What temperature to heat house at for fuel savings? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-19-2011, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It gets chilly here in the Northeast but I am trying to save $ this winter. What temperature do you generally keep your house at during the day and night during the fall and winter months?


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Old 10-19-2011, 09:58 PM
 
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I am a non-heating zealot.  Heating is so expensive!  

 

58 at night, 63-65 during the day.  

 

I set it to around 63 during the day - but will put the heat higher in the morning to take the chill off, and again at night when my patience for the cold has run out.

 

 

 

 

 

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Old 10-19-2011, 10:03 PM
 
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I love the winter months. Since I live in AZ this is the only time I get a break on the electric bill.  We do NOT use the heat.  This is our time to recover from 8 months of continual A/C (which is still running).

While we may get a cold spell - temps in the 40's-50's its only temporary and for a few nights.  Days are still in the 60-70's.  For those few over night hours we wear socks, and use extra blankets.   I really wish the weather would cool off and I could turn off the A/C.


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Old 10-20-2011, 08:13 AM
 
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I live in the northeast (central ny) in an old drafty house. When I am in the house I keep it at 68 degrees. I wear a sweater. Or put the fire on.  While sleeping or away the thermometer drops to low 60's (I haven't set it yet). When I want to have a nice hot bath, I put the temp up to 72...so my water doesn't get cold to quickly.

 

I have a programmable thermostat, which is great...although it doesn't have the night time bath setting on it,

 

http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12720


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Old 10-20-2011, 10:47 AM
 
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We have it set to 68 degrees.

 

My MIL however, has it set to 54 degrees all the time. Sometimes she'll use a small heater if we're all in the same room in the house so it's not so cold.

 

 

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Old 10-20-2011, 11:04 AM
 
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58 at night, 63 during the day.  We haven't turned our furnace on yet, though it's been tempting a few mornings like today when it was 53!  We're getting a wood-burning insert in a couple of weeks, so we'll see what our house temperature ends up being.  I don't like it too hot: 65 is pretty much my maximum.  I'm downright grumpy at 68.  ROTFLMAO.gif


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Old 10-20-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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We have 4 different thermostats. During the day 3 stay at 60. The kitchen stays at 68, I work from home and live in the kitchen during the day. At night the bedroom zone goes up to 66 and the kitchen drops down. Love, love, love programmable thermostats. Our first winter here we only had one and we wasted a bunch, plus it doesn't feel cold since the heat kicks in a little before we go to bed and turns off at the time we get up.

 

I have a small space heater to warm up the bathroom and if we're watching tv or something in the living room in the evenings. Otherwise we keep blankets for curling up on the couch.


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Old 10-20-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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Last winter, I think we set it to 65 degrees daytime, but I can't recall for sure. That's where we'll start this year. 

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Old 10-20-2011, 01:48 PM
 
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64 is our standard for the daytime.  55 at night.  We heat with a natural gas fired boiler with radiators, so it is nice heat.  My kids drape themselves all over the radiators when they want to be extra warm.  


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Old 10-20-2011, 02:06 PM
 
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We live in Western PA (it's cold) in a 100 year old house. 

 

For the heat we have two zones.  The second and third stories where the bedrooms are is on one zone.  The first story is on another zone.  We basically keep the heat off on the second and third story.  I don't like to sleep with heat and the heat rises from the first story during the day so we can still go up there to play with DD. 

 

We set the first floor to come up to 68 at 6:30 am so it's warm when we go down around 7, it drops to 65 during the day and then back up to 68 at 4.  Someone is always working from home so it makes sense to heat the first floor.  But, we also have a gas fireplace that produces heat.  So, I'll often turn that on when chilled.  We have the downstairs set at 50 overnight and on vacations so the pipes don't freeze. 

 

We insulated our house using a foam sealant and bought new windows so we find we need very little heat to get the house comfortable. 


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Old 10-20-2011, 05:54 PM
 
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58 most of the time. If we are having colder than normal temps then I'll turn it up to maybe 63, temporarily, to take the chill off.

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Old 10-20-2011, 07:24 PM
 
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We have ours at 65 or 66 during the day, but turn it up to 68 at night. Our house is not insulated (aside from attic insulation added later) so the bedrooms get very cold at night. I am always cold and have to wear socks and layers at all times. The kids don't seem to care what the temperature is!

 

Last winter, I decided to see if we could get by with less heat, and then our kitchen sink pipes started running as just a trickle (partially frozen). It would cost hundreds of dollars to move them "inside" the sheetrock, so I'm just going to keep the heat the way it's been.

 

Our lowest utility bill (for electric and gas) in the summer was $127 (with very minimal AC, usually set to 79 or 80 degrees in the summer). The highest total utility bill in the winter was $262. I'm OK with these numbers for 5 people and a home in the Northeast. Our house is pretty small, though.

 

I'm curious to know what other people's utility bills run.

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Old 10-20-2011, 09:00 PM
 
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We have two bills, electric and gas. Our electric runs about $120 all year round. In the summer our gas bill goes down to about $20 a month, and in the winter it's about $60-70.

