said by PhoenixDown:
I have a 2 family house heated by a boiler type of furnace. The 1st and 2nd floors have steam heated radiators. The basement is heated with baseboard heating on a separate zone. I have one thermostat, an older Honeywell unit with wands and manual set blue/red pins to determine when the heating should come on.
2 - ...I am trying to figure out if there are any savings from turning the system on / off at various points of the day or if it is more cost-effective to just ensure the temperature in the house never drops below a certain point.
4 - What main brand models is the Nest competing with?
I'm confused. I am guessing you have 2 or 3 thermostats, but I don't know if your tenant lives in the basement or on the 1st or 2nd floor.
Yes, the Nest is a thing of beauty and by all accounts it works pretty well as long as you understand what it can do.
#2 can be a point of considerable debate bringing in terms such as thermal mass and air changes per hour. In short, it has to do with the rate of drop of the temperature and the length of time you are keeping the temp elevated vs. reduced.
#4 The Radio Thermostat aka Filtrete is out there but doesn't have the finesse of the Nest. I have one. While it works well enough, it's got some, shall we say, endearing features so I cannot recommend it.
The Honeywell TH8320WF1029 I think has AIR, a proprietary recovery algorithm. It also has a heat anticipator algorithm if I recall correctly. It doesn't have the fancier features of the Nest, but online it's priced closer to the Filtrete while offering superior engineering.
There are plenty of others out there such as Ecobee but everything I've seen is farther upmarket ($$$$) from the Nest and many are sold only through traditional suppliers.
If you have a zoned system, do you have a zone controller that activates valves and turns on the boiler and pump(s)? I am not sure if Nest can handle tracking concurrent calls for heat among multiple zones, meaning that if you just added the runtime on two Nests connected to the same boiler, you likely wouldn't have an accurate figure.
The chief advantage of the Filtrete is its open interface, which was attractive to me. However they still have work to do in firmware and features.--
Find your USNG coordinates: