Hunter 44157 review: This budget thermostat has little value

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The Good The $25 Hunter 44157 thermostat hides all of its clutter under a convenient plastic case. Its blue backlight makes the display easier to read in low-light conditions.

The Bad This thermostat's ambient temperature reading was consistently 2 degrees lower than the four competitors I tested alongside it. I heard a faint, but distinct humming sound every time I pressed a button.

The Bottom Line I like the design of this simple programmable thermostat, but its low temperature reading and humming sound make it hard to recommend.

5.3 Overall
  • Performance 5
  • Usability 5
  • Features 6
  • Design 6

I recently moved from a home with a Wi-Fi-enabled Nest Learning Thermostat to a home with a very old, very basic programmable temperature controller. Maybe it's because I regularly write about connected thermostats, but I find my comparatively "simpler" model much more confusing.

So I decided to investigate. Is this the case with all inexpensive programmable models or just mine? After testing out the Lux TX500U and the Honeywell RTHL2310B, I realized some affordable thermostats are fairly straightforward. Others, like the $25 programmable 44157 by Hunter, unfortunately aren't.

You can only set two programs with 5-2 thermostats like the 44157 -- one for the weekdays and another for the weekends. That means this Hunter thermostat is fairly limited in terms of features.

At the same time, it has a jumble of buttons that aren't particularly responsive, a faint, but annoying buzzing/humming sound that emanates from the thermostat for a brief period after you press any button, and an ambient temperature reading that runs roughly 2 degrees cooler on average than any of the other four models we tested alongside it.

Ultimately, you're only spending 25 bucks on this thing, so it isn't a huge loss if you just bought Hunter's 44157 for your home. You will have to interact with it to set programs and to override those programs during times when you want manual control, though. And this thing is downright annoying. I'd get the $30 Lux TX500U or the $25 Honeywell RTHL2310B instead.

Note: This thermostat is compatible with basic heating and cooling systems; click here for more details. If you have questions about installation, consult a professional.

Comparing thermostats

Honeywell RTHL2310B Hunter 44157 Emerson 1F78-151 White-Rodgers P200 Lux TX500U
Price MSRP: $25 Lowe's: $24.98 MSRP: $25 Amazon: $20.59 MSRP: $43 Amazon: $26 MSRP: $50 Amazon: $23.77 MSRP: $30 Amazon/Home Depot: $30
Color finish White White White White White
Batteries Yes, two AAA Yes, two AA Yes, two AAA Yes, two AA Yes, two AA
Backlight Yes, green Yes, blue No Yes, green Yes, blue
Dimensions (WxHxD) 4.75 x 3.4 x 1 inches 8 x 6 x 1.6 inches 6.2 x 4.2 x 1.8 inches 6.5 x 4.5 x 1.5 inches 5.4 x 3.4 x 1.1 inches
Display Digital Digital Digital Digital Digital
Programmable Yes, 5-2 Yes, 5-2 Yes, 5-2 Yes, 5-1-1 Yes, 5-2