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View Poll Results: Which Type of Home Thermostat Do You Have?
Basic programmable (day/night temps follow program automatically) 54 65.06%
Manual (no program, just a setpoint) 17 20.48%
Learning (like Nest etc.) 9 10.84%
Other (no HVAC, no thermostat or other lower tech approach) 3 3.61%
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Poll: What Kind of Home Thermostat Do You Have?
Old 11-18-2014, 10:36 AM   #1
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Poll: What Kind of Home Thermostat Do You Have?

I would have guessed most people would have at least a basic programmable thermostat these days, but I gather from responses to yesterday's thread that some people manually turn their thermostats up/down days/nights/other throughout the year. Even our cheapo White-Rodgers thermostat will automatically adjust 4 times/day Mon-Fri and 4 times/day Sat-Sun.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:54 AM   #2
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I just installed basic programmable thermostats last fall. I still adjust manually though. I don't have any kind of regular schedule that I leave the house so it doesn't make sense to program it. I just got it so it can be adjusted to a precise temp and be reliable to stay at that temp for when I leave for long periods in the winter.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
I just installed basic programmable thermostats last fall. I still adjust manually though. I don't have any kind of regular schedule that I leave the house so it doesn't make sense to program it. I just got it so it can be adjusted to a precise temp and be reliable to stay at that temp for when I leave for long periods in the winter.
I am curious what the programmable thermostat does for you vs a classic non-programmable like the one below. Ours above is programmed (4 changes/day Mon-Fri and 2 changes/day Sat-Sun), but you can override at any time warmer/cooler (as we occasionally do) without changing the program steps. If we override, the program just resumes when the next programmed time/step comes up - easy peasy.
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
I just installed basic programmable thermostats last fall. I still adjust manually though. I don't have any kind of regular schedule that I leave the house so it doesn't make sense to program it. I just got it so it can be adjusted to a precise temp and be reliable to stay at that temp for when I leave for long periods in the winter.
+1

When I bought my house, it had a programmable thermostat in it. Midpack's thermostat sounds similar or identical to mine. I haven't programmed my thermostat, though, so it is just set on the defaults right now and has been for the past twelve years. The defaults are a little bit too cold when the heat is on, and a little bit too warm when the AC is on.

I adjust it manually but don't "push" the button too long which would make the change permanent until manually changed/released. After a few hours it reverts to the programmed temperatures, which I have left at the defaults. When that gets uncomfortable I adjust it manually again. This works for me and helps me to gradually become acclimated to more economical temperature levels, and as the season progresses eventually I prefer them.

Also, I turn down the heat or AC when I leave the house. I don't know if that results in a savings or not, but that is what I do.
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:22 AM   #5
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I am curious what the programmable thermostat does for you vs a classic non-programmable like the one below. Ours above is programmed (4 changes/day Mon-Fri and 2 changes/day Sat-Sun), but you can override at any time warmer/cooler (as we occasionally do) without changing the program steps. If we override, the program just resumes when the next programmed time/step comes up - easy peasy.
The one I had before was like the one pictured in post 3 but nearly 30 years old and very unreliable. I just wanted a digital thermostat to make it easier to see what the temp was. The price from digital to basic programmable was almost nothing so I went with the programmable just in case it would be useful in the future. I don't want to have to change these out again for a couple decades.
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:51 AM   #6
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Manual - had them take out the program version. Just on/off, heat/cool, set temp.

heh heh heh - the war is I married a Missouri farm girl - anything about 32 F is open the windows and enjoy the fresh air. She wears socks with her sandals in winter to keep the snow at bay. I spent 30 yrs South ala New Orleans - below 80 is jacket weather still. Visually we make an interesting couple.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:17 PM   #7
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The old manual Honeywell dial type. And you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands before I would 'upgrade' to a programmable.

In the same way that I like a regular, old-fashioned dial type volume control/knob on my audio equipment. I don't want to click a button X times to get to some point. Just grab the dial and go.

As I said in the other thread, I turn it down whenever I leave the house. Just like locking the doors, I flip the dial down - you can feel the 'stop' so I can do it w/o even looking, and it takes a millisecond or two.

Turn it up when I get home, easy to see where I want it, just one quick twist. Done.

