To Programmable Thermostat users/owners: Need your help to fill out a questionnaire! =)

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Dear all programmable thermostat users/owners,
Hi, I am a college student who is doing a project about programmable thermostats. I have difficulty to find people who use or own a programmable thermostat, and I am so desperate that I am asking for help in this group. The questionnaire is mainly about your experience and opinions about programmable thermostats. It won't take long to fill out the questionnaire and I really really really appeciate your help.
Here is the questionnaire:
Programmable Thermostat Questionnaire (for users/owners)
1. What is the brand and model of your programmable thermostat? (You can leave out the model if you do not remember)
2. How long have you owned or used a programmable thermostat?
3. What kind of features does your programmable thermostat have? **Please select the following item(s) that are applicable by putting an "X" at the end of the item. (1) Ability to store and repeat multiple settings (e.g. weekends and weekdays) (2) Manual override to allow you to change the current temperature without affecting the daily or weekly program. (3) Ability to operate normally with a battery backup during a power outage or a battery failure (4) Ability to prevent unnecessary or unreasonable period of a setting (e.g. a period of 1 minute) (5) Digital Display (6) Keyboard Lock to prevent unauthorized changes to the preprogrammed settings (7) Multiple Temperatures Display (Fahrenheit or Centigrade) (8) Multiple Languages Support and Display (9) Low Battery Indicator that indicates whether the battery used to hold the programmed schedule is low (10) Energy Monitor that keeps track of number of hours the heating/cooling system has run for any selected time period (11) Filter Change Indicator that goes on after a preset time period to remind when it is time to clean or replace the filter (12) Temperature accuracy within one degree (plus or minus) (13) Instructions printed on the inside cover (14) Others:
4. Please scale the satisfaction level of your current programmable thermostat? (1 - Not Satified and 8 - Completely Satisfied)
5. What feature(s) do you like about your programmable thermostat? And why do you like it or them? If applicable, please write the number of the item in Question 3, and explain for each item.
6. What feature(s) do you dislike about your programmable thermostat? Why do you dislike it or them? If applicable, please write the number of the item in Question 3, and explain for each item.
7. If you think that your programmable thermostat needs to be improved, what kind of improvements should be made?
8. Please scale (between 1 and 10) the importance of the following requirements of a programmable thermostat: (1 - Least Important and 8 - Most Important) ** Please put the number at the end of the item. High Task efficiency Low Error rates Fast recovery time Easy to learn Easy to use Safe Good physical design Good interface design (software) Durable Ease of maintenance Others:
9. How much time do you usually spend at most to perform a task, e.g. to set a weekday program?
10. If you can recall, how much time did you spend on performing a task, e.g. to set a weekday program for the first time?
11. How well (a scale between 1 and 8) do you know about your programmable thermostat in terms of features? (1 - not well and 8 - very well)
12. How much time have you spent to learn to use the features of the thermostat that fit your needs?
13. How much percentage (between 0% and 100%) of all features of the thermostat have you learned using the time that you answered in the previous question?
14. Where do you use your programmable thermostat? **Please select the following items that are applicable by putting an "X" at the end of the item. Home Office Others:
15. Please indicate your age range **Please put an "X" at the end of the item. 15-24 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 Over 65
16. What is your occupation? (If you are a student or a professional, please indicate your specific area)
***Thank you so much for your time to answer this questionnaire. I really appreciate your help!
Estella
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E wrote:

You'd find it easier to get responses if you had a webpage with the survey on it where people could click of check boxes. Also, some of us have more than one thermostat, which your survey doesn't accomodate. I gave my answers for the one in my main location that I have used the longest.
The questionnaire is mainly about your experience

LUX Ultra

20 years

(I've never seen one with a battery backup for a battery failure, nor does the ability to operate normally during a power failure make any sense, as if there is no power to the furnace the thermostat doesn't need to operate normally) Some do have a failsafe mode, where if the battery goes, it will maintain a fixed low temp, like 45, for heat Mine doesnt have that.

