Honeywell Lyric T5 Smart Thermostat
Clean and functional smart thermostat at a reasonable price
RubberCheese Summary – I bought this for $99.99 CAD and used it for 3 months before writing this review. I recommend it as a value-oriented smart thermostat.
Amazon product link: USA | Canada
My house has a standard efficiency gas furnace and AC unit from the 1980s. Although it was unused with the old thermostat, there was a “C” wire in the bundle which I hooked up to use this thermostat. The Lyric can be used without a “C” wire, however you will lose manual control of the furnace fan. For me, installation was straightforward and took about 30 minutes.
After installation, the Lyric prompts you to select your wireless network and enter the password.
I then installed the Lyric app and opened a free account, and associated my thermostat with the account.
THE APP – It is the primary way I make adjustments to the thermostat and it offers almost all functionality of the base unit. The app shows outside weather, current inside temperature and allows good adjustment and scheduling as listed below:
FAN – can be set to auto (on when heating/cooling), circulate (runs 35% of the time), or always ON. These settings will not be adjustable if you don’t have a dedicated “C” wire.
SCHEDULE – allows you to set schedule. There are some limitations (maximum of 4 set points per day, and all days must be the same or M-F and Sat/Sun on separate schedules). I wish there was more flexibility to set custom schedules. You can also enable “adaptive recovery” under Thermostat settings which will learn how long heating takes (corrected for outside temperature) to get the temperature to the set point BY the programmed time. I don’t use this feature because I found it was turning on the heat too early in the morning, making us uncomfortably warm in bed under our heavy duvets.
HEAT/COOL – allows you to select between OFF, heat, or cool. There is no heat/cool setting. The selected setting icon is animated if the unit is actively heating/cooling.
THERMOSTAT DIAL – at the bottom of the app is an old-school thermostat control. Tap the setting you want (dragging the dial doesn’t always work that well) to adjust the set point. Once you’ve made a change from the schedule, you can touch a dialogue box to program if or how long you want that temperature held. By default, it will hold until the next set point, but you can make the setting permanent or define a time for it to revert back to schedule.
GEOFENCING – This thermostat supports geofencing which automatically changes set point based on the location of your mobile devices from the home. Enabling this setting forgets all schedule settings (if you switch back to scheduling, you need to fully re-program). You are able to select how close to home you need to be for the setpoint to change, and can select two “home” temperatures (one for day, one for night). Although I like the idea of geofencing, it doesn’t work well if your “Home” setpoints are far different from your “Away” setpoint. For example, I like our house at 72 while we’re home but 60 while we’re at work – regardless of how well I set my geofence, it takes me far less time to drive home than it does for the furnace to heat the house
ALERTS – This allows you to cause the app to notify you if your house gets too cold (or too warm). I have my alert set a few degrees cooler than my coldest set point… if my thermostat ever sees a temperature this low, it means that the furnace is not working and gives me an opportunity to correct it before things start to freeze.
CONNECTIVITY – The app can be used within your Wifi network, or anywhere that you have data access. I do find there to be regular disconnect messages “We couldn’t communicate with your thermostat” but I’m always able to adjust temperatures when I want to.
ADDITIONAL FEATURES ON BASE UNIT – The base unit provides essentially the same adjustment as the app but in a less user friendly fashion. The only outstanding feature on the thermostat itself is the ability to do a “Screen Lock”. To make adjustments on the thermostat, you need to enter a 4-pin code first. This is a great feature for rentals or to prevent kids from adjusting the setpoints on you.
WHAT I LIKE
- Price – great value for a smart thermostat – typically between $100 and $130 Canadian
- Looks – I like the design of the thermostat more than EcoBee3 or Nest
- Basic capabilities – handy to adjust temperatures remotely so that you can always come home to a comfortable house… when travelling, no worries about forgetting to dial back the thermostat before leaving since it can be dialed back from anywhere
- Improved access to settings – One of our bathrooms is lacking a fan. Before getting in the shower, it is easy to turn on the furnace fan to move air, preventing excess buildup
WHAT I DON’T LIKE
- I wish there was more ability to tweak settings in the app. For example, additional temperature setpoints, sensitivity (i.e. ecoBee allows you to adjust the acceptable temperature drop before triggering the furnance/AC), etc.
- There should be a memory for schedule to allow you to switch between geofencing and schedules without losing all settings
- Flaky app notifications “unfortunately, we’re having trouble reaching the network. Please check your mobile or Wi-Fi connection”, even though the app will open and control the thermostat without issue
OVERALL – This is a great thermostat if you don’t need tons of advanced features but want the ability to remotely (or conveniently locally) control your thermostat. If you want to leverage additional features or better support, I’d recommend looking into the Nest or ecoBee product lines.