Thermostats: Cooler than you think!

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Published: 2 months ago
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Boy do I have a COOL topic for you today. We’re gonna turn up the HEAT with this one!

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comment  Comments

Some additional information!

Firstly, two-stage heating is sorta common so the notion that "there is no medium blast" is probably true but if you have a fancy pants HVAC system, then maybe cranking the heat up might make it go faster. No idea what percentage of homes have a two stage heating system, but I'd guess it's in the 10-20% range.

In re: the thermostat wire question. Apparently, to this day, the current going through the contactors that actually turn on the high current loads such as your A/C or an electric furnace's heating elements is carried through the thermostat. So, it's more than just color coding; they are designed to carry some current, and thus need to be a minimum wire gauge. So while Cat5 cable or similar would probably work for most HVAC systems, it might not be able to carry enough current for others (and could, potentially, pose a fire risk under the right circumstances).

On that note, and I'm mad at myself for not bringing this up, you might have noticed that in the mechanical thermostat, a separate insulated wire connects the R terminal to the contact on the bimetallic strip. This prevents the current from being carried through the bimetallic strip, which could inadvertently heat it up and prematurely stop the furnace. Neat!

2 months ago

I need a good version of the following because my apartment has two window air conditioners:

A smart plug WITH thermostat included so that it either turns on or off based on the temperature so I can transform at least one window unit into a smart one controllable by Google home. I've seen these, but they all have horrible reviews (so far).

1 week ago

its also in a way like the Centrifugal governor on a steam engine :)

2 weeks ago

Steam heat is a little different, especially when it comes to uneven heating. You have to use different valves in the radiators to get the heat even because it takes more energy to get the steam to travel an extra story. I need fast acting valves upstairs so that they open and allow the air to escape more quickly and slower valves downstairs so they take longer to open. If not, the entire upstairs will be unheated altogether.

3 weeks ago

Dargonhuman that's your average programmable stat

3 weeks ago

@tfofurn I have a two stage furnace hooked up to a nest with just one heat stage of control. You'd think this would be a problem but it is not. You see, in the bryant furnace I have, the board itself is actually keeping a running tally of its time-to-temp. If the last run time was over a predetermined threshold, next time it turns on it'll fire the high stage. If the last run time was short - it'll run the low stage. And if its in the low stage for more than, I think 5-10 minutes or whatever the setting is, it switches up to the high stage.

The effect is, when its 40-50 degrees F out and you don't need a full blast furnace, it'll cycle the low stage for say, 5 minutes at a time. If its much colder out, it'll cycle the high stage for short periods of time. That way it doesn't take too long to heat up but also doesn't run higher output than necessary on a moderate day.

1 month ago

My furnace has an external temperature sensor. It makes its effort based on the difference between outside and inside temperatures. Also, my thermostat can tell it to override the sensors and heat to my desires. Saves a lot of gas.

5 hours ago

Playback speed can be adjusted on my mac using chrome. And technically its the , and . don't have to hold shift. If you do you change playback speed.

9 hours ago

You could just create a routine to temporarily decrease the temperature for that cycle mode. Also a lot of furnaces have 2 stage heat. If its really cold the thermostat can command a second burner to ignight. I think you can also configure the furnace to automatically engage the 2nd stage burner when the first stage is on for a certain amount of time.

9 hours ago

Oh my god. < and > advance videos frame by frame. I have spent so much time trying to pause videos at just the right moment in order to catch jokes and gags that pop up for a nanosecond on screen. I'm so glad I stopped to read that whole thing.

11 hours ago

I love the analogy with PWM.

12 hours ago

The < and the > keys on desktop will advance frame by frame.

13 hours ago

So the coming in from mowing the lawn thing...most thermostats I've used have a "temp" (temporary) feature. Program the thermostat...but then push the temp change button and it cools/heats to desired temp, then returns to run the program. Related is the "hold" feature that will override the program and hold the temperature at the desired amount. Do you guys not have this?

17 hours ago

Note that Nest actually sells a temperature sensor that connects to their thermostats wirelessly that you can place in other rooms.

