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what do you set the heat on at night? - Page 3

post #41 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
I am really skeptical about this. I think that it would depend on a lot of different factors. But I KNOW our bill is MUCH HIGHER when we heat our house at night. That includes turning it down and everything. We use SO MUCH MORE fuel by running the heater twice as much. We turn it off when we are going to be gone for more than a couple hours as well. We also live in a mild climate (pacific NW) so it might be a different story in North Dakota or Wisconsin...
My point is that this isn't true across the board. I know it's not true for us.

This kinda reminds me of the logic that you shouldn't turn off your car because it takes more fuel to restart it then to just let it idle. Not true if you are letting idle longer than 30 seconds or so.

Great article, though. We all need to learn how to save on heating costs this winter!! :

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I'm also skeptical, in part because my experience is the same (cranking down the heat at night saves us money), and in part because everything I've found online that addresses this question says the exact opposite.

Like this article:
http://www.ccicenter.org/archives/62
"3. Myth: Turning down your thermostat uses more energy because it has to work harder to make it cool/hot again once turn it back up.

This energy myth costs utility customers loads of money during the cold months. Turning your thermostat back (or purchasing a programmable thermostat that will do it for you) while you are away or asleep can only save you money, it will never cost you more. The explanation for this is a bit complicated, but the key points are that your home is much more resistant to heat loss than you may think, furniture and carpeting retain enough heat so that your furnace will not have to work that hard to raise back up to a comfortable temperature. The longer that the furnace is off, the more savings you will achieve because the energy used to reheat a space is always less than or equal to the amount of energy used to keep it at a consistent higher temperature"
post #42 of 85
Quote:
If we could auto program it, I'd probably have it turn off for a few hours during the night.
You can buy fairly cheap programable thermostats. I kept asking for one for christmas and never got one. In the spring they had a clearance bin of them so I bought one. I figured even if it didn't work who cares it was $0.94. Regular price they're $30-$40 & are easy to install.
post #43 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
You can buy fairly cheap programable thermostats. I kept asking for one for christmas and never got one. In the spring they had a clearance bin of them so I bought one. I figured even if it didn't work who cares it was $0.94. Regular price they're $30-$40 & are easy to install.
Totally! We got one just a few months ago, and it's fabulous!!! It was a little more expensive because we got a middle of the road model with a few extra options, but the more basic one was less than $40. It only took DH about 20 minutes to install it, too.
post #44 of 85
I guess I should specify that the reason we haven't installed an auto-programming one is that we are moving soon.

New house will absolutely have an automatic thermostat. Of course, DH wants one he can adjust via his computer, just like he wants to install light switches all over the house that are controlled by the computer. Oh, and surveillance cameras at the front door. And controls on the curtains and/or blinds. Also some kind of remote control system (preferably touch screen) in case we don't happen to be sitting next to one of the many computers in the house when we want to push a button and be able to set the entire house to disco mode or WTH weird combo he has dreamed up.

I guess that is the real reason for no new thermostat yet. He wants one compatible with whatever "system" he eventually installs in the house even though such a set-up will never be in our budget.


Sorry for the tangent.
post #45 of 85
Wow, I feel like such a heater-using loser! I thought I was really crazy going down to 65. And, after ds was born last winter, we kept it at 67.

In my defense, our windows were really bad, you could like feel a breeze. We just got new windows, and I am excited to see how that changes our heater usage.

Also, as it turns out, ds does better when a little cooler, so he may like it. And the room he is in stays warmer than any roon in the house.

A couple years ago we went through an ice storm and lost power for two weeks. The first week our friends and us stayed at our house, and the house would get into the 50s at night. We would wake up freezing at 7 am. I cant imagine doing that everyday.
post #46 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
I am really skeptical about this. I think that it would depend on a lot of different factors. But I KNOW our bill is MUCH HIGHER when we heat our house at night. That includes turning it down and everything. We use SO MUCH MORE fuel by running the heater twice as much. We turn it off when we are going to be gone for more than a couple hours as well. We also live in a mild climate (pacific NW) so it might be a different story in North Dakota or Wisconsin...
My point is that this isn't true across the board. I know it's not true for us.

This kinda reminds me of the logic that you shouldn't turn off your car because it takes more fuel to restart it then to just let it idle. Not true if you are letting idle longer than 30 seconds or so.

Great article, though. We all need to learn how to save on heating costs this winter!! :

.
It might work in a mild climate or a newer home. But like I said before, if your daytime temp is not much higher than your nighttime temp, turning the furnace way down will make your furnace work hard to re-heat your house during the day (especially if your house is older). My dad was an engineer, who specialized in heating systems and this was always what he told me. A few degrees might save you, by I wouldn't vary between 68 and 55 degrees.

