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Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-04-2007, 10:36 AM   #1
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Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

Installed one over X-mas. Seems that the old thermostat, when set at 70, actually warmed the house to 75............ :P :P

Working like a charm.........I barely hear the furnace kick in at all.........

How much can they save you a year??
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-04-2007, 01:45 PM   #2
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

Probably not as much as they advertise on the box, but it should be substantial. Really need to compare last years heating utility bills to this years. Part of the comparison should include degree days and days on the bill. Sometimes we get them for 29 days and other times as much as 35 days. Sometimes the Utility estimates the bills and sometimes they are actual readings. A 12 month to 12 month comparison should give you a pretty accurate estimate.

If the old thermostat was reading 5 degrees low (65 degrees reading when the actual was 70 degrees) is the house much colder to you or do you just set it up a tad?

We have one along with a very high efficiency furnace (94% efficient) direct vent system (no smoke stack just PVC pipe to discharge the CO2 and another pipe to pull in the outside air for heating). It is a very small unit and we really like it but it seems to cycle on and off to a much greater frequency than other Gas Furnaces we have had in the past. But I have to admit the reading on the thermostat stays dead on whatever we set it on.
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-04-2007, 02:24 PM   #3
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Army Guy
If the old thermostat was reading 5 degrees low (65 degrees reading when the actual was 70 degrees) is the house much colder to you or do you just set it up a tad?
DW says it's cold............but I think we're in an adjustment period. The kids and I feel just fine..........

The temperature stays dead on 70...........not nearly as much cycling on and off of the furnace........
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-04-2007, 02:25 PM   #4
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

My ~50 year old thermostat died last year and was replaced by a new digital one.

Old thermostat when set at 60, turned on at 60 and off at 65.

New thermostat when set at 60, turned on at 58 and off at 60.
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-04-2007, 02:27 PM   #5
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

It won't save a dime from the old one unless you set it up differently than the one it replaces. If you did not do a night set back with the old one and do a night set back with the new one you will save 10% - 30 % or more depending on the number of days, the amount of time set back, and the differance in the normal and set back tempatures.

I used to recommend to customers that they set back 1 hour before going to bed and retun to normal 60 - 30 minutes before normal wake up time. If times are different on weekends then also adjust sleep/wake times on the stat to accomidate that change. As for temp offset more is better to a point. Recommended 5 - 10 degrees offset for forced air units 3 - 5 degrees for boilers.
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-04-2007, 05:21 PM   #6
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan
My ~50 year old thermostat died last year and was replaced by a new digital one.

Old thermostat when set at 60, turned on at 58 and off at 60.
Hey Kahn, is that the thermostat on your fridge?
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-04-2007, 05:53 PM   #7
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

Because of the different offset, I turned it to 62.

Last month I turned it to 61.

Maybe I'll try 60 next month.

(50 at night)
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-04-2007, 06:21 PM   #8
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

The digital thermostats with the setback do save some money if they assist you in keeping the house cooler at night. One minor point: If you have a high efficiency furnace with a dual-level burner, the furnace will likely kick into "high" mode when the thermostat first clicks into the higher desired temperature in the morning (because of the big delta between the actual temp and the desired temp). For this brief period, your furnace will be operating at slightly lower efficiency. You'll still save a lot of energy overall.

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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-04-2007, 10:07 PM   #9
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude
Seems that the old thermostat, when set at 70, actually warmed the house to 75............ :P :P
That should make no difference at all. If you are comfortable and the thermostat read 210, you would not be paying a dime more than if it read -30. If the furnace is heating the house to 75, it does it regardless of the reading on the wall.

If you got used to 75F (I'd feel fried) when it read 70F, you will end up setting the new one to 75F to feel as comfortable. If you actually are comfortable at 70, all you needed to do was turn the old thermostat to 65. No need to spend money on a new thermostat.

I'm pretty sure you could adjust the dial to read accurately, but I never tried.

We manually turn ours down at bedtime, and turn it up when we wake - I like the blast of hot air as it brings the temp back in the AM.

If you asked the kids, they would say we turn it down all day, and turn it even lower at night

-ERD50
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-04-2007, 11:47 PM   #10
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
That should make no difference at all. If you are comfortable and the thermostat read 210, you would not be paying a dime more than if it read -30. If the furnace is heating the house to 75, it does it regardless of the reading on the wall.

If you got used to 75F (I'd feel fried) when it read 70F, you will end up setting the new one to 75F to feel as comfortable. If you actually are comfortable at 70, all you needed to do was turn the old thermostat to 65. No need to spend money on a new thermostat.

I'm pretty sure you could adjust the dial to read accurately, but I never tried.

We manually turn ours down at bedtime, and turn it up when we wake - I like the blast of hot air as it brings the temp back in the AM.

If you asked the kids, they would say we turn it down all day, and turn it even lower at night

-ERD50
Well...........it was "only" $29.99 at Sam's Club, and usually they want $50 or so at Home Depot. It's a GE, and was easy to install.

Will post if I saved any money................
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-05-2007, 11:17 AM   #11
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

Most digital thermostats have a setting for how many degrees difference between the room temp and "furnace startup temp". Obviously, I've forgotten the term for this "furnace start" temp.