17 hours ago

I cracked up laughing because I was adjusting my thermostat at the exact moment you showed the demo and they happen to be the exact same model. 😂😂😂

22 hours ago

Awesome channel. Not only are you a gold mine of information but could be quite valuable to any corporations that pay attention to your content for ideas regarding new product features. Also surprised that the show you did on the dead man switch hasn't set off a series of wrongful death lawsuits regarding vehicles that run over people because of the lack of such devices.

1 day ago

Here in Quebec we have solid state (TRIAC) thermostats which are even cooler :) Electricity is relatively cheap, so for most homes we heat with electric baseboards. So thermostats in each room work with 240V AC current, being in serial connection with its baseboard. If more than one baseboard is linked to a thermostat- which is common but is subject to a max load rating- the boards are then linked in parallel together.

The solid state circuit differs from a typical relay in the sense where 1. each change of state is silent (no clicking like a relay does) 2. There is no limit of duty cycles like a relay does, hence 3. The resulting temperature is very accurate and constant because once the desired temperature is near, the pulsing can happen very often and / or for very short duration - like 5 seconds if need be.

1 day ago


1 day ago

2:16 -- I like the old Honeywell thermostat better.
I just want to set the heat at a low 58* , and A/c at 85*f. .
8:39 -- I do not like to replace batteries. This does not have a bi-metallic spring! >:(

1 day ago

1:30 ladies, he's talking about you

1 day ago

No talk about heat anticipators... Tsk tsk tsk tsk

1 day ago

In Malaysian homes, we don't have a central cooling system. Every ACs are separate and we don't have heating because of tropical climate. Although, some ACs do have a heating mode.

1 day ago

hysteresis is a better description of what's going on with a thermostat than pwm

2 days ago

There’s 2 stage furnaces and modulating furnaces. The thermostat controls the staging. 70 percent to 100 percent or start at 40 percent and works it way up to 100 percent. There is this type for air conditioners too

2 days ago

I'm no fun sucker! People are going to just have to catch that joke on their own.

2 days ago

I want to get 2 new cheap thermostats so I’ll never have to bother with switching between cold and hot. Set the hot to 65 and the cold to 75. That way the house is always the right temperature year round and nobody has to touch the thermostat on those days between seasons.

2 days ago

In germany and sweden there are almost only water heated radiators with a physical thermostat. In (south) germany I see people using it as a simple on off valve instead of setting the temperature and letting the thermostat do the job, germans only use maximum and off, always running back and forth to the radiators. I see this behavior in persons homes and at work.

3 days ago

Are you aware that your furnace is damaged?

(I'm making this comment for the sole purpose of boosting engagement.)

3 days ago

I narrowly avoided being a fun sucker.

3 days ago

"It boosts engagement" .... You're such a nerd. I love it all; and I really enjoy your take on various things in the TC1 videos.
I'm not as big a fan of the TC2 videos, but I generally have higher technical understanding of complexities you gloss over and fail to consider -- probably out of sanity's sake -- than most. This is not an impeachment of your content at all.
Your honest excitement and passion shine through, and they really do shine. You seem to want to educate, and you do a very good job of it. Thank you for your work and content, and please continue to produce them.

3 days ago

At the end you're talking about boost mode! Very common in the UK for heating and hot water! Pressing it gives you an hour of constant heat or an additional hour of water heating.

4 days ago

you are adorkable.

4 days ago

Darn you! My thermostat DOES have a PWM output. It’s labeled BK. And without it, my ac system does NOT work as well. Why? Because my thermostat is way smarter than any typical “smart” thermostat. My Trane Thermostat actually controls the blower speed directly via the BK wire. AND cranking the heat up, DOES in fact make to heat faster or cooler. This is based upon load and humidity. I highly recommend you research this. It’s a nexia Trane thermostat xl-825. The BK wire will also be used by zone controllers. To control blower speed based on , yes, again, load.

4 days ago

I won’t be a fun sucker, but I really enjoyed listening to you at 1/4 speed

1 week ago

Does any one know if this is the same system as used in the UK? Oversal A/C units are rare in the UK and we have boilers not furnaces.

1 week ago