How many are using a programmable thermostat?

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dmac80

New Member
Oct 27, 2014
37
New England
Just curious how many out there are using a programmable thermostat and having success with it running the program? I have one and love it.

I inherited the stove from previous homeowner and it had a manual stat attached just sitting on the mantle above. I used that and it worked just fine. Once we replaced everything in the house with programmable of course I had to try one on the stove.

About 2 years ago my findings were that there is a very important setting called 'SWING' that the thermostat must have. This setting means that the temperature set point is not a hard stop/start. For example if I set the thermostat to 70 degrees with swing set at 0 (or if there is no swing option), it will click on at 69.5 or lower calling for heat, and click off at 70.5. This is no good because as we all know the stoves take 10-20 minutes to shut down and equally as long to get up to temp and start heating the room. In the dead of winter with a cold room it takes nothing for the stove to heat the room to 70.5, the thermostat to stop calling for heat, the stove to begin its 20 minute shutdown process and within 5-10 minutes the room to drop to 69.5 and call for heat again, thus interrupting the shutdown process. You end up with a stove that never shuts down or starts and stops too frequently.

Enter the swing setting, I have mine set at 1.5 degrees. If I set thermostat to 70, it won't stop calling for heat until it hits 71.5. Likewise it won't call for heat again until room is 68.5. That cushion gives the stove plenty of time to rest.

When the stove is operating properly (no nuisance shutdowns, etc) it works very well. Comes on during night (at a lower temp than day) as needed, heats up the area in the morning before we wake up etc.

Important, I started with a honeywell thermostat and found they don't use "SWING" settings anymore, they had something else that simply did not work. I returned it for a Filtrete that specifically mentioned the setting and never looked back.

Seems most shops discourage the use of programmables, anyone else have experience good or bad with em?
 

kofkorn

Feeling the Heat
Dec 3, 2008
371
Central MA
I've run one for about 6 years now. My stove doesn't have an on/off mode, just Hi/Lo. I love the fact that I can keep the house comfortable with very little effort on my part. No worrying about what setting is right, just let it go on its own.

Honestly, if you're losing the full 1 degree in your house in the amount of time it takes to shut the stove down, I would change to Hi/Lo mode. I wouldn't be going on/off unless I have at least 3 hours off time before restarting. It would put too many cycles on the ignitor.
 

dmac80

New Member
Oct 27, 2014
37
New England
I generally run the fan/heat mode on 'high'. This tends to heat the room quicker and get to set point quicker. I suppose I should probably run the stove on 'medium' which means it will take much longer to hit set point and thus reduce shutdowns/startups. 'Low' is only useful for me when it's already lukewarm in the room and I just want the stove to run, it is not powerful enough to keep up in the middle of winter.
 

kofkorn

Feeling the Heat
Dec 3, 2008
371
Central MA
I'm not familiar with your stove, but for mine, the thermostat switches between my "User" fuel setting and Low fuel setting. So I leave my user setting at 9 and when the thermostat calls for heat, the stove automatically bumps up to that level. When the temp in the house is higher than the stat setting, the stove goes back into heat setting 1 automatically as well, waiting for the next heat call from the stat.

It's my understanding that you should be able to switch your stove out of "On/Off" mode and into "Hi/Lo" mode instead. Then you can leave your setting at High and it will only run there as long as your stat is calling for heat. Then it goes back into Low, and waits for the temperature to drop.

Most people use this mode once the outside temp drops enough. Having it run On and Off all winter would be killer on your stove in the long run.
 

richkorn

Minister of Fire
Jul 28, 2008
640
SE CT
Not all stoves have hi-low mode. Although a great performing (and great looking) PS, The Leyden does not. On/Off only. Wonder why it doesn't? Been running on 3301P stat since 2009. Works great - original igniter;)
 
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stmar

Member
Sep 12, 2014
210
Wyo
I tried a programmable but did not have good luck, it did not have an appropriate "dead band" or swing as op said. Definitely need that or it cycles way too much. I went back to the el cheapo Honeywell. Starting to snow, second wave of the storm coming in, stove will continue getting a workout.
P.S. I do have a programmable on my central heat/AC system and it works great, but I had to find the correct settings for it to function properly also.
 

