Who would've thought that this blog would be one of the most often referred to sources of information about GPMG8085C... All right, if that's what y'all want...
Ever heard of "The Golden Triangle"? "Good, Cheap, Fast - Pick Two". So, this thermostat may just as well be the closest approximation. $20 cheaper than the next guy (Honeywell RTH7500, I'll come back to it another time), does the same job, if not better.
Comparable quality and length of DIY installation.
Installation complexity: no-brainer (YMMV). A few advices, though:
- Make sure you RTFM;
- Don't drop the wires into the wall;
- Programming is best done when the thermostat is laying on the desk before you, not when you're standing next to the wall with the thermostat on it;
- At least for me, the preinstalled battery still works after a few months of operation, may want to ignore that paranoid advice to remove it.
You have to really hate your customers not to provide an option like that (example: RTH7500 needs you to press any button, and, invokes the action corresponding to that button, even in the dark. So you have to be really careful where you tread, and the fact that the screen is backlit is useless - you can't comfortably use it anyway).
There's a stylus and a holder, but feel free to ignore it - fingers and/or fingernails do the job just fine. No visible scratch marks after few months of use.
7-day programmability is certainly nice, but the schedule selection is really weird - you can't set the schedule boundaries at arbitrary time, but only at one of two settings (forgot what times exactly, will update later). Kind of inconvenient, and this is probably the most annoying feature, or, rather, lack thereof. Competing device shines here - you can have your heat and cold any time.
Side note: I'm wondering why nobody figured yet that anticipation is something you're quite willing to have for a period starting, say, at 6PM, when you return from work, but not really want for the period starting, say, at 9PM - when you are on a time of day electric plan, which makes energy after 9PM three times cheaper than before. Remember, you read it here first.
If you don't need 7-day programming, there are other, cheaper Rite Temp models that offer compatible feature set, but 5+1+1 or 5+2 day programming.
I'm quite willing to forgive lack of schedule configurability for including an extremely important feature - you can manually change the hysteresis. Setting it to the maximum value makes the temperature spread quite noticeable (up to 5°F), but makes the unit cycle about three times less often than it would otherwise do. Don't have equipment to measure the actual gain, but would certainly recommend this thermostat to people who are either energy conscious and don't mind little discomfort, and to people who have grossly oversized units - you guys may suffer from temperature swings even worse, but at least your electric bill will drop like a rock because the unit won't breathe like a dog outdoors in Arizona summer anymore.
Can't say anything about humidistat - not much use for it in the middle of Arizona summer.
Another useful feature - filter usage counter. Depending on the climate, your unit may cease operating for a couple of months in mid-season, so you can afford to buy a higher quality, more expensive filter without a fear that you're wasting money (just think of how much it'll cost you to clean the inner coil when the time comes, and reconsider buying that inexpensive $3 filter).
You definitely need to read the manual provided with it in order to learn to operate - but then again, this is true about any more or less complicated home appliance - it takes significantly higher IQ to figure out how to connect the 5.1 home theater and the rest of components together without electrocuting oneself, so no big deal here.
At least all the settings have icons assigned to them, and you can figure out what is what, unlike some other designs, where features are indicated with numbers (come on, it's not 1960 anymore...)
Well worth the money I paid for it.
God, what have we come to... Anyway - use your common sense, don't do stupid things, and read this first.