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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I keep getting this question from landlords, and I don't have a good answer. You can put boxes over a thermostat, or have the manual stops, or any of the factory limited thermostats, but all of these can be fooled by taping a bag of ice over the thermostat. A number of years ago, I came across something like a micro capsule thermostat that you wired in series with the heat signal wire and buried it in the wall a little ways away from the existing thermostat.

Does anyone have a source for something like this, or any better idea?
 

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diplomat
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My heating guy used them before the thermostats were finaled in. I think he just got them at his supply house.

Other suggestions are: Build efficient rentals, make tenants pay for heat where legal.

The best real solution would be a limited range stat with a remote sensor in a hidden place. Like those designed for radiant heat.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My heating guy used them before the thermostats were finaled in. I think he just got them at his supply house.

Other suggestions are: Build efficient rentals, make tenants pay for heat where legal.

The best real solution would be a limited range stat with a remote sensor in a hidden place. Like those designed for radiant heat.

Thanks, the heating guys here I've checked with didn't know about them, but I didn't think of checking with supply houses:jester:
 

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If for whatever reason, they aren't happy with the temperature, and you lock out the stat, I would bet that they would end up getting some space heaters. Just thinking the root of the problem is that they want more heat. If so, maybe figure out how much heat the tennants want, and bill accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If so, maybe figure out how much heat the tennants want, and bill accordingly.
Usually the ones that use a lot of heat are the brokest ones:laughing:

Ignoring the added headaches of billing, tenants spiking the heat can mask other problems. When you track down high heating oil use, it can be a thermostat issue, chafed thermostat wires, high hot water use (heated off the boiler), a boiler issue, etc, etc. If nothing else, it's nice to know there is a real problem to find vs a tenant to find out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Other suggestions are: Build efficient rentals, make tenants pay for heat where legal.

The best real solution would be a limited range stat with a remote sensor in a hidden place. Like those designed for radiant heat.
This one has a pretty decent insulation job, for what it is. The air sealing isn't so good, though. Tenants can be made to pay for heat here, but that has it's own problems. Probably having a cap in how much is included makes more sense, and the tenant pays for the overage.
 

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This one has a pretty decent insulation job, for what it is. The air sealing isn't so good, though. Tenants can be made to pay for heat here, but that has it's own problems. Probably having a cap in how much is included makes more sense, and the tenant pays for the overage.
Curious what problems are caused by them paying their heat bill?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Curious what problems are caused by them paying their heat bill?
There are a lot of dumb people out there, meaning people have trouble managing their money to pay all their bills. The problem is when they run up a big bill, and don't have the money to pay. Then they decide that your numbers are wrong, and they won't pay it. So you get into an eviction process during heating season and you can forget about getting anything, or they may decide to crank it up and really use a bunch. That's in multifamily with metered heat. In single family, or multifamily with individual heaters where they pay the supplier for the fuel, they may just run out of money and have no heat, freezing the pipes.

By including heat in the price of a rental, it's basically a forced savings program, but motivation to conserve energy becomes a matter of character - the pocketbook is more reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just thinking the root of the problem is that they want more heat.
Sometimes it's more heat, but probably as often it's someone who decides they need fresh air in the middle of winter, or (and this seems very common) they want some room cooler, so they open a window in that room, instead of rebalancing or asking for the system to be rebalanced.

I even saw one where the guy liked things cool, and his GF liked things hot, so he'd sit in the LR with the door wide open and his GF would be in the bedroom. He didn't last long., but at least he told the owner that (as he sat in the LR with the door wide open).

You never can tell about people.
 

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diplomat
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This can be a real issue for landlords. I come from oil heating country but on the opposite side of the nation. Anything larger than a duplex must have heat included in rent. It's usually just made clear up front that if the fuel oil use gets high, the rent will go up.

Then again, where there are 14,000 heating degree days, a 5 degree thermostat change makes much less of an impact compared to coastal Maine where there's half that.
 
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Hide the real thermostat in the cold air return... leave the wall mounted one for the renter to noddle with... it is what janitors/owners do in large offices so the herd thinks they are in charge of their destiny...
 
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Yes , put the heat and the cool tstats in the return air duct / plenum . Wire them in series with the 24 VAC heat and cool wires ( that connect the furnace to the tstat .

They will limit how hot the return air gets . Or how cool the return air gets . The tstat can be turned up or down to ones hearts content . But the system will not go beyond the calibrated point of the tstats in the return air duct .

God bless
Wyr
 
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