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Old 10-20-2011, 09:20 PM
 
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Canada, natural gas, about 150-250 in winter.  I make out way better than some of my friends, though. Natural gas is cheaper than electric or oil, and we do keep it on the cool side.  

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Old 10-20-2011, 10:00 PM
 
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I'm really pretty sensitive to temperature, and particularly the cold, so I use my heat/AC with wild abandon. Usually keep it at 72 during the winter (and I'm bundled in sweats, socks, robe, and blanket most of the time... seriously, I'm ridiculous), 74-76 in the summer (depending on the humidity - Ohio Valley here). We pay $120-130/month year-round (our utilities company averages your prior 12 months of spending every 3 months and charges that instead of your actual useage, so we don't have huge spikes and volleys in the bill, and then you adjust to zero at those 3-month marks if you happen to owe a little more; we never owe more than $10 extra, and often have a credit instead).

 

However this year I'm pregnant, so the heat is currently set to 68 and I'm complaining it's too hot to sleep, and the hubby is shivering under a blanket and wondering who took his wife and left this uncomfortably warm person in her place. lol.gif


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Old 10-20-2011, 10:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunRise View Post

I live in the northeast (central ny) in an old drafty house. When I am in the house I keep it at 68 degrees. I wear a sweater. Or put the fire on.  While sleeping or away the thermometer drops to low 60's (I haven't set it yet). When I want to have a nice hot bath, I put the temp up to 72...so my water doesn't get cold to quickly.

 

I have a programmable thermostat, which is great...although it doesn't have the night time bath setting on it,

 

http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12720


Thank you so much for this link! I have been trying to figure out forever how low I can go at night without negating any energy savings when heating the house back up in the morning.  This was really helpful!

 

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Old 10-21-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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That link was helpful to me too! I had originally learned and believed that if you adjusted your thermo stat by too many degrees you were not saving any energy as it cost so much to re heat the house. But this link says differently and gives an estimate on over all savings.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swede View Post

Thank you so much for this link! I have been trying to figure out forever how low I can go at night without negating any energy savings when heating the house back up in the morning.  This was really helpful!

 



 


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Old 10-21-2011, 06:07 PM
 
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Seems like we have this discussion every year.  cold.gif  It's a good one, very eye opening.  Seems like a big Duh! to say that heating needs differ all over.  But it was kind of startling to me how dramatic the difference is.  When it gets cold here I generally put the heat at 66F during the day and down to 58F at night.  The Sacramento Valley gets snow rarely and most people use natural gas or electricity for heating.

 

Kathy, seems to me you're on a coast.  Which one?

 


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Old 10-21-2011, 06:20 PM
 
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My thermostat is set t0 50 at night and 60 during the day and jumps up to 74 around 7:00AM for about 20 minutes so we can get out of our very warm beds and get dressed without freeing our btuts off.  I have to learn how to reprogram it because I wake up at 5AM now LOL  SUCKS!  

 

If I knew how to program the stupid thing i would be much more reasonable.  I usually turn it up to 70 when I am home.  (I have a flexible schedule so I like that it snaps back down every few hours.)  I am just crabby when I am cold and it gets cold here.  When it is 70 on the main floor it 60 in the kids rooms and about 55 in my room.  Unacceptable for functioning.  I am looking at eden pure heaters for the main floor and for my dd room (she has no heat but it is the third floor and the best insullation and best windows in the house.)  if i got one of those it would probably heat my house much better and more effeciently and I could turn the furnace down a lot.  

 

You can save about $10 for every 2 degrees you turn down your heat.  So 1- degree would be about $50. Totally worth it.  I can skim $50 somewhere else.  beans for supper one more time a week, driving a little less, whatever.  $50 is nothing to make mama tolerable to be around.  not to mention nothing gets done when we are that cold.

 

I should mention though that my house is 98 years old and the windows and doors are original to the house.    and who knows when the insulation was replaced (although i have a pretty good idea that it was 1914).  and it is cold here.  hovers between 10 and -10 most of the winter.  and it is always windy.  every day of the year.  Why do I live here again?


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Old 10-21-2011, 07:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

Seems like we have this discussion every year.  cold.gif  It's a good one, very eye opening.  Seems like a big Duh! to say that heating needs differ all over.  But it was kind of startling to me how dramatic the difference is.  When it gets cold here I generally put the heat at 66F during the day and down to 58F at night.  The Sacramento Valley gets snow rarely and most people use natural gas or electricity for heating.

 

Kathy, seems to me you're on a coast.  Which one?

 



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Old 10-21-2011, 08:09 PM
 
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I live at about 6500 feet in CO.  I have a gas fired boiler and keep it at 60 all day/night.  We have electric mattress pads on all the beds.  On the really cold night that I'm worried about pipes freezing I set the dishwasher to go off at midnight and the clothes washer at 2:30am.

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Old 10-21-2011, 08:37 PM
 
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Hod do you set those appliances to go off?  Are they on timers externally?

