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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
On 7 Aug 2004 19:05:51 -0700, email@example.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.
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"
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.
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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