In general, if you want to conserve energy, you should keep your thermostat low all the time. Which is why we stick to 62 degrees day and night. Just to give you an idea, at 62 degrees our furnace only turns on for only 30 seconds at a time (1 min. tops) every half hour-ish. So we don't use a lot of gas and our bill stays around $100/mo in winter and only gets up to $200 in January (typically the coldest month of the year). I also diligently seal up our 92 year old house as much as I can to protect from air infiltration.
post #47 of 85
We usually have it at 17 during the day and 15 at night in the winter, so 59-62.
post #48 of 85
We've never used heat at night. Our average winter temp at night is about 20-25 degrees. We do usually have a week or two where it's like super cold say 5 degrees. Then we have to have heat on for the pipes.

Usually though our home will hold at about 48-55 degrees all night, warm enough for the pipes not to burst.

I know that probably sounds amazingly cold, but if you have your house nice and toasty when you get into bed it's ok, and you of course have to dress warmly and have lots of quilts.

If we heated all night I can't imagine the utility bills.

We have a woodstove now since last winter so we just let the fire die at night. It's cold when we get up in the morning, but that just motivates you to get going.
post #49 of 85
Quote:
Our average winter temp at night is about 20-25 degrees. We do usually have a week or two where it's like super cold say 5 degrees.
5 is -15C, not cold at all. definitly not super cold.lol If we had temps like that in the winter we wouldn't need to turn our heat on either, but the average temp in the winter here is -22(-30C) WITHOUT the windchill. It can go down to -65(-54C).

Right now my house is 60(16) & I refuse to turn the heat on. It's Sept 5th. Sometimes we have to turn the heat on this early or like last year at the beginning of August. I'm refusing right now. I'm the only one home until 3:30. Maybe I'll do some canning or something to heat the house up after dinner.

I have the thermostat set to turn on if it gets down to 50(10) & I'm surprised it hasn't yet, especially since I had my bedroom window cracked last night.

It's warmer outside than in my house.

Quote:
If we heated all night I can't imagine the utility bills
They're not much different than when people use A/C, just a different season
post #50 of 85
If you don't live in an apartment (where you get heat from other units and are insulated by them) and your house isn't absolutly tiny you should keep your heat close to the same at all times. Turning it down conciderably at night only uses more energy because in the morning it has to heat your home back up again. Sort of like the theory that leaving your car idleing for a couple minutes actually uses less gas than turning it off and starting it again. As starting your car requires a bigger surge of gas and uses more than an idle. Same goes for home heating. Takes more energy to re-heat than keep at one steady temp. I'd stay within a couple degrees from day to night. Don't turn it down or off unless you'll be gone for over 48 hours.

I haven't had to use my heater since June but, today I just may have to turn it back on : .
post #51 of 85
62 during the day, 55 at night.
post #52 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by FondestBianca View Post
If you don't live in an apartment (where you get heat from other units and are insulated by them) and your house isn't absolutly tiny you should keep your heat close to the same at all times. Turning it down at conciderably night only uses more energy because in the morning it has to heat your home back up again. Sort of like the theory that leaving your car idleing for a couple minutes actually uses less gas than turning it off and starting it again. As starting your car requires a bigger surge of gas and uses more than an idle. Same goes for home heating. Takes more energy to re-heat than keep at one steady temp. I'd stay within a couple degrees from day to night. Don't turn it down or off unless you'll be gone for over 48 hours.

I haven't had to use my heater since June but, today I just may have to turn it back on : .

We live in a 1400 sq ft Duplex that is drafty and old, and our bills are MUCH HIGHER if we run the heat all the time. We have lived here 3 winters and we have definatly experimented with this.

Also, if you let your car idle longer than 10 SECONDS you are wasting fuel. Better to turn it off and restart. http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/myths/idling.html


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post #53 of 85
http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/...tml#naturalgas

Quote:
Turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you'll save up to 5 percent on heating costs. Wear warm clothing like a sweater and set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the day and evening, health permitting. Set the thermostat back to 55 degrees or off at night or when leaving home for an extended time, saving 5-20 percent of your heating costs (heat pumps should only be set back 2 degrees to prevent unneeded use of backup strip heating).


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post #54 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
They're not much different than when people use A/C, just a different season
Actually, for us at least, the ac bills and the heat bills are very different. Our heat is gas, but the ac is electric, and gas here costs more. Our ac is slightly more energy efficient, so it costs less to run for the same amount of time on, and it doesn't get as hot in the summer as it gets cold in the winter. My bill jumps about $15/month when I run the ac in the summer, but it jumps $50-75/month to run the heat in the winter. This holds true for almost everyone I've met, unless you live somewhere with a brutal summer and a mild winter, then it would be opposite.

