If I wire 2 thermostats in series will it 1 operate the furnace if the other is switched off i.e., I'll only use one thermostat at a time?

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Simple general answer: The HVAC will only come on when both thermostats are on. If you wire in parallel, HVAC will come on whenever either is on. That’s assuming simple old school tstats and many smart ones.
Please edit to include a complete wiring diagram.

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