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I think my thermostats (HVAC) are out of whack...

Discussion in 'Wackbag Home Improvement & Car Repair' started by Sinn Fein, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Sinn Fein

    Sinn Fein Infidel and White Interloper
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    We got dual-zone heating/cooling in the new house, just like the old house... two heat pumps, each with it's own thermostat servicing a different section of the house.

    Over here, by my bedroom the display says 79/80, meaning it's 79 degrees but the A/C is set to cool to 80. On the other side of the house, the thermostat says 76/76.

    A/C is not running in either location.

    It is COLD AS FUCK over there on the other side of the house but it's supposed to be 76 degrees?.

    Over here, I am perfectly comfortable - but it's only 3 degrees warmer?

    I have nothing to compare them with, so I am going out tomorrow to get a few thermometers and see what kind of readings I get. I suspect these things are just junk. They are basic non-programmable units that were installed with the new heat pumps in 2007.

    It's a White-Rodgers 1F89-211, which is nothing special:

    http://www.emersonclimate.com/Documents/White-Rodgers/instruction_sheets/0037-6233.pdf

    If my suspicions are correct, and these things are hosed - I am going to replace them with WiFi-enabled units so I can keep an eye on them and override people fucking around with the temperatures.
     
  2. TomC

    TomC uppity neobarb

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    good lord, as an a/c guy i can tell you the less bells and whistles on the t'stat the less trouble. just mount a thermometer next to the t'stats, if one is off 3 degrees change it 3. I have NON prog t'stats, if i was to install one of those new t'stats that is also a remote that you can take to other rooms my wife would have the fucking compressor burned out in 3 months. A heatpump just wants to be set and left alone.

    That said alot of heatpump owners will not know that they are having trouble with the feon system because of the heat strips(aux). your unit might be running alot and blowing cool air until it drops 2 degrees more to bring on the strips
     
  3. Haeder

    Haeder South Dakota

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    Holy shit. First response was both helpful and from an HVAC guy. I was gonna tell you to try new batteries first but I'm deferring to TOM here.

    Simple = more gooder
     
  4. gorram

    gorram ;)

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    Also be aware that on thermostats with radios in them like wifi or zwave will usually need an extra power lead feeding power to the new thermostat. Usually you can find extra wires in the thermostat bundle behind the mounting plate, but it may likely be unhooked at the main unit side. Search "c wire" and thermostat to find out what to do.
     
  5. TomC

    TomC uppity neobarb

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    Wow, would the VA on the t'former need to be bump? never even thought of this.
     
  6. Sinn Fein

    Sinn Fein Infidel and White Interloper
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    Current thermostat doesn't have batteries, it gets power from the C wire. ;)

    I could put batteries in it to keep it lit up during a power outage, as there is a place for them. But since that's all they'd do, meh...

    I am going to Walmart tomorrow to get thermometers to stick on the wall and compare with what the thermostats say.
     
  7. gorram

    gorram ;)

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    Are you asking would the transformer need to be upgraded? Would not think so, power draw is little. The issue is if you have a basic 4 wire thermostat usually the 5th "C" wire isnt hooked up at either end. If C is there you are good to go.
     
  8. maz

    maz TRueWDTer

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    I like this thread
    And the input from people that work with this stuff
    I dabble with my heating system , but it's nothing fancy
    Replaced a few thermostats and whatnot

    I also take a weird delight in Sinn's problems with his new house in Fla.
    Not being a dick here
    It's just interesting to me
     
  9. Sinn Fein

    Sinn Fein Infidel and White Interloper
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    No real problems, just ironing out minor wrinkles.
     