TimfromMA

Minister of Fire
Mar 6, 2014
2,306
Central MA
Mine's programmable and wireless.
 

Arti

Feeling the Heat
Feb 14, 2014
386
South West Wisconsin
Took the Honeywell Digital off of the pellet stove, Put an old Round Honeywell in I couldn't be happier it heats to the setting on the t'stat and goes to low fire.
No messing with transformers, relays, and I'll never have to change the batteries. If I'm going to be gone for the day I turn it back 5 degrees.

I have a heatpump and an lp furnace on a multistage Honeywell setback t'stat but we just set the temp we want and press the hold button so it stays at one temp for the season. We have considered finding an old mechanical 2 stage thermostat to replace the digital one I'm not really a fan of the cph concept.
 
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HVAC_Marc

New Member
Nov 14, 2014
44
Springville, NY
I use a Lennox ComfortSense 7000 and have my pellets as stage 1. Set temp is 72 degrees, 1.5 degree swing, 6 degree deadband to second stage. Second stage is the LP furnace.

To use a single thermostat with the pellet stove you would need an isolation relay to operate the pellet stove.

R to R on thermostat
W1 to relay coil lead 1
Relay coil lead 2 to common
N.O. leads on relay to pellet control
W2 to stage 2 unit (furnace, boiler, heat strips, etc)
 

Papelletman

Member
Mar 17, 2014
243
Montgomery County, PA.
I have the ux1500 on my pellet stove with the swing set at 2 degrees, would really be interested to know what other peeps set their swing margin at...
 

Redbarn

Burning Hunk
Jul 30, 2012
242
SE PA
I have a web accessible thermostatt on my M55. I run the stove on Hi/Lo.
When leaving for work, I set the thermostatt down via my iPhone.
About 30 ins before leaving work for home, set it back up and get home to a warm house.
I work variable hours so this works better than a programmable thermostatt.
 

Papelletman

Member
Mar 17, 2014
243
Montgomery County, PA.
I have a web accessible thermostatt on my M55. I run the stove on Hi/Lo.
When leaving for work, I set the thermostatt down via my iPhone.
About 30 ins before leaving work for home, set it back up and get home to a warm house.
I work variable hours so this works better than a programmable thermostatt.

Did you have to use a external 24v power supply for the wifif thermostat?
 

Redbarn

Burning Hunk
Jul 30, 2012
242
SE PA
I have both the stove and the thermostatt on the same UPS. In the event of a power outage, the UPS will run the stove (provided its running) for nearly 8 hours. The thermostatt is on a transformer as its power supply.
Its rare for us to get a full power outage of 6 hours or more. We do tend to get 1 hour outages and our system can handle those ok.
I also have the internet router on another, older smaller UPS so I can still get access during an outage.
I tested all this by turning the house power off for a few hours one weekend and made sure the M55 system worked.
 

lagger

Feeling the Heat
Apr 2, 2014
329
Bloomingburg NY
My Lopi AGP insert has a shut down routine that has. 3 options, I use the default that has the shut down staged in incremental steps for about 15 minutes each going into a lower heat level for each unless thermostat calls for heat during the shut down routine. Tstat set for 2 degree. Swing for cold weather and1.5 shoulder season. Tstat in Sig.
 

Ctwilly49

New Member
Jan 28, 2014
18
Also have Lopi AGP freestanding model. We live in NW Ct. and although Stove has T-Stat Mode I set it manually. Last Winter I ran it almost entirely on Med. Setting which kept our old House warm and comfy even with Heat that would go to second Floor. On the few occasions we had single digit temps I would run more towards High setting and was surprised at how well the Stove performed! When we installed Stove we put it a Room that would supply Heat to most used Rooms ( Old House with so many large Cast Iron Radiators and Windows gave us only 2 choices as to placement ) Sorry, getting wordy. Never tried T-Stat as Med setting works fine for our needs. Love Lopi, burns everything we've fed it, no PROBLEMO !
 

