I want to install a timer on a split air conditioning unit to accommodate my energy plan hours. Too many people change the thermostat.
Could another thermostat be used at the pump, controlling one of the 24 volt lines just as a timer?
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Yes, it is just that easy.
You will need a timer with a 'dry contact' or relay output.
If you take power from the pump, remember it is (likely) 240 volts.
Removing power from the pump will not remove power from the emergency heat strips, or from the fan.
Removing power from the pump may, or may not, turn off the reserving valve (Heat mode / Cooling mode) in the pump.
You can also buy a digital thermostat with a pass code, no one but you can change settings