Old thermostat accuracy


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Old 12-07-07, 09:21 AM
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Old thermostat accuracy

My mom has the original thermostat in her house (from 1971). I have been thinking about replacing it for her with a programable digital thermostat. She is real good about turning the t-stat up or down when she goes to bed, goes to work, etc. since she passes the t-stat on the way to/from her bedroom, so I am not as concerned about the programming portion of it.

My question is how reliable is the temperature reading on these old style t-stats? It just has a red needle and the numbers (50, 60, 70, 80). The digital thermostat should be spot on (especially since it is newer than hers).

Also, I know on my programmable t-stat at my house, you can set the temperature swing above and below your set temperature (up to 3 degrees either way I think). Do the old t-stats also do that, and if so, I am assuming it is a set amount due to the technology at the time.

Just checking to see if it will benefit her/save her money before I hit HD tomorrow and get one.

Thanks,
Neil
 
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Old 12-07-07, 11:44 AM
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I'm curious about this as well. I've been holding off on getting one, since I don't see how thermostat accuracy would effect the efficiency of the furnace.

I already have the temperature swing set on mine. It's not in degrees so much as a mechanical setting, but it appears to be consistent as to what temperature it turns on / off the furnace.
 
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Old 12-07-07, 02:31 PM
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Don't mistake accuracy for repeatability.

Accuracy is when something compared to a known standard is very nearly the same every time it is compared. Repeatability is when something always measures the same, regardless of of accuracy.

If you "old" thermostat would consistently maintain 70 degrees when it was set at 60 it would have high repeatability but low accuracy. It it maintained somewhere between 55 and 75 degrees when set at 60 it would also have poor repeatability.

Most thermostats have a fairly high degree of repeatability but their accuracy is always questionable.

If your mother is anything like my mother then she probably won't like a digital thermostat. As long as she is comfortable and has a routine of turning the thermostat up and down as needed you won't save anything by installing a new thermostat but you might incur the wrath of your mother.

I suggest that you talk to her first about a new thermostat. You can explain how with a programmable unit she can wake up to a house that is warmer and that she can also set it to have a warm house when she comes home. Explain also that she will not have to remember to re-adjust the thermostat several times a day.
 
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Old 12-09-07, 11:47 AM
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f your mother is anything like my mother then she probably won't like a digital thermostat. As long as she is comfortable and has a routine of turning the thermostat up and down as needed you won't save anything by installing a new thermostat but you might incur the wrath of your mother.
Been there, done that. Unless your mother is "progressive" I would stick with the old tried & true. My 80 year old mom doesn't like anything new and I usually end up reinstalling the old items or if it is non-repairable, I try to find a good used one! Thank God for eBay!!!
 
 

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