Pros / The CT-80's geofencing feature uses your smartphone's location to adjust your home's temperature as you come and go.
Cons / This wireless thermostat only has a one-year warranty.
Verdict / Geofencing, affordability and good home automation compatibility make the Radio Thermostat CT-80 a good choice if you want to install your own smart thermostat and save money on utility bills.
Radio Thermostat isn't a well-known name in programmable thermostat manufacturing, but its CT-80 is a solid product because it gives you total control of your home’s temperature via its Wi-Fi connection. The thermostat doesn't have many sensors, but it supports most HVAC equipment, and its user-friendly touchscreen makes it easy to program. However, the Radio Thermostat CT-80's warranty isn't very long compared to the best thermostats.
The CT-80 is an affordable thermostat with seven-day programming and drag-and-drop mobile app controls, which is nice if you have a sporadic schedule. It has a basic auto-schedule feature you can use to quickly save your preferences in the mobile app. When you need to override a schedule, you can override an entire week or just one day with the touch of single button, and you don't have to reprogram your settings after.
This Radio Thermostat model has a humidity sensor, and it sends you equipment alerts so you know when it's time to change your air filter and if there are any system malfunctions. It can also access information about local weather conditions to improve its efficiency, and it displays this data on the screen for your reference.
The CT-80 is one the best thermostats because it supports adjustable geofencing via its mobile app. Geofencing uses your smartphone's location data to activate or deactivate your home's HVAC system. This means it raises or lowers your home's temperature if it detects you are coming or going, which conserves energy and translates into savings on utility bills. Although the thermostat doesn’t have the same smart technology as those made by Nest and ecobee, it makes conserving energy easy by letting you quickly switch into Save Energy mode.
The thermostat's simple touchscreen is easy to navigate but looks dated. In fact, it looks like a Casio watch from the ‘80s with its block-letter display and lack of color and graphics. It also makes a beeping sound similar to a Casio watch when you press the buttons.
You can install the thermostat yourself using the manual's extensive walkthrough of the installation process. You then program settings by answering questions displayed on the screen such as, "When you're away, what temperature do you want in the house?" and "What temperature do you like at night?" This makes for easy setup. You can also find guides and compatibility checkers online to see if the CT-80 works with your system.
When we installed the thermostat, we had problems connecting to Wi-Fi, but after several minutes, we were finally able to connect and control it from a smartphone. This Wi-Fi thermostat is compatible with Z-Wave and ZigBee radio frequencies, so it works with most standard home automation systems – you may need to purchase extra equipment to enable these functions.
Radio Thermostat only offers a one-year warranty on the CT-80, while most other manufacturers offer two-, three- or five-year warranties. The company’s support personnel are available via Twitter, email and phone. Radio Thermostat does not have an online forum.
- Ease of Installation