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New Mod-Con system - wife not happy

28W28W Member Posts: 141
Now that we've started to use the heat a bit, my wife is unhappy with the comfort in the house.  The thermostat can say 70F, but she's complaining about being "freezing."  I think she misses the sensation of heat pouring out of the emitters that the old, oil-fired system provided.  The new system is working perfectly and is maintaining indoor temperature accurately with the minimum btus needed, just as it should.  I've even increased the boiler output temp a bit above what the heat loss and emitter output calculations indicate is needed, but, of course, the emitters usually do feel only slightly warm, if that.

Any advice other than "put on a sweater"?  Is this just something she's going to have to get used to?  It took me years to convince her to switch from oil to gas (she was afraid of the house exploding), so I REALLY want her to be happy with the new system.


  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,492

    Is the house very dry?
  • Matt_67Matt_67 Member Posts: 191

    Is there a new thermostat on the system?  Sometimes the old stat was out of calibration and the home was warmer than the setting.
  • 28W28W Member Posts: 141
    Not especially

    In fact we've had rather damp weather lately.  I really think it is the lack of that surge of warmth that comes from having an oversized oil boiler sending 180F water to the emitters, even when it is 55F outside. 
  • 28W28W Member Posts: 141
    Funny you should ask . . .

    The current t-stat is a 12-year-old electronic Honeywell.  I bought a new one last night and I will install it this weekend and see if that helps.  Maybe the old one is just out of calibration. 
  • Jean-David BeyerJean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,665
    Thermostat and comfort.

    I had an old GE oil-fired boiler heating a radiant slab. I replace it with a mod-con with outdoor reset. I kept the same thermostat.

    Comfort went up, and I could use  a 1 or 2F lower setting for the same comfort. Actually greater comfort because the outdoor reset eliminated overshoot and undershoot.
  • 28W28W Member Posts: 141
    Right, but you understand the system

    My wife has no interest in knowing about all the great benefits of the modcon and ODR.  She doesn't want to know anything, other than: is the house warm enough.
  • Jean-David BeyerJean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,665
    Exchange ...

    Replace the thermostat or the wife. Thermostat replacement probably cheaper, especially if you like the wife. Get a more expensive thermostat, or one that looks more expensive. Psychological problem here. And set the temperature a little higher. If she wants more temperature swing, increase the hysteresis of the thermostat or increase the cycles/hour to be much longer. Increase the system temperature to increase temperature swing. The system may cost a little more to run.
  • 28W28W Member Posts: 141
    New T-stat

    Wife stays.  New T-stat (fancy looking) going in this evening.  Will set temp up a bit in the afternoon and evening hours.  I suspect that once we get into the really cold weather this issue will, ironically, go away, because the ODR-equipped boiler will be sending warmer water to the emitters, so there will be more of a sensation of warmth when you stand near one.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Warm Wives:

    You are discovering the # 1 rule I discovered years ago. A cold wife makes for miserable living.

    If you keep the reset curve at the bottom, to try to save money, you will be stepping over a dollar to save a dime. Turn it up. You will forget to close the front door and your savings will be gone.

    Women have a better internal thermostat than we guys. Don't argue with her if she is cold. She's cold, and YOU'RE NOT.

    If she told you that she needed to go to the bathroom, you wouldn't tell her she didn't need to go.

    She's cold. Turn up the heat. Life is too short. And you are finding out that there are drawbacks to ODR and Mod/Cons.

    All may not be perfect.
  • 28W28W Member Posts: 141
    Well said

    T-Stat is up to 71 now, and all seems well . . . amazing what 1 degree will do.
  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,492

    It's not going to be easy,considering you have to undo fond childhood memories of standing by the hot radiator or over a floor register when you've got a real chill. I've been thinking what I'd do in your situation, and haven't come up with anything.
  • 0409004090 Member Posts: 142
    on choice of thermostat

    Find a thermostat that doesn't prominently display the temperature. 

    Having one that displays the time in big numbers, with the temp in smaller numbers is a good thing.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Not so (It's Cow Flaps):

    The human body can feel differences.

    It is my personal experience with thermostats that whatever you set them for (say, 70 degrees), if the heat anticipator is set properly, and you are sitting in a room that is 70 degrees, as the temperature starts to drop, there is a point where you notice you are starting to feel cool. You need to get up and turn up the thermostat but don't have the ambition. A few minutes later, you hear the zone come on. As the room heats up, there comes a moment where you feel like you need to get up and turn the thermostat down, but you don't have the ambition to do so. A few minutes later, you hear the zone stop. I find that this swing is around 2.5 degrees. If you put a large digital thermostat in plain view, and watch it, you will see this phenomenon. If you have a setback thermostat, you will notice that you are cold and realize that the setback has started.

    That 71 degree setting you now have that made your wife happy is the best money you will ever spend. You are spending it wisely. Don't be cheap with her comfort. Don't try to convince her to wear a sweater. It would be better but because you suggest it, she won't do it.

    It's a women thing.

    It's a guy thing to want to make it cooler and save money.
  • 28W28W Member Posts: 141
    Amen, brother!

    I'll be walking around in shorts and a t-shirt this winter, but she'll be comfortable and happy, and that is really all that matters.

    Ironically, this is the same woman who likes to have the bedroom window open a crack at night even in the winter for fresh air. Keeps life interesting!
  • Jean-David BeyerJean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,665
    I find that this swing is around 2.5 degrees.

    I have a mod-con with outdoor reset. The main heating zone is copper tubing in concrete slab. I spent about 2 years diddling the reset curves so as to provide just barely more heat than the actual heat loss. On cold days, the thermostat can call for heat for 18 hours straight. It takes that long to raise the room temperature 1/2 degree with such low supply temperatures. The boiler could do it much faster if I adjusted the reset curve to do it, but I choose not to. So there is almost no overshoot, and it does not go under either. My previous boiler did not have any reset, and I set it down to 130 to 140F supply that is way too much for this house. Risk of condensation, but I did not know that, and was lucky. I used up vent pipe, but the boiler never leaked during its approximately 60 year lifetime. It was still working, but I wanted a higher efficiency gas one instead of the old oil burner. I got much more swing than 2.5 degrees, heating up that slab and letting it cool down all the time.

    I found it amazing how low the water temperature needs to be most of the time. The supply to the slab when the outdoor temperature is above 50F is only 75F. It gently gets hotter as the outdoor temperature drops, and gets to 120F when the outdoor temperature drops to 6F, which it never does. Design temperature here is 14F, and I have seen 9F or so once or twice a year for an hour or two.

    I have the thermostat, on an interior wall, set at 69F. and the house wanders around between 69F and 70F depending on how much sun shines into the windows. Here in New Jersey, it is not much.
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