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A Tale of Two Thermostats

Our house, as designed, has two central heating/airconditioning zones. One is supposed to be the living area, and the other the bedrooms. We threw a spanner in that design by insisting on using two bedrooms as daytime offices, but we could deal with that, providing the zones worked independently as advertised.

Unfortunately, the thermostat for the bedroom zone is located in the same room as the living area one - the living room. I kid you not. Apparently the builders don't see a problem with this. In practice of course, the two zones are not independent, because the the bedroom thermostat thinks the temperature is whatever the living room thermostat is specifying. We can be sweltering in our offices while it's cool in the living room, and freezing while the living room gets hot. The latter is more likely, because if we're not in the living room during the day, we don't want to waste energy cooling it down. So the bedroom thermostat works hard to cool off, and because it is not any near a bedroom vent, thinks it never succeeds.

For a while we put up with this while trying to convince the builder that it was a fault, or broke the building code, or something. Then we'd talk to the air-conditioning people, and they'd say "Hmm. This can't be right. Let us talk to the builders about it, they should pay to have it moved."

Of course, the only effect this had was to delay the whole process. The builder gets away with doing it because apparently the thermostat *is* within 10 feet of the bedroom zone intake vent (albeit through a door and round a corner!)

I will cut a long story short and say that this month, finally, the airconditioning people came out and moved it for us, into the bedroom hallway. Now it is where it should be: directly under an intake vent for the zone it controls.

Of course, the seasons are changing and with them the range of temperatures our rooms experience, but we can already tell it has made a huge difference to our ability to control the temperature of the rooms. We like to set the max temperature pretty high (80) In order to maintain manageable electric bills and reduce the duty cycle of the air-conditioners. When they fire up it's like a jet engine. And we have enough of those flying overhead as it is.

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