How high should I set my thermostat? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 01:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are heating a home for the first time! I went out and bought a programmable thermostat to control the temps in the house. I have found that we aren't comfortable unless the thermostat reads 70 or 71 degrees. I've been setting it for 66 degrees at night. I could set it higher since we sleep on the cooler, lower level. I have it going down to 60 during the day since we aren't home.

Does this sound reasonable? We can't afford outrageous heating bills but still don't want to have to wear several layers in our own home.

I don't know if this is any indicator but our bill for October during which we heated at night for about half the month was $30.
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#2 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 02:08 AM
 
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I've always seen things that say 68 in the winter for heating and 78 in the summer for cooling. But it probably varies some by house, the heating system, heat leakage, etc... The utility thing we got also said turn the thermostat off/way down if you'll be gone for 4 hours or more. hth...

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#3 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 02:41 AM
 
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deffinitely take advantage of the programing to trun it down during the day, especially if you are out at all. open all the shades and if its sunny it should warm up nicely. Also, we cover all our windows with plastic which is a real downer, but saves a lot of power and we look forward all year to the ceremonious spring day when we rip it all off and open up the windows!
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#4 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 02:49 AM
 
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It depends on your house. Ours is pretty drafty but its too expensive to keep it at a higher temp so we just dress warmer and keep it around 64.

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#5 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 02:59 AM
 
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We keep our thermostat at 63 or 64 during the day (if we're home) and 58 at night (and when we're gone) during winter. We always wear slippers and sweaters around the house. I usually wear long underware and wool socks too. We don't use an air conditioner, but we live in Michigan where it doesn't get that hot, plus we have great shade trees.

I would turn it down lower at night and get flannel sheets for the beds. They will probably pay for themselves in a few months.
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#6 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 03:13 AM
 
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We keep it at 59.

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#7 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 10:42 AM
 
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Ours is up at 66 during the day when we are home, and 58 at night. BUT our thermostat is in a place in the house that stays cooler than it actually is, so we go by a thermometer in the living areas to see what it really is. Usually the house is closer to 68 during the day. You might check yours that way - find where you are comfy and then check the temps in each room.

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#8 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 10:58 AM
 
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Pre-child days, we set it at 55. Now that we have a child we set it at 60. We wear a long sleeve T-shirt, then a sweatshirt. Sometimes add a pull-over. We are on a budget plan for oil. We budget 1000 gallons a year, and usually get a refund of ~$300 at the end of the season. We do not use air conditioning, even when it is over 90 degree's.
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#9 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 11:38 AM
 
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I set mine at 65 during the day, and 55 at night. We sleep bundled up, and DH and I both sleep better if it's cold-- we actually often turn off the heat completely and open the window at night. I'm lucky in that my house is naturally warm; it's a row house in the middle of the row, so there isn't a lot of drafts. Most days by 10 am it's easily 72 in here, with no need for heat at all, even on the coldest days.

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#10 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 11:41 AM
 
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I freeze my family out. We keep ours at 20 degrees C... about 68 F. I read an article a while back that said that if you have an older home with cool/warm spots, this temp. is the best. That way the cool spots don't seem so cool and the warm spots don't seem so warm as you move from room to room.

I'd keep it at 18C, 64F if my family wouldn't complain.
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#11 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 12:07 PM
 
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68, dropping down to 65 at night. We don't mind the layers, tho. I find that keeping it at that temp inside better acclimates me to the outside temps in the 30s anyway.
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#12 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 12:50 PM
 
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Around here landlords have to keep temperatures at/above 68 degrees in winter.

MIL keeps it right at 60 degrees, and tells us to put on a hat.

Most people that I know who have their own houses keep the thermostat somewhere in the middle, around 64-65 degrees.
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#13 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 12:59 PM
 
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Our house is cold, all the time. The builder put the thermostat in a really BAD place...the sunlight from a south facing window hits it for a large part of the day...yesterday the thermostat registered 79, when it was about 65 or 66 in the house! We have poor quality windows(and a lot of them)and wood floors, with forced air heating, too boot. We wear long johns, long sleeve shirts, and wool sweaters, and hope for the best. The up side is that it's not ME that's keeping it so cold in the house, so the family really can't blame me...

The down side? I am so SICK of being cold. Even my nose is cold most of the time, and it's miserable! Of course, this is coming from somebody who would otherwise keep her thermostat at seventy or seventy-one, and chalk the extra expense up to comfort for six months out of the year...and from somebody who has ALWAYS worn long-johns from October to May...so take the "I'm so sick of being cold" line with a grain of salt.

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#14 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 02:17 PM
 
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We keep ours near 70, if not I wake up cold (even wearing flannel PJ's and an extra blankie) and we would just put a small heater in our bedroom but there's my sister in the other room to consider too.
During the day it doesn't come on at all because normal things like cooking, drying clothes, and being warmer outside keep the house much warmer.

I tried closing the vents in the living room and just blowing heated air to the bedrooms but that backfired because then the thermostat never warmed up so it would blow a lot!
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#15 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 04:14 PM
 
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I will no longer complain of the heat at 72.

I think we are going to go buy a programable thermostat tonight. We haven't been turing it down during the day and we are gone almost everyday all day with school/work.

Do any of you have kids that prefer naked as opposed to clothed? We have a hard time turning down the heat at night cause both boys will only sleep in underwear.

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#16 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I seem to be the minority in how warm I keep my house. I should have mentioned that we have natural gas/hot water heat (new furnace!) which is very effective and efficient to run. We are in PA were its just started to dip down to freezing at night. The temps in the house definitely vary from room to room. Our bedroom is quite cold and its adjascent to our dds' room which is cozy since the radiators in our room weren't installed well. Also, the main bathroom rads don't seem to work at all : .

