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Author Topic: Remote Room Temp Control  (Read 11170 times)

Offline Cherokee180c

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Remote Room Temp Control
« on: June 20, 2011, 09:35:58 am »
I am wondering if anyone is using a Zwave enabled thermostat like the RadioThermostat 50/80 models along with a Zwave 3in1 sensor like the HDM-100?  I want to control Wake, Away and Return setpoints from the main unit located on the first floor of my open foyer house, but always control the Sleep set-point from the remote 3-1 temperature reading in my Master Bedroom.  I would also like to be able to change the settings or hold a setting by using the RadioThermostat iPhone program.  I know the overall programming of the schedule would move to Vera instead of the thermostat, just wondering how easy it is to switch the input control temperature that the system uses back and forth depending on time of day (ie night). 

I currently have this functionality with the new Honeywell Prestige HD thermostat I installed, but it is all manually enabled each night with no ability to memorize by schedule and no remote visibility/control outside the house.

Offline TimAlls

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Re: Remote Room Temp Control
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2011, 12:10:55 pm »
I moved this response over from the other thread....
I think your issues are similar to mine in my last house. At night the bedrooms would change temperature quicky and the thermostat in the main area had no way of knowing it needed to make a change since the temperature in main area was within the thermostat settings.
The problem is that the air in the remote rooms needs to be pushed out and mixed into the main system. I was able to do this by adding a fan cycler that mounted below my thermostat. It would cycle the fan every hour for a set amount of time. This moved the cold or hot air trapped in the remote rooms back into the area where the thermostat was located.
That being said here are my suggestions:
1. Write luup code to do the same thing....cycle the fan which will most likely eliminate the problem.
2. Use a thermostat in the remote room powered by its own little 24vac transformer to send information back to the Vera so that luup code could force the primary thermostat to turn on and off when the remote thermostat turned on and off. I see this as a better approach than using a battery operated temperatur sensor....I think battery operated devices should be the LAST resort due to wake up issue and bad communication that will dog your Vera. Also the temperatures coming into the Vera are integers which makes it difficult to control the HVAC with any accuracy. A thermostat responds to a much higher degree of accuracy and allows local control.
Food for thought.
Regards
Tim Alls

Offline shenders1

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Re: Remote Room Temp Control
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2011, 06:13:49 pm »
Interesting. I have a two story house and right now it is 100 outside and 88 degrees upstairs where I am typing this and a nice 73 degrees downstairs. The upstairs ducts are blowing but the downstairs is getting better movement. This is a 3year old system and the ducts in the crawlspace are properly wrapped. The thermostat in the downstairs hallway is new and working as it should. I was sitting here thinking if there was a way, there is always a way, to use a RCS TZ45 or Trane thermostat if the Trane will do this, with the remote sensor inputs to:
1.Sense the temps upstairs
2. Keep the HVAC running ignoring the downstairs thermostat that has already been satisfied at 73 deg
3.Trigger a  motorized (computerized?) plenum damper to divert a correct % of airflow upstairs until the upstairs thermostat sensor is satisfied.
I don't even know if this is possible but I bet it is.
Thanks for Listening.

Offline mitch672

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Re: Remote Room Temp Control
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2011, 11:29:22 pm »
Interesting. I have a two story house and right now it is 100 outside and 88 degrees upstairs where I am typing this and a nice 73 degrees downstairs. The upstairs ducts are blowing but the downstairs is getting better movement. This is a 3year old system and the ducts in the crawlspace are properly wrapped. The thermostat in the downstairs hallway is new and working as it should. I was sitting here thinking if there was a way, there is always a way, to use a RCS TZ45 or Trane thermostat if the Trane will do this, with the remote sensor inputs to:
1.Sense the temps upstairs
2. Keep the HVAC running ignoring the downstairs thermostat that has already been satisfied at 73 deg
3.Trigger a  motorized (computerized?) plenum damper to divert a correct % of airflow upstairs until the upstairs thermostat sensor is satisfied.
I don't even know if this is possible but I bet it is.
Thanks for Listening.

