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Baz Baz is online now
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Are we making things easier to use - or not?

Posing the question specifically on the following two models of thermostats.

The top one is the old unit - the bottom one the new improved model.

Seems to me the old style is easier to read, understand, and operate. I especially appreciate the arrows going up and down as opposed to a + and - button.

I also like the value adjust buttons are in a different part of the device than programming buttons.

Your thoughts, please?

Old:


New:

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Old 10-11-2020, 06:52 PM
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I have the bottom one also for one unit and I have an older non digital for the unit on the other side of the house and it’s so much easier to use. The new one I have to find the instructions whenever I need to program it

I prefer the old one.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigtoe32067 View Post
I have the bottom one also for one unit and I have an older non digital for the unit on the other side of the house and it’s so much easier to use. The new one I have to find the instructions whenever I need to program it

I prefer the old one.
The buttons are pretty easy to figure out. The + and - move the desired temp up or down. (that's the smaller of the two numbers on the screen). The "mode" button moves it from 'cool' to 'heat' to 'off'. And the "fan" button turns the fan on or off.

It's the middle one ("menu") that leads to all kinds of other stuff.

But all that said....I agree with you....the older one is easier to use, IMHO.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:08 PM
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We’ve used both, but the bottom one is all we’ve used for a while. I don’t program them to run certain days or times, but adjust them all the time when I go in our houses. You just get used to it.
Old 10-11-2020, 07:16 PM
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Multi-function buttons SUCK for the user.
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Disclaimer: the above was 2˘ worth.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:20 PM
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BTW, really good Q, Baz

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Old 10-11-2020, 07:21 PM
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Thanks for the responses so far.

I didn't mention this - but this is for my 97 year old mother, who still lives on her own - and just had a new system installed - with the new thermostat. And was saying (nice way of saying complaining) that she liked the old one better.

I still have her old one (I kept it and the old capacitor) so am taking it over tomorrow to try and replace the new one with it. Hopefully all the wires in back match up right.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:28 PM
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I have the old version (first picture) in my travel trailer and really like it. Easy to use, works well and the battery lasts forever.

When I did the house remodel I got a fancy new fangled one from Lennox, it is really easy to operate and there is an app I can use when I am not at home. Not an issue in the time of covid, but when I travel its convenient.
Old 10-11-2020, 07:44 PM
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Being 97 plus living on her own completes this thread.

Keep it the same, or get a retro like above.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:50 PM
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In installed a similar to your old one for my 83 year mother who's also on her own. I like to keep things as simple as possible. You guy remember anything go wrong with those round old fashion Honeywell units? They keep on working in many old apartments for years with abuse dished out to them every season. They keep on trucking along.
Old 10-11-2020, 09:49 PM
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the question isn't really is new stuff easier to use. The new stuff often does more than the old stuff. If it has greater functionality, then it's probably going to be harder to use.

A single bladed folding knife is easier to use than a swiss army knife with 20 different functions.

If there's a menu button, then chances are the bottom device does more. If one is programmable and the other does not, then the programmable thermostat is going to be more difficult to use.

If they are both programmable, then there's a good chance that the bottom one may be easier to program.
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Old 10-12-2020, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by island911 View Post
BTW, really good Q, Baz

+1

Set 65 for heat
Reset to 76 for cooling.
Set heat at 55 if we are on vacation
Turn a/c off if we are on vacation.

Simple, reliable. Easy to use. Cannot be hacked at all. No BS.
Old 10-12-2020, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VFR750 View Post
+1

Set 65 for heat
Reset to 76 for cooling.
Set heat at 55 if we are on vacation
Turn a/c off if we are on vacation.