And just for the record I think 5 degrees is cold. Very very cold. : Granted you live somewhere where it gets much much colder than that (which I cannot even wrap my mind around ) but I still think 5 is cold. I can't imagine -22 or colder!
post #55 of 85
We keep the heat set at 50 overnight, and our very poorly and incompletely insulated house is down to about 52-55 most mornings in the winter. With down comforters, we stay toasty warm, but it is HARD to get out of bed in the morning!

I just wanted to add that using some sort of bed warmer makes this doable for us. A heated mattress pad would work, and so would fabric tubes full of rice that are heated in the microwave for a few minutes before bed (that's what we do, and they stay warm most of the night). If we didn't warm the bed before getting in, it would be impossible (our bedroom is the coldest room in the house because it's the room with NO insulation).
post #56 of 85
Our bills are the same in winter and summer for the combined gas (heat) and electric (AC). It's just opposite of which we are paying. Our AC causes our electric bill to jump about $120-$150 from our winter bill.

We keep our AC on about 77 in the summer, our heat on 62 or so in the winter.
post #57 of 85
Last winter our thermostat was set at 60 during the day and 55 at night. But our bedroom is upstairs and was thus 3-5 degrees warmer than the thermostat. We also set the timer to bring the temp up to 60 about 15-20 min before we got up in the morning.

Also, DH and I were generally out of the house each day (we are grad students, and just bring DS along with us to school) so we didn't have to sit around the house at 60 all day long every day.

I know this sounds really cold - 5 years ago I wouldn't have even guessed I could tolerate a thermostat lower than 68, but now it seems normal. One hint is to "harden off" in the fall, that is, don't turn the heat on until it's getting about 5 degrees colder than your goal temp in the morning. Then , when you warm the house up those 5 degrees, it feels really toasty!
post #58 of 85
what are people really paying every month for energy bills?? We're on an average so we pay the same all year round. We have gas heat (and gas heated water tank) and electric for the lights and such and pay under $90 a month combined year round... and this is in a 2000 sq/ft house with extremely leaky windows. During the winter it gets well below freezing all day long and we have a few months of snow here as well... so we do need to use the heat all but about 2 or 3 months of the year (and use ac the months we dont' use the heat as it gets well over 90 during the summer days). So how the heck are people paying so much?? The two winters we've been here so far we didn't exactly keep the therm cold either... much higher than people are suggesting here anyway.
post #59 of 85
We do 60 overnight and if nobody's home, 62-65 otherwise. We've had the heat on for almost two weeks now. I wanted to wait until September, but one day it was 52 in here, and I just flipped the breaker back on. Can't handle cold in my own house. Nope. We wear wool long johns, sweaters, socks and slippers, but I really can't imagine going colder than we do.
Our pipes froze last year when we had the heat set to 60, in April. We had just moved in, so I'm hoping it was just ice build up in the pipes that couldn't handle actual water flow again. We recently saw the oil bills for this house from last winter and they varied between 500$ and 800$ a month. We asked for those bills before we moved in, but the landlord claimed he didn't have access. He also told us that the house had new windows (well, they're at least 5 years old, and not properly seated), and that it had been reinsulated/sided in the last five years. Ahem. We're pretty sure one of the main walls is actually hollow. It's a good time. I panic and cry sometimes.
We live in a city where, if the power goes out for 72 hours, they have to EVACUATE the ENTIRE town (which is a huge deal, because they'd have to fly 18 thousand people more than an hour to Edmonton, or maybe they'd send people to Hay River?). But, we'd be in big, big trouble long, long before 72 hours. Luckily, we have friends with wood heat and would be able to camp at their houses, but it scares the pants off me. I cannot wait to move south.
I'm a big heat whimp. Big. I like being outside, even in our -50C winters. We ski and hike and skijor and snowshoe and spend at least an hour playing outside everyday. *But*, I like to come in and be warm. Warm doesn't really happen in this house. Oh, listen to me whine.
Kuddos to all of you who keep your heat below 60 all the time!
post #60 of 85
Thread Starter 
I guess I'll try 60 at night and see how that goes. I think the bedrooms are actually a couple of degrees warmer when it's cold than the thermostat says, even though they're in the (daylight) basement. And maybe I'll see if I can tolerate 68 during the day. I normally wear two pairs of socks and a sweatshirt all winter long with the house set at 70 degrees, so I can't see going much colder than that. I'm not going to wear long johns or mittens at home just so I can turn the heat down...we're not that poor yet.
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