Tell us about some of the “Smart Thermostats” that Honeywell is now offering.

Honeywell’s latest is the Lyric thermostat (priced at $229 *limited time promotion, regular MSRP $279), marrying practicality with aesthetic design reminiscent of the original Honeywell Round. As part of Honeywell’s newest connected home platform, the Lyric thermostat uses you and your family’s smartphones’ locations – geofencing – to heat/cool your home to a preferred temperature when you arrive, and save money when you’re away. It’s unique Fine Tune feature factors in indoor and outdoor temperature, humidity, and weather conditions so that 72 degrees really feels like 72 degrees. Additionally, Smart Cues sends alerts about your heating and cooling systems, and assists with scheduling a contractor if desired.

Why is a Smart Thermostat an important addition to the Honeywell list of products?

Honeywell’s Lyric thermostat is the first product in its larger Lyric family of connected home products, and is meant for use with how people really live. The geofencing, Fine Tune, and Smart Cues features can help people be more comfortable, save energy and money, and better manage and control their homes’ systems.

Nest created a lot of internet and media buzz when they introduced there smart thermostat.  Has that buzz and the new competition helped or hurt Honeywell and their market share in the thermostat category.

Honeywell has long been a leader in managing home comfort and security, and we welcome healthy competition. Our goal is to get the benefits of the connected home into the hands of as many homeowners as possible, and we look forward to continue innovating our family of such products.

How does it work and what are the advantages over a traditional programmable thermostat?

The Lyric thermostat has no complex menus or complicated programming, and is well-suited to those people who tend to not live by a constant, set schedule. Through the geofencing feature, linked to your smartphone, you’re able to maximize comfort at home while minimizing costs when you’re away.

What is the average payback time based on a typical installation?

Savings with any smart/connected thermostat understandably depends on a wide range of factors, including your HVAC system type, fuel source, and geographic location. With the Lyric thermostat, we estimate a savings of up to $221 per year here in the U.S., and encourage people to get an estimate of their possible savings via the available calculator on the Lyric website.

Are these thermostats simple enough that a homeowner could install it themselves?

Yes, the Lyric thermostat is intended as a DIY product, that can work with 97% of HVAC systems in the U.S. With the Lyric app (available for iOS and Android), customers are walked through the entire setup process step-by-step, complete with videos, customized wiring diagrams, customer support access, and more. For customers who would rather enlist the help of a professional, you can easily find and set up a Honeywell-certified contractor to install the Lyric for you.

Are these thermostats secure from hackers out of the box — or does the installer / homeowner need to take special precautions?

Honeywell takes security very seriously with all of its products, and the Lyric thermostat is no exception.

Are there still more innovations in thermostat design coming up in the near future?

The Lyric thermostat is just the beginning for the Lyric family of products – stay tuned for more from us in 2015!