How to Manage Two Thermostats
LESLIE: Alright. Now I’ve got Tim in Colorado on the line dealing with two thermostats and two zones and how to keep it all working right. Welcome, Tim.
TIM: Hi. I just wondered if there’s any strategy on either saving wear and tear on the two separate units or saving energy by – or just keeping both set the same and so it’s comfortable.
TOM: Well, it really comes down to your sort of lifestyle. Now, upstairs are your bedrooms, I presume?
TIM: Well, assume – yes but assume the home is equally occupied. Because my wife is home with the kids and so she’s up and down all the time.
TIM: So, yeah, I was expecting you to say, “OK, go ahead and make the upstairs bedroom sleeping area hot during the day.” But no.
TOM: Yeah. Well, I mean I was going to say that because, typically, if you have areas of your house that are less occupied, then you can reduce the heating and cooling load in those spaces. So, if you don’t, then the same advice applies, too, to both areas and that is use a clock setback thermostat; set them to pattern your use. So if – when you go to sleep at night in the winter, for example, the heat goes down, stays down all night, comes up.
Now, when you do go to sleep at night – for example, if you’ve got your bedrooms upstairs, then downstairs is going to obviously be a lot cooler and upstairs a little bit cooler and then you bring them back up before you get out of bed. In the summertime, generally you want to set the thermostat around 80, 82 and leave it alone. It doesn’t always make sense to bring it up and down but you can have it go up higher if you’re away on the weekends.
Now, there is a new type of thermostat out there called ecobee, which I think is really cool. Do you happen to have a wireless network inside your house?
TOM: Yeah, these work on wireless networks. And so you can – and they actually will pattern the weather …
TIM: So I can set it – wow, that’s cool. I get it.
TOM: Yeah, you can set them on your own sort of web page and you can – and they’ll alert you when temperatures go above or below certain levels. And they even have the ability to reach out and sort of read the weather in advance and make adjustments based on that. You might want to take a look at those. It’s e-c-o-b-e-e is the website – ecobee.com. I just contacted them to get a couple of units to try out in a home that we have.
But I did speak with one of the folks on my team that told me about it and he has been using it very successfully now for several months and is thrilled with its functionality. In fact, it was referred to him by his local heating and cooling contractor.
TIM: Uh-huh. Great. OK, thanks.
TOM: Alright? Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.