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Can we use a set back thermostat???

We are currently heating our house with a gas boiler to supply hot water. The system uses a continuous running pump with two zones that are continuously supplied. We only have one thermostat which is a single temp thermostat. The house is reasonably well insulated, newer windows, and well caulked.

The question is.... does it make any sense to put a setback thermostat into this system? What are the other questions that I should be asking? Does this even make sense.

Thanks for input.

De Pere, WI

Re: Can we use a set back thermostat???


I understand most of your post, but then you say continuous running pump; 2 zones; 1 pump; 1 t-stat; can you do a setback???

Where is the t-stat located now???

Do you have problems with freezing pipes in the heating system during January ; do you have an outdoor reset on your boiler; you say 2 zones but only one t-stat.

Is this an upstairs/downstairs (bedtooms upstairs), and you want a t-stat at both locations?

Did you want to put in a new t-stat that can automatically set back the temp overnight??

Did you want to put in separate t-stats (upstairs & downstairs) where you could setback one or the other???

Re: Can we use a set back thermostat???

The house is 60 year old ranch. We have NO problems with pipes freezing. The gas fueled boiler is 20+ yrs old. The t-stat is located in the middle of the living rm (middle of house), away from exterior walls and away from windows/draft/sunlight effects. I should correct my statement, we have 2 loops, not zones and the circulating pump runs continuously. The t-stat is 2-3 yrs old and only a single temp.

Hope this helps.

The bottom line question is whether there are savings from using a setback t-stat on a gas fueled hot water heat house in NE Wisconsin.

Wish I was there right now, but am currently in HI enjoying the 80+ temp instead of the 0 that it is right now.



Re: Can we use a set back thermostat???

I posted a response to this that somehow got lost in internet land.

Basically, I would recommend you consult with more heating service personnel in your area---most techs do not recommend continual circulation since it tends to dissapate the heat & the entire heating system becomes a giant radiator.

Continual circulation of boiler water is often done in areas like the Green Bay area to prevent the boiler water from freezing in sub-zero weather---moving water rarely freezes.

I'm sure other heating contractors in your area have different ways of handling this situation---I don't think you should consider t-stat setback until you get at least one other opinion on whether you should continue constant circulation, or try something else.

Re: Can we use a set back thermostat???

Anti freeze rarely freezes either!

jim hankinson
Re: Can we use a set back thermostat???

We lived in a house some time ago that had a separate boiler and water heater. The heat was all in one zone so I reconfigured the operating aquastat for constant circulation as long as the boiler temp was over 110º. The thermostat controlled only the burner. It made the house very comfortable and really lowered my fuel bill. Kind of a poor man's ODR.

Re: Can we use a set back thermostat???

The simply answer is yes. You will save a substantial amount of money over time as the coldest temps are at nightime. With a hot water system you can actually set your temps back about one hour before you go to bed as the boiler pump will continue to circulate previously warmed water. You house temp will decline very gradually over the next several hours. You will need to get the boiler back on track about one hour before you get up to get the house to a comfortable temp. Even with a setback your pump will never or rarely shut off even if you set your house temp to 55 degrees as the therm. will still call for heat. I use a setback therm. in our 20 unit 1913 apartment building. I hate to think what the gas bill would be like without it.

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