  10. TomC

    TomC uppity neobarb

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    Sinn said he has digital heatpump t'stats that will have a common (c) wire, they all require "R"ed(power), "Y"ellow(compressor), "O"range or"B"lue(reversing valve), "W"hite (strips/aux/emer. heat), and "C"ommon (the other leg of power from the transformer) to run the display. Since Sinn had digital with out a battery he will be good to go with having both power and common already there, BUT others that dont have heatpumps or digital t'stats you need to see if your installer even ran wire with a spare that can be hooked up to the common leg of the t'former. If the wife didn't need to look at the display every 15 min I would have old school mercury t'stats. I was once in a class where the point was made that if you are not away for more than 12 hours that setting back your temps saves zero money because of the needed energy to reheat or recool.
    My area is 90% heatpumps, not sure about gas and oil savings.
     
  11. gorram

    gorram ;)

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    I think thats the point for most people being able to check and adjust temp away from the unit either at home or away. People are starting to do more home automation and thermostats are one of the main items to integrate. I couldnt remember that there was one system, as you pointed out heat pump that all the stat wiring is already in place.

    The comment on lack of real world energy savings does make sense.
     
  12. Sinn Fein

    Sinn Fein Infidel and White Interloper
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    Being an IT guy, I am interested in the WiFi-enabled thermostats so I can access them remotely. After years of my trying to explain how this stuff works to no avail, my wife and her mother are convinced that if they are cold - the higher they turn it up, the faster they will be warm. They think it's like the burner on a stove. Conversely, if they are hot, the lower they turn it the faster they will be cool. Women are idiots when it comes to technology and mechanical systems.

    Other than bolting the plexiglass security boxes on the wall around the thermostats, this is my best option. But, I am not going to replace the existing ones unless I confirm they are as jacked up as I think they are.
     
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  13. TomC

    TomC uppity neobarb

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    Sinn, my dumb wife gets mad that 77 in morning is hot and 77 in the evening is cold. I took one bed room made it my computer / tv room and stuck a window unit in it so I have a place that I can set to 68 and not sweat.

    I just glad I live in the hot south, she saves me a ton on a/c costs.
     
  14. Sinn Fein

    Sinn Fein Infidel and White Interloper
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    My problem is that i have thermostat watchers who rely on the number displayed before they decide whether its comfortable or not. I just heard some nonsense from my mother in law as I was going out the door about the a/c not being on because the thermostat was on 76 last night. This would be the other side of the house, referenced in my first post where to me it felt like 50. She looked didn't answer when asked if it was too hot. Then others on that side of the house said it was fine last night.
     
  15. mud

    mud Registered User

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    If you have a wife that loves to mess with the thermostat then a wifi stat is the way to go. I actually prefer it colder in both heating and cooling so I can adjust and check it on the way home. I warned the wife if she adjusts it too much Ill fully lock it out. Here's what I have and love it. http://www.forwardthinking.honeywell.com/products/wireless/prestige/prestige_feature.html
    Not near as simple as some of the others in regards to DIY and you need the extra gateway for internet access. You can use it to alert if it loses the link to the honeywell site indicating power/internet failure, high or low temp alerts etc. Also you an use wireless remote sensors for averaging the temps in different rooms if you want.
     
  16. mud

    mud Registered User

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    Also Setting # 7 on your stat allows you to offset the display temp. That alone may help you without replacing anything.
     
  17. Sinn Fein

    Sinn Fein Infidel and White Interloper
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    Sweet, thanks.

    I saw that in the docs. Might do that if my temperature comparisons with the thermometers I picked up show a constant variance.
     
  18. Sinn Fein

    Sinn Fein Infidel and White Interloper
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    UPDATE:

    So far, the thermostat outside my bedroom is showing a +3 degree difference compared to the digital thermometer I mounted on the wall above it. The one on the other side of the house is showing a +2 difference. If this is consistent, I will adjust the offset in the thermostat options.
     
