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Is it better to keep the temp. of your house the same all day long (and night)?


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#1 daisychics

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 04:48 PM

A friend told me it saves her money to keep it at 72 degrees all the time. I, on the other hand constantly change it, if I know we're not going to be home for a long time, I lower it. Then when we get home, I change it. Am I wasting energy?

#2 Janet in Toronto

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 04:51 PM

You are correct. Here's some info...in particular:

A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. This misconception has been dispelled by years of research and numerous studies. The fuel required to reheat a building to a comfortable temperature is roughly equal to the fuel saved as the building drops to the lower temperature. You save fuel between the time that the temperature stabilizes at the lower level and the next time heat is needed. So, the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save.

#3 Ria

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 05:12 PM

CAn I just say that 72 sounds lovely? My house is currently 64 degrees. I think dh forgot to turn it up (to a whopping 68, lol) this morning. Brrrr. I just got home from work and it's chilly in here!

You are right about turning the thermostat down when you aren't home for long periods, or at night. It does save money.

Ria

#4 runninmommy

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 05:58 PM

CAn I just say that 72 sounds lovely? My house is currently 64 degrees. I think dh forgot to turn it up (to a whopping 68, lol) this morning. Brrrr. I just got home from work and it's chilly in here!

You are right about turning the thermostat down when you aren't home for long periods, or at night. It does save money.

Ria


Can I say 64 sounds lovely? Mine was 49 when I got up this morning. The HVAC guy can't find anything wrong. :glare:

#5 phathui5

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 06:08 PM

I'm a miser, so I keep our thermostat set at 60 during the day and 58 at night. We have a wood stove in the living room, so if we want it warmer, we have to get the stove going.

To answer the original question, I definately think that it makes more sense to turn it down if you're not home.

#6 Brindee

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 06:22 PM

I can't imagine having it at 72 all the time! That's too hot for me at night! We keep ours around 66-68 during the day, and 60-61 at night. We don't have a wood stove, so can't go that route... During the winter with the dry heat on inside the house, my skin gets horribly dry, another reason I can't imagind having it that high all the time!

#7 Shenan

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 07:20 PM

Dh is an HVAC guy. He says if you have a heatpump you should 'set it and forget it'. When you turn it up more than two degrees you are turning on the electric heat to bring the house back up to temp. And the electric heat is what is costing you.

#8 MomOfOneFunOne

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 07:22 PM

Well, "They" say that anecdotal evidence is no evidence at all but our experience has shown that adjusting the temp saves money.

We bought a fairly cheap ($20-$30) digital thermostat. I programmed it to do this

10.00 pm -- 55 degrees
5.00 am -- 70 degrees
8.00 am -- 60 degrees.


We generally go to bed around 10 and like it nice and cool for sleeping plus we don't need it to be very warm b/c we're nice and toasty under plenty of covers. My husband gets up b/t 5.15 and 5.30 and so it's nice and warm when he gets up. We all get up after that and it's still warm while we all get our showers, et c. Then by 8.00 it goes back down and and stays there till bed. If we feel chilly we usually just put on sweaters and socks or something. However, we can override any time. If it gets too chilly, I can just bump it up a few degrees. This happens on rainy or overcast days. Somehow it just feels colder and it gets in our bones and won't go away. I just tap it up. I used to have it set to return to 60 every couple of hours but I stopped that. I found that on those rainy/overcast days we wanted it to stay warmer all day and on those sunnier days, we remember to turn it back down later. Most days, though, it just stays as it's set.

Comparing what we spent on electricity/gas b/f and what we spend after my husband sees that we saved enough to pay for the thing almost immediately. He's very satisfied.

#9 Pamela H in Texas

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 07:49 PM

I can't imagine having it at 72 all the time!


