Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Boomer Enters Thermostat Battle

Hubby just left yesterday on his annual trip to the Boundary Waters.  If you have been a long time follower of my blog, you know that these trips are generally preceded by careful lawn watering instructions.  This year, since he left with predictions of cold weather on the way, I also got instructions on how to operate the thermostats to generate heat.  

You are probably wondering how a highly educated boomer such as myself needs such remedial lessons. Well, it is not that I am slow.  It is because Hubby has set up a system of heating/cooling controls that make no sense to the normal  homo sapien.  By the way, did you know that was Latin for "wise man or knowing man"?  Just an interesting tidbit I picked up from a google wander.  Wonder what Latin for "wise  or knowing woman would be?  I digress....

We have five different thermostats in our house.  Two are even in the same room.  All of them work.  All of them do something.  It is always confusing to me, however,  what something each of them do.  I grew up in a house with one thermostat.  When I was young we didn't have air conditioning so that thermostat was all about turning on the furnace.  It seems to me that you should need only one thermostat.  Turn it to the temperature you want and magic takes care of the rest.  Apparently not.

Here is what I have learned.

One thermostat should be voted off the wall.
Three thermostats are on the ground level.  They are all heat providers.  Two  are in the back room and operate a) in-floor heat and b) baseboard heaters.  Despite the presence of these two powerful devices, the room is still cold whenever it reaches below zero.

How to overcome a hold?
The third is in the dining room.  It makes heat appear on the rest of the first floor and 2nd floor.  It is one of those programmable thingies that is never programmed to a heat level I consider comfortable.  Hence I just keep hitting the "warmer" button hoping that it over-rules the programmed settings.
Apparently we like it warmer upstairs.

The third level also has a thermostat because....well, I don't know why.  It just does.   I generally leave it alone, because at my age I am seldom  cold at night.

The critical AC OFF button.
Finally, there's the all-powerful 2nd floor thermostat.  It is the one and only thermostat to operate the air-conditioning.  I learned this when I tried in vain to cool the house down using one of the other four thermostats.  Here's the key lesson I was given.   If I want to turn on the heat, I must first turn off the air conditioning.  Otherwise we will have the battle of the thermostats.

A house with "hot flashes".  Seems appropriate.


  1. Breaking news. I just found another thermostat in the third floor bathroom.