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I would like to install a second thermostat on the lower floor of my home. My thinking is that when we have guest staying on the lower floor I could turn the upper floor thermostat off and the lower on and the heater would respond to the temperature on the lower level. Would this arrangement work?

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  • Sort of. I assume that you have a single HVAC system. The result is that the entire house will see an increase in temperature just as though you had raised the setting of the upper thermostat. That being the case, the only benefit to your plan is handing over control to your guest. Is that the intent?
    – isherwood
    Jan 11, 2019 at 20:31
  • Product specific but some Nest models can make use of Nest remote sensors. Same usage caveats apply, hot air rises, changing where a single source heating system senses it temperature will likely have unexpected results.
    – Tyson
    Jan 11, 2019 at 22:32

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The other issue will be that if the temperature sensor is in the basement, the upper part of the house may get too warm by the time the furnace displaces all of the cold ait in the basement. Remember, warm air RISES, so if your return air resister is not in the basement, it will be a long time before there is enough air exchange to make a difference down there.

What I would do (have done) is to add a baseboard heater as a supplemental system, with its own thermostat in the basement, along with a way to keep the basement air from rising out of the basement (i.e. stairwell door).

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This would work if wired in parallel. When either stat calls for heat it would activate the furnace. The only problem I could see if you used smart thermostats that combined may draw more than the control transformer can supply but if simple non powered thermostats I don't see any problems.

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I assume you have forced air heating & cooling.

If not this is very simple with baseboard 220v heat. Add a heater or more on a different 220v circuit, connected to a thermostat.

Forced Air, isn't hard, but probably expensive. You will have to isolate the runs to that particular area. Add a flow switching device, that also activates the end device, with its own Thermostat.

Hot water... if you have PEX and open ports on your manifold. Adding a new controller and zone is cake. If it is an iron pipe...just NO.

IMHO

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