As homeowners learn more about “connected homes,” HVAC contractors are realizing they need to be able to present themselves as connected home experts; as much, if not more so than the salesman in the big box store. And it helps when manufacturers lend a hand with product positioning.
With that in mind, Honeywell has introduced its T Series portfolio of connected and non-connected thermostats, including the Lyric™ T6 Pro Wi-Fi for professional installation.
Developed to help contractors manage complexity and maximize opportunities while providing customers with the features and usability they seek, the entire T Series streamlines Honeywell’s long-standing expertise in home comfort.
To introduce the product to contractors and distributors, Honeywell product managers embarked on an October road trip, with stops in Baltimore, Long Island, Chicago, Milwaukee, Dallas and Vancouver.
“We’re very pleased with the reception we’ve been getting from contractors. And, it’s not really a surprise, because we spent an enormous amount of time talking to contractors about what they want in a connected thermostat,” said Nate Kraft, director of home comfort, Honeywell.
“All of these products are fundamentally built off of things contractors and distributors told us, and are rooted in all that we learned from them,” Kraft said. That feedback included concern over big box store product availability.
“One of our basic principles was to design the non-connected and the connected thermostats in a way that contractors never find themselves in a situation where a customer says they can buy the same product at a store for a lower price,” Kraft explained. (A Lyric T5 Wi-Fi product is for consumer and DIY applications.)
“It made the conversation more complicated. Explaining some of those details to a consumer is challenging. We want to stop that from happening. And, in addition to just the look, and having a space between the retail and professional products, we’ve built in a ton of differentiation for contractors, with the features, tweaks and settings we know the contractors want,” Kraft added.
Features of the new thermostats include easy, time-based scheduling; real-time status availability; a new vacation mode; and temperature hold settings.
From product selection and easy installation, to customer support and future upgrades, the T Series is engineered to deliver confidence. To further integrate into a home, the Lyric T6 Pro benefits from the newly updated Lyric app (V3), as well as Honeywell’s growing partnership ecosystem, which includes Apple HomeKit™* for control via Siri and the new Apple Home app in iOS 10, compatibility with Amazon Echo, Stringify, and others.
For HVAC contractors, every model in the T Series uses Honeywell’s new UWP mounting system, offering a cleaner, faster installation. When a customer wants to change from a non-connected T Series thermostat to a connected model, the UWP mounting system means that the cover plate can be swapped without needing to also replace the wall plate. Setting up a T Series thermostat is straightforward via steps and menus that contractors are already accustomed to, meaning greater clarity and usability, and less time.
Greg Perry, president of an Aire Serve HVAC franchise in Prince Georges County, attended the Baltimore road show. He said he’s excited about the selling opportunities the new thermostats provide for contractors.
“I’ve always loved Honeywell’s products. I love the swap-outs, and that you can upgrade without replacing the back plates. If a customer starts with a non-programmable thermostat, and the next year decides they want a programmable, it’s a very easy upgrade and upsell. Being able to do the WiFi, bring in the integration of the low bandwidth inside the home, will take them to the next level,” Perry said.
“I think this product is a winner,” said distributor Ray Mikell, vice president of HVAC/hydronics sales for Thos. Somerville Co., Upper Marlboro, Md.
“The simplicity, the added features, and the opportunity for contractors to walk in, evaluate a situation, simplify the labor process, and upgrade, make it a win-win situation for the customer and the contractor,” Mikell said.
Thos. Somerville Co. has distributed Honeywell products for more than 20 years.
“Without a question they’re the leader in the industry not only with thermostats, but across their entire product line. It’s a pleasure to deal with Honeywell’s representation, quality of product and what they stand for,” Mikell said.
Honeywell’s slate of connected products now include three main products:
• RedLINK Wireless Systems, for customers who want the convenience of remote comfort control and require a more robust solution.
• Wi-Fi thermostats, for customers who value the flexibility of remote visibility and control, and simply want to get connected.
• Lyric Round™ Wi-Fi thermostats. The second generation Lyric Round Wi-Fi thermostat is for customers who want the freedom to stay in touch with their home’s connected systems to maximize savings, comfort and security.
The Honeywell Contractor Portal provides 24/7 access to home conditions and system performance, helping them to proactively diagnose potential issues before they become costly problems. The Contractor Portal connects to all Honeywell RedLINK and Wi-Fi thermostats, Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostats purchased at retail, and the Lyric Round Wi-Fi thermostat.
Visit contractorpro.com for additional information.