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Thermostat with Password and Adjustable Heat Delay ?

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  • Feb 9th, 2018 3:11 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Apr 29, 2010
946 posts
75 upvotes
London

Thermostat with Password and Adjustable Heat Delay ?

I'm in the market for a replacement Thermostat. My existing one is a Honeywell FocusPRO TH5100D

I own a triplex rental property which has a single furnace (forced-air, gas) to heat all 3 units. The single thermostat is located in Unit A and so the temperature in this unit dictates how all units are heated. A quick and dirty test reveals Unit B is 0.5'c warmer than Unit A and Unit C is 1.5'c warmer than Unit A.

Ignoring the headaches of the temp differences among Units i'm looking for a replacement thermostat with the following features:

x Lockable - since the thermostat is located within a rental unit i like to have it password protected

x Heat On Cycling Limitation - I want to control how often the furnace is activated; i find my furnace is signaled 3 to 4 times an hour. I understand when it gets cold but is there a thermostat allowing me to set how low below the limit before it activates on again. I mean if i set the temp to be 22'c, it warms up to 22'c, but it wont take long before it falls to 21.9'c and signalling begins. I want to have the thermostat delay to maybe 21.5'c before signalling the furnace OR maybe heat to 22.5'c and then wait till temp falls to 22.0'c. My existing thermostat shows 10th place decimals but it heats the place to the exact value set and no more and so reactivates every 3 or 4 times per hour.

Any recommended thermostat? I'm open to Smart Thermostats. Was considering writing an app to take in wifi signalling of apartment temps and then control Unit A's thermostat appropriately.

Thanks
17 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 4, 2007
1559 posts
682 upvotes
GTA
Ecobee3 lite does both.
Deal Guru
Aug 26, 2002
13925 posts
5535 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Ecobee3 will do all you want, OP. It also allows you to control and change settings on the thermostat remotely without having to step into the rental unit. You can place a remote sensor in the other two units and monitor the actual temperature in those units (without having to rely on the +0.5 and +1.5C variance that you've observed). You can also program it to alert you or to automatically fire up the furnace if it the temperature falls below a certain threshold or comfort limit.
Deal Addict
May 10, 2011
1469 posts
511 upvotes
Ottawa
Just want to point out that password protection is pretty useless in a rental unit. Anyone can remove your thermostat and slam one on in about 2 minutes.

A regular thermostat inside a lock box is probably just as "safe" if not more.

If you are also paying for the wifi/internet then yes with a smart thermostat you can monitor it remotely. But even that can be bypassed very easily if your tenant understands how these things work. It is super easy to add a second thermostat and set it to a different temperature, while still keep your "smart" thermostat powered and fool it into thinking it is still controlling the furnace.
Last edited by csi123 on Feb 8th, 2018 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35652 posts
21737 upvotes
Center of Universe
csi123 wrote: Just want to point out that password protection is pretty useless in a rental unit. Anyone can remove your thermostat and slam one on in about 2 minutes.

A regular thermostat inside a lock box is probably just as "safe" if not more.

If you are also paying for the wifi/internet then yes with a smart thermostat you can monitor it remotely.
And when the smart tstat goes offline, you pay your tenant a visit!
Member
Apr 9, 2009
472 posts
505 upvotes
Calgary
Might want to consider lock and key also. What's to stop a tenant from replacing your thermostat and swapping it back in when you come do an inspection
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35652 posts
21737 upvotes
Center of Universe
Phlav wrote: Might want to consider lock and key also. What's to stop a tenant from replacing your thermostat and swapping it back in when you come do an inspection
See my post above ;)
Deal Addict
May 10, 2011
1469 posts
511 upvotes
Ottawa
vkizzle wrote: And when the smart tstat goes offline, you pay your tenant a visit!
It is super easy to keep the smart thermostat still power up while having another thermostat actually controlling the furnace.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35652 posts
21737 upvotes
Center of Universe
csi123 wrote: It is super easy to keep the smart thermostat still power up while having another thermostat actually controlling the furnace.
Being powered up with no calls for heat or fan, can easily be reviewed online.
Glad I don't have these problems with my tenant, as that is what OP needs to address.
Member
Apr 9, 2009
472 posts
505 upvotes
Calgary
vkizzle wrote: And when the smart tstat goes offline, you pay your tenant a visit!

24 hours notice to enter premise
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35652 posts
21737 upvotes
Center of Universe
Phlav wrote: 24 hours notice to enter premise
Not a problem, with the ecobee I can show the tenant a graph on the status of the tstat not working for the last 24hrs or longer ;)

ex:
Image
Deal Addict
May 10, 2011
1469 posts
511 upvotes
Ottawa
vkizzle wrote: Not a problem, with the ecobee I can show the tenant a graph on the status of the tstat not working for the last 24hrs or longer ;)
Like I said it is going to be a fruitless exercise trying to protect a thermostat. A thermostat by design has no idea whether it is actually connected to anything. To defeat what you suggested the tenant simply have to put the thermostat in a cold corner of the house or near a cold window, then power it with an adapter. The thermostat will try to turn the furnace on and off and shows a similar graph as yours.