Ability to set 4 periods that are independent for each day.

A little hard to program

Vacation hold. Some of the better ones now have this feature. It lets you set a temporary temp that will expire in X days. So, if you are away for a week, you can have the house come back to normal temps just before you return. For an example of a really good thermostat that is very easy to program and use, look at the Honwywell Vision Pro 8000.



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Actually a battery backup is valuable for the 7day programmable to maintain your settings. However, your right when you mention that it's hard to ask for more heat on a furnace that's shut off. :)
JW
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Okay, I am glad and thankful to say that I just collected "enough" (the minimum number required by instructor) responses from all of you. So I will move on from here, and start doing some primarily analysis for the next step of my assignment.
If you just read the first post, please do not fill out the questionnaire.
Thank you for those who responded my post. I appreciate all the data, comments, and advice from you all.
Estella
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Programmable Thermostat Questionnaire (for users/owners)
1. What is the brand and model of your programmable thermostat? (You can leave out the model if you do not remember)
ritetemp 8085c
2. How long have you owned or used a programmable thermostat?
5months
3. What kind of features does your programmable thermostat have? **Please select the following item(s) that are applicable by putting an
"X" at the end of the item. (1) Ability to store and repeat multiple settings (e.g. weekends and weekdays) X (6 independent periods per day) (2) Manual override to allow you to change the current temperature without affecting the daily or weekly program. X (3) Ability to operate normally with a battery backup during a power outage or a battery failure X (4) Ability to prevent unnecessary or unreasonable period of a setting (e.g. a period of 1 minute) havent checked it out (5) Digital Display X (6) Keyboard Lock to prevent unauthorized changes to the preprogrammed settings X (7) Multiple Temperatures Display (Fahrenheit or Centigrade) X (8) Multiple Languages Support and Display X (9) Low Battery Indicator that indicates whether the battery used to hold the programmed schedule is low X (10) Energy Monitor that keeps track of number of hours the heating/cooling system has run for any selected time period X (11) Filter Change Indicator that goes on after a preset time X period to remind when it is time to clean or replace the filter (12) Temperature accuracy within one degree (plus or minus) X (13) Instructions printed on the inside cover (14) Others:
6 programmable time periods per day large display.
4. Please scale the satisfaction level of your current programmable thermostat? (1 - Not Satified and 8 - Completely Satisfied)
6
5. What feature(s) do you like about your programmable thermostat? And why do you like it or them? If applicable, please write the number of the item in Question 3, and explain for each item.
the ritetemp8085c is not an intelligent dual stage thermostat. It uses a timer to switch to dual stage after 15minutes if heat is not satisfied. I like the ones on the honeywell pros.
6. What feature(s) do you dislike about your programmable thermostat? Why do you dislike it or them? If applicable, please write the number of the item in Question 3, and explain for each item.
dual stage control is not smart.
7. If you think that your programmable thermostat needs to be improved,
what kind of improvements should be made?
- a programmable control for the fan for automatic ventilation when heat is not needed. (I presently use an intermatic programmable timer fswitch or this)
8. Please scale (between 1 and 10) the importance of the following requirements of a programmable thermostat: (1 - Least Important and 8 - Most Important) ** Please put the number at the end of the item. High Task efficiency Low Error rates Fast recovery time Easy to learn Easy to use Safe Good physical design Good interface design (software) Durable Ease of maintenance Others:
9. How much time do you usually spend at most to perform a task, e.g. to set a weekday program?
10. If you can recall, how much time did you spend on performing a task, e.g. to set a weekday program for the first time?
11. How well (a scale between 1 and 8) do you know about your programmable thermostat in terms of features? (1 - not well and 8 - very well)
12. How much time have you spent to learn to use the features of the thermostat that fit your needs?
13. How much percentage (between 0% and 100%) of all features of the thermostat have you learned using the time that you answered in the previous question?
14. Where do you use your programmable thermostat? **Please select the following items that are applicable by putting an "X" at the end of the item. Home X Office Others:
15. Please indicate your age range **Please put an "X" at the end of the item. 15-24 26-35 X 36-45 46-55 56-65 Over 65
16. What is your occupation? (If you are a student or a professional, please indicate your specific area)
***Thank you so much for your time to answer this questionnaire. I really appreciate your help!
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I strongly agree with trader4 that you have to set up an online questionnaire. I have been facing such a problem and I did it online. Moreover if the URL you use is somehow affiliated with your school, e.g. your page is on the school server, people can trust this is a school project, otherwise people think this is a marketing survey and so they do not like it. Good luck.
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Dear Trader4 and Nemo,
Thank you for your comments and advice. I realized that it was such a hassle to answer the questionnaire in plain text. I will definitely do something different next time. Thank you for those who trusted this questionnaire purpose and took time to fill it out. I am really thankful.
Estella
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Wow, how different we can be..... No complaint here. It's just interesting.

