Set back thermostats for baseboard heat.


I just purchased a house with electric baseboard heat and I want to install set back thermostats. I did some research and found a unit that does not use a clock. The unit uses the light level in the room to decide when to move to the higher setting. On the surface this seems like a good idea since you wont be heating a room that is theoretically not in use to the "comfort level." My concern is that the room would all ways be cold before you turn on the lights as opposed to a clock based system that ramps up the heat when you plan to be using the rooms. The clock based units are proven technology but I can see where the light based units could save more money in the long run. (Unless the lights are left on)
Anyone have any experience with these light based units? Are they a better choice than the clock based units? I have also thought about using a combination of the two. Putting the light based units in the upstairs bedrooms and the clock based units in the main rooms downstairs. Does this sound like a viable plan? I think it would provide the comfort we need in the main part of the house (the larger rooms) and help keep costs down in the other rooms.
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I just purchased a house with electric baseboard heat and I want to install set back thermostats. I did some research and found a unit that does not use a clock. The unit uses the light level in the room to decide when to move to the higher setting.
Where do you want the 'stat set when you are sleeping? At night a light controlled stat will set back.
The mix you propose of clock style and light controlled may be a good idea. You will need to consider the use of the room to decide which is best. Greg
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On Sun, 01 May 2005 01:31:50 GMT, "Gordon Parks"

Light based unit seems like a bad idea to me. It's going to keep the room warm all day long while the sun is shining in and you are away at work? Also electric baseboard tends to have a longer recovery time than forced air would. You could end up turning the lights on then waiting an hour for the room to warm up.
Also consider that most wall thermostats are designed to run off low voltage (typically 24v) and most electric baseboard heaters use a line voltage thermostat. I'm sure programable ones exist but wouldn't expect to find them outside the professional arena.
Steve B.
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I've used the Tempra-Sure II and PSG versions.

I'd say so. Less fuss.

No. You can turn off the heat by sliding a shutter over the eye and turn on the heat when it's dark outside with a nearby lamp and timer.

The two above use line-voltage. I prefer the first. The PSG displays tenths of degrees when in use, but it also uses a few watts to move air past the temp sensor.
Nick
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On 1 May 2005 06:48:30 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@ece.villanova.edu wrote:

A lamp and timer and a shutter and thermostat are less fuss than a timer thermostat?

What is wrong with a timer thermostat that can be overridden when necessary unless you're never getting up at the same time each day, or always get up at the crack of dawn?
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Then how is it different from a regular thermostat that I have to remember to turn down/off each day? Seems like it would be more difficult to use with shutters and lamps and wait times for the electric to bring up the temp in the room. If I have to go in the room and turn on a lamp to get the room to warm up I might as well go in the room and turn on the thermostat to get the room to warm up. I'm sure I just don't get it and the thermostat is a wonderful device.

Thats good. I didn't realize line voltage ones would be so readily available.
Steve B.
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Based on what I have been reading it seems like my idea of using them in combination might make sense. There are some rooms in the house (Spare bedroom, Wife's sewing room) that I can really see the light based units working well in. I also think the warm up time makes having a timer based unit a better choice in commonly used rooms.
Thanks for your input.
wrote:

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When we lived in the country, we had baseboard heaters, and I wanted to set up a setback arrangement. Regular setback units were still in their infancy, and precious few for individual, high current heaters like baseboard electrics. Took some considerable tweaking, but I got it working. Used a chassis punch to put a hole near the thermostat, used a 7 1/2 watt light bulb to provide heat to fool the thermostat into cutting off. Probably could have used other things, like a string of parallel resistors, but I wanted to be able to see the glow of the bulb to let me know from the door that it was on. Ended up regretting making the holes in the 'stat housing for the light to shine through, because the kids played with the 'night lights' and changed their position, and thus the amount of heat they delivered to the 'stat. Ended up not trying to be sophisticated about it, put the bulbs inside the housing, let the glow come out the hole I covered from the inside with a piece of glass secured with JBWeld. "Tuned" them for cycle point by having the bulb at the same place on all of them, and a dimmer controlling the voltage a lamp timer delivered to the string. It wasn't perfect, but it saved considerable money by not having them try to maintain 70 degrees while we were gone all day.
I just purchased a house with electric baseboard heat and I want to install set back thermostats. I did some research and found a unit that does not use a clock. The unit uses the light level in the room to decide when to move to the higher setting. On the surface this seems like a good idea since you wont be heating a room that is theoretically not in use to the "comfort level." My concern is that the room would all ways be cold before you turn on the lights as opposed to a clock based system that ramps up the heat when you plan to be using the rooms. The clock based units are proven technology but I can see where the light based units could save more money in the long run. (Unless the lights are left on)
Anyone have any experience with these light based units? Are they a better choice than the clock based units? I have also thought about using a combination of the two. Putting the light based units in the upstairs bedrooms and the clock based units in the main rooms downstairs. Does this sound like a viable plan? I think it would provide the comfort we need in the main part of the house (the larger rooms) and help keep costs down in the other rooms.
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