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Controlling temp at several sites, all residential homes

Hello -

I would very much appreciate any help you could provide. I am looking for a solution that will control a thermostat from afar at several different sites. I have a management staff that would be in control of the temp.

These are health care locations, however, basically single-family homes. All forced air, some with several furnaces but at the most two thermostats. There is 24 hour staffing. The problems that we find are:

1.) Staff will turn the temp up or down to meet their personal needs, which may be contrary to the needs of the home.
2.) Two staff may war over the thermostat.
3.) Where we have more than one furnace, I have found wildly different temperatures set. This is likely to a non-understanding of how the zones work. For example, one section of the home will have the furnace off entirely in the middle of summer. The other t-stat on the opposite side of the home will be cranked down to attempt to cool the whole building. Most of the folks that work for me are not homeowners, so they don't understand the interplay of such things. I have many more head-scratching examples of things we have found, like open doors in the middle of summer as it was too cold otherwise.

I have caged the thermostats in the past. This is difficult to manage, as when the seasons change we then need to run out to physically make adjustments. I live in upstate NY, where you can have an 80 degree day followed by one with snow flying, especially this time of year. Some control needs to be available.

I also bought a Honeywell that you could control lock, which was about $200, at one location that was a huge challenge to manage. The HVAC company that we used at the time, after doing a service and hearing staff complaint, replaced it with some $30 version that they could now control, as they didn't have the PIN for it. We didn't even catch this until about 6 months later, as there was no approval for the work as they didn't charge us for it. I am sure they saw the benefit of walking off with the expensive thermostat...

So, I looked at the Nest as well as the Honeywell TH9320WF5003. I have no clue if we have the noted "C" wire for power at these locations, but I am willing to have one run if need be. The Nest seems to be more suited for a family. I am not looking to save money as you would expect from a programmable thermostat - I just want even temperature throughout the night and day. As well, without the ability to make huge swings in temperature.

It would be nice to be able to manage all of the locations from a single computer and a phone, with the computer being the main control.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks so much.


  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,193
    check out the Ecobee line of wi-fi stats.

    They can be observed and controlled from any phone connection. Used in a lot of universities.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,225
    I second the Ecobee. The commercial unit only needs 4 conductors between the Stat and the equipment interface. Pretty flexible in that regard.
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    I've used the ecobee, but the ecobee has a ton of features that I think would complicate the OP's use. I've installed both the Honeywell and the Ecobee and in this case I'd recommend the Honeywell RTH9580WF which is wifi and lockable.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,331
    The 9000 series is Honeywell's flagship line. They make several other Wi-Fi stats, the 8000 (previous flagship line) and IIRC the 6000 (less programmability) series should be cheaper, if you want to value-engineer this. Also, Honeywell has a RedLINK-to-internet gateway that should allow any of their RedLINK stats to be accessed remotely.

    The 9000 & 8000 models can use a remote sensor, wired or wireless, as a control sensor or averaging sensor, which will let you put the stat in a secure location.

  • wcs5050
    wcs5050 Member Posts: 128
    edited October 2015
    Beware of Nest. Lots of kinks they've not worked out including wire # and gauge sensitivities. Schedule learning is overdone too. Definitely need common wire to power it even when they say you don't. Good thing is you have complete schedule control from phone or pc. Lockable too.
    Ecobee3 looks good too. Recently saw a Honeywell 9000 at a church that was a locked wifi with occupant transmitter next to. They would simply press button when they came in without messing with temps (preset by others).
  • John Mills_5
    John Mills_5 Member Posts: 935
    Need something that can be locked!!! For price, the Emerson Sensi comes to mind. It can be locked and only run by the WiFi. Also autochangeover so you don't have to switch between heat & cool. The Sensi does not need a common. 4 wire for conventional heat/cool.
  • Tim Potter
    Tim Potter Member Posts: 272
    Try bayweb. I have 4 units installed 4 different locations. I even get an email if something is out of parameter.

    Winter Park, CO & Lenexa, KS