I don't like web based questionaires. When I am forced to write someone via a webpage, I write the letter in my email program, then copy and paste it to the web page box. This gives me a copy of what I wrote, which most webpages don't provide.
Because this survey has several questions, almost all designers would design it with several boxes. I would have to copy and paste for every box, Too much trouble.
Also, I started this last night but didn't want to go downstairs to find out what model I had now. I turned off the computer and went to sleep instead. With a web answer, if I want to turn off the computer, I don't know how to save what I'm wriiting when I'm partially done. and there are many reason I might have to stop in the middle.
Also, I still have computer freezes, and then everything is lost when I have to reboot. With Agent and any mail reader, again, I can save the answer when partially done, and finish later. (Either it's automatic, or I do save things before I go to another program.)

Even here we're different. LOL. I'm hoping that even if this is done for school, that some AC or control company is underwriting the class and my answer will reach some company that actually makes programmable thermostats. Then they might actually make what I want. If I thought she is ONLY in school and this is only an exercise, I wouldn't have put so much effort into my answer.
I have been effective, I think, in getting companies to do something in 2 or 3 little occasions.
In one case I was actually in a focus group (they have them all over the country if you're interested, but in NYC all you have to do is walk down the right streets in midtown after work and they'll solicit you. Some are near Rockefeller Center and that's where the focus group met. They showed us a tv promo for a tv movie. It referred to "The successful effort by a old woman to save her family home from destruction by her children and property developers. " Something like that, but much more detailed. I told them it was too detailed, it ruined 95% of the story, and the word "successful" ruined the last 5% of the story. When I saw the promo on tv 3 or 4 weeks later, the word "successful" was not in it. (but otherwise it was the same.) I think it was the last movie that Bette Davis made. She played the old lady.
On another occasion, Disney was already advertising on TV that if you didn't buy Sno;w White or one of their movies, now, while the advertising was runings, it was going to never be sold again. I emailed or wrote them that no adult believed that and no child who heard it would trust them when in 15 or 20 years they were indeed selling it again. I said they would be known as "Disney, the company that lies to children." Within a couple weeks the commercials said "won't be sold again for a very long time."
The third one I have no reason to think I was successful, and although I rmembered what it was when I started, I've forgotten already. Oh yeah. Years ago, I got called for a phone survey about oil companies. In the middle, partly because Exxon was always one of the choices while the other choices in each question changed, I decided that Exxon was running the survey because they were not selling enough gas, years after their oil spill.. Admittedly, I never checked this out. (It might have been before the web.) I told the surveyor what Exxon had done wrong, and I think my take on the situation was different from most others, including any others that I heard on the news. I don't think there was any possible rebuttal for 2 or the 3 reasonsI give.
I've only been to Exxon stations about 5 times since the oil spill, and those time have been when I can't risk driving farther. At one I noticed that the bathrooms were inside and much nicer than gas station bathrooms had been. Is this part of a general improvement in the industry, or is Exxon doing this to try to get customers to make up for the ones they lost
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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Seriously, I was like "wow" when I read your answers. It would be really nice if some AC companies can read about your opinions and make what you want. I was printing out all the responses that I have right now, and start analyzing them. And then your reply popped up in my mailbox, and the questionnaire was so professionally answered. I HAVE to include it in my study! =)
Thank you so much!
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E wrote:

Honeywell RTH7500D

~ 20 years

The ability to anticipate recovery time and easy programing.