A programmable will never anticipate when I come and go. Or when I decide to go to bed at 10PM or 2AM. And since we keep it cool during the day, I also turn it up when I take a shower, to get the steam circulated and keep me more comfortable when I get out. No clear schedule for that either, since I need it on just before I shower to have it still on when I get out.

And it won't anticipate that I'm working on something and am getting overheated at 64F, or the next day I'm reading, and feel chilled at 64F.

Programmables are fine if you are on a regular schedule, or want remote control. I find it easier to just grab that dial to suit my needs. I 'override' any set format more often than I would let it ride. I find manual simpler for me. And I'd bet I'm saving money, as my manual control keeps it only as warm as I feel I need.

I'm the one 'other' vote, as 'Manual (no program, just a setpoint)' didn't seem to match. I don't use a 'setpoint', I adapt to my needs.

-ERD50
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I am curious what the programmable thermostat does for you vs a classic non-programmable like the one below.
It's for the most part a convenience feature. The round or rectangular mechanical tstat like you've shown will control your HVAC just as well as an electronic one.

I helped design several of the digital/programable tstats in the mid 90s when it became all of the rage in the industry. They have may more failure modes than the traditional tstats (especially the internet enabled ones), however, they can help save the homeowner money by relaxing the setpoint when heating/cooling is not needed , i.e. unoccupied building, if the user doesn't adjust the non-programmable type thermostat when leaving the area. Kinda like the different between a washer with a mechanical control or digital control, both wash clothes equally well (contrary to the marketing).

We just turn our old mechanical tstat off when we leave the house, so the AC or swamp cooler doesn't upset the alarm system's motion sensors. Rarely use the heat feature (we live in the desert SW).
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Old 11-18-2014, 01:12 PM   #9
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I installed a Nest a couple of years ago, replacing one identical to that pictured in post #1 above.

Nest came with easy instructions for moving the wires from the old one to the new one, and I had it done within 20 minutes of opening the box.

I like the way I could connect it to my (password protected) wifi, and I love being able to check the temperature when I'm away from home. Also, the ability to turn the heat or air conditioning back to normal when I'm still a few hours away while returning from a trip is wonderful.

I think there are similar internet-connected thermostats, but the Nest is easy to use and makes me happy.
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Old 11-18-2014, 01:19 PM   #10
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I have a programmable, but use it as a manual thermosat. Two reasons: it has an annoying feature in that in "anticipates" the next temperature setting and strives to meet that temperature by the set time and our schedules during the day are not predictable.
The anticipation feature means at times it'll start heating or cooling as much as 90 minutes earlier that the set time. I haven't monitored it enough yet to come up with appropriate correction factors.
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Old 11-18-2014, 01:53 PM   #11
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I replaced manual themostats with programmable thermostats in our old house a few years ago and we noticed a significant difference in our heating oil consumption... in part because we had a relatively wide day/night range of 68/62. We have programmables in our new home built in 2011.
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:02 PM   #12
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I replaced the manual one in the house when we moved in (3.5 years ago) with a basic 5-2 programmable. The contractors are wrapping up the furnace replacement and HVAC installation as I type, and I am considering a Nest. Not sure the savings will be as robust in a much more mild climate as they are in other places, thus I'm not sure the upfront cost is worth it.

I would welcome any thoughts or opinions on that!
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:04 PM   #13
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I have a NEST-like thermostat. I like the remote control aspect. Especially in the summer as my DW and offspring have a tendency to turn the A/C way down if they feel that the house is a couple degrees too warm. I've always been intrigued by people who think that the elevator will come faster if one pushes the button repeatedly.
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:10 PM   #14
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I have a NEST-like thermostat. I like the remote control aspect. Especially in the summer as my DW and offspring have a tendency to turn the A/C way down if they feel that the house is a couple degrees too warm. I've always been intrigued by people who think that the elevator will come faster if one pushes the button repeatedly.
I think the feature that shows how long your system will run to get the desired temp is neat. I also like the one that shuts the condenser/compressor off but lets the fan run to continue blowing air across the already cool coils.

Those two along with the App connectivity are why I am considering a Nest.
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:11 PM   #15
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At home, we have a programmable thermostat and it is programmed to our typical schedule. We override it when necessary for comfort, and to the "vacation" setting when we go away.