I can't either. I couldn't pay the bill! We have ours at 62. Thankfully, it's been warmer outside lately. But when it's cold, we deal. I just could not pay for 72. My new bill is still over $300 <sigh>

#10 Ancora_Imparo

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:07 PM

We bought a house with oil heat last year. DH set the temp to 70, all the time. We went through that first tank rather quickly and the guy that fills it asked what we have the temp set at. When I told him, he said we should turn in down at night. I set it to 70 during the day and 62 at night and our next tank lasted much longer. This winter I have the heat set for 70 when dh is home (he works in an office that is rather warm, so he is cold if it is lower), 66 when he is at work and 62 at night. We have been going through oil even slower than last year, even with a lot of below 0 temps. The oil delivery slips have a rating for how much oil we use (they come and autofill when the think our tank should be at 1/4) and our rating has gotten better with each temp adjustment.

#11 runninmommy

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:33 PM

Dh is an HVAC guy. He says if you have a heatpump you should 'set it and forget it'. When you turn it up more than two degrees you are turning on the electric heat to bring the house back up to temp. And the electric heat is what is costing you.


Really? My HVAC guy said the opposite..that the heat pump uses electricity primarily, then switches over to gas. It is a "piggyback" system. We have been having issues this week and using double the gas we normally do for heat.

Is it possible that different heat pumps work differently or is it pretty standard?

#12 Shenan

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 09:07 PM

Really? My HVAC guy said the opposite..that the heat pump uses electricity primarily, then switches over to gas. It is a "piggyback" system. We have been having issues this week and using double the gas we normally do for heat.

Is it possible that different heat pumps work differently or is it pretty standard?


Our old house had a piggy back system also. We used oil as the piggy back. The heat pump is more efficient above a certain outside temp. (I am not sure what that exact temp is unless I ask dh, who is asleep right now)The oil then became more efficient when the outside temps dropped below that level.

A heat pump is run/generated by electricity as your hvac guy pointed out. What happens is when you turn your thermostat up more than 2 degrees you end up costing yourself more in electricty as most likely your causing your emergency heat to kick on and stay on for a long time while the little heat pump works its rear off trying to catch up to the current requested inside temp. (I am not a master HVAC tech as dh is. :D I would have to confirm the latter statement with him but I am pretty sure I am close to accurate in my last statement. I have picked up a lot on the trade from dh as he has been in this biz for over 15 years now.)

Also if you have a piggyback system the same 'may' apply. When the house is cold and you turn up the thermostat the emergency heat will kick on, which will draw from your oil and/or gas causing you to use more than usual while your heat pump/furnace plays catch-up. (Again I am pretty confident with this statement but would still want to confirm it with dh later)

*Re-reading my post I see where I created confusion...I probably should have typed in emergency electric heat and not just used the term electric.

Edited by Shenan, 05 February 2009 - 09:13 PM.
To add the * part


#13 krisp

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:26 PM

We've gone with 60 all of the time this winter. Last winter, we kept it at 65 and our propane bills ran $400/month for Dec, Jan, Feb. This year, our Dec bill was $200.

I like the idea of turning it up and down, depending on time of day, but I know myself well enough to know that I won't remember to do it, and since I'm the only one freezing at 60, I can cope.

#14 Garga

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:32 PM

... since I'm the only one freezing at 60, I can cope.


Same here. We have it about 65 all day and my ds's tell me they're sweaty and ask if they can take their shirts off. I wear three layers of clothing, plus a (jaunty) hat in my attempts to be warm, and they run around without shirts on.

Boys!

#15 krisp

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:35 PM

Same here. We have it about 65 all day and my ds's tell me they're sweaty and ask if they can take their shirts off. I wear three layers of clothing, plus a (jaunty) hat in my attempts to be warm, and they run around without shirts on.

Boys!


Yep, I have to remind my son that he needs to wear something besides just underwear. His response: "Why? I'm not cold." :glare:

#16 datmama4

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:47 PM

Don't hate me, but we have a gas well and don't have to pay for fuel. It is an incredible blessing, and one which we do NOT take for granted!

