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I would like to add a second, remote thermostat to my exiting HVAC system so that I can choose which area of the house will control the heating/cooling. I think I can do this by placing a simple on/off switch into the wiring to the remote thermostat. When 'off' the main thermostat will remain unaware of its remote partner and will function as a stand alone device. When 'on' the main thermostat will defer to the signal from the remote thermostat.

The main thermostat is a Honeywell Visionary TH88320U1008 which has connections for a remote thermostat.

Will this work as I intend?

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  • As per norcal johnny's answer, all you'll be able to accomplish is changing where the thermostat reads the ambient temperature unless you have zoning capability, but zoned systems typically have local sensing for each zone anyway. – Hari Ganti Feb 23 '17 at 22:00
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Though it's not quite the answer you're looking for, the Ecobee3 might be worth considering. It has remote sensors, and you can control which sensors are active as part of the schedule.

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I mainly bought this to keep the upstairs (and baby's room, in particular) at a better temperature at night, which works extremely well. It's also helped keep a better balance between the front and back side of the house, which has large south-facing windows -- though I think that's actually more due to the ability to run the fan for a minimum number of minutes per hour.

I have no affiliation with this product or company, I'm just a satisfied customer.

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  • Many thanks,m Greg. This may indeed be the answer. Initial review of the documentation looks very promising. My only concern is that networked devices rarely, if ever, come with security capabilities. I'm an IT pro and have seen way too many intrusions facilitated by hacks into network attached devices, especially but not only through cams. – Bendite Sep 6 '16 at 21:24
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Is it possible that you overlooked an important part... In order for that to even make sense you need to split your ducts. Or else all you are doing is adding a secondary thermostat that controls the same ducts.

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  • Yup. You understand my goal. My problem is not separate zones. I want to choose a seasonal location for the thermostat (long story). So, I think my approach will work as long as the on/off switch is compatible with the HVAC sensor wiring. Thoughts? – Bendite Sep 6 '16 at 21:07
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Update. I installed an Ecobee3 thermostat with 3 remote sensors and it has been a great success. The house is warmer throughout and the features of the thermostat (Follow me, Home/Away, Motion sensor) have all contributed to a much more responsive environment. My only gripe is that Ecobee doesn't provide an external sensor but relies upon local weather stations which don't reflect the immediate micro-climate (I live a mile high, west facing hill). A small hiccup in an otherwise very successful piece of technology.

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