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Low temp warning while on winter vacation
Old 12-05-2018, 02:49 PM   #1
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Low temp warning while on winter vacation

We're planning a month long vacation this winter, and I'm looking for ways to warn us if the furnace goes out. Our daughter will be stopping by occasionally so we don't plan to do a full shut down, but we don't want to be worrying about this through the whole trip. Ideas so far:

1. We have close neighbors and know we could count on them to call us so a temperature controlled switch like this: https://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-CW2...erature+Signal This was the only model I could find, and the reviews aren't reassuring.

2. A web camera, with a large dial thermometer in the view so we could see what was happening. Most seem to require a monthly monitoring fee and we would have to make a point of checking in regularly to see that all is OK.

3. A full security system with cameras and sensors. These seem expensive and I'm not sure we could justify the initial & on-going costs.

Any other ideas?
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:56 PM   #2
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we have a honeywell thermostat connected to wifi. can control it from our phones. Mrs Scrapr especially likes it when I turn it up/down while she is in the house & I am out of town

no monitoring fee. if the power goes out the wifi & the heat go off. other than that...
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:57 PM   #3
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Have you considered installing a wi-fi enabled thermostat? Ours has an app that shows the current temperature of the house. All you would need to do is set a reminder to check the app once a day or so.
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:59 PM   #4
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Back when I had a land line, I used a device that would dial me up if it got too cold inside. Similar to this: https://www.amazon.com/Control-Produ...erature+dialer
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:00 PM   #5
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MBAustin: What brand / model do you have? Any specific features you think are important?
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:00 PM   #6
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how about something like this.
If your neighbor is close enough, it could be inside their home and read your house temp

https://www.cabelas.com/product/LARGE-DIGITAL-IN-OUT-WIRELESS-TEMERATURE-STATION/2917067.uts
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:11 PM   #7
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Sunset: That's a really good idea we hadn't thought of. We live in an attached townhome so our next door neighbor is just a couple of feet away!
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:21 PM   #8
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MBAustin: What brand / model do you have? Any specific features you think are important?
This is what we have Lennox iComfort. It was part of the package when we had our a/c-heatpump system replaced a few years ago. We have had no problems with it other than a stretch of a few days when it couldn't connect to wifi which eventually cleared up without us doing anything.

That said, I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a Lennox system that nothing else will work with. There are lots of wi-fi thermostats out there that are much cheaper. Here's what Consumer Reports recommends: https://www.consumerreports.org/prod...commendations/

The only function we really use is being able to change the temperature on the app (like if we forget to set it before we go on a trip, or to reset it to normal when we're on the way home).
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:25 PM   #9
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OP - Be sure to turn off your water.

We do this now on all trips after coming home and finding in the Summer, a toilet valve broke, spraying water all over.
We turn ours off inside the house where it come into the basement. Then I open a sink tap for a few seconds to take the pressure off the system (probably not needed).
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:25 PM   #10
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I have an Amcrest IP camera aimed at a thermometer indoors. No monitoring fee.
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:41 PM   #11
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Scrapr: Is the RTH 9585 the model you have?

https://www.honeywellstore.com/store...9585wf1004.htm

This looks like a slick solution. Have you had any problems with the Android app?
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:41 PM   #12
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OP,

Check with your utility companies. This thread prompted me to check, and between the gas company ($25) and electric company ($50) I can get this thermostat practically for free (OK, $4 plus tax) https://www.amazon.com/Emerson-Therm...sic+thermostat
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:37 PM   #13
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Thanks all for the comments. I figured that others have had simiilar situations and have some ideas.

I just ordered the Honeywell RTH9585 from Amazon for $148.97 less a $50 rebate from Centerpoint (Thanks for the tip CardsFan!) It has

I'll post a followup when we get it installed.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Scrapr: Is the RTH 9585 the model you have?

https://www.honeywellstore.com/store...9585wf1004.htm

This looks like a slick solution. Have you had any problems with the Android app?
We have a bit older unit. No issues really. We changed out our wireless router & had to reconnect. That was a chore. Only because no one knows the log in.

Then we had an electronic air filter and somehow the thermostat got unconnected. The HVAC company came out & fixed it. We have had it for close to 10 years. This was our vacation home in a cold winter weather town. So it helped to check in. We could warm up the house (if we remembered) on the way over.

Our shows the outside temp. But I think that is from the local weather station, not right outside our home
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:41 PM   #15
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OP - Be sure to turn off your water.

We do this now on all trips after coming home and finding in the Summer, a toilet valve broke, spraying water all over.
We turn ours off inside the house where it come into the basement. Then I open a sink tap for a few seconds to take the pressure off the system (probably not needed).
I was going to suggest that, myself. We are snowbirding for the first time, this year, and I am not only turning the main valve off, I'm having the water drained. I live on a lake, where 50-80 percent of the properties have this done, so it's not as crazy an idea as it sounds. One less thing to worry about.

Next year I'll have a Generac whole house natural gas powered on demand generator. I would have had it done this year but I procrastinated to the point that the company doing it couldn't get it done before the weather got too cold for them to want to work on it. (Blow That Dough!!)
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:12 PM   #16
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I started out with a LaCrosse temperature monitoring system. That worked well. Later I added some Blink security cameras and each camera measures temperature. Finally, we installed Sensi wifi thermostats.

The thing that I liked about Lacrosse was that you could program it to send an alert if the temperature declined below a certain point.

We turn the water off at the main as a safety precaution, not only from freezing but also from broken connections.

We recently had a heat outgage due to a power outage from a snowstorm and I knew right away... no need to panic as it takes a number of days for the house to cool down from 55F depending on the outside temperature. We have a neighbor friend who can monitor the temp if we had an extended outage and build a fire in the woodstove if necessary
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:25 PM   #17
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I started out with a LaCrosse temperature monitoring system. That worked well. Later I added some Blink security cameras and each camera measures temperature. Finally, we installed Sensi wifi thermostats.

The thing that I liked about Lacrosse was that you could program it to send an alert if the temperature declined below a certain point.

I also use the LaCrosse temp. monitoring system. The price was reasonable, and it has worked pretty well for us over the last several years. Their customer service needs some improvement, but overall the unit has been reliable. And as pb4uski says, for a few extra bucks, they will send you an alert (text or email or both) when the temp. or humidity in your house goes outside of a range that you have pre-set. It gives me peace of mind that all is okay with the house while we are gone for a while. I also have a neighbor check on the house occasionally, so that any other issues can be discovered and dealt with if necessary.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:06 AM   #18
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I have three of these Honeywell WiFi thermostats:


I paid about $100, but I notice they're down to $70 now.

They are great, we find we use them SO much more than we ever thought we would.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:14 AM   #19
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Have you considered installing a wi-fi enabled thermostat? Ours has an app that shows the current temperature of the house. All you would need to do is set a reminder to check the app once a day or so.
+1

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MBAustin: What brand / model do you have? Any specific features you think are important?
I use Nest thermostat,with the iPhone app. We also have some Nest cameras.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:17 AM   #20
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I use a Nest thermostat.
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