However, in previous houses we've owned, we turned the heat lowest at night when we were bundled up, and highest during the early evening when we were more dormant and prone to chilliness. Daytime was set low because we were both at work. Now, with the kids, we're never dormant (LOL) and wouldn't be able to afford to set it high anyway, so I'm sure it would be set at "low and lower" if we were paying.

Lynda

#17 Laura Corin

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 03:43 AM

Our boiler has been broken on and off for the last week. We are surviving by keeping the ovens on in the kitchen and the wood stove going in the sitting room. The bedrooms are close to freezing. We are now waiting for a part which probably won't arrive until Monday or Tuesday. The parts come from the south of England, which seems to have ground to a halt due to unaccustomed snow.

Laura

#18 runninmommy

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 06:47 AM

Don't hate me, but we have a gas well and don't have to pay for fuel. It is an incredible blessing, and one which we do NOT take for granted!

However, in previous houses we've owned, we turned the heat lowest at night when we were bundled up, and highest during the early evening when we were more dormant and prone to chilliness. Daytime was set low because we were both at work. Now, with the kids, we're never dormant (LOL) and wouldn't be able to afford to set it high anyway, so I'm sure it would be set at "low and lower" if we were paying.

Lynda



We have been paying $260. every few weeks...I want a well!:glare:

lucky!:D

#19 OHGrandma

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 07:54 AM

We heat with wood, with an oil furnace as backup. We use the oil furnace to take the chill out of the air when the weather is changeable and too warm to have the wood stove going all the time. We use about 20 gals of fuel oil a winter.

Our house is an old brick house with very thick walls. We can easily set a 10 gal aquarium in the window sills, that's how thick the walls are. It's my opinion that if we let the temperature drop too much then it's harder to get the house warmed up, those brick walls feel very cold when the temp drops. I would bet that most studies have been done with more modern frame houses with insulation. I try to keep an even temp during the day of over 70, and try to keep it above 60 at night, but it's not unusual to drop to almost 50 at night on the subzero nights.

Edited by OHGrandma, 06 February 2009 - 07:56 AM.
spelling


#20 daisychics

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 08:11 AM

YES! I'm always hot at her house. I'm gonna see if our thermostat has a program thingy.

THANKS everyone!

#21 nestof3

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 09:47 AM

We turn our heat way down when we're not here and two degrees cooler when we sleep. We can be gone for 8 hours, come home, turn the heat on, and in 10 minutes our house is warm again.

But -- that is about the only benefit of an 1,100 sq ft house. ;)

#22 mazakaal

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 10:09 AM

Same here. We have it about 65 all day and my ds's tell me they're sweaty and ask if they can take their shirts off. I wear three layers of clothing, plus a (jaunty) hat in my attempts to be warm, and they run around without shirts on.

Boys!


It's not just boys. My dd runs around in a t-shirt while I'm wearing a tank top, t-shirt, long-sleeve tee, and sweatshirt, with big wooly slippers.

And, can I just say, I would love a thermostat.

#23 Margaret in CO

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 10:32 AM

We have an OLD log house, with a coal boiler. Coal has a "swing"--the heat doesn't turn on until it drops at least ten degrees. The thermostat calls for heat, the blower starts pushing air through the coal bed and then starts augering coal in. Since all that takes about 20 minutes to make any kind of difference, the boiler doesn't fire very often. Then, in the spring, it runs ten minutes every four hours whether you need the heat for not, to keep the fire lit. When the boiler DOES call for heat, it runs long enough to push the swing back up about ten degrees about whatever you have it set at. Did I mention this system is over 60 years ago, but FAR newer than the one it replaced! So, we keep our heat at 70, which means it swings between about 60-80. It's weird. I'd never be able to handle the thermostat set at 60 like some of you--that would mean the house would drop to 50! Brrr!

#24 ereks mom

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 11:42 AM

...the heat strips come on -- you can tell because there is burning smell (like burning dust) and that means it is costing a LOT. We keep our house around 70° during the day and around 65° at night. In the morning, I bump the thermostat up a couple of degrees at a time so the heat strips from coming on.


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