Simple, reliable. Easy to use. Cannot be hacked at all. No BS.
Can eventually have "issues." Our old home had one, and it eventually had issues. Granted, it was probably VERY old. The new fangled stuff is probably far more likely to fail in far weirder ways.
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:19 AM
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The new Bryant thermostat on the west end of our house is far easier to use than the 20 year old Trane digitals in the east half of the house. The Tranes are tiny and not backlit, so you need to use a flashlight to set them. The Bryant is dark until you walk near it, then it lights up.

The Tranes are on a crappy 20 year old zone system, which doesn't help. There is one zone and one thermostat per floor. Adjusting the temperature on one floor requires setting the thermostats on all three floors to account for their different HVAC loads. Because of the roof and the lack of shade, the 3rd floor is naturally always warmer than the 1st or 2nd floor. It will only try to maintain temps within 4 degrees of each other, so you can set all three thermostats at 70 and the 1st and second floors may get down to 63 while the AC is trying to get the 3rd floor down to 70. We are always running up and down stairs with our flashlight trying to get the right balance of settings so the various floors are at a comfortable temperature.
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdfifteen View Post
The new Bryant thermostat on the west end of our house is far easier to use than the 20 year old Trane digitals in the east half of the house. The Tranes are tiny and not backlit, so you need to use a flashlight to set them. The Bryant is dark until you walk near it, then it lights up.

The Tranes are on a crappy 20 year old zone system, which doesn't help. There is one zone and one thermostat per floor. Adjusting the temperature on one floor requires setting the thermostats on all three floors to account for their different HVAC loads. Because of the roof and the lack of shade, the 3rd floor is naturally always warmer than the 1st or 2nd floor. It will only try to maintain temps within 4 degrees of each other, so you can set all three thermostats at 70 and the 1st and second floors may get down to 63 while the AC is trying to get the 3rd floor down to 70. We are always running up and down stairs with our flashlight trying to get the right balance of settings so the various floors are at a comfortable temperature.
our previous home was an older ('67) 2 story. We had issues, especially certain times of year, with the 1st and 2nd floors being different temperatures. We only had a single AC unit, so the fix for us was to run the fan independently of the AC. That allowed us to rotate the colder air from downstairs to the warmer air from upstairs.

I wonder if it is possible for you to have a return for the upstairs from the downstairs (and vice versa) to more comfortably balance the temps between the floors. If your upstairs was sucking up the cold air from downstairs, then the upstairs should be cooler.
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:35 AM
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Our thermostat is 20 years old and works great. Very easy to program, and the only program is to change the temperature when we go to bed. As we are both home 7 days a week there is no leave for work or return from work setting to do. One simple analog switch changes it from heat to AC.

I have never yet understood why I would want my thermostat to have access to the internet. I guess people that travel or have variable hours might want that.

We have thermostats for our floor heat in the bathrooms. They only heat, so no cooling functions of course. They could no be more complex to program if they tried. It is easier to understand women than that thermostat.
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:46 AM
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Agreeing with above. Expanded functionality/ features are great but if the interface is poorly designed and / or executed it has '0' value to me. I have a technical engineering way of looking at things even though I no formal training. Show me something that looks cool, is cool and intuitive to use.
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:54 AM
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I have a White Rogers Big Blue.
Good staging for heating and cooling. Once programmed it is easy to live with.
When a common wire is available at the t stat you can have the blue screen up all the time and even adjusted to it's lowest light level, it works as a night light.
I am on my second one in 20 years now. The original locked up a while ago and it is why I keep the old merc bulb stat kicking around.
I had tried one of the Honeywell programmable and wasn't fond of the way it would cycle heat. There are some settings for that but it seemed to me to have far too many cycles per hour even when it was adjusted to the fewest cycles. Don't remember what model it was and maybe it was defective.
Returned it and got another Big Blue.
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:57 AM
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My issue with thermostats is readability. Especially at night.
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Old 10-12-2020, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad911 View Post
My issue with thermostats is readability. Especially at night.
Most of the electronic/digital models, at least, that I have experience with, light up if you press a button.

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Old 10-12-2020, 07:24 AM
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