Anyway not interested in arguing over the ins-and-outs of smart thermostat. Just want to point out to OP about the usefulness of password protection in case he doesn't understand how a thermostat works.

The best defense against tenant tinkering with thermostat is to set it to a reasonable temperature.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35652 posts
21737 upvotes
Center of Universe
csi123 wrote: Like I said it is going to be a fruitless exercise trying to protect a thermostat. A thermostat by design has no idea whether it is actually connected to anything. To defeat what you suggested the tenant simply have to put the thermostat in a cold corner of the house or near a cold window, then power it with an adapter. The thermostat will try to turn the furnace on and off and shows a similar graph as yours.

Anyway not interested in arguing over the ins-and-outs of smart thermostat. Just want to point out to OP about the usefulness of password protection in case he doesn't understand how a thermostat works.

The best defense against tenant tinkering with thermostat is to set it to a reasonable temperature.
No need to argue, as you are wrong about defeating a smart tstat to trigger heat/air/fan calls!
If you have a smart tstat you would know that it does detect the presence of wires that are plugged into it.
Deal Addict
May 10, 2011
1469 posts
511 upvotes
Ottawa
vkizzle wrote: No need to argue, as you are wrong about defeating a smart tstat to trigger heat/air/fan calls!
If you have a smart tstat you would know that it does detect the presence of wires that are plugged into it.
I do have a smart thermostat. Like I said I am not against smart thermostat. Just want to help out the OP to let him know some facts in case his doesn't know. That's what the forum is for, not for arguing over some moot points endlessly. If you believe your thermostat is not undefeatable that's good for you. Again not interested in arguing over that.

Anyone has some basic knowledge in circuitry can take a look at a wiring diagram and figure out how a thermostat works. Just because a thermostat is smart doesn't change how it interfaces with the furnace. It isn't like the thermostat sends SSL encrypted messages to the furnace and expects a response saying 'Yes I am your furnace and I am on'. If you think defeating a detection circuitry like you mentioned is impossible that yes your thermostat is undefeatable by you.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35652 posts
21737 upvotes
Center of Universe
csi123 wrote: I do have a smart thermostat. Like I said I am not against smart thermostat. Just want to help out the OP to let him know some facts in case his doesn't know. That's what the forum is for, not for arguing over some moot points endlessly. If you believe your thermostat is not undefeatable that's good for you. Again not interested in arguing over that.

Anyone has some basic knowledge in circuitry can take a look at a wiring diagram and figure out how a thermostat works. Just because a thermostat is smart doesn't change how it interfaces with the furnace. It isn't like the thermostat sends SSL encrypted messages to the furnace and expects a response saying 'Yes I am your furnace and I am on'. If you think defeating a detection circuitry like you mentioned is impossible that yes your thermostat is undefeatable by you.
Brah, don't back peddle.
All of your statements that it can be defeated is horse shit.
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User avatar
Feb 15, 2005
6061 posts
1551 upvotes
rosario99 wrote: I'm in the market for a replacement Thermostat. My existing one is a Honeywell FocusPRO TH5100D

I own a triplex rental property which has a single furnace (forced-air, gas) to heat all 3 units. The single thermostat is located in Unit A and so the temperature in this unit dictates how all units are heated. A quick and dirty test reveals Unit B is 0.5'c warmer than Unit A and Unit C is 1.5'c warmer than Unit A.

Ignoring the headaches of the temp differences among Units i'm looking for a replacement thermostat with the following features:

x Lockable - since the thermostat is located within a rental unit i like to have it password protected

x Heat On Cycling Limitation - I want to control how often the furnace is activated; i find my furnace is signaled 3 to 4 times an hour. I understand when it gets cold but is there a thermostat allowing me to set how low below the limit before it activates on again. I mean if i set the temp to be 22'c, it warms up to 22'c, but it wont take long before it falls to 21.9'c and signalling begins. I want to have the thermostat delay to maybe 21.5'c before signalling the furnace OR maybe heat to 22.5'c and then wait till temp falls to 22.0'c. My existing thermostat shows 10th place decimals but it heats the place to the exact value set and no more and so reactivates every 3 or 4 times per hour.

Any recommended thermostat? I'm open to Smart Thermostats. Was considering writing an app to take in wifi signalling of apartment temps and then control Unit A's thermostat appropriately.

Thanks
You should take a look at the Honeywell Prestige IAQ HD. It's a combined home/light commercial thermostat so it has the password protection that you want. It also has user selectable equipment cycles with minimum and maximum cycles per hour. The change in temperature is called the temperature delta and is settable in 1F increments. You can also add 3 wireless sensors so that the thermostat averages the temperatures for all 3 units.

The stat installs as a simple 2-wire connection to the equipment interface module which is located in the utility room. If you lock the utility room, that will cut off access to the furnace.

If you buy the Redlink gateway, it'll hookup to the internet and provide a status of what's going on with your system including whether or not there's equipment detected.
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