I need some thermostat programming tips. I moved over the summer and now I have a thermostat after many, many years of living with landlord-controlled heating systems and other curious and quirky forms of heating. Problem: the boiler takes FOREVER to heat up the radiators and then overshoots the target temperature dramatically. Details within.
My initial plan was to set the heat quite low while we're asleep (55F), then have the heat come on 1/2 hour before I wake up to heat to 68F, then set it back to 55F while we're at work, then go back on again a half-hour before we get home from work. But the first morning, 1) the heat took about 1/2 hour before the radiators even felt warm to the touch and 2) the temperature was 71F with the radiators still boiling hot when I left the house, two hours after the "morning" program started! So I reset the thermostat to 62 in the morning, but then it doesn't go on at all, because the apartment has been staying pretty warm at night.
Ideally I would like the radiators to come on for a little while before I wake up (so I have nice warm bath towels, etc.), and a little while right around when I get home from work. The "when I get home from work" thing is not a big problem, because I'm awake and able to adjust the thermostat as necessary. It's the morning thing that's the problem, because I'm really only awake for an hour to an hour and a half before I leave for work, and it takes so long for the boiler to get started that it's hard to do anything manually.
Some points that may be relevant:
- The apartment (first floor of a one-up-one-down two-family house) seems to be very well insulated; once the house is heated up it stays hot (admittedly, it hasn't been all that cold yet - location is Western Massachusetts).
- The boiler is very old, and I believe the radiators are steam radiators (they sound steamy).
- The thermostat is located in the warmest room in the house.
- Basically what I would like is a way to adjust the thermostat so that it understands there's a big lag between when it tells the boiler to shut off and when the heat stops coming out of the radiators.
Replacing the boiler is not an option - landlords seem intent on keeping it until it is no longer reparable. Replacing the thermostat might be possible (Nest seems like overkill for me but maybe something mid-range?).
I have heard that with these older systems it is better to just keep the house at a constant temperature but a lot of this argument seems to be aimed at maintaining the health and longevity of the boiler, which I do not care about at all (I will not be responsible for replacing it, and it is already about 4,000 years old).