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Old 11-20-2021, 07:26 PM   #1
dpg
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Default Smart thermostat

Hi would like to look into controlling our heat with a “smart thermostat” specifically starting the heat on the way up in the winter. The house doesn’t even have internet yet getting that soon. Doing some researching apparently some old furnaces don’t play well with this setup. Well there’s the possible problem the furnace is literally probably 40 hrs old!!! Who deals with these things and can set me up if possible would that be an electrician? Any suggestions for someone who maybe specializes in such things? I know the nest won’t work wondering if I have other options.. thanks..
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Old 11-20-2021, 08:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by dpg View Post
Hi would like to look into controlling our heat with a “smart thermostat” specifically starting the heat on the way up in the winter. The house doesn’t even have internet yet getting that soon. Doing some researching apparently some old furnaces don’t play well with this setup. Well there’s the possible problem the furnace is literally probably 40 hrs old!!! Who deals with these things and can set me up if possible would that be an electrician? Any suggestions for someone who maybe specializes in such things? I know the nest won’t work wondering if I have other options.. thanks..
I guess my question is why wouldn't it work?
I installed one at my cottage and it works fine. Just need to make sure you have a power wire going to the thermostat. If you don't than I have found that they do sell a power adaptor that you plug into the wall instead.
I have a Honeywell that works just like any other thermostat just has an app. Its an older one but does everything I need it to do.
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Old 11-20-2021, 08:29 PM   #3
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Default Nest lover

dpg, our house started as a 40 X 8 trailer with a 22 X 8 porch. Expanded over the years and is now a 1 3/4 story 10 room house.

Around 1985, one of the expansions was an addition off the back of the structure that included a utility room with washer & dryer, hot water heater, and oil fired hot air furnace. When installed, it had a Honeywell thermostat (yep, one of those tan colored round ones).

A friend bought us a Nest Learning Thermostat. I read the instructions a couple of times and decided to install it. Old thermostat was a 2 wire type. I followed the instructions (real easy!) and it took less than a half hour. Works like a dream.

I left the house this morning at 630 am, and set the thermostat to stay at 60. On my way home, 30 minutes out, kicked the thermostat up to 67 and was nice when I walked in the door. When we were away a few weeks ago, we set the temp for away, eco setting, at 50°. We checked the temps daily and it worked flawlessly.

Just because your furnace is 40 yrs old doesn't mean it won't work. Download the manual and see it you can meet the requirements. Check it out. Good luck. We love ours.

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Old 11-20-2021, 09:03 PM   #4
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I think the reference to not having internet was that without some means to communicate, a smart phone app will not be able to be used.
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Old 11-20-2021, 09:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dpg View Post
Hi would like to look into controlling our heat with a “smart thermostat” specifically starting the heat on the way up in the winter. The house doesn’t even have internet yet getting that soon. Doing some researching apparently some old furnaces don’t play well with this setup. Well there’s the possible problem the furnace is literally probably 40 hrs old!!! Who deals with these things and can set me up if possible would that be an electrician? Any suggestions for someone who maybe specializes in such things? I know the nest won’t work wondering if I have other options.. thanks..
If you only did weekends, you could use a 5-2 programmable.
And is the furnace in good shape or at the end of its life?
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Old 11-20-2021, 09:31 PM   #6
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Default Generation gap

I used to call my 30 something son with such questions. Now, he says call my nephew (my grandson). He's 11 and knows everything. I'm impressed that Upthesaukee (my contemporary) did it all. C'mon Dave, did the kids help?
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Old 11-21-2021, 12:05 AM   #7
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I used to call my 30 something son with such questions. Now, he says call my nephew (my grandson). He's 11 and knows everything. I'm impressed that Upthesaukee (my contemporary) did it all. C'mon Dave, did the kids help?
It's a miracle, it's a miracle!

Descant, not difficult at all. The only early teenagers or younger in my area have graduated from HS, and my youngest grandchild has her driver's license. They would probably say "suck it up buttercup, and RTIA. (Read The Instructions Again) ".

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Old 11-21-2021, 01:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dpg View Post
Hi would like to look into controlling our heat with a “smart thermostat” specifically starting the heat on the way up in the winter. The house doesn’t even have internet yet getting that soon. Doing some researching apparently some old furnaces don’t play well with this setup. Well there’s the possible problem the furnace is literally probably 40 hrs old!!! Who deals with these things and can set me up if possible would that be an electrician? Any suggestions for someone who maybe specializes in such things? I know the nest won’t work wondering if I have other options.. thanks..
I assume you mean 40 years old.

I'd be very surprised that you can't get a Nest to work on a 40 year old heating system. And to be honest, if it doesn't, I doubt much else will because the Nest is pretty versatile.

You might need a slight bit of rewiring to allow the Nest to work though.
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Old 11-21-2021, 01:17 AM   #9
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I think the reference to not having internet was that without some means to communicate, a smart phone app will not be able to be used.
He said he was getting internet.
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Old 11-21-2021, 01:30 AM   #10
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If you only did weekends, you could use a 5-2 programmable.
Useless for a vacation home.

