I'm looking for a programmable thermostat that probably doesn't exist

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Old 11-09-12, 08:11 AM
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I'm looking for a programmable thermostat that probably doesn't exist

I have 2 locations with heating systems controlled by a simple non-programmable thermostat. They are my (detached) workshop and my vacation cottage. In both locations I keep the thermostat set at a minimum 50F since they are unoccupied most the time. When I arrive I dial it up and then dial it down when I leave...IF I remember
I would like a simple thermostat with ONE program setting per week, set to 50 degrees say on a Monday, so if I go off & forget to dial it down it will reset itself & save me $$.
All the programmable units I'm familiar with have several settings that affect all days so if I set them all to 50 then when I AM there the temp will automatically drop. Unless I use HOLD but then there's that pesky need to remember to change it when I leave

Any suggestions? Surely I'm not the only one with such a need...and maybe there IS a thermostat made for this use that I haven't seen?
 
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Old 11-09-12, 10:37 AM
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Many Honeywell programmable thermostats have the feature you are looking for, as do the thermostats made by other manufacturers.


They have a "Hold" feature just as you describe.


But you can also make a temporary change in the program just by raising or lowering the temperature while the thermostat is programmed for a different temperature. That temporary setting will be maintained until the next programmed time, when it will resume the regular programmmed temperature.
 
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Old 11-09-12, 11:26 AM
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What is the name for this "feature" because I haven't found any that will only dial down once per week.
 
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Old 11-09-12, 11:50 AM
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http://www.metfabheating.com/Honeywell-69-0313.pdf


Here is an example of this feature for a Honeywell Thermostat.


Look at page 24 of the manual "to temporarily raise or lower the temperature for the current period only."
 
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Old 11-09-12, 12:26 PM
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I think there is some confusion in explanations.

As SP said almost every programmable (at least the Honeywells that I've used) you can push an up or down button to change the temp...but unless you push the HOLD button as well...it will revert to the program at the next scheduled time. Normally they have 4 times per day and either 7 days or 5/2 which is weekdays and weekends. So you'd have to go through and set each period to your "away" temp. Prob takes about 10 min.

All you would have to do is program every day and time for your desired set temp. It might be an hour or 2 after you left...but it would then drop to 50 degrees and stay there til the next time you visited. Sure, if you stayed past the scheduled time you would have to turn it back up...but that wouldn't be a big deal, would it? If you planned to stay overnight, then you could just hit the hold...but you would have to remember to reset it when you left.

Though I don't know exactly how they work...maybe one of the internet accessible stats would work? They aren't as cheap as a simple programmable, but they give you a lot of control.
 
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Old 11-09-12, 12:58 PM
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Get two non-programmable thermostats and a spring-wound timer that has a timing range suitable for the time you will be in attendance. Wire the first thermostat as normal and wire the second thermostat in parallel with the first. Break one of the two leads to the second thermostat and insert the timer.

Set the first thermostat to the "away" temperature. Set the second thermostat to the "occupied" temperature. When you arrive set the timer to the number of hours you expect to be in attendance.

The first thermostat maintains the minimum temperature and the second thermostat does nothing until the timer is engaged at which time it will override the first thermostat. When the timer "times out" the the first thermostat will again be in control.
 
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Old 11-09-12, 02:17 PM
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I had a programmable thermostat in my 1850 sf lake home with vaulted ceilings in northern MN and used it in the programmable mode for 2 years. I used the "cabin" on most weekends in the winter and came in and enjoyed the away temperatures (60F) I set it at when I came up on a Friday even though I wanted it warmer and bumped it up when I arrived. It was all masonry/slab on grade with 4 - 6' sliding doors. One year (in October), I found out I accidentally tripped the breaker and furnace would not run. I was out of the country until late January and got a call from the propane supplier informing me I did not use any gas since the last filling (Oct). I went there a few days later and found the indoor temperature to be 59F after numerous -20F morning temps for 4 or 5 day spells during almost 3 months.

The next year, I decided to put everything on 65F constantly and avoid bumping up the heat when I arrived. It cost me about $50/year for the comfort, so I ran it that way for years and enjoyed the comfort.

The bottom line is that not every house is the same, especially in response to weather variations. I had a tremendous thermal/mass inertia, some solar gain and a reasonable fictitious "R-value" for the unfinished walls and only 6" of worthless fiberglass in the unfinished ceilings. - I called it a cabin with unfinished block walls, styrofoam(R10) in the cavity and face brick to be able to not take off my boots when I came in.

In my current townhouse in MN (2 story with 2 north facing sliders), I have not bothered with the programmable thermostat since there is sufficient mass and do not have to adjust to the outdoor temperatures. I do switch between auto and on for the fan controls for circulation

Every home is different and the weather effects are also wildly different.

If you have lightweight stick buildings and can tolerate the variations, a programmable thermostat or two may be a reasonable choice.

Dick
 
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Old 11-09-12, 02:24 PM
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We have a Honeywell 5-1-1 thermostat. That lets you do 3 programs for Mon-Fri, Sat, and Sun separately. In your case, simply set your custom program for Sunday, and then lie to the thermostat and tell it today is "Sunday" (when it's really Monday). Then you can set Mon-Fri and Sat to 50F.
 
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Old 11-12-12, 07:23 AM
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Bottom line is it appears there is no such thermostat that will "reset" itself just once per week for very-infrequently-occupied homes. That's a pity because I think there's quite a number of us who go through this same routine of arrive...dial up...stay a few days...dial down.

I'll just have to make a checklist for any family or guests who use the place in my absence. When I do remember to dial down my heating costs in my workshop & vacation cottage are almost nothing...and that's how I like it

As for remote control--there's no phone and no internet. That's why it's taken me 3 days to respond.
 
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Old 11-12-12, 05:21 PM
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Nothing says each program period has to have a temperature change. You could set it for the same temperature 6 days a week then change the temp only on one day.
 
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Old 11-12-12, 09:17 PM
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Then the next time point (an hour, several hours, a day...) it would dial down to 50 & I'd have to dial it back up. What's needed is a thermostat that you operate like a microwave timer. 70 degrees, 3 days, set. Simple enough.
 
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Old 11-12-12, 09:23 PM
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Honeywell VisionPro, you can program it to stay at 50˚ all the time, then you can bump the temp up, and you can tell it to stay at 68˚ for 3 days, then it will automatic go back down to 50˚.
 
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Old 11-12-12, 10:11 PM
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Hmmm...I read the manual and the "Vacation Hold" feature could be used that way. We have a winner. An expensive winner, but my faith in American Ingenuity is restored
 
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Old 11-13-12, 07:07 AM
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Yep, the Vacation hold is what you want to use. If you have heat only, can you use the TH8110 model.
 
 

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