I am about ready to rip this allegedly-programmable thermostat off the wall. No amount of dubious “energy savings” is worth this grief.
No way I could fit an explanation into 140 further characters, given the number of expletives I wanted to use at the time, so you get a marginally-calmer followup here.
This is, incidentally, not the thermostat I use at home, which is a simple, proper, fairly indestructible Honeywell eyeball. Somehow, a couple of years ago, the one in my office managed to frag itself — or the HVAC guy managed to convince the powers that be that it managed to frag itself — and it was replaced with a fiendishly-complicated device about which I said this:
Note to self: Do not buy a programmable thermostat that has the programs already set up and running in firmware. (And if they’re all like that, simplify this to “Don’t buy one.”)
When the office A/C failed yesterday — I run the server farm, which has its own dedicated unit — it was suggested that maybe the long stretches of continuous operation might be wearing it out, and maybe we should think about getting that industrial-strength thermostat to do what they paid that absurd amount of money to have it do. (I’ve been running it in bypass mode all this time.)
So I pulled out the instructions one more time. The path of least resistance would of course be using the factory defaults, but the factory defaults are inconsistent with the office mission. (Eighty-five degrees at high noon? You’re buying me a six-figure tower, Buster.) Unfortunately, you can’t just change the ones you don’t like: you have to change all twelve. (You must have twelve cycles per week. It’s required. By whom, I have no idea, but I suspect Al Gore.) And no, you can’t just key in a time and a temperature: that would be too easy.
After a period of fumbling, I laid down as much law as I dared, which was enough to include “I want this effing thing off the wall. I want something that will turn it up to 76 late at night and back it down to 70 right before I arrive in the morning. Is that too much to ask?”
I have been assured that no, it isn’t too much, and anyway, the current HVAC guy will be out again next week to see if he can figure out who’s drinking all the refrigerant.