Author Topic: Simple thermostat  (Read 723 times)

Offline XA44Owq26HxCq88

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Simple thermostat
« on: February 01, 2017, 05:58:54 pm »
I'm looking to replace my old thermostat that controls the fan on my electric whole-house heater(I don't need to control the actual heater, just the fan). I currently have a thermostat (25 years old) that will turn the fan on when the temp goes above a set point when in the cool mode (which is what I use in the winter when I'm at home - wood stove does the heating). When I'm away, I set the unit to "heat" when the temp falls to 50 deg. It turns the fan on which brings air from my thermal mass into the house. The temp does not fall below 48 with this system.

So, my question is, do I really need a thermostat unit or just a temperature sensor and let vera do the control? If so, what is recommended?

Offline RichardTSchaefer

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Re: Simple thermostat
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2017, 06:08:30 pm »
Sadly ... Vera is not a set and forget device ...

By that I mean you can't set the automation logic that is monitoring a sensor t control your fan and trust that it will work flawlessly for the next 6 months.
You often have to monitor it (can be a problem if your away) and tweak it.
So if you need guaranteed control without user monitoring/intervention ... you should put a Z-Wave thermostat on.
It will still work like a normal thermostat even when your Vera starts acting up.

Offline XA44Owq26HxCq88

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Re: Simple thermostat
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2017, 10:32:31 pm »
Well, that is distressing to hear. I'm counting on Vera to operate my window shades while I'm away! Are you really saying that the unit is undependable? I'll be away for a couple of weeks. It won't repeat the same actions day after day??? Wow. What's the point of having a home automation that requires constant vigilance? Is this true of just Vera, or are all home automations  this way?

Offline Don Phillips

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Re: Simple thermostat
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 05:34:39 pm »
My experience in 4 years - do a fresh boot before you leave and make sure things are working.  I usually do that for my router, Blue Iris PC, cable modem, and my Plex server.  They should work for a couple of weeks while you are away, and maybe even a couple of months.

But if you only check you systems every couple of months, it may not work that one day you really need it and you need to be there to physically reboot something. For instance, my cable modem had been running since early December, went to Europe for a week in early January, the following Sunday morning, I could not get my newspaper online (Internet down according to my tablet). Plex was working (as was my coffee pot!) so I looked and it was the cable modem.  Rebooted it, and I was able to download my newspaper. Just never know when a piece and part will need rebooting.
Vera 3, UI7 1.7.947, CT101 t-stat, Everspring motion detector, GE/Jasco switch, Leviton outlet, AeonLabs door sensor, Insteon garage control, Blue Iris, Sricam SP011, iPhone locator, APCUPSD, VeraMate, VeraAlerts, PLEG, House Modes, Countdown Timer, DVR, Virtual & Multi Switch, Weather, Sys. Mon.

Offline XA44Owq26HxCq88

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Re: Simple thermostat
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 10:12:05 pm »
Strange that a smart thermostat can operate over an extended period of time, but our HC systems need periodic rebooting.

Good advice though about what to do before leaving home.

So I guess I do need a smart thermostat after all. Which would you all recommend? Please don't suggest the nest, I can't see paying that much for a thermostat that can
"learn" something that I already know. Just a basic unit that I can access remotely for when I leave and forget to set for "away"

Offline RichardTSchaefer

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Re: Simple thermostat
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 10:49:28 pm »
Just find a Z-Wave thermostat .... it will work very reliably and can be controlled (Mode, Setpoints, Status) from Vera.

Offline kigmatzomat

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Re: Simple thermostat
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2017, 01:55:26 am »
I like the zwave iris thermostat at Lowe's. If you get a coupon you can have it for $85 after taxes.

Offline Chrisfraser05

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Re: Simple thermostat
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2017, 06:46:19 am »
My experience with Vera has been a little different it seems.

Unless I mess with it, it works. When I mess with it, it needs tinkered with a little for a few days till it settles down lol


Would I use a temp sensor and a switch for my heating? no.

A thermostat would be a much better solution if only for the fact most thermostats have preprogrammed algorithms TPI (time proportional integral) to stop temperature overshoot.

They turn off and on as they approach the set-point, turning more off than on the closer they get.

To replicate this with Lua or Pleg would be a much more drawn out and needless exercise.
To simply have the boiler shut off at a certain temperature will invariably lead to the house/rooms go over this temperature as the radiators are still hot.
By reducing this setting because you expect the temp to continue rising you may get it right, but this is weather condition and environmental factors depedent. You may find that in inclement weather, or with drafts etc it stops rising at your setpoint leaving the house uncomfortably cold.

Offline XA44Owq26HxCq88

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Re: Simple thermostat
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2017, 10:01:44 am »
Chrisfraser05- my experience with my VeraPlus is EXACTLY the same as yours! I can not understand this behavior, but I don't know the inner workings/programming of the Vera, so I've accepted this, makes troubleshooting a very time consuming exercise though!

As for the thermostat issue, I'm not accessing the heating elements in the electric furnace via the thermostat I am looking to control with Vera, just the fan, so I'm not concerned with overheating and/or underheating. My home is a passive solar design, I use this thermostat to cool the house in the winter when the solar gain drives the inside temp over 70 deg. The fan is activated by the thermostat and pulls the inside air through a solar mass, storing the excess heat. I use the same thermostat in the "heat" position to activate the fan when the temp falls below 50, pulling the heat from the solar mass to maintain the 50 deg (when I'm away). It works beautifully as long as I remember to change the setting when I'm going away (which I forgot to do, hence my search for a remote accessible thermostat).

thanks for the input. I see that a z-wave simple thermostat is the way to go rather than just a temp sensor. I'm looking at the 2gig unit, once I determine what voltage is available from the furnace. Right now there are 4 wires hooked to this thermostat, but there are additional unused wires coming from the wall that I may be able to employ for the "C" power source.

Offline kigmatzomat

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Re: Simple thermostat
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2017, 10:44:22 pm »
FYI the iris thermostat can run on batteries and from experience a set of AAs last about a year. Even if you have power, the batteries are handy to ensure that all the settings survive an outage.