One of the main concerns while installing a HVAC system at our homes is the amount of energy it consumes. To make the optimal utilization of the heating/cooling systems, thermostats need to be installed. However, even if we love the smart thermostats from the leading NEST, ECOBEE brands, their price tag may seem heavy for you when you are on a tight budget.
Nevertheless, companies like the LUX products, thrive to produce an affordable thermostat without compromising much on its quality. One such product from this manufacturer is the LUX TX9600TS.
It is a 7 day programmable thermostat and is compatible with almost every heating and cooling unit. The large, touch-screen digital display adds to the elegant look of this unit. It has two small sliding switches for fan control and to turn on/off the heating/cooling system.
Another remarkable feature of this unit from LUX is the flexibility to choose the number of periods per day. You can choose either 2 periods or 4 periods programming for a day. Each day of the week can have different schedule, according to your routine.
You can always switch to the non programmable mode in this thermostat, where you can set the temperature manually. The thermostat will continue to work at this temperature, unless it is programmed at a different set value.
The programmable touch screen has a lock option, which prevents it from unwanted changes through wandering hands. Also, the temperature override and temperature manual hold option amplify the versatile nature of this unit.
The temperature format can be switched between Fahrenheit and Celsius by selecting appropriate option from the user friendly menu. There is an optional recovery feature too, which aims to reach the set value of the temperature at the scheduled time by changing the temperature setting early.
Let us dig deep and learn more about its features.
One of the things which we have in the back of our mind, while shopping for a thermostat is its look. We tend to go for models with an elegant look which would exemplify the beauty of the inner walls of our home.
The LUX TX9600TS may fall into a medium budget category, but it does not compromise on its look and style. It blends with any wall and adds charm to your home while providing the comfort you need. It comes in a 5.4×1.1×3.4 inches rectangle shaped unit. It has a large, touch-screen digital display, right on its front and two slide-push buttons on its side. One of the switches is provided to control the blower fan and the other is to select the system mode.
Overall the thermostat is designed to give the user easy to access features and hence can be considered user-friendly
As already mentioned, LUX TX9600TS sports a digital, large touch-screen display. The display interface gives quick, clear information about the temperature, day, date and other vital system information. The easy to read display comes with a backlight to assist you in viewing in dark, dim lighting conditions.
The backlight is activated for 10 sec, once you tap anywhere on the screen. Also, this time is extended for the next 10 seconds, if you tap on the screen while the backlight is on.
The top most portion of the display shows whether the thermostat is being utilized for heating or cooling. If the heat system is working, you will see small flame like icon, and if the cooling system is on, you will see snowflake icon there. This assists you in monitoring your HVAC system.
Programming & Operation
The LUX TX9600TS gives you the option to program a different schedule for each of the 7 days of the week. Also, you can select whether you want 2 or 4 periods for a day. This benefits the users, with no fixed routine.
This thermostat has 2 control slide switches, which enhances it usability.
The upper switch is the fan mode switch and has 2 options: Auto mode and On mode. When the “auto mode” is selected, the thermostat will automatically turn on and off the blower fan according to the needs. When the “on mode” is selected, the blower will be turned on continuously.
Auto mode is preferable as it optimizes the energy usage.
The lower switch is to control the system settings. It has three options: Off, heat, cold.
“OFF”– Turns off the HVAC system, “Heat”- Turns on the heating system, “Cold” Turns on the cooling system.
Another useful option provided by this manufacturer’s unit, is the temperature override and temperature manual hold. It lets you change the set temperature at anytime. Also, the emergency heat option is a great plus for those with heat pump configuration. It prevents the heat pump to waste energy, in case the outside temperature dips drastically. When in emergency heat mode, the display will show “Emer Heat” instead of “Heat mode”.
The system menu offers numerous options which, when used to program a schedule properly can save a lot of energy being wasted.
In case you need the thermostat to follow a same routine for more than one day, you can make use of the program copy feature. This allows you to copy a schedule from one day to another day, without the need to create a separate program schedule.
This unit has adjustable temperature swings, the minimum temperature swing being +/-0.25°F, which is fine to produce accurate results and good functioning. This swing can be altered when needed. Another unique feature is its adjustable temperature offset and energy usage monitor.
While buying a thermostat to replace an old one, or even for a new home, one thing that bothers is its installation process.
Installation for this thermostat has been well explained by videos on Youtube and also in its installation guide. If you are familiar with home wiring, you can carry it yourself, using these aids.
One thing, though which might look like a problem is that you need to take off the back for the installation. For this you need to use the second of the three flaps given on its top. You have to oush it back from the other two flaps and it will flip open.
If your heating system has a blower fan, you will need to connect it to the “C” wire. Only then can you switch the blower on/off.
Even though the manufacturers boast this thermostat to be “universal compatible” thermostat, this does not work with certain heating systems like:
Line voltage electric baseboard heater and two stage cooling systems
Other than this it is compatible with almost all other North American heating and single stage cooling systems which include: two stage heat/ one stage cool (gas, oil, electric, or single stage heat pump systems, two wire heat only hydronic systems (hot water baseboard & radiator) and millivolt systems (wall heaters, furnaces & gas fireplaces).
This thermostat can be powered in three ways. One way is to power it up with the 24 voltage AC alone , the second way is to power it up with only batteries(2 AA alkaline) and the third one is to power it up partially by 24 V AC and the batteries.
The thermostat works better when powered by batteries alone. You can program it even when it is taken off the wall, if powered by batteries alone.
Now that the basic features have been discussed, let us have a look at its pros and cons:
- Adjustable programming for each day of the week
- Choice of 2 or 4 periods for a day
- Adjustable temperature swings
- Dual powered(both battery operated and 24 volt AC operated)
- Easy to read, backlit large display
- System turn off option
- Blower fan control option
- Program copy function
- Compatible with almost all multi stage heating and single stage cooling system
- It cannot be used for electric baseboard heaters and multi stage cooling systems
- Works better when operated with batteries
In a nutshell, LUX TX9600TS feature packed thermostat and one of the good options available in the market for its price.