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Thermostats with adaptive recovery

Some information on the Internet says that adaptive recovery is merely marketing hype. Does is save heating energy or not? I work with churches, so the idea of adaptive recovery for a huge worship space is attractive. Any advice? If adaptive recovery works, what is the best thermostat with that option? Thanks, Andy Rudin


  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 14,951
    It's starts the system early to attempt to have the building up to temperature at the time you told it to raise it.

    Personally I have it disabled because I want it turning on when I tell it

    As far as energy savings I can't imagine how it would. If anything, I would expect it to use more.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,539
    Keep in mind that a thermostat is an on/off switch. Nothing it does affects things like circulating water temperature for hot water systems -- and there is, of course, no varying temperature in steam or forced air.

    So... what does adaptive recovery actually do? First, some electronic thermostats do have it. Not all. That said, however, what it does is "learn" over time how long it takes to get from one known set point -- such as a night setback -- to another one -- such as a warm breakfast table. Or church sanctuary. But it can only do that if it has several to a number of such cycles to try out. And then what it does is simply turn the heat on before the desired time for which the setpoint is set long enough so that -- all else being equal (it never is) when the time comes the temperature will be what it's set to.

    This is helpful in a typical residential setting, where the occupant wants the temperature at, say 70 at 6:30 AM when they get out of bed.

    If there were enough setback cycles in a church setting so that the thermostat could learn, it might be useful. Instead of the sexton having to set the program to start half an hour early -- or getting to church half an hour early to turn up the thermostat for the congregation. In most churches, there won't be enough cycles to really get it right.

    So, in my humble opinion, it's more of a gimmick -- and at least in the one which I care for, I've simply set the program so that by the time the congregation of other meeting shows up, the place is reasonably warm. If there's something out of the normal schedule - as it might be a funeral -- I get there early anyway, so that's not a problem.

    Now does it save fuel? Not by itself. That is really much more a question related to the endless debate about whether setbacks save fuel. In some applications, they do -- if your church is only used on Sunday, it doesn't make much sense to heat it all week to 65 or so (on the other hand, don't let it get too cold -- if you have an organ or piano in there, anything you save on fuel will be more than spent on retuning or repairing the instrument). However if the church is used daily, as ours is, then perhaps a 5 degree setback is all you want (we have forced air, so 5 degrees actually does work).
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,791
    I put 2 HW vision pro 8000's in a church that is used on Sundays AM and Wednesday PM.
    These replaced older setback stats that everyone had their fingers into.
    These are programed such that Sunday AM, church is warm when everyone arrives. Sets back shortly after services, also set back at noon, set back at 10 PM. This is if someone over rides with "temp hold" for some extended event and of course would leave it on 75. Most know that if they stay after Noon they have to bump the stat up.

    These also have max heat temp and minimum AC temp.
    (This has avoided find the AC set at 60 for 5 days)
    The screen is locked on function 1....temp change only until the next setting. No permanent hold available.
    I change tstat every spring and fall between heat and AC.
    No one else wants to attempt to unlock it and change settings.
    There is no programming set to start AC, actually keeps reverting back to 90 on the time settings. AC demand is not much on Sunday AM and first person can start cooling and is early enough for comfort. No Wednesday building use during summer.
    If a large funeral (many) or wedding (few) is coming up I will lock the AC or heat on hold as needed the night before.

    I also added a 8:30 AM bump up in temp for 1 hour in the Fellowship Hall system, has the plumbing etc and is isolated from the Sanctuary by doors. This lets me do my "drive by" heating checks in the winter by observing the exhaust flue.
    (I have 2 schools, 2 churches, daytime church office, power plant and fire hall......easy checks. ;) )

    These have recirculation feature that will run blower fan "on" about a 1/3 of the time. This is used in heating mode. RA grills are both high wall. This is an attempt to keep the slab at room temp in the winter at 55. Water lines are in the slab along side the UG ducting.
    This recir feature avoided installing ceiling fans in the cathedral ceiling of the sanctuary, it has a solid 3" plank ceiling with no attic or insulation. Wiring would have been awkward etc.

    One note on the intelligent recovery, it looks at the last heat call to see how close it was on time.
    If you have a Sunday that is 70 in the AM and the next Sunday it is 20 degrees. It does not know about ambient temps.
    Occasional complaints on the first cold Sunday.
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,791
    BTY, Jamie, this church has the Clavonian (sp?) electronic organ, the company says that 55 degrees will not affect it.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,539
    JUGHNE said:

    BTY, Jamie, this church has the Clavonian (sp?) electronic organ, the company says that 55 degrees will not affect it.

    No -- electronic organs and pianos are pretty impervious to temperature change! One reason they are popular in smaller churches. Some of them -- the best -- are astonishingly good, and getting better all the time.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • John Mills_5
    John Mills_5 Member Posts: 946
    I prefer the intelligent recovery. I want it at the temp desired at the time desired. My Prestige does very well at that.

    My church has a $1.5 mil pipe organ. They keep it cool in there year round, I doubt they use a setback! It's even colder when the darn boiler has it's annual Sunday morning breakdown!