Which Thermostat to Buy?


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Old 12-05-08, 01:01 PM
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Which Thermostat to Buy?

I apologize if this has been covered. I looked through the forum but didn't find anything.

I have a 4-ton Geocomfort/Waterfurnace Serenity Series geothermal system (GT048, I think). The system was installed with a fairly simple (non-programmable) White & Rogers thermostat. After some trouble (somehow reset to factory default settings causing the furnace to operate strangely) the installer replaced it (I don't recall the current model).

The original t-stat displayed the current stage and fault notices, but the current t-stat does not (just red lights on top, which I have no clue what they mean) and I miss that feature. Also, we are gone a significant portion of the day, so I am wondering if I would save some energy by going with a programmable t-stat. I also have a honeywell humidifier installed (with separate humidistat on the return duct) which would be nice to control from the t-stat upstairs.

Summary - I'd like to replace my current t-stat and would like one which displays the current stage and faults. I'd also like to get opinions on using programmable t-stats with geothermal.

Right now I'm looking at the White & Rodgers 1F95-1291 and the Honeywell VisionPro series. I see the IAQ referenced a lot on these forums, but it seems like a little more than I need. Any suggestions or opinions are appreciated.

Thanks!
 
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Old 12-05-08, 09:49 PM
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For a Geo or any heat pump system, you are not going to save any money on setting back the temps unless you get a model with an outdoor sensor that can "Lock out" the aux heat.

I would suggest the VisionPro TH8320. Guess i never seen a stat that shows what your fault code is.. The VP has the red LED light...
 
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Old 12-08-08, 09:16 AM
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I did some searching for the fault code indicator I was referring to. My furnace has a "Comfort Alert" troubleshooting module factory installed. It looks like Emerson produces these modules which monitor Copeland scroll compressors. So far, the only thermostats I have seen which display the troubleshooting codes from the comfort alert module are White & Rogers (I've seen pictures of the same thermostats branded as Emerson which leads me to believe the companies are related somehow.).

Comfort Alert

As I said before, my previous thermostat was a W&R and it displayed the information. I guess I assumed it was more standardized and would be available on other t-stats too.

It seems like the honeywell t-stats are consistently more highly recommended than the W&R, but the W&R displays the Comfort Alert codes from my furnace.

Regarding the lockout feature. I see that the W&R 1F95-1291 has a lockout feature, but I'm not sure I completely understand how it is supposed to work. If I am reading the manual correctly, it uses the outdoor temp sensor and will not run the heat strips unless the temp is below a threshold (I think 35 is the default). Does this mean the heat strips will be used on colder than 35 days to catch up from a setback? If so, maybe I shouldn't be using the setback at all.

Do the Honeywells work the same way? I can live without the comfort alert indicators if the honeywell does a better job of managing the temperature/energy usage.

Thanks for your time. I appreciate the advice.
 
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Old 12-08-08, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by zeeeep
Regarding the lockout feature. I see that the W&R 1F95-1291 has a lockout feature, but I'm not sure I completely understand how it is supposed to work. If I am reading the manual correctly, it uses the outdoor temp sensor and will not run the heat strips unless the temp is below a threshold (I think 35 is the default). Does this mean the heat strips will be used on colder than 35 days to catch up from a setback?
Correct.

If so, maybe I shouldn't be using the setback at all.
I don't suggest set back on heat pump system.. they are best to be left alone, and you won't have to run the aux heat to help recover.

Do the Honeywells work the same way? I can live without the comfort alert indicators if the honeywell does a better job of managing the temperature/energy usage.
Yes, HOneywell allows you to do the same. I like the comfort that Honeywell gives than the "swing" that the other guys do.
 
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Old 12-09-08, 06:33 AM
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Waterfurnace Thermostat

It's quite possible that the original thermostat with your system was produced by Robertshaw. This was a non-programmable unit with the "trouble" LED's along the top of the thermostat. The equivelent unit today would be their 300-202.

If you are looking for this model in a programmable variant, I would suggest the 300-227.

Robertshaw also produces an IAQ model which can control your humidifier either manually or automatically when coupled with an outdoor sensor. This model is the 9825i2.

Robertshaw only sells through the HVAC wholesale channel so you might have difficulty finding it yourself
 
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Old 12-09-08, 08:47 AM
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tb2008 - Actually, the one I have now is a Robertshaw. I'm not sure of the model number - I meant to look at that before I left the house this morning. It has the LED's on top, but I can never remember what each LED means and it doesn't tell me which stage the furnace is in. With the first t-stat, I was in the habit of glancing at it when I walked past (especially on the colder days) to see what stage was running.

I've been trying to figure out my "wish list" for a new t-stat to help me narrow down the choices.
  • Multi-Stage 4 Heat, 2 Cool
  • Display Current Stage
  • Intelligently Manage Stages (vs. simple timers)
  • Fault Indicator (Preferably support Comfort Alert)
  • Filter Change/Clean Reminder
  • Humidifier Control
  • Vacation Hold
  • Outdoor Sensor

I'm mainly looking at Honeywell and White & Rogers. I know that Honeywell doesn't support Comfort Alert and W&R does, but I think the Honeywell may be "more intelligent."

Do they Honeywells display the current stage? All the pictures I see on-line show "HEAT" but do they get more specific that that?
 
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Old 12-09-08, 09:21 AM
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  • Multi-Stage 4 Heat, 2 Cool
  • Intelligently Manage Stages
  • Fault Indicator LED
  • Filter Change/Clean Reminder
  • Humidifier Control
  • Dehumidifier Control
  • Vacation Hold
  • Outdoor Sensor can lock out Aux heat.

Honeywell IAQ does the above things.

Do Honeywell display the current stages?
No, it does not show the stages.. I some time do wish it does, but I can tell by the blower speed on mine if it's on low or high.
 
 

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