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motion activated controls

i somehow am responsible for about 20 FA HVAC systems. 10 in a school and 10 in a church. my pet peeve is to find the AC running at the school over the weekend or the heat on in the church for 5 days with no one around. programmable thermostats can be over-ridden and don't cover holidays. I'm ready to put in spring wound timers unless i come up with a simple motion thermostat. and no, Nest times 20 is out of the budget.

thanks for the help,



  • newagedawn
    newagedawn Member Posts: 586
    honeywell makes programable t stat's that lock, so people think they are over riding and are in fact not, cant remember the model right now
    "The bitter taste of a poor install lasts far longer than the JOY of the lowest price"
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,506
    Lol...I like this post starter...
    "i somehow am responsible for..." You don't know how that happened?
    There are many options, but you can also install remote temperature sensor in place of the thermostat and lock the thermostat in the basement/mechanical room. This is done all the time in apartments and commercial buildings.
    A simple Honeywell Vision Pro with remote sensor would easily work as would any thermostat with that option.
    The only other sophistication I would consider would be a WiFi thermostat...NOT Nest. But then you would go bonkers monitoring 20 units.
    Spring wound timers are probably a bad idea. For one, you want the equipment running consistently for better performance. Not shutting off, then someone realizes it's getting hot and has to go spin the timer. Also, the first thing anyone will do will be turn the timer and jam something in there to keep it from moving.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,626
    A programmable stat that can be locked is probably your best bet. I know that some hotel-style stats can be fitted with motion detectors for the exact purpose you mentioned, but I doubt they'll be cheaper than programmable stats all around. Avoid the Nest thermostats. They're more trouble than they're worth in this application.
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,061
    For the churches "I somehow am responsible for" I use HW 8000's.
    I program for heating for standard scheduled events. 2 days per week in one and 5 days per week in other.
    I set the max heat temp and the min cool temp in programming setup.
    I lock the tstat to partially locked mode.
    Any one can override temp setting temporarily
    But I do program each day with the 4 time periods to go back to economy mode when that time rolls around.
    For instance no one is in a church after 10 PM, so that is the "sleep" time.
    I program the "wake up" time for 8 AM, for one church the temp is bumped up so when I drive by I can see the exhaust flue pipes and know the furnace is running. (just to be sure).
    There may be a funeral on a non programed day which would require someone to over ride the program, however that event is over by noon, so that is the "leave for work" time.
    Weddings may be in the afternoon so 4PM is the "return home" time period.

    AC is set to 90 as default, can be overridden as needed, but the 4 time periods will default back to 90.

    Also tstat has random fan cycling which I set up for heating season for one church. All RA are high wall and SA duct is in floor. This keeps the floor from turning into an ice block, (plumbing).

    If there is a major event, large funeral or wedding, I will unlock the tstat and set needed temp (usually AC) to "hold" perhaps the day before. (small town, everyone knows of funerals, even announced on the local radio, how about that?) Then go back and re-lock as needed.

    When and if these fail, they get the same replacement tsat or the upgrade.......if they want me to take care of the place......if they won't pay for the tstat then someone else can do it.