Say it's set on 70, the furnace might not come on until room temp. drops to 68. A two degree spread.

You can adjust this difference/spread on some thermostats. Helps reduce startup/shutdown ineffiencies, but I assume the difference in temp. between inside and outside is the major factor of how much energy you're consuming.

Like others have said, the big savings will be when you are not at home and reduce the temp. to 55 or whatever and when you reduce the temp. at night.

Two winters ago, our nat. gas went up 55% one month (from the previous year) and the avg. temp from year to year didn't change. The price stayed the same as the previous year, when we didn't have the dig. thermostat. So, 55% increase in gas, but the cost of heating was the same.

Is that understandable?


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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-05-2007, 11:28 AM   #12
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

My local utility company gave me one for free several years ago if I would enroll in a program that would allow them to cut me off during peak summer hours. They also sent me a grocery store gift card @ Christmas. I have yet to claim the gift card but even if it is only $10 or so, I continue to save. The device is considered mine after 2 years in the program.
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-05-2007, 03:11 PM   #13
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

Quote:
...Obviously, I've forgotten the term for this "furnace start" temp.

Say it's set on 70, the furnace might not come on until room temp. drops to 68. A two degree spread.

You can adjust this difference/spread on some thermostats. Helps reduce startup/shutdown ineffiencies...
Heating Anticipator. Many digital thermostats have it, need to check user manual to see if it is there and how to access it. Often is a relative number, that you adjust up or down by trial and error.

Of more interest to me in my present environment is a Cooling Anticipator. They are rarer. But have found that some Heating Anticipators will work the reverse in cooling mode, as a Cooling Anticipator. But the instructions make no mention of it. Just try it.

In general, I/we have found digital thermostats to be a bit of a problem at first for cooling. The designers of the product are so concerned about short-cycling AC compressors, that they buried the thermistor that senses room temp deep inside the plastic box. Often, these seem to be thermally coupled to the rear plate of the box. The net result is that in cooling, the system runs and runs, undershooting the expected set point. However, looking at the thermostats displayed temp, it shows it's deep-inside temp, and the user thinks that everything is OK, that it must be just hotter outside today. Temporarily hanging a trusted thermometer on the wall about a foot to the side of the thermostat will show who's wrong.

This buried-sensor problem can also pick up heat from within the mounting wall, exiting the wall via the hole the thermostat wires come through. This makes the AC run and run, yet again, the thermostat shows a reasonable but wrong present temp. Have had to seal the hole around the wires good. In some cases, we have had to mount digital thermostats on a thin wood board, with foam insulation behind, then onto the wall.
In the case of a rental unit, where you have no control over the structure, tricks like this can reduce the cooling bill significantly.

Just because it's digital, doesn't mean that it is better. As with most things, there's junk out there. Many people can't tell the difference.
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-05-2007, 06:23 PM   #14
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd
My local utility company gave me one for free several years ago if I would enroll in a program that would allow them to cut me off during peak summer hours. They also sent me a grocery store gift card @ Christmas. I have yet to claim the gift card but even if it is only $10 or so, I continue to save. The device is considered mine after 2 years in the program.
so lemme ge tthis straight...you have no electricity during hot summer days? and you did this to get a thermostat and 10 bucks? what am i missing
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-05-2007, 06:50 PM   #15
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

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so lemme ge tthis straight...you have no electricity during hot summer days? and you did this to get a thermostat and 10 bucks? what am i missing
I think it's only 10 minutes per hour and only during peak hours.
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-05-2007, 06:51 PM   #16
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

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Originally Posted by thefed
so lemme ge tthis straight...you have no electricity during hot summer days? and you did this to get a thermostat and 10 bucks? what am i missing
Our local utility pays us three bucks a month to participate in their "load shedding" program. When peak demand gets too high they send out a pager signal that trips the circuit to the electric heating element on our water heater.

Our solar water heater.

Perfectly legal. At least we're getting some of our tax dollars back.
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-05-2007, 09:38 PM   #17
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by Telly
Heating Anticipator. Many digital thermostats have it, need to check user manual to see if it is there and how to access it. Often is a relative number, that you adjust up or down by trial and error.

Of more interest to me in my present environment is a Cooling Anticipator. They are rarer.

<snip>

In the case of a rental unit, where you have no control over the structure, tricks like this can reduce the cooling bill significantly.

Just because it's digital, doesn't mean that it is better. As with most things, there's junk out there. Many people can't tell the difference.
Heating/cooling anticipator! I got home and got a chance to look at my instructions, they refer to the spread as a "temperature swing" setting. Ahh, lamens terms.

All excellent information, otherwise. HVAC is exciting! Thanks.

My model, from Menards, is a LUX TX500 series. $30? about two years ago. I forget.

Of course you have to get the right/different model if you have heat pumps or any other "fancy" crap.

-CC
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............
Old 01-05-2007, 09:42 PM   #18
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Re: Digita; Thermostats for Furnace.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCdaCE
Heating/cooling anticipator! I got home and got a chance to look at my instructions, they refer to the spread as a "temperature swing" setting. Ahh, lamens terms.

-CC
All along, I wanted to use a good engineering / control systems term: Hysteresis .

There, now I feel better.

-ERD50
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