Parallel thermostats - one furnace

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Old 04-14-10, 02:08 PM
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Parallel thermostats - one furnace

I have read posts where people say it works and others say no.

My setup has no A/C, just a gas furnace in the bsmt. Currently have one thermostat upstairs. Would like to install another thermostat parallel in the basement that could turn the furnace on (knowing it will overheat the upstairs).

Final goal is to have the new bsmt thermostat to start the furnace - and not stop the upstairs thermostat from starting it if required.

All opinions welcomed!

Thanks, Craig.
 
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Old 04-14-10, 05:07 PM
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Does your basement have (enough)heat and cold air return registers, so the upstairs does not get as hot as it otherwise would?
 
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Old 04-14-10, 05:13 PM
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Running the duct work correctly would be best.
 
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Old 04-14-10, 06:26 PM
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......but I think C-COOP is after an under $50 miracle.

Similarly the garage I am taking bids on to have repainted(for the landlady) really should be vinyl sided instead. But the landlady does not like listening to that cha-CHING sound.
 
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Old 04-14-10, 08:10 PM
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It'll Work

It will work & work just fine as long as you realize (as it seems you do) the downsides.
 
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Old 04-21-10, 12:40 AM
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The downstairs is always colder than the upstairs. I was thinking about also adding a damper to lessen the heat going upstairs.

What about the prospect of putting just a timer-switch instead of a thermostat? Sort of like an override to the thermostat? That way we could turn the furnace on for 15 or 30 minutes regardless of the upstairs thermostat.

The basement is already finished and it is difficult to run anymore heat vents or cold air returns.
 
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Old 04-21-10, 04:28 AM
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It sounds to me like the suggestion of adding more heat downstairs is more what you need. Reducing the heat loss in the basement is another important step, but another topic. If the balance between heat going upstairs and downstairs is too much in favor of the upstairs, it will cook up there. Consider, if two halves of a house are identical in heat loss and heat supplied and you follow your approach, increasing the setting in one area by 10 degrees will produce a 10 degree change in the other. But, if one side is normally colder, because of increased heat loss and less heat supplied, adding a thermostat to that cold side will require much more that an equal amount of heat, thus while the cold side is trying to come up to temperature the warm side will receive two or three times what it needs.
Your approach can work, but it needs the proper balance between heat supplied and heat loss to stay within reason.

Reducing the heat going upstairs can be a problem if you don't increase the air flow to another location. A furnace needs sufficient air to stay within its operating range.

There is also a risk with parallel stats, in that the heat loss can change unexpectedly in one zone, like leaving a window or door open, and result in extreme overheating of the other.

Bud
 
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Old 04-21-10, 06:52 AM
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Other options?

Have you considered other heating options such as electric baseboard? Ususally basements are not all that difficult to heat and the slightly higher electric bill would be offset by the fact you're not using extra fuel through the furnace heating an area you don't need extra heat in.
 
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Old 05-01-10, 07:31 AM
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Lot of time returns can be added if the furnace room has walls. Returns ideal spot is near the floor.

Also, if you do have vents, and return down there, turn on the fan at the t-stat to "ON", that help move the air.

Also, what style are the supply vents?
 
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Old 05-12-10, 11:28 AM
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There are only 2 returns down there, I suppose I could try to add another return.

Will also try to install a damper on 1 or 2 of the upstairs feeds...
 
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Old 05-12-10, 11:33 AM
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Are the return downstairs near the floor?

What style supply vent do you have down there as well?
 
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