At our vacation home, I just installed a programmable wifi thermostat. It is not programmed. We set it as needed. But I went with the wifi version so I can access it through my phone and turn up the heat as we are on our way there. We keep the house set at 45 when empty, and it is nice to be able to raise it to 68 when we leave home and an hour later walk in to a nice warm house in the mountains.

(The phone app is also nice when, on a cold morning, I can turn up the heat from under the covers instead of going downstairs to the thermostat)


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Old 11-18-2014, 02:21 PM   #16
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I have I guess a bit more than basic programming.... I can program every day separate... but it is not a learning one...


The one that I had in my previous house was a basic one except that it had an option to have the temp what you wanted it to be at a particular time... IOW, you did not have to set the AC to 75 at 3:00 for you hope that it is that cool when you get home... if it is very hot, it might not get there... if it is not so hot, then it cools down before you get home... you would set that you wanted it to be 75 at 5:00 and it would turn on the AC when it needed to to get there....
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:37 PM   #17
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I have a 3M Filtrete wifi stat that I installed about 3 years ago. It was available at Home Depot just before the NEST came on the market. Several advantages:
When my wife and I spend a month or two in Florida on the winter I can check my Ohio homes temperature from my phone. It will also send a text to me if the
temp falls outside my predetermined limits. This provides a lot if peace of mind knowing that my furnace hasn't failed.
My wife and I travel often to see our kids and grandkids and we set the stat up or down to save energy. On the way home use my phone to set the temp back to normal so the house is comfortable when we arrive. We also save energy costs this way.
Can you tell I really like this thermostat?
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:42 PM   #18
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I have a programmable, but use it as a manual thermosat. Two reasons: it has an annoying feature in that in "anticipates" the next temperature setting and strives to meet that temperature by the set time and our schedules during the day are not predictable.
The anticipation feature means at times it'll start heating or cooling as much as 90 minutes earlier that the set time. I haven't monitored it enough yet to come up with appropriate correction factors.
On my Carrier programming it calls that feature "Smart Recovery" and you can turn it off or set it to 30, 60 or 90 minutes. I didn't even know about this until I heard the heat kick on well before I had it set to go up, and when I'd check it I'd see it set higher than the nighttime setting but lower than morning, because it'd bump it up incrementally. I had to find it in the manual, and saw how to turn it off.

I really like my programmable. 4 time settings, so I can have a wake up temp, mid day when I'm out skiing, afternoon for when I return, and night time. I can put it on vacation mode to hold it at a temp until the day I return, hold it indefinitely until I take it off hold, or temporarily hold for up to 6 hours (wish I could do that longer). The temp hold is nice because the house can be heating up again just before I return, or if I'm off schedule.

I do miss the easy to twist dial and hearing the click on or off over holding a button and waiting for the desired number to appear, but otherwise I'm a big fan of the programmable. Even better would be one I could control over the internet in case my plans do change. If my thermostat fails I would replace it with one that could do that, but it's not worth it to me to replace a working one.
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:15 PM   #19
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I have a "nest-like-light" thermostat. It's a Honeywell that's programmable and hooked up to the home network. It was $100 whereas the Nest was closer to $250. The biggest reason is that I would often leave the house in the AM for w*rk with the A/C set at 68 (for night sleeping) and I wouldn't be able to do anything about it except pay the extra cost for keeping a house nice and cool in the hot/humid Georgia summer. Now..if I forgot to turn it up, I can log on with my phone and adjust it when away from home.


It will also send alerts if my preset temps are exceeded (good for winter traveling).
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:35 PM   #20
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I have programmable.

When I lived in the Philly area I had just bought my 100 year old house (no insulation) with a 50 year old oil furnace. I kept forgetting to turn the heat down before work or before going to bed - so the oil refill bills were killing me. So I got a programmable thermostat to solve the problem. And it did (solve the problem)

It also opened my eyes to an issue with the guy I was dating. We were both in our early 30's, but he lived at home with his parents. (Yeah - that should have been clue enough). I was bragging about how much money I was saving by having the heat go down when I was in bed under my electric blanket. He seemed dumbfounded that I would turn the heat down during sleeping hours. A lightbulb went off for me - he'd NEVER paid his own utility bills. We broke up soon after that.... That was a divide to far for this independent woman.
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