You should call an HVAC company, get a "multizone controller" installed at the furnace, they can also put on the dampers.  You will need (2) Zwave thermostats at that point, as you will now have a "multizone" furnace.  That is the only practical way to do what you want, as it will work for heating and cooling.  Expect this to cost at least $1,000 from an HVAC company, for the (2) 24V electric  dampers, multizone controller, cutting in the dampers and doing all of the wiring.  You should supply the Zwave thermostats, so they don't waste your money putting in something you are just going to replace.  They might need to rework some of your ductwork as well...

I did find a place that will sell you a kit:

http://www.retrozone.com/?gclid=CKuYxpHLm6oCFeYSNAodNTuoxA
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 11:50:10 pm by mitch672 »

Offline shenders1

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Re: Remote Room Temp Control
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2011, 11:52:51 pm »
Thanks a lot Mitch for your input. I do believe you are right. $1000-1200 is a lot cheaper that $8000k quoted for an attic mount 2nd system.I just wonder if the damper would do it.

Offline mitch672

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Re: Remote Room Temp Control
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 12:02:40 am »
We had a new house built for my parents in October 2009, it has a Trane XC95 Gas Furnace, Trane 13EER compressor, and its 2 zones, 1st floor and 2nd floor.  The contractor put in a 3 zone Trane controller (probably all he could find), and there are 2 dampers, 1 for the 1st floor ductwork, and one for the 2nd floor ductwork.  It works perfectly, the only issue with it is, when one of the dampers is closed, the air flow increases in the remaing floor, and sometimes "whistles" due to tremendous airflow.  I changed out the 2 el cheapo thermostats for Trane Zwave models, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover the "3 Zone Controller" supported the "C" wire to provide 24VAC to each thermostat...  luckily the contractor also used 5 wire thermostat wiring, so there was a spare conductor as well ("blue" wire which is normally used for this was availble).  I connected it on the zone controler and its been fine since.  Unfortunatly both of my parents passed in 2010, so they are not around to enjoy it, but I inherited the house.  Would rather have mom and dad :(

Offline shenders1

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Re: Remote Room Temp Control
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2011, 06:43:25 am »
Thanks so much Mitch. Sorry about you parents, mine both went in one year as well. This information is EXACTLY what I was looking for right down to the slide in dampers. What do you think about these thermostats Radio Thermostat CT80, RCS TZ-43-45 or Trane?.

Offline mitch672

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Re: Remote Room Temp Control
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2011, 08:01:15 am »
I don't think which thermostat you use will matter, that much.  I would recommend getting a Zwave model so you can integrate it with Vera, I have the Trane Zwave ones that Radio Shack used to carry (got them for $60 each).  The key to your issue is the multiple zones, once you have that any thermostat will do the job.

Offline raskell

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Re: Remote Room Temp Control
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2011, 10:12:07 am »
@mitch672 - With zone controls, there should also be a 'dump' or bypass configured.  For simple illustration, if you have 1200 CFM total in your system, zone 1 and zone 2 should both be ducted for 600 CFM so that when both zones are calling for cooling, the total flow balances out.  In times when zone 1 or zone 2 are not calling, you can not push 1200 CFM through 600 CFM ducting and expect it to work.  There should be either a 600 CFM bypass back to the return air or routed to a 'dump' zone.  I have a two zone system in the upstairs of my home, one for the MBR and one for the Office.  I used the front Foyer as the dump zone which adds the surplus cooling to the main body of the house (first floor) whenever only one zone calls.

While dumping surplus cold air back into the return is technically correct, it can incresase the possibility of freezing up your coil, depending on your ambients, humidity, etc...  Sounds like you need to have your HVAC guys back out to explain the system.

