Digital vs. dial thermostat

Is there any difference between a digital-programmable thermostat and the old-fashioned dial thermostat? I am wondering about the sensitivity of the digital vs. dial. Does anyone have a preference? If so, why? The reason I ask is that last year I had the dial type, but replaced it over the winter with a digital. It may be my imagination, but it just seems that the a/c is kicking on over shorter intervals than last year.
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The round dial type is ok. But digital is easier to program and be aware of your set points. You should set the anticipator to a number more to your cycle desired. They usualy come set to a standard. I set mine from 4 to 1 . But it is invidual.
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it is my educated opinion that digital controllers will have a tighter range of operation. as you put it, it is more sensitive. digital controllers typically come on at 1degree below the setting, and turn off at 1 degree above it (reverse that for ac). the mercury switches in older analog ones take more than that to activate. because the temp varies more, i think people have a tendency to set them higher to avoid being chilly during the low spots (again reverse that for ac). digital ones will turn on and off more often, but be on for less periods of time maintaining an even temperature. in the end i dont think a digital controller in and of itself saves all that much money, but if you get a programmable one i think you can eliminate much of the 'oops i forgot to turn the heat down' factor.
randy

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can
That is the only real advantage I can see. I don't have central AC, but for heat, I like the fact that it comes on 15 minutes before I wake up and it goes down in two steps during the day. I save at least 5%, maybe 10% with no forgetting to turn it down.. It does old the temperature closer thanthe old round Honeywell. Ed
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xrongor wrote:

The oops factor saved me money with the programmable thermostat, especially since I live along and I use the time of use plan with my electric company.
When I run it manually, I like being able to know what I actually set the AC for 78. With the analog dial or slider, I didn't know exactly where I set it. Back in apartment life, I would put a piece of tape over the the indicator and mark the tape where my preferred set points where. --Mike
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can
Saving money is the issue of having the properly sized HVAC unit for it's location.
The narrower temp range is for your personal comfort.
~kjpro~
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This is Turtle.
Digital is for Pin point people and Dial is for Yea it's OK in here People.
Not much difference if installed correctly.
TURTLE
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On 7 Aug 2004 19:05:51 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (ATL) wrote:

It depends on the features you get and your schedule. Our digital thermostat saves us plenty.
We work five days a week and sleep seven nights a week. :) During both those times we don't need much heat. The thermostat we got has 4 settings for weekdays (Wake, Leave, Return, Sleep) and 2 settings for weekends (Wake and Sleep).
We can set the changeover time and temperature for each setting. So the heat is pretty much off all day weekdays and overnight, except on the coldest days. (We live in NY City) It's on when we wake up and get ready to go to work, and when we come home in the evening. On weekends, it's on all day from the time we get up until midnight or so. We don't have central air, but the concept is the same. Don't pay for comfort when you're not home.
There are also thermostats that allow you even more flexibility, with four settings for each day of the week. This might be handy if you have a less conventional schedule, but I imagine it's pretty tedious to program the first time.
Greg Guarino
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Greg G wrote:

yeah, except on saturdays I get to sleep in where on Sundays I'm out early for soccer.
And on Wednesdays, I'm doing a cooking class with the girl and want the heat to come on at 9.
Oh, but this week, I go it late on Tuesday because I've got to work late and want the heat to stay on until 11. And sometimes this is regular.
But the stupid "5x2" set thermostats are too stupid for that.
So I'm looking at a recotron that has a "home/not home" mode. Basically some external force (and I'm thinking "computer") throws the switch between home and away.
And my computer can use the web gui to let me say "stay warm til 11A for the next 3 tuesdays.

yeah, and that's bad industrial design. The same people who made VCRs so easy that 80% of them blinked 12:00 (you know, the same guys who also made the $2 innards for $10 digital watches but never thought of JOINING this with a VCR).
And that's why I'd rather have a serial port and something that's easy to program via a web browser (which means PDA or work machine).
set one up for a friend who's away 3-4 days a week. From his phone, as he drives (well, when he stops for gas) he browses to the house and says "turn on the damn heat cause it's 53 inside and I'm coming up"
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The digital is more accurate in keeping the temperature in a certain range.
They can be adjusted so that the range is wider, allowing for longer run/off intervals.
~kjpro~
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ATL wrote:

Yea, one shows digital and one analog. The also work different, but the results are the same. Differences in results are more a matter of the quality of the control than the type. Digitals often come with more features and may also come with the ability to be more sensitive, but that is not always the case.
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ATL wrote:

You bet. If you have a typical crappy mechanical type and switch to an good electronic type there will be little variation in temperature. But that means that the heater or A/C will cycle more frequently. In my case I switched from a round mechanical (Honeywell) with large swings in temperature to a Digital Programable (also Honeywell) with about a degree variation in temperature). The improvement in comfort is amazing.
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Be careful with the programable T'stats. I found that raising and lowering the temp actually cost me more than leaving it set constant.
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