I can't think of one off hand. I suppose if it had cost less than $5.00 that would have been a plus.

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Just a guy asking what is the cheapest thermostat at Home Cheapo that he can install himself so he can save a few bucks to buy another 12pack for the weekend. You guys scrolling down and answering and putting X's are just killin me. :-) Bubba

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wrote:

Yeah, that was my first thought, too. The "poor college student" part was somewhat creative, though. I wonder what type of college class sends students out to survey owners of programmable thermostats.
--
For email, use snipped-for-privacy@spamex.com

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Hi all,
I realize that I should have talked about what my assignment is all about.
I am from Washington State University, the class is Cpt S 443 about Human-Computer Interaction. My instructor needs me to get at least 6 responses from people who use or own a programmable thermostat, so that
I can analyze the data and make up my own list of requirements of a programmable thermostat.
Hope this will clear some of your questions if you have any doubts about this questionnaire.
Estella
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Give me your instructors name and a phone number at the University where he can be reached. When I verify it, then I'll believe you. Bubba
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E wrote:

Remember, the requirements of a programmable thermostat for the user are NOT THE SAME as those for a manufacturer. The manufacturer has only ONE requirement: "What will make some sucker buy this thing?"
Why is it that no programmable theremostat is password protected? Why is it that none have IP addresses so the programming can be done on a computer or operated from a centralized location? See what I mean?
Ease over to the math department and ask a statistician the worth of a survey where the respondents self-select. Point this out to your instructor.
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wrote:

Bubba
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wrote:

I'm sure he knows as much about this as he needs to. Remember that he's not the statistics instructor or the marketing instructor.
And the instructor is not looking for a project that will be implemented.
And he's not trying to teach how to get proper samples, (which is indeed the province of statisics.) Read what she said the goal of the project was,
He's not asking the students to spend the time necessary to get a good sample, or a large sample. This would be a waste of their time, since, sad to say, no manufactuer is going to use the results of this survey. Six self-selected participants is enough for her to practice doing what the instructor wants the class to do.
This appeared earlier, but I've reordered it in light of my answer.

This may be true, but it's not related to the assignment. When she has a job for a control company, they will impose upon the project what their requiements are, although that might be done after this study is done, and by different people. But even manufacturers want to know what people want..

Did you list this as a feature you wanted?

Did you list this?
A bigger study, a production study as opposed to a classroom exercise, will find people who request these things, if there are enough people who want them.
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Captain S, the super-hero?

Dang. You really don't know anyone, do you?
And when you asked what thermostat we have now, you probably won't know anything about the model numbers we gave.
But it does sound like a well-chosen assignment.
Actually I thought it was about marketing.
I'm not going to speak further about Human Computer intereaction. Last time I was frank, the keyboard gave me a big shock. (must be one of those ground fault thingamabobbers, although the only time it happens is when I write nasty things about computers.)

Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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E wrote:

Honeywell
Three years. No longer own them. Sold them to a fool on Ebay.

Can I use ZERO?

Frankly, I didn't like any of them.

It did what it was told to do. Most of the time, I didn't want it do be doing that. This left two inconvenient choices: either over-ride the programmed setting or re-program. If the latter, the same choices would be presented tomorrow.

The concept of a programmable thermostat is similar to that of designer water. Absolutely useless.

More than should be necessary.

Ten minutes.

2
More, much more, than should have been necessary.

I have no idea. I distinctly remember forgetting everything I knew about those evil devices.

President, software company.

Estella, why are you involving yourself in this fruitless endeavor? I would be embarassed.
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Haha, I am already embarassed... Oh well, sometimes just have to bite the bullet when you don't have much choice in deciding the topic of an assignment.
Anyways, thank you for all of your help and time and trust.
Estella
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