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Old 10-09-2008, 11:29 AM   #1
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Need suggestions on thermostat solution.


I own a rental property that has 4 separate units. These are all heated off one blown air style furnace with the thermostat controls in one of the units. What I am looking for is a good way to measure the temp at different points while having the actual controls locked away from the tenants, possibly near the furnace itself. Of importance here, is doing all this in a way that the tenants cannot easily tamper with the system to get the heat to run higher than it is set. Any ideas would be most appreciated.

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Old 10-09-2008, 01:55 PM   #2
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I own a rental property that has 4 separate units. These are all heated off one blown air style furnace with the thermostat controls in one of the units. What I am looking for is a good way to measure the temp at different points while having the actual controls locked away from the tenants, possibly near the furnace itself. Of importance here, is doing all this in a way that the tenants cannot easily tamper with the system to get the heat to run higher than it is set. Any ideas would be most appreciated.
What you propose is probably illegal.

When someone rents a home they are entitled to control the environment to their liking.

If they were to pay the heating costs then there might be an incentive to conserve but it sounds like they share a central furnace with the heat built into the rent price.

Is that correct.

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Old 10-09-2008, 02:04 PM   #3
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Need suggestions on thermostat solution.


Yes the heat is set at 72 degrees all winter and there is not tenant control as it stands now. This is not illegal by any means, as this is what the law dictates.

"Heat (During the heating season, October 1 through May 31)
* Between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., heat must register at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit when the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees;
* Between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., heat must register at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit when the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees."


The heat is included and controlled by me. Im not looking for a way to freeze out my tenants or make them uncomfortable, however, I want the control in an area separate from the actual thermal sensors.
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:38 PM   #4
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Need suggestions on thermostat solution.


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Yes the heat is set at 72 degrees all winter and there is not tenant control as it stands now. This is not illegal by any means, as this is what the law dictates.

"Heat (During the heating season, October 1 through May 31)
* Between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., heat must register at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit when the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees;
* Between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., heat must register at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit when the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees."


The heat is included and controlled by me. Im not looking for a way to freeze out my tenants or make them uncomfortable, however, I want the control in an area separate from the actual thermal sensors.
Well there is always remote thermostat sensors that higher end thermostats offer. I have put a few of these in but they only have the ability to do one remote sensor at a time.

You could put in a zone system which would require a remote thermostat in every area you want to monitor and have them locked out for changes. Many of the newer thermostats have that lock out feature so that the temperature can't be changed.

I have home automation run by a computer and can monitor literally hundreds of locations. They all report to the computer and with that information you can do what you want. I have attached a picture to show you what is happening in my room.

This is more complex that you probably want to do as it involves a computer, interface, remote sensors and so on but it is the most advanced way of dealing with environmental controls.
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Need suggestions on thermostat solution.-temperature.jpg  
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:07 PM   #5
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Temperature happy room?
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:12 PM   #6
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Temperature happy room?
Yea, we named it that because it is such a nice color and pleasant to be in. We decided it just made us happy to be in there. Or happy that the remodel was done...

You can see it in my pictures file here. http://www.diychatroom.com/album.php...&pictureid=711
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:21 PM   #7
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Now that is awesome! Made ME happy just looking at it. Very nice.
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:46 PM   #8
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Now that is awesome! Made ME happy just looking at it. Very nice.
Thanks. It was a fun project. It was just a room with two small windows.
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:21 PM   #9
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I'd love to see the air flow into those four units. The outer most ones are probably coldest.

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Old 10-11-2008, 01:36 PM   #10
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Need suggestions on thermostat solution.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectronMan View Post
Yes the heat is set at 72 degrees all winter and there is not tenant control as it stands now. This is not illegal by any means, as this is what the law dictates.

"Heat (During the heating season, October 1 through May 31)

* Between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., heat must register at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit when the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees;


* Between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., heat must register at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit when the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees."



Check the fed law. I'm fairly sure it states 65F min 24/7.

Use an averaging stat.

Install a remote sensor in each room/apartment, and the stat its self in the furnace room. Set it and lock it.
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Old 10-11-2008, 03:13 PM   #11
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MG,
What program are you running your home automation system on? Is it available for purchase or is it a contract? Could you give me a ball park number on the cost of the program by itself? I have a real use for automated anything.

And, my office here at home is darn near the same color as your Happy Room. I know why you named it that.
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Old 10-11-2008, 05:29 PM   #12
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MG,
What program are you running your home automation system on? Is it available for purchase or is it a contract? Could you give me a ball park number on the cost of the program by itself? I have a real use for automated anything.

And, my office here at home is darn near the same color as your Happy Room. I know why you named it that.
Here is the link to the software. It is all run on a Mac sitting in a closet. The program is about $150 and there are modules you can buy for a few bucks here and there.

www.shed.com

They have a really nice mailing list that you can subscribe to and ask lots of questions.

Total cost of my system was about $2000 with all the switches, sensors and thermostats but I have been adding on to it for many years. I started about 20 years ago and my kids don't know how to turn off lights. They figure that everyone has automatic lights.
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Old 10-11-2008, 05:41 PM   #13
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$2000.00

~urk~ think I'll stick with the old method: Tell the old lady to turn the thermostat down or up!
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:14 PM   #14
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$2000.00

~urk~ think I'll stick with the old method: Tell the old lady to turn the thermostat down or up!
Well it does a little more that control the environment.

It controls the lighting, security system, pages me with appointments, shuts of the water if I am not home, controls the HVAC system, moves air from warmer rooms to cooler rooms, looks at tomorrow's temperature and decides to open windows (yes it opens windows automatically) and turn on the whole house fan to use natural cooling at night instead of expensive air conditioning, and it is all accessible on the web so I can control things remotely and monitor my home if needed.

If windows or doors are opened and the system is set for security it turns on lights and sounds a siren, pages me an lets me know someone is in my house and then plays "I fought the law and the law won" at 90 dbi.

When we are in bed and I forgot to turn off the lights the computer does it for me.

If I am in bed and forget to lock the door it pages me and lets me know the door is unlocked.

My air compressor is automated and it shuts off if it is not being used so that if the hose breaks it won't run all the time and burn out. I can turn on the compressor from the house so it will be charged when I get out there.

I can even talk to anyone in the house if I want to through the web like an intercom.

My son has severe schizophrenia and would call people at 3 in the morning. I got a lot of calls from angry parents and set it up so that the system would turn off his phone at 9 on school nights and 10 on the weekends.

We used this to track his movements and found that he was going for 80 hours at a time without sleep. This was used in court to get him committed so that they could medicate him and get his illness under control.

I used it to catch a thief in the neighborhood and hooked a bicycle to it with a camera. He grabbed the bike, the lights came on and the camera got 10 really good high quality pictures of him. He got 4 years as a career criminal.

When they were building the house next door the contractor asked me to keep an eye on the place. I told him I would put sensors in there and set it up to turn on my side lights so that if anyone entered my lights would go on. He was having a problem with his wiring getting stolen and no one went into this house after the first few midnight visits from the thieves and the lights kept going on.

My elderly neighbor let me put some sensors in her house so that we could look on the computer and see that she was moving around. When there was no movement for an hour or so we would check on her and she had fallen several times. The computer actually told us when she died as there was no movement anywhere for 3 hours after she had gotten up. We had a bed sensor and knew when she was in bed. We knew she was dead and what we would find when we went in.

You can even control you house via a cell phone if you want to, like turn up the temperature if you have been gone for a few days. When you get home the home is nice and warm.

So it more that just an expensive thermostat.
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:48 PM   #15
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wow!!!!!!

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