As with many products that we buy today, they are becoming more and more technologically advanced. Feature after feature is being packed into them. Some are useful, others less so. They problem comes when we just want a device that does one task and does it well. Just think of trying to buy a cell phone that just makes and receives calls.
The problem is the same when you are looking for the best programmable thermostat. It is difficult to find one that just turns your heating and cooling on and off when you want it – and do just that. Fortunately, some manufacturers are realizing that and a very good example of just such a thermostat is the Lux Products TX9600TS Universal 7-Day Programmable Touch Screen Thermostat.
It doesn’t have the stylish design of the Nest Learning or the ecobee3 it can’t be controlled remotely like the Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Programmable Thermostat and the screen display doesn’t have the option of 12 color themes like the Honeywell Wi-Fi 9000 Color Touchscreen Thermostat but it does turn your heating and cooling on or off when you want it several times a day and work on a 7-day set up and tell you when your air filter needs changing or cleaning.
Firstly it is compatible with virtually all North American heating and cooling systems apart from systems with electric baseboard heat (120 or 240 volt) and systems with 2-cooling stages.
It only has 2 connection wires, so if you don’t have the ‘C’ wire that many of the feature packed thermostats need, it is not a problem.
Less than a 1/3 of the price of some of its Wi-Fi enabled competitors.
- Easy to install
- No ‘C’ wire needed
- 7-day program
- Choice of 2 or 4 heating and cooling settings per day
- Compatible with most existing North American heating and cooling systems
- Air filter monitor
- Temporary override option
- Option to PIN protect settings
- Easy to read screen with touchscreen controls
- Energy use monitor
- 3-year warranty
- Does not have a remote access connection – but if you don’t want that it’s not really a negative
- Battery operated – batteries need replacing about once a year, although if your system has the wiring available it is possible to bypass the need for a battery.
- The initial set up can be a little involved due to setting switches on the circuit board, but this is a once only process
Ease of Use 4.7/5
Once the installation and initial programming have been completed, this thermostat can be virtually forgotten about. There is a manual override option to either switch on or off if you want or do not want heating or cooling outside the programmed periods. If you want to stop unauthorized access to the controls, there is a PIN lock facility.
This is one of the easiest programmable thermostats to install. Just remove the old thermostat and wire the wires to the TX9600TS, fix to the wall and it is done. Lux produce a video to demonstrate the installation process. Some existing systems will have additional wires that will need to be attached. See the installation manual for details appropriate for your system.
There are 8 switches attached to the circuit board that needs to be set before attaching the thermostat to the wall. Pages 17 and 18 of the installation manual tell you want position these need to be in to ensure that the device recognizes your system and how you want to operate it. Once that is done it is a matter of setting the control switches and following the onscreen prompts.
Energy Saving 4.4/5
According to Energy Star, a programmable thermostat can save you around $180 per year. The actual amount that each person will save is obviously dependent on how the home was heated and cooled before against how the home is heated and cooled after the programmable thermostat is installed.
By spending a little time at the start to make sure that your on and off times are realistic and in line with your needs, you will save more energy and have lower bills.
Some programmable thermostats can save more on energy costs, for example the Honeywell Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable Thermostat learns how fast your system heats and cools the house and alters the switch on/off times to suit. But that needs to be balanced against the relative costs of one against the other.
Dependent in the area in which you live, some energy companies offer discounts or rebates of your energy bills if you have an approved programmable thermostat installed.
Bottom Line 4.6/5
The Lux Products TX9600TS Universal 7-Day Programmable Touch Screen Thermostat does not have the styling of the Nest Learning or the ecobee3, it can’t be controlled remotely like the Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Programmable Thermostat 1F86U-42WF, so what does the TX9600TS have going for it?
This does not use a weather service to check your local weather and adjust the settings automatically, but if you live in an area with micro-climates this can actually be a plus.
Well, to start with it is less than a third of the price of some of the other thermostats. Depending on the system you have, with some of the more ‘feature packed’ options you may need to install additional wiring at extra cost. It is a great deal easier to set up and run than some.
The most important consideration is more what you actually need, how much you want to spend, rather than what you actually get.
User reviews consistently rate this as one of the best programmable thermostats, rating higher than many of its more expensive counterparts. Hope you find our Lux Products TX9600TS Thermostat review useful.