  19. THE FEZ MAN

    THE FEZ MAN as a matter of fact i dont have 5$

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    i found that "dont fucking touch it" worked well for me. if you are cold put on a sweater
     
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  20. Sinn Fein

    Sinn Fein Infidel and White Interloper
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    Well, after about 10 days I can tell these thermostats are fucked. There is no consistency in the variance between these and the digital thermometers I installed for comparison. Sometimes they read high, sometimes they read low, sometimes they are close. It's anywhere between a 0-4 degree difference.

    I am replacing these fucking things.
     
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  21. BCH

    BCH Doesn't need your acknowledgement on Twitter
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    I am apparently conspicuously absent from this thread.

    Having spent the last 25 years in the industry, I can tell you this:

    Companies that make thermostats that are "smart" have all manner of ways in which they try to account for the specific heat of materials in your home like the sheetrock your walls are made from and the furniture in the room. Just sensing the air temperature isn't the most efficient way to regulate the temperature in a room. You get shorter cycles that way which isn't the best for the equipment or energy savings. There's heat stored in all stuff that the room is made of, and filled with. Modern day thermostats try to account for these factors by a myriad of propitiatory methods. Skews, rolling averages, fuzzy logic, historical data, stored recovery times and lord knows what else. You never really know what the hell the thing's got on its mind. The temperature display in many cases is a representative value and not the actual temperature of the air at that location at that very second.

    Bottom line is supposed to be a basically smooth temperature curve in the general area of where you've got the temperature setting using nice, long cycle times, and not too much energy. If you're not comfortable, or, if you find it disquieting that the temperature is X, the setpoint is Y and the damn thing isn't starting or isn't shutting off instantaneously, change them out for yoyo style thermostats with the bimetal coil and the mercury switch. Of course these have a rudimentary version of the above called the heat anticipator which is a rheostat, the purpose of which is to shut off the heat before the air reaches the set temperature but you'll find it's alot more X>Y unit = ON than a smart stat is.

    I'd advise actually recording the temperature in the space over time and making a chart. If the lines are smooth and generally centered on the desired temperature, I'd leave them alone.
     
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  22. samurai

    samurai Ridiculum Anserini

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    The other thing I've recently noticed, whilst about 40 miles south of Sinn F, was that in some instances, the humidistat can also override the temp you set the analog thermostat at by firing up the A/C until the humidity level is reached, but not necessarily the temp.

    Also while I was there, making sure everything was set for the renters, the A/C compressor fan refused to start. Fortunately, I did the old turn it with a stick trick, which worked, so I knew it was just a faulty cap. Phewwwwww.
     
  23. Sinn Fein

    Sinn Fein Infidel and White Interloper
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    I'm still monitoring the temperatures and keeping track but they are all over the fucking place.

    It's a compound problem. Like I said, I got thermostat watchers to contend with who can't be comfortable unless they are constantly checking the thermostat. And on top of that, as I explained they don't understand the concept of how a thermostat works. So, when it's too hot it gets turned down to like 68 which ends up being as low as 64 with these fucking pieces of shit I have now. Then it's time to bitch about it being too cold. Then it gets switched to heat and turned up to 76 which really could be 80. It's a vicious cycle and all I get out of it is a high electric bill. Even if I could try and trick them by using the offset, it wouldn't work. They'd just keep turning the fucking thing up or down anyway.

    I am putting a stop to this shit.
     
  24. Haeder

    Haeder South Dakota

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    I feel for you sir.

    My wife used to grouse about the house being too cold at night. I dropped the temp to 68 before going to bed. She wanted low to mid 70s and that wasn't gonna good for anything sleep related. Thermostat wars suck.

    You are gonna need a lock box or a key code controlled thermostat - if such wizardry ever becomes reality.

    Have you tried dealing with the situation through abuse? Motor Head could probably use a day or two of agression release therapy in a warm climate.
     
  25. Sinn Fein

    Sinn Fein Infidel and White Interloper
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    That is why I am looking at the fancy wi-fi enabled thermostats that I can access remotely through an app on my phone. I can lock shit down and keep an eye on it even when I am not there.
     

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