With two products, a touchscreen thermostat and a wireless portable thermostat remote, Honeywell has changed how I control my heating and cooling forever. In a good way.
The system I have here consists of those two parts: a touchscreen, full colour thermostat that takes the place of your current thermostat called the Prestige, and a black and white wireless thermostat remote called the Portable Comfort Control.
The Portable Comfort Control is what's the most revolutionary about this package. It's about the size of two Wiimotes, it's touchscreen and can basically take the place of the thermostat from anywhere in the house. You can set both heating and cooling temp for as many zones as your house has, as well as read the current temperature from the thermostat, the remote itself or an outside sensor.
It works perfectly. Its backlit touchscreen lights up when pressed, and is responsive enough that you can actually control it without letting a bunch of expletives fly at how lousy the screen is. It reaches every corner of my three-story house, even with multiple floors and walls and doors in the way. Basically, it lets me turn on the heat from the ground floor without having to run up two flights of stairs. Every house needs one.
The Prestige, which is the colour touchscreen thermostat, works just as well. The touchscreen is bright and responsive as well as intuitive—something even simpler thermostats are not. It too can sync up with an outside sensor to display the current outside temperature, and does everything that a thermostat is supposed to do (schedule, hold, etc).
Installation was pretty easy. Ours was done by a professional Honeywell installer, but with enough knowledge Gizmodo readers should be able to do it themselves. The entire process, from hooking up the thermostat to syncing the remote to drilling in the outside sensor, took only about an hour.
Point is, the Prestige and the Portable Comfort Control are, if you consider yourself a gadget fan at all, a fantastic addition to the rest of your home tech solutions. Honeywell usually recommends that you get these installed via a contractor, but if you're at least a little bit handy, you should be able to do it yourself. Those people who are buying a house (like our Sean Fallon) should really think about getting one of these.
Here's a kit with the three pieces (thermostat, remote, outdoor sensor) for $US400ish. I'd shop around more for a better deal. [iaqsource]