is bright and easy to read from the other side of the room. Smartly, the background of the screen will turn blue when the A / C is on and orange when the heat is on, so you can quickly see what your system is doing at a glance. The touch screen is also fast and responsive to use.


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The T9 comes with a remote sensor in the box, and must be mounted on a wall.


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Ecobee remote sensor (left), T9 sensor (right). Unlike the Ecobee, the T9 sensor can read both temperature and humidity, and works with standard AAA batteries, but it is much larger.

The T9 remote sensor (one comes in the box and additional units can be purchased in pairs for $ 74.99) is much larger than the Ecobee and can only be mounted on a wall. There is no support included, so you can simply place it on a mantle or shelf. The box includes 3M strips for easy assembly, but I prefer the compact size and placement flexibility offered by Ecobee sensors.

On the positive side, the T9 sensor works with two standard AAA batteries, which are much easier Replace the coin cell battery used by Ecobee or the special lithium battery that Nest uses. Resideo says they should last a year under typical use.

As mentioned earlier, the T9 sensor can measure humidity In addition to temperature, something that neither sensors Nest or Ecobee can do. It can also detect movement and presence, so you can adjust the system to the rooms where it detects that people really are. The T9 allows you to select from which sensors you want to read in a given block of time and will average the system temperature according to the multiple readings. Alexa and Google Assistant even recognize individual sensors, so you can use voice commands to configure the thermostat according to a specific sensor, something that neither Ecobee nor Nest support.


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You can link up to 20 remote sensors to a T9 thermostat and program it according to what they are reading.


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The T9 can be programmed according to presence detection or time blocks, but the two cannot be combined.

But beyond that, the programming and people of the T9 Detection options are limited. For starters, the thermostat itself does not have a motion sensor. If you want presence detection in that area, you will have to place a remote sensor next to it. In addition, it is not possible to use the T9 sensors to activate home and away status; The only way to do this is to set up a geofence activator in the Honeywell Home smartphone application. If you share your home with other people and want to change the thermostat setting based on whether people are at home, you will have to install and configure the application on everyone's phone. That makes it difficult to use geofencing if you have babysitters or other rare visitors. Both Ecobee and Nest can use their sensors to detect the state of home and away and adjust without needing to rely on a geofence based on smartphones.

It is also not possible to mix time-based programming with geofencing beyond a limited night mode for when you are sleeping. If you are using the time lock schedule to program the thermostat, and your schedule deviates from that program, the system cannot adapt depending on whether you are at home without manual intervention.

Resideo says he designed the system. A form based on research and customer feedback, who overwhelmingly preferred a simpler configuration to a more intelligent one. But this has the effect of making the T9 feel much less intelligent than its competitors and forces me to change its settings manually much more often than I really should with a smart thermostat.


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The Honeywell Home application provides extensive control over the functions and configurations of T9, but there is no web access for desktop computers.

In addition, the T9 can only be controlled via the thermostat, a voice assistant or the smartphone application. There is no web-based control panel to access it. Owners will receive usage reports sent to their email monthly, but there is no way to see how the system has been working for a period of time before they arrive.

In general, the T9 is a good smart thermostat system, with an easy-to-use interface and a decent amount of flexibility in how you can control it. Many of its shortcomings could be solved with software updates and what could make the T9 a little more competitive than it is today. But for now, the Ecobee is still the smart thermostat to beat.

Update, 8:00 AM ET, July 23, 2019: Clarified the mark between Resideo and Honeywell Home in numerous places. He also added that the T9 is the first Honeywell Home brand thermostat with remote sensors for consumers, the brand has had commercial thermostats in the past that used them.

Photograph by Dan Seifert / The Verge

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