Honeywell Prestige HD vs. Nest: Which Thermostat is King of Climate Control?

Written by | Updated November 1, 2013

Smart thermostats are getting lots of press these days, and their competitive price points make them affordable for most homeowners. If you’re considering abandoning your traditional thermostat for a smart model but you’re not sure which one is best for your family’s needs, you’ll want to read on.

We’ve put the two of the leading thermostats, Honeywell’s Prestige HD and Nest, head to head in four decisive rounds to help you understand the benefits of each. Once you’ve discovered more about these popular thermostats, tell us which one will earn the privilege of controlling the climate in your home.

Round One: Cost and Installation

The Honeywell Prestige HD costs about $259. It requires professional installation, which is an additional expense.

Priced at about $220, the Nest Thermostat costs slightly less than the Prestige HD, and it does not require the additional expense of professional installation. In fact, according to the Nest website, four out of five people install the device themselves in a half an hour or less.

Round Two: Ease of Programmability

The Prestige HD offers “interview based” programming that lead you through a straightforward setup process to program heating and cooling runtimes. Or, you can opt to set up the thermostat yourself. A one-touch override option allows you to terminate the program schedule and start a new one. And, if you find yourself at home during a time the house is usually vacant, you can temporarily override the schedule.

Nest is fundamentally different than the Prestige HD because you never actually program it. Instead, Nest remembers when you turn the temperature up or down, and uses that information to design a custom climate control schedule. You simply use Nest to adjust the temperature in your home for seven days, and after that it will program itself for every day of the week. Nest is ideal for users with predictable schedules but it will also identify temperature patterns in schedules that change regularly.

Nest’s motion sensors enable it to determine when you’ve left the house. At that time it sets to energy saving Auto-Away mode.

Round Three: Warranty and Support

The Prestige HD thermostat has a five-year registered warranty. The warranty covers device malfunction or problems with the thermostat’s parts. The Honeywell website offers manuals, FAQs and helpful videos including those that walk you through the programming process. If you can’t find the answer to your question on the website, you can email Honeywell or contact a customer care representative by phone.

Like the Prestige HD, Nest offers a five-year warranty. The support offered by Nest is much more comprehensive than that offered by Honeywell, but that’s likely due to the fact that Nest installation is often DIY. The Nest website is packed full of information regarding the device, and includes videos on how to install Nest yourself. Nest offers a community forum with a wide range of questions and answers. It’s very easy to navigate and includes a detailed troubleshooting section. You can contact Nest support via email (which Nest promises to return within one business day) or by phone seven days a week, 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. PST.

Final Round: Functional Design

It’s hard to beat the eight inch high definition color screen on the Prestige HD. It’s incredibly clear screen makes it easy to use, even under low-light conditions. There are no buttons or knobs- just a smooth touchscreen interface. The Prestige HD has a built-in level to help the professional who installs it do so perfectly. The Prestige HD is battery powered, and will warn you when the battery is becoming weak.
Honeywell HD

Compared to the brilliant HD screen of the Prestige HD, the 1.75 inch diameter touchscreen on the Nest seems minuscule. However, since Nest works on an entirely different concept than the Prestige HD, screen size isn’t all that relevant. In fact, its diminutive size makes it pleasantly less obtrusive, and the sides of Nest are reflective which help it blend in with the wall. The screen is backlit making it easy to read. Like the Prestige HD, Nest offers a built-in level for convenient installation.
nest vs honeywell prestige

Investing in a smart thermostat is a brilliant money saving move. Which one serves your needs best, the Prestige HD or Nest?

Written by Alexia Chianis

Wanderlust junky and mom of two, Alexia is a former police officer and U.S. Army Captain who draws on her experiences to write about a myriad of safety topics. Learn more

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