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Old March 6th, 2015, 02:47 AM
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Another house question: 5 zone thermostat for AC?

My house has nearly new (6 years or so) 5 zone AC, but it has five separate old style crap thermostats in which the wire runs through conduit on the wall. I am looking for something that I can control all five zones from one panel (which would also control the one or two zone hot water heat yes I am not sure how many zones I have for heat) and have wireless remote sensors for all the AC zones.

Nest won't work but maybe I could get multiple ones. I don't know. Any ideas?
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Old March 6th, 2015, 03:16 AM
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Another house question: 5 zone thermostat for AC?

Have you considered zwave thermostats? They are wireless, and can be controlled and programmed separately with a zwave gateway. Once you have a gateway installed, you can also access them remotely from your smartphone from anywhere in the world.

I tend to favor the Vera gateway, which uses a GUI making it easy to control and program the thermostats. You can also eventually, if you wanted, add lighting control, door locks, garage opener, etc. all with zwave devices.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 03:25 AM
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Pretend I am the Luddite I actually am. I don't understand what that is. Is there a preferred brand of this stuff?

Edit: Vera is $600 for the base unit alone. I don't need any automation or anything. I just need a basic remote thermostat that can cover five zones.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 03:43 AM
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Another house question: 5 zone thermostat for AC?

Yes, you can absolutely control it with your iphone, or tablet, but you will need the gateway I mentioned.

So zwave is simply a wireless protocol, and every zwave device in addition to serving its own function (such as being a thermostat, or controlling a light, etc) acts as a repeater in the system to relay the commands you issue, or preprogrammed instructions, such as turning a light on or off at a certain time, or changing the settings on the thermostat at a predetermined time.

The best way to describe a gateway, is to call it a zwave controller. It's wireless, connects to your network using wifi or directly to your router, and issues command to your devices wirelessly using the zwave protocol. You set it up and add zwave devices to it, control the devices directly through a web interface or using your smartphone, but more importantly, and that's where it's power lies, in that you can program the devices to execute preprogrammed commands or scenes, based on many triggers. Triggers can be time based or event based.

If you add a zwave occupancy sensor for example, you can have a light or group of lights behave a certain way when someone walks into a room, or you can have the thermostats turn on or off, change temp settings, etc. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Like I said in my other post, I favor a gateway called Vera, and have used one for a couple of years now. Check it out at: www.getvera.com
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Old March 6th, 2015, 03:54 AM
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Thanks. That seems really complicated. Is there something simpler?
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Old March 6th, 2015, 04:03 AM
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It really isn't. You can make it as simple or as complex as you want. You can simply use it for the thermostats, program them once and then forget about it. I'm not trying to convince you, but simply letting you know that you can do so much more if you wanted to.

As to your question, yes, there are many other simpler solutions out there that will allow you to control your thermostats with your phone directly, without requiring a gateway. I believe they are wifi based, and Honeywell is one company that comes to mind. I'm not very familiar with their operation, so I'm not sure how many thermostats you can control at a time, and whether you can program them in addition to being able to directly control them with an iphone app.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 04:32 AM
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Thanks. I am looking for really simple.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
Thanks. I am looking for really simple.
Then it doesn't get simpler than the Nest thermostat. You will need to install one for each zone, but once you do they can all be controlled from an app, no matter where you are in the world.

I have Nest in my home and have been very pleased with the ease of use and performance.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 06:57 AM
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x2 with nest.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 07:10 AM
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I am not a nest fan at all. I have several friends who love them, but after weeks of fighting with one, I returned it and went with a basic Honeywell Wi-Fi for 100 of the shelf at Lowe's and LOVE it.

http://m.lowes.com/pd/Honeywell-7-Da...n-WiFi/3850713

I have 2 of them at the at the house 1 at the cottage and 4 at the shop and all of them are tied into the app under the building they reside in.

Simple install and easy to use. These don't have all the features of the nest, but I don't use those anyway.

My $0.02
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Old March 6th, 2015, 07:34 AM
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Easy would be 5 nests.

One in each zone. Sounds complicated but really isn't. They wire in so simply it's ridiculous. They can be controlled by an app on your phone or multiple phones. They don't need a hub or gateway and they learn your preferences and tweak their settings to save running costs.
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  #12  
Old March 6th, 2015, 11:19 AM
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I have Nest's installed in both my places in Chicago and Houston. The only thing that can get complicated is how much power the units draw vs your existing wiring. One install was easy breezy, the other required that I use one of the unused wires, and wire at both ends (the furnace circuit board) to deliver more amps to the Nest. The Nest phone support is awesome and walked be through the whole thing, and you don't even need a volt meter as one is built into the Nest thermostat. 2 thumbs up for Nest!
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Old March 6th, 2015, 11:59 AM
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It does, but it still needs a minimum amounts of voltage to run and charge the internal battery. The support line informed me that most newer ac / furnace unit have more than enough juice to run fine. But some require the black wire (usually found in the bundle but unused) also be added. I'd assumed the same, but there's an easy solution that only took a few minutes to fix (once I diagnosed the problem).
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