I've had Smart (Wifi) Thermostats since 2003.

I have a GPS Reminder on my phone that tells me (with Voice over the Car Radio) to turn on the heat at the Lake (via Nest) when we pass the Hooksett/Common Man Stop.

One of these days I'll automate it so that it just does it on it's own (pretty easy actually)
Turn on Heat (or AC) at the Lake if we are within 50 miles of the lake house and off if outside 60 miles (to avoid bounce).
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Old 11-21-2021, 04:06 AM   #11
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Nests work great if you have the wiring, and it really does take just a few minutes to install. If you go to their website, they will probably have an easy diagram that you can compare to your current wires.

I would be concerned about a 40 yo furnace on the reliability front. Your problem is that failure is VERY expensive if you do not have backup and/or repair before your insulation can no longer hold back the cold. And of course, you also need an alarm to warn you when furnace has failed.

Now might be a good time to replace furnace, or even better get heat pumps. Deals available from NHEC, and maybe from Build Back Better if it passes
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Old 11-21-2021, 06:45 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by dpg View Post
Hi would like to look into controlling our heat with a “smart thermostat” specifically starting the heat on the way up in the winter. The house doesn’t even have internet yet getting that soon. Doing some researching apparently some old furnaces don’t play well with this setup. Well there’s the possible problem the furnace is literally probably 40 hrs old!!! Who deals with these things and can set me up if possible would that be an electrician? Any suggestions for someone who maybe specializes in such things? I know the nest won’t work wondering if I have other options.. thanks..
Most of these high tech thermostats require 4 or 5 wires. Although some do state that they may work with the old 2 wire setup.

Although the 40 year old furnace may be working fine. It might be time to start thinking about replacing that furnace. There are fans and electric motors that have bearings and other parts that may wear out. If the furnace has a pilot light with a thermcoupler - I would have that replaced on a scheduled basis.

Of course internet or cell signal is required for most of these high tech features.

My temperature alarm does not require internet but does require a cell signal.

Furnace brands have been mentioned on other posts. Good luck with that choice.

The mini split systems are neat as long as you don't mind white tubes going up on the outside of the home. Can be painted.
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Old 11-21-2021, 08:21 AM   #13
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Default Nest

I have the second and third-generation Nest in my home. They 'talk' to each other to determine best practices. One is in the family room and one is in the master BR. I set them in the eco mode. The thermostat kind of knows when you are in and out and when you sleep and adjust accordingly. Pretty slick!

You don't find them on sale often. I found mine as 'returns' at the Home Depot. No problems. I notice a "Black Friday" special on Amazon.

I can control them with my phone app. Great when you are on travel. Just tell the thermostats you are coming home and the house will be warm or cool when you arrive.
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Old 11-21-2021, 09:13 AM   #14
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i use nest in my Az house. It replaces the thermostat which i assume is wired. So it uses the same wires. You need internet but its easy on your phone to change the temps on either thermostat. when i go away i adjust and when i am due to come back even after summer just adjust on my phone on the way home. Very simple
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Old 11-21-2021, 12:02 PM   #15
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Useless for a vacation home.

I've had Smart (Wifi) Thermostats since 2003.

I have a GPS Reminder on my phone that tells me (with Voice over the Car Radio) to turn on the heat at the Lake (via Nest) when we pass the Hooksett/Common Man Stop.

One of these days I'll automate it so that it just does it on it's own (pretty easy actually)
Turn on Heat (or AC) at the Lake if we are within 50 miles of the lake house and off if outside 60 miles (to avoid bounce).
Not really. If you know that you will vacation every weekend, and don't want to replace the old furnace... the unit is very simple in nature and will hold the lower temperature all week and then increase it on the week end.
A seven day option may be more desirable if the schedule is a bit different.
But it may be the only choice without a furnace upgrade.
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Old 11-21-2021, 12:18 PM   #16
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Nest 2 wire hookup:

Some “smart” thermostats are not really all that smart and require a third “common” wire so that continuous power is supplied to the thermostat even when there is a call for heat.

For only 2 wires Nest has a rechargeable battery that charges when there in no call for heat using the 24V open circuit voltage. When there is a call for heat the 2 wires are “short circuited” sending the 24V to the boiler or furnace control module. While there is a call for the heat the Nest runs on battery. When the call for heat ends, back to recharging. Pretty simple.

