The Honeywell Home T9 smart thermostat is the newest product from the makers of the stylish yet stymied Lyric Round, and the cheap but cheerful Lyric T5. Only now theyâve done away with the Lyric name and reverted to the Honeywell branding, even though Honeywell no longer owns these thermostats, Resideo does.
Confused? Well it doesnât matter much, what matters is this is a nifty little thermostat that works very well if what you want is a simple device with some great features and not too many confusing bells and whistles.
While the company has been manufacturing thermostats since 1906, its newest iteration takes a lot of cues from the upstart competition â namely Nest and Ecobee. Most specifically it's brought room sensors to the table for the first time in its direct-to-consumer devices, and rather effectively.
Another interesting shift is toward simplicity and away from the more complicated âsmartâ features.
While geofencing is present, thereâs no learning or smart adapting (to your presence or the weather), this is just a simple, well-designed thermostat that wonât confuse grandma but has enough integrations and compatibility with smart home systems (SmartThings, Alexa, Google and IFTTTâŚ HomeKit coming soon) to make everyone happy.
We spent some time living with the T9 and hereâs our take:
Honeywell Home T9: Design & installation
One manâs beautifully designed thermostat is another manâs piece of junk. Design for these things is so subjective. We love the look of the original Nest, but a big black dot on your wall isnât always the look you're going for. Sometimes simple and white is just as nice. And thatâs what the T9 offers.
It has some style, but mostly not. A white rectangle, with clean, curved lines, the T9 has a full-color touchscreen display that turns blue when cooling and orange while heating. It comes pre-set to a very bright level, even when not being used, and you'll need to dive about five screens deep into the settings to adjust the brightness and set a nighttime mode if you want it to turn off at night.
The accompanying room sensors however, really arenât subjective when it comes to design. Theyâre just unsightly. Large, about half the size of the thermostat, and required to be placed on the wall at about 5 feet high, you canât hide these suckers away. Compared to the competition they really lack in looks; however they make up for that with superior functionality (more on that later).
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Installation is pretty standard â check your system is compatible and if it is, itâs a simple case of wiring it up. If you are replacing a T5 or similar you wonât even need to rewire as they use the same base unit so you can just pop it on. You do need a C-Wire, although if you donât have one an adaptor kit is included. If you are not comfortable with installing a thermostat you may want to get a pro out. Unlike Ecobee and Nest, Resideo doesnât provide much direction here. Thereâs a fairly simple user manual that walks you through installation but if you run in to any hitches thereâs little back-up.
Once youâre up and running, the T9 will ask if you want to add sensors and walk you through pairing and placing them. This part is well-documented and simple to follow. The sensors are designed to be placed on a wall, and come with hardware to mount them or the option of double-sided tape.
The final step is to connect to Wi-Fi and pair with the Honeywell Home App. The thermostat is compatible with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks, however many online user reviews reported issues trying to connect to a 5GHz network. Resideo says it sent out a firmware update that fixed the issue, and we had no trouble with our dual band mesh Wi-Fi network.
One other potential issue is that the thermostat is a vertical rectangle, so if you are replacing a standard thermostat the chances are you are going to have some unsightly holes, and it doesnât come with a backplate to easily cover them up.
Honeywell Home T9: Features
The T9's smarts come from geofencing and its remote sensors. Geofencing was present in the Lyric and the T6, but whatâs new here are the room sensors and theyâre pretty good.
It comes with one (although you can buy just the thermostat if you prefer) and supports up to 20. Each one measures temperature, occupancy and humidity. If you place them around your house it can tell your system to average the temperature out across them all so the whole home is comfortable, or target just one, making sure that space is optimally heated or cooled. It can also prioritize rooms with motion in.
As a bonus, the sensors have a range of 200 feet, and we didnât have any connectivity issues in the 2,500 square ft home we tested them in. However, they canât be used to trigger Home or Away status; thatâs entirely determined by your schedule or geofencing (more on that later too).
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Other features include adaptive recovery, which is basically a fancy way of saying the thermostat will heat or cool your home a little bit sooner than you ask it to so it will be at the point you want at the right time. You can set a vacation mode, lock the thermostat, receive filter reminders, and view an activity history in the app. This is helpful for confirming the geofencing activated.
Features that are lacking include any type of energy reporting/monitoring. Nest has its green leaf to show you how youâre doing at saving energy, Ecobee has a comprehensive online dashboard (no web interface at all here), Resideo just sends you a monthly email.
There is a utility rebate program, but it wasnât on offer in our area. Thereâs also no motion sensor in the thermostat itself (only in the room sensors), so if you want to monitor occupancy where your thermostat is youâll need a sensor there too, which could mean a very cluttered wall.
Honeywell Home T9: Everyday use & app
Using the T9 is easy. The deviceâs display is large and bright (although you can set it to dim down when not in use), and the touchscreen is responsive, showing you the time, current indoor temp and outdoor temp. When you touch it you get more info, including the target temp and large arrows to easily change it. It also shows an indicator of which sensors itâs using, which you can tap into to adjust.
The accompanying Honeywell Home app is fully-featured and also simple to use. We used it initially to change the pre-programmed schedule the thermostat came with. Pre-set with a Wake, Away, Home and Sleep schedule, we adjusted the start time for each and chose which sensors each mode should target. For example, Wake mode targeted the kitchen, which is where we congregate when we wake up, and Home mode targeted the kitchen and the living area. On weekends, when we have less of a set routine, we told the thermostat to target âActive Roomsâ - i.e. rooms where the sensors detected motion (similar to Ecobeeâs Follow Me mode).
Whichever sensors you ask it to target, bear in mind itâs not capable of maintaining different temperatures in different rooms (no thermostat on a single-zoned system can do that). Instead, it will take an average of the rooms and maintain that. Or, if you choose just one room, it will work to keep it to the desired temp. The downside of this type of sensor-based system is that you could end up using more energy to stay comfortable in one room â but you will be comfortable.
We also tested out the geofencing, which worked reliably, turning the system to Away when we crossed the fence and Home when we returned. You can adjust the radius in the app if you want the house to pre-heat or cool a little earlier in anticipation of your arrival. The downside of geofencing is that it only pays attention to people with a smartphone and the Honeywell Home app (bad luck kids and babysitters), plus if your app is shut down, or your phone is off, or youâre jumping between cell towers, it may not trigger.
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You canât fall back on your pre-programmed schedule if that happens either, as the T9 works with a schedule or geofencing, not both. Thankfully, theyâve introduced a Sleep mode to the geofencing settings, so you donât have to leave the house at night for the system to turn down.
The sensors work with geofencing too; you can choose to target your Home, Away, and Sleep settings to specific rooms or to average out across a few rooms. In our testing the sensors performed really well. They were reliable, had consistent readings, and we liked being able to use voice control with Alexa and Google Assistant to target them individually (something other thermostat with sensors donât do). Thereâs no HomeKit support yet, although Resideo says itâs coming, and based on the fact that it's in their other thermostats, we believe them.
One funny thing weâve noticed with all the Honeywell thermostats weâve tested is that they make an audible clicking sound when you change the temperature remotely (using the app or voice control). Itâs odd but also a handy way of knowing that it received your command if youâre within earshot.
The Honeywell Home T9 is probably the best thermostat the company has come out with thatâs not a pro-install offering. Remote sensors, geofencing and a reliable, easy-to-use app make this one of the simplest smart thermostats, if not one of the smartest.
- Sensors detect motion and humidity
- Responsive touchscreen display
- Simple, unobtrusive design
- Well-designed app
- Either geofence or schedule
- No motion sensor in the thermostat
- No energy reporting
- No HomeKit yet