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Offline mitch672

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Re: Remote Room Temp Control
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2011, 01:34:36 pm »
raskell, I think this is the first "Trane" multizone system that contractor had ever installed, they couldn't even get the zone wiring to work initially (kept blowing fuses on the multizone controller)

There is no "dump" zone, or bypass zone on this system, it just pressurizes the other zone with the full CFM of the entire system, hence the whistelling.

to give you an idea of what amateurs these HVAC guys where, they did not make a "slot cover" for the Air Filter holder, so that was open to the 1/2 basement air.  Also, they used a "16 x 26" filter size, which is non-standard, and I have to buy "custom air filters" now, or use 16 X 25's and have a 1" gap.  I had the contractor who installed the "splash guard" (below) whip up a filter slot cover, at least that issue is now solved.

another issue we had was, this is a "left horizonal" coil (as the furnace is sitting on cinder blocks in a 3' high 1/2 basement), and they did not install the "splash guard" on the A-coil, so a lot of condensate (water) was being forced into the plenum and leaking out onto the floor (a LOT of water, a small lake was forming).  I called the GC that built the house and they got another HVAC contractor to fix it, they had to order an entire new Trane A-coil just to get the splash guard, as it would have taken forever to just order that from Trane

If I now have to call the GC again, and insist a "bypass zone" be installed, I think they will flip out.  Of course all of these issues is why the original HVAC company is no longer being used.

I suppose a third damper that dumps the air back into the return would not be a big deal, just another expense for them to have to deal with.  the whistelling isn't too bad though, and I'm not sure I want anymore work done to the HVAC system.

Offline raskell

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Re: Remote Room Temp Control
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2011, 02:58:31 pm »
@mitch

You've had you share to be sure.  The third zone could easily be used to dump some air back into the return.  Could all be accomplished in the 'half' basement.  Its all controlled by the logic on the zone controller.  Normal setup is for 1&2 1&3 or 2&3.  Whistling A/C is not a good thing.  Sorry to hear your tale of woe.  The GC should make it right.
Vera2, UI4, Trane/Schlage TStats(6), Schlage LeverLock, GE 3-wayswitches, WD HA14 3-way dimmers, Intermatic Outdoor Module, Hawking door/window sensor(s), VeraLite UI5, Everspring SM-103

Offline shenders1

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Re: Remote Room Temp Control
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2011, 04:35:13 pm »
OK.Now it's a little more complicated. I am having a HVAC man who actually has installed these come over and look around. He did the unit replacement 3 yrs ago and is familiar with the duct work. I don't want to do this without opinions.

Offline LorneT

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Re: Remote Room Temp Control
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2011, 04:07:35 pm »
How easy is it to install dampers by oneself? Or would is be better to hire a HVAC or home services professional? I have the same problem where my upstairs isn't as cool as the downstairs. I've tried closing off the registers but that doesn't work as well. I'd like to create a damper or baffles that is right near the blower and can be adjusted to divert more of the air upstairs. If I could do it remotely, that would be even better.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 11:30:43 am by LorneT »

Offline shenders1

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Re: Remote Room Temp Control
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2011, 05:42:12 pm »
He hasn't shown up, I may have scared him off, but I will use two rectangular motorized zone dampers, like these http://www.hvacsolutionsdirect.com/catalog/Dampers-Draft-Controls/Motorized-Zone-Dampers.html in the main ductwork to split top and bottom floors,two wireless thermostats controlling the dampers through a zone controller like this http://www.smarthome.com/3038A/HVAC-2-Zone-Controller/p.aspx and http://cache2.smarthome.com/images/zonedhvac.gif. Will also need a relief duct in case the pressure gets too high.

Offline Kristopher

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Re: Remote Room Temp Control
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2011, 08:30:05 pm »
Has anyone hooked those motorized dampers up to a z-wave relay?  I only have two zones and one thermostat -- so it seems like I could script something to control the dampers very easily.  And it seems like it would be cheap. Thoughts?