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Old 10-22-2011, 01:54 AM
 
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We keep ours at 65F all the time.  That's the lowest we can comfortably go without layers.  At that temp everybody wears just one long sleeve t-shirt, and one layer of pants, plain cotton socks.  If I sit around too much I might start to get cold, then I put on another layer and fuzzy slippers.  We all have sensory issues and being a bit cold is much more tolerable than wearing layers or wool stuff. :)  Our heating bill is usually not very big due to the mild winter here.  Usually only 3 months every year it's over $100 a month (and our house isn't small), so we haven't been too vigilant about saving heat.

 

My grandma however wears two layers of shirts, a wool sweater and a vest at 65F.  But then she's tiny and 92.


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Old 10-23-2011, 03:13 PM
 
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Wow, I guess I shouldn't fret about not setting ours colder than we do.

 

We have three zones.  I currently have the lower level (rarely used) at 50F, the bedrooms at 50F, and the main level at 60F during the day and 50F at night.  I can't remember exactly what we did last year, but I might move it up a degree at a time if 50F feels intolerable.

 

We just got programmable thermostats on our lower and main level.  I have the lower level set basically to reset itself to 50F 4x/day if anyone bumps it up because they're using that space.  So if the kids won't bump it up high and forget to turn it down, it will go back down on its own.

 

On our main level, I might set it to bump up to 65 for half an hour before we get up and then back down to 60F.  Haven't decided yet.

 

We may install a woodstove on our main level, which will help at least give us a locus of warmth to gather around.  We are also getting solar hot air blowers through a subsidized program that will blow into my bedroom, which is also my workroom.  The blowers run on their own thermostat and only run when there is sufficient sun.

 

Also, when we had more income, over the past few years, I invested in woolen longjohns in each kid size (to be handed down - I mend these diligently throughout the winter!) and good Smartwool socks and woolen balaclavas and good slippers.  I'm kind of fanatical about kids wearing slippers over their socks to keep their socks from getting holes.  We wear lots of layers in winter.  If the kids are cold, they put on more layers, hats, wrap up in blankets, snuggle a cat, or make hot tea or something.  I do think the woolens, though expensive (we got a deal through a group we are in) help us save money on oil.

 

Money is very, very tight this year.  Last year was easier; we kept it between 55F and 65F and it felt toasty.  The previous two years we kept it between 50F and 55F.  This year I'm aiming for 50-60F.

 

Today the temp ranged from 61-64 indoors.  The heat hasn't kicked in yet at all.  There was a frost last night.  We got weatherized through the state program two summers ago and I am so grateful - I think it makes a huge difference.


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Old 10-23-2011, 08:40 PM
 
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I haven't turned ours on yet since most times it warms up in the house. It's dropped down to 59 overnight, but then warmed back up during the day. I normally set it to 66 and leave it, but I'm looking at purchasing a programmable thermostat and having it drop down to 60 overnight.


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Old 10-24-2011, 12:42 AM
 
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Been using our heat a bit, my second winter back north.  Set it at 65 or so when we get home, lower it at bed, and really lower it when out of the house.  Thinking of getting a heated mattress pad or something like that..


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Old 10-24-2011, 01:14 AM
 
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I try to keep the main floor of our old house around 65F. Any cooler than that starts to get uncomfortable. The upstairs is often much cooler than that. 

I don't change the thermostat between day and night much. 

We are on an equal payment plan with our gas and electric companies so we pay the same all year round... between $100- $120 for each.

 

 


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Old 10-24-2011, 07:48 PM
 
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In our old house (~1300 sq. ft, 2 floors, 94 years old but with newer windows, in Rochester, NY), we kept the thermostat at 66-67 during the day when we were there, and 59-60 at night or when we were going to be gone all day. We did have a programmable thermostat, thank goodness. There were a fair number of cold spots in the house, though, and I tended to spend most of my time bundled up in at least a sweater over a long-sleeve t-shirt, sweat pants, and thick socks. Sometimes I'd add on a shawl too. DH was fine, though, and DS, who seems to be warm like his daddy, was as well.

 

Now we're in basically a 2 and 1/2 room cabin in Virginia. We've had a couple of 30-something nights where we lit the small woodstove (our only source of heat besides some electric baseboards upstairs) and good HEAVENS does it get warm . . . we're in the low 70s before we've had the stove going for an hour. We're definitely not worried about the winter. Yay for a small, open floorplan house.

 

Edit: argh, DH has decided 69 is too warm and he's opened the door to the porch. It's in the mid-50s still, but really.

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Old 10-25-2011, 06:38 AM
 
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PA, natural gas here.

 

I have had to put it on earlier than I'd hoped, as we are having moisture problems and I need to get the air flowing and drying out a little.  It's set at 63 right now, and I hope to keep it there through the winter.  We have done 68-72 in other years, but I don't think we can handle a $400 monthly bill.  We could get LIHEAP to help with that but in our experience they take months and months to approve your application, which doesn't help when your acct is low and you're suppose to pay the bill tomorrow. 

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Old 10-25-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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We live in Indiana and when I lived at home with my parents, my dad always had the temp at 68 in the winter. I hated it because it was so cold! but now having my own home and family we do the same to save money. We can always put on more clothesnod.gif

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