shtrdave

Feeling the Heat
Feb 13, 2012
267
SW PA
I use one of the skytech 3301 and set the programming but have not used it I just put the handheld part where I want the temp taken, and I adjust it up and down like a normal wired stat.
 

lagger

Feeling the Heat
Apr 2, 2014
329
Bloomingburg NY
Also have Lopi AGP freestanding model. We live in NW Ct. and although Stove has T-Stat Mode I set it manually. Last Winter I ran it almost entirely on Med. Setting which kept our old House warm and comfy even with Heat that would go to second Floor. On the few occasions we had single digit temps I would run more towards High setting and was surprised at how well the Stove performed! When we installed Stove we put it a Room that would supply Heat to most used Rooms ( Old House with so many large Cast Iron Radiators and Windows gave us only 2 choices as to placement ) Sorry, getting wordy. Never tried T-Stat as Med setting works fine for our needs. Love Lopi, burns everything we've fed it, no PROBLEMO !
The nice thing about a programmable t-Tstat is the ability to set it to start. before I wake and shut down when I leave for work, return etc. Using the tstat also lets me. Regulate the away times set point to ensure a baseline temp during sleep and work hours
 

railfanron

Minister of Fire
Nov 2, 2013
563
Perry MI
I've been running a Hunter 7 day programmable that I got at Menard on sale for 10 bucks. It has 4 programs day and it works great. When it gets really cold I run the stove in room temp manual with the thermostat controlling the temp. During the shoulder season I run the stove on automatic. Been that way for two years and it works great.
Ron
 
If your pellet stove is compatible, a programmable thermostat should be the first thing you invest in, after getting pellets of course ;)

I'm going into my 4th year heating the whole house w/ pellets - was heating entirely with woodstove for 8 years prior. My thermostat (signature) has been a godsend - I forgot how 'awesome' it is to 'wake up' to a warm house as well as come home to a warm house (all you wood stove burners take note). No more stoking the wood stove before bed, waking up chilly - stoking the wood stove again, coming home - stoking stove, etc.

I run an Enviro Maxx and ofcourse in the Fall and Spring - run it with the stat on auto on/off (with swing setting of 2). When I notice it cycling on/off on short durations, I flip it to high/low - which it will stay 24/7 until Spring. Heating with pellets, in conjuction with this a stat has saved us thousands over the last few years - I want to say screw the oil guy, but hey - it's just his job, right? Screw the oil industry, Go Pellets!
 

dmac80

New Member
Oct 27, 2014
37
New England
Wow, great to see all the replies.

For those who do not have a HI/LO (I have a quadra-fire, I assume I don't have this?) do you find it acceptable for the stove to shutdown and start back up several times during the day with a swing of say 1-3 degrees?

As stated without swing, the stove constantly shuts down and starts up mid shutdown, I know this is bad and to be avoided at all costs..... But with the swing I'd say it shuts down/starts every hour or two during the day. (with at least 15-20 minute 'rest', sometimes longer before starting back up) My stove has Hi, Med, Lo switch on the side of the stove that controls how much pellets fall at a time and how high the fan blows. I have found that leaving it on med lets the stove take a little longer to reach set point and go past the swing and shut down. If I want the stove to stay constantly running as it gets close to shutdown point I have to manually hit the switch to Lo at which point the room temp will either stay steady or actually drop depending how cold it is outside. This seems to be the only way I can make the stove stay on indefinitely during the day. I assume shutdown and startup every hour or two is acceptable, I have yet to have an issue with the igniter going on 5th season (7 year old stove).

I am going to monitor it on a cold day this upcoming weekend to get exact numbers of startup shutdown times, will post a log here.
 

Papelletman

Member
Mar 17, 2014
243
Montgomery County, PA.
I have been running mine on low with the fan speed on high. The other night when the outside temp dropped to 30 I open the feed gate all the way and left the stove on low with the fan still on high, it kept the house nice and warm.

This is my first full year with the stove but I find leaving it on low and running constant kees the house more evenly warmed.