Thanks for all the input!!! I think that what I'm going to do is keep a log of outdoor temps and see how much our gas usage is day by day (I call the supplier and they can give me a daily reading!). Then I'll be able to guesstimate what our bill will be and adjust our thermostat accordingly.
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#17 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 04:43 PM
 
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You may need to bleed the bathroom radiators. Assuming they aren't shut off. Not that I've ever complained about my radiator without bothering to check if it's even turned on ...
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#18 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 04:52 PM
 
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I have a programable thermostat but it is not necessary to adjust it at night. We just tell it the temp we want and the air/heat turns on when necessary to keep that temp. Summer is a big bill for us, winter not so much. This fall is great, cool enough not to need air and warm enough to rarely need the heat (I'm in Texas btw). I actually look forward to getting my electric bill.

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#19 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 04:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by its_our_family View Post
I will no longer complain of the heat at 72.

I think we are going to go buy a programable thermostat tonight. We haven't been turing it down during the day and we are gone almost everyday all day with school/work.

Do any of you have kids that prefer naked as opposed to clothed? We have a hard time turning down the heat at night cause both boys will only sleep in underwear.
J goes naked all the time and the house is at 59. We're all very hot people though. We sweat if we are at someone's house that is over 70.

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#20 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 04:55 PM
 
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We keep our thermostat at 17C (around 62/63F) during the day and off at night.

eta: My kids will still go nekkid at 17C.
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#21 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No one in my house sleeps naked, however, my girls often kick off their blankets and get chilled. That is one of the reasons that I feel like I need to keep the house warm at night.

Question to those of you that turn off your heat at times: 1) Do you find that it takes a lot of time and energy for your house to warm up when you turn the thermostat back up? 2) Are you afraid of pipes freezing? (I guess that only applies to colder climates).
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#22 of 34 Old 11-06-2006, 05:38 PM
 
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I live in Canada and and my heat doesn't come on very often. We have our thermostat set to 59 and the house rarely goes below this even in the middle of winter. We've never had a problem with pipes freezing or anything.

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#23 of 34 Old 11-07-2006, 12:26 AM
 
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We try to keep it at 56-58F, occasionly going up to 62F. Even then we're still paying off our gas bill from last year : We do the plastic on the windows, layers and blankets while hanging out on the couch. I'm lucky that I have a furnace of a dh to keep me mostly warm at night (when he decided to actuallly come to bed with me : ) We bundle the kids up and they have several blankets

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#24 of 34 Old 11-07-2006, 12:34 AM
 
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Brrr...I don't see how you can stand it! Ours is set at 71.
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#25 of 34 Old 11-07-2006, 12:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by courtenay_e View Post
Our house is cold, all the time. The builder put the thermostat in a really BAD place...the sunlight from a south facing window hits it for a large part of the day...yesterday the thermostat registered 79, when it was about 65 or 66 in the house! We have poor quality windows(and a lot of them)and wood floors, with forced air heating, too boot.

We had this problem in our old house and invested in a remote thermostat - it is a small thermostat you can place anywhere (on a table, whatever) wherever you want and it communicates remotely with the furnace. They cost about $200, though. For us, it saved a lot of money because the air conditioning would run overtime in the summer since the wall with the thermostat was in the sun most of the day and got warm.
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#26 of 34 Old 11-07-2006, 01:28 AM
 
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We keep ours at 66F during the day (me and kids at home), and 58F at night. The kids have space heaters in their bedrooms with thermostats set at 63 - they're little still and kick their covers off. We try to bundle them well before sleep, but their circulation slows at night, and their little hands get so cold!

Thanks for posting this. I think I'm going to try to bump our thermostat down towards 63 gradually.

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#27 of 34 Old 11-07-2006, 01:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by courtenay_e View Post
Our house is cold, all the time. The builder put the thermostat in a really BAD place...the sunlight from a south facing window hits it for a large part of the day...yesterday the thermostat registered 79, when it was about 65 or 66 in the house! We have poor quality windows(and a lot of them)and wood floors, with forced air heating, too boot. We wear long johns, long sleeve shirts, and wool sweaters, and hope for the best. The up side is that it's not ME that's keeping it so cold in the house, so the family really can't blame me...
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm's mom View Post
We had this problem in our old house and invested in a remote thermostat - it is a small thermostat you can place anywhere (on a table, whatever) wherever you want and it communicates remotely with the furnace. They cost about $200, though. For us, it saved a lot of money because the air conditioning would run overtime in the summer since the wall with the thermostat was in the sun most of the day and got warm.
Our thermostat is next to the STOVE! How dumb is that!!

We are going to move it this week. I hadn't heard of a remote thermostat before.

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#28 of 34 Old 11-07-2006, 02:00 AM
 
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Right at 68, day and night.
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#29 of 34 Old 11-07-2006, 03:51 AM
 
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I have mine set to 80, so that the air conditioner won't come on very often!

When we lived in Maryland, we used to keep it around 68 though. That seemed warm enough to us but we didn't have any children then. I don't know how cold it would have to be for me to want to turn the heat on at all. I'm sitting here with the windows open and the ceiling fan on and my hair is still wet from my shower and I *still* wish I could cool off! :
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#30 of 34 Old 11-07-2006, 11:59 AM
 
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Yup, my kids will be all goose-bumpy and nekkid and be happy as clams! When I suggest they put on clothes they say no thanks, they're fine! Eventually, ds may put on socks...

At night, if they're naked or in shorts (ds's favorite jammies), I just put an extra wool blanket on their bed. They have a chilly room, so if he's in shorts, I never find him with his blankets thrown off.

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