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Thread: Low Tech Thermostat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Michigan
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    Low Tech Thermostat

    Our house has gas heat and runs about $600/year so no big savings are available by reducing gas consumption a few percent.

    Wife and I keep different hours and have different comfort levels so,,,,,we have declared a truce in the thermostat war and settled on a single setting all year.

    The t-stat died last week so I replaced it with a basic nonprogrammable Heat/Cool unit. It has no LCD display and no batteries, just a lever to be moved left and right and Heat/Cool and Fan On/Auto switches. $22

  2. #2
    I love you man! After 7 months os high tech hvac problems my son in laws contractor put in an old school thermostat. Problem solved. That was my suggestion when they first had the recurring issues, but what the heck does an old geezer father know.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    I've never used a setback on a thermostat in many decades...working from home meant that the house was always occupied, so a steady 74F in the summer and 68F in the winter is what it was set to and never changed.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    New Westminster BC
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    Sounds like an overly complicated thermostat heat and cool? We have simple thermostats that just show temperature and set point, no LCD display, just need to remember to wind it up once a week.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    ...
    The t-stat died last week so I replaced it with a basic nonprogrammable Heat/Cool unit. It has no LCD display and no batteries, just a lever to be moved left and right and Heat/Cool and Fan On/Auto switches. $22
    Anyone looking for an old mechanical thermostat might be able to get one (or more) from an HVAC company. The guy that put in my heat pumps had a box of old thermostats, working, but removed when people wanted new electronic ones. He said due to the mercury inside by law he has to pay a service to remove the mercury and dispose of them. He was glad to give me some. (I've made occasional use of the mercury switches.)

    JKJ

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Doylestown, PA
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    When we first moved into this house in 1995, it had a mercury thermostat. We used it for a winter or two then replaced it with an electronic model. Temperature regulation seemed much more even with the electronic version. We didn't get one of the all-singing all-dancing models, just a basic electronic thermostat.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Anaheim, California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Harms View Post
    When we first moved into this house in 1995, it had a mercury thermostat. We used it for a winter or two then replaced it with an electronic model. Temperature regulation seemed much more even with the electronic version. We didn't get one of the all-singing all-dancing models, just a basic electronic thermostat.
    Yup, and it's not like they're expensive: took me about 30-seconds to find one below that $22 threshold.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Waterford, PA
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    We've had great luck with the Honeywell Round T-stats. In our case, heat only, 1 per zone. The LED lets you set the temperature precisely (68 on the 1st floor, 66 on the second) and forget it. They just work.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2013
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    Okotoks AB
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    A good electronic thermostat is so much better than the mechanical ones. No over or under shoot and if I set my temp to change to 20* at 6:00, then it's exactly 20* at 6:00. We have ours programmed for 15* at night, 20* at 5:30 so I don't have to get up & shower in a cold house, then back to 18 because my wife is home all day & likes it cool. 18* is to low for me to be comfortable, so at 4:00 it goes up to 20* until bed time. The program function isn't just about saving energy, which it does, but about comfort. I'd not want to go back to a basic thermostat.

  10. #10
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    Our thermostat has a ribbon coil inside that expands in warm weather and contracts in cold weather. It makes contact with the slider with the arrow on it to point at the temp gauge on the face of the control.

    Other than that we use a wood stove for the cheap heat.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Bucks County, PA
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    I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum, apparently.

    I first had a programmable thermostat back in probably 2004. That one would "learn" how quickly your house heated or cooled, and adjust the time it actually turned on based on that information. If I set the A/C to be 76 degrees at 4:00 PM, then it would turn on sometime before that; as a result, the temperature in the house was already 76 when I got home from work at 4:00 PM. I want to say that one also had a vacation mode option, but I don't remember. I moved out of that house in 2005 and into my now-wife's townhouse, and she had one of those Honeywell Rounds. Sure, it worked, but lack of smart options made me a little sad.

    When we moved into our current house in 2007 it came with two programmable thermostats (we have 2 zones / units), but they were just okay. Their vacation option was just a "hold" button, and they did not have any learning options. They were also a pain to program. I replaced them about 4 years ago.

    I now run with true "smart" thermostats that, yes, are connected to the Internet. I can see and adjust the temperature from anywhere using my phone. Setting up a vacation mode is very easy. They came with little sensors that you can place in another room to get the reading in that room, and you can optionally use that reading and the one from the thermostat itself to have it determine when to turn the heat or A/C on. They remind me when to change the filters. Their screen shows the inside and outside temperatures at a glance, along with the time. They do have learning capabilities, but we found they actually perform better with that off (i.e. we just set the next time/temperature combo to be a little bit earlier than truly needed, and that seems to work best for our comforts). I can look back in history and see when they turned on and off, along with what the inside and outside temperatures were over that course of time. And so on. I'm never going back to regular-style thermostats.
    And there was trouble, taking place...

  12. #12
    We do 3 settings, asleep, wake up, and awake:

    7am to 8am, 73
    8am to 2am, 69
    2am to 7am, 62

    for YEARS now...
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  13. #13
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    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    When we bought or current house it came with. smart internet thermostat that had programed times already set. We could turn it off/on manually and raise lower the set point but no way to override the schedule or change it at all until we got wifi working after a month or so of moving. I do like it now. turn the ac to 85 when we go out and turn it to 79 10 minutes before we get home.
    Bill D

  14. #14
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    Apr 2017
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    The old programmable stat had an LCD display that was hard to read and the buttons had tiny (get your readers on) labels. There was twice a year time resetting and it lost it's memory a couple times a year, requiring a long and fussy reprogramming. Not going back to that.

    I can't imagine resetting the temp when i'm not at home. Suppose I got it wrong.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    The thermostat here in our new place appears to have a lot of bells and whistles, including WiFi access, but I haven't taken the time to look into the details. It's set at one temp summer and one temp winter, so there isn't much incentive to set it up for device access to-date. It does have a large, easy to read display, however, not like the tiny ones at the old house.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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