March 3, 2015
Thermostat Showdown: Nest vs. Lyric

The Nest and Lyric Debate…

The HVAC industry is responsible for many patents and technical innovations when it comes to home comfort. However, ironic as it may seem, the hot item that has placed everything else in the shadows is a thermostat. To be specific: the Nest Learning Thermostat. People search for Nest more than any other HVAC item right now. Which is probably why Google purchased Nest for an insane amount of money.

So is the Nest right for you? Is it the easiest and best thermostat on the planet? Many would say yes. It features the slick design Apple is known for, due to an ex-Apple executive being the inventor. Beyond design, Nest does away with the rigid scheduling of other top thermostats in the industry by “learning” your schedule. The Nest has literally been the new winner, until Honeywell recently stepped into the game by introducing their new round, called the Lyric™.

It may seem like Honeywell copied Nest, but one could argue that Nest copied the original Honeywell Round™ as it’s now called. Putting all of that aside, what should you know as a homeowner when deciding between these two thermostats?

Nest: Basic Operation Summary

You can waltz up to either of these thermostats, and manually adjust the temperature. The Nest however, pays attention to these adjustments, and after “learning” your schedule, it tries to auto adjust ongoing. A Nest also senses near and far-field activity in the home (alled Auto-Away), and adjusts the temp when everyone leaves. Plus, you can access the Nest thermostat from a smart phone, which is pretty cool. A downside of their learning and Auto-Away? Large pets can trigger the wrong results, and you may find your Nest adjusting things when you don’t want it to.

Lyric: Basic Operation Summary

The Honeywell Lyric doesn’t try and learn your schedule. Instead, it senses smart phones with GeoFencing technology (phones that are paired to the thermostat), and adjust comfort when all phones move in or out of a zone. The zone can be 500 feet, or 7 miles. Honeywell pitches this against the Nest because a large home would require multiple Nest thermostats talking to each other, in order to really “know” if anyone is at home. If you only have one Nest, and you’re upstairs and it’s downstairs, it could turn into a hassle. The Lyric also offers smart phone access and their app allows you to save comfort profiles.

Other Minor Differences

Fire Warnings: The Honeywell Lyric will send you a text message if temps are rising in your home. So, sort of like a fire alarm. Nest doesn’t do this, but they offer smoke detectors that communicate with their thermostat.

App Ratings: Both apps have about the same rating on iTunes (this can obviously fluctuate), and both thermostats send you monthly energy reports. Some like the Nest app better as it is more tuned and bug free.

HVAC Control: The Lyric can adjust comfort based on outside temps and has a little more granular control over your HVAC system. The Nest lets the temperature fluctuate more, which affects comfort.

Web Interface: The Nest can be controlled from any computer with a web interface login. The Lyric does not offer this feature which is a definite drawback.

Power: Nest pulls power from the home while the Lyric requires a Lithium battery.

Warranty: The Nest comes with a 2-year and the Lyric with a 5-year warranty.

System Compatibility: Both of these will work with most systems, however, there are some scenarios that the Nest will not play in while the Honeywell Lyric is quite happy to jump in and control.

Company Plans?

Google owns Nest, and they just acquired another company named Dropcam, a slick home surveillance camera product. So… you can see where that’s going. Nest meet cameras, meet fine tuned comfort. Apple on the other hand, added the Lyric to their home automation product list. Apple is calling it HomeKit, and it features products that provide home automation from your smart phone. So obviously, both stats are plugged in to some industry heavy weights.

So What’s Our Vote?

I’m going to speak personally here: There is nothing worse than a review site that ends with some lame disclaimer like, “Both of these are stellar products and it depends on your situation…blah, blah, blah.” Whatever man, don’t review if you can’t make a decision. So what did I personally choose? I just purchased the Honeywell Lyric this week. The decision was based on GeoFencing and more precise control with comfort profiles. The auto learning and Auto-Away features are strikes against the Nest, in my opinion. It results in too many fuzzy areas that remove precise control. With GeoFencing, home comfort will always be spot on.

Want more comparison notes? I encourage you to go somewhere like Amazon, and read custom reviews of each product. Or talk to your HVAC contractor for more detailed information on how the thermostats compare. We hope this high level review has been helpful. Thanks for reading the Find an HVAC Dealer blog!

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