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.