Lots of video help on hookup:
https://www.onehoursmarthome.com/blo...-2-wire-hookup

Our 30-year-old home has 3 zones all with 2 wire thermostats. We recently had a modern boiler installed that was setup for 2 wire thermostats. Rewiring the thermostats for 3 wire would not be easy as in most homes. So it makes sense that Nest has a 2 wire solution.
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Old 11-21-2021, 12:38 PM   #17
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Good to know.
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Old 11-21-2021, 04:21 PM   #18
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"No C-wire? Install a Nest thermostat at your own risk"

LINK
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Old 11-21-2021, 05:54 PM   #19
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"No C-wire? Install a Nest thermostat at your own risk"

LINK
This is a more robust solution to no C-wire for Nest. Basically you add a local 24V power near the thermostat. It's just more convenient if you have a C wire.

https://store.google.com/product/nes...ector?hl=en-US
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Old 11-22-2021, 02:49 PM   #20
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and for those that have Electric heat - they now have smart thermostats. Used to just be 24v which Nest and Ecobee take care of, but now they have come out with ones that work with high / "InLine" voltage (120v or 240v). Literally just ordered 8 Mysa's last week as they just launched their V2 in September and are having a Thanksgiving Sale.

For those that are interested:
https://getmysa.com/
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Old 11-22-2021, 03:21 PM   #21
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Default Nest 2 - wire installation

I have 2 Nests at my home in MA and 2 more at my place at the lake. In MA, they are 2 wire (heat only) installations. For one zone, I needed to use a resistor to jump between the red wire and common power input on the zone control board. The other worked fine without the resistor (different zone valves - I don't know why...they pre-date my ownership)

In NH, I needed to connect the c-wire to the air handler and T-stat - luckily, the t-stat cables each had an extra wire that I could use for the c-wire connection.

If you live in MA, you can get a great deal on Nest T-stats through Mass Save.

Both setups have been working without issue for 10+ years (MA) and 8+ years (NH)
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Old 11-22-2021, 08:37 PM   #22
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Thanks for all the replies I'll keep asking around and figure this thing out. I have no clue how many wires the thermostat has now, it also is the old Honeywell (round one.) Finally getting the internet installed that should be up and running within a week or so. Yeah, the furnace makes me very nervous every winter that thing has to go soon also. In the spring we're seriously looking at the mini splits, already started but getting some work done inside hopefully this winter and they would be in the way on some of the walls. The furnace does make me very nervous every winter I agree that thing has got to go!!
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Old 11-23-2021, 12:57 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by LakeTimes View Post
and for those that have Electric heat - they now have smart thermostats. Used to just be 24v which Nest and Ecobee take care of, but now they have come out with ones that work with high / "InLine" voltage (120v or 240v). Literally just ordered 8 Mysa's last week as they just launched their V2 in September and are having a Thanksgiving Sale.

For those that are interested:
https://getmysa.com/
I wanted the Nest on my Electric Baseboard. So I did

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Old 11-23-2021, 02:46 PM   #24
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https://www.amazon.com/Transformer-T...7MT5VWQN&psc=1

If you don't have the c-wire you can get this as I mentioned before.
My house doesn't have one and this is what I did. It was easier than snaking wire all around to pull it up from the basement.
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:06 PM   #25
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https://www.amazon.com/Transformer-T...7MT5VWQN&psc=1

If you don't have the c-wire you can get this as I mentioned before.
My house doesn't have one and this is what I did. It was easier than snaking wire all around to pull it up from the basement.
Quote from Nest.

“Warning: Some 3rd party C wire adapters can cause problems or damage your Nest thermostat, even if they claim to be Nest compatible. We recommend using a Nest Power Connector to ensure compatibility and best performance with your thermostat.”

Unless the Thermostat has an isolated 24V PAIR of inputs you are asking for trouble. If it depends on a C wire for power you are mixing two 24V systems.

Some thermostats do allow for a simple external power with separate terminals or a jumper. Only use that if the manual clearly states it accepts a separate 24V source. Nest does not.
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:23 AM   #26
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Forget about wiring it. I can't figure out how to set it!!!!!
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Old 11-24-2021, 10:12 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by mswlogo View Post
Quote from Nest.

“Warning: Some 3rd party C wire adapters can cause problems or damage your Nest thermostat, even if they claim to be Nest compatible. We recommend using a Nest Power Connector to ensure compatibility and best performance with your thermostat.”

Unless the Thermostat has an isolated 24V PAIR of inputs you are asking for trouble. If it depends on a C wire for power you are mixing two 24V systems.

Some thermostats do allow for a simple external power with separate terminals or a jumper. Only use that if the manual clearly states it accepts a separate 24V source. Nest does not.
Sorry, just figured all Smart ones were about the same. Maybe this is why I didn't look into the Nest when I was looking into them?
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Old 11-24-2021, 10:13 AM   #28
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Forget about wiring it. I can't figure out how to set it!!!!!
If you are trying to set it using the device itself, switch to the app. If the app is tricky for you, try the online website on your computer. If that is challenging, try getting the help of a younger family member
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Old 11-24-2021, 04:54 PM   #29
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My house in Scottsdale has two nest and it works great with no need for any third wire . My two son in laws each have two houses with multiple zones and all use nest and all worked without and third wire . I would call nest and tell them what you have and they will advise . I don't use the NH house in the winter so there was no need
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