How much is saved by lowering thermostat? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-23-2007, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just wondering what people's experiences are in cost savings when they turned their thermostat down. So, for example, last year you had it at 70, now you're keeping it at 67 and 62 at night and your bill is this dollar amount reduced compared to last year. I realize it will vary based on where you live, but I'm just curious how much of a difference it makes.
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:02 PM
 
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i am subbing because iam interested in this. I would like toknow how much each degree makes. I don't like to be cold, so if I reduce by 5 degreesand feel yucky to save $25/month, i would rather cut elsewhere.

also, if anyone have other places that list howmuch it coststo run dishwasher, lights, computers, etc. that would be great!

thanks,
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:14 PM
 
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I wish I could help but my info itsn't really acurate.
Last year we lived in an apartment, so it was heated from the one below us and we could afford to keep our thermostat in the mid 70's and wear T-shirts all year without breaking the bank. Also in our last town the electricity cost about half as much per kwh as it does here. SO now I keep our thermostat at 68-70 and wear more clothes.
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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I've saved literally hundreds, but I haven't gone to look to seek if the unit price of gas has changed. My heating bills were over $400 when I kept the thermostat at 72. Now I keep it at about 62, and the bill is about $150. I've saved over $100 on electricity bills by being really vigilant about turning off lights, unplugging appliances, limiting AC use, turning off computers and game systems. My house is 5 br, and neither the attic or the basement is insulated, so we lose a good deal of heat.
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Old 11-24-2007, 12:17 AM
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I've read that for each degree you are able to turn down the thermostat, you will save 5% of your bill. But I can't verify if that is accurate or not.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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Old 11-24-2007, 12:46 AM
 
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Our electric company says that for every degree lowered we can save between $15-$44 a month based on their last years data.

I have read though there comes a point if you let the house become to cold that it will cost more to reheat the house.

Heidi
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Old 11-24-2007, 12:56 AM
 
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I am curious about this also b/c I dont like to be cold- but I also factor in the Earth to my decisions and figure even if I am not saving a lot of $$, I am helping the planet. Just another thought to consider when setting your thermostat.
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:38 AM
 
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For all our home's flaws, the people who built it were big on proper insullation. We live on the Gulf Coast, use a heat pump to heat, and our electric bill goes up by about $75/month during the summer and $50 in the winter compated to the spring and fall low-CHA months, and it doesn't seem to change much from that no matter what we set the theromstat to.

We end up setting it to 72-74 year both in summer and winter because it seems most comfortable. My body just doesn't handle being cold very well anymore. Maybe I'd save $10 by letting it go to 68 in the winter, but it just isn't worth it to us.
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Old 11-24-2007, 02:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
For all our home's flaws, the people who built it were big on proper insullation. We live on the Gulf Coast, use a heat pump to heat, and our electric bill goes up by about $75/month during the summer and $50 in the winter compated to the spring and fall low-CHA months, and it doesn't seem to change much from that no matter what we set the theromstat to.

We end up setting it to 72-74 year both in summer and winter because it seems most comfortable. My body just doesn't handle being cold very well anymore. Maybe I'd save $10 by letting it go to 68 in the winter, but it just isn't worth it to us.
I bet the opposite is true that you can handle the hot better. It is biological blood is thicker in cold places and thinner in warm places. Anyway if you cannot handle the cold very well I bet you keep the AC higher then someone who is use to cold weather so you are more adept to save money in summer versus winter.. I know for us we keep the house cooler in the winter below 60 degrees before we turn onthe heat. But in the summer for the 3 weeks we have heat we run our AC which cost us about $30 more a year to use but we die in the heat...well melt actually.

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Old 11-24-2007, 02:35 AM
 
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To some degree, it's true that I can handle hot+humid better than a lot of people who aren't acclimated to summer in the far South. It just doesn't really feel like that to me. If it weren't overcrowded and too expensive, I'd love to live in San Diego- never too hot, never too cold, never too humid.

But at least for the next long while, we're in a place that gets hawt in summer, and a little too cold at times in winter. As for mixing up the thermostat settings in winter, we've been told by a couple people in the CHA biz that since we heat with a heat pump, it's more energy efficient for us to keep it at a steady temperature in the winter than it is to let it fluctuate depending on time of day.
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Old 11-24-2007, 04:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mum4boys View Post
I have read though there comes a point if you let the house become to cold that it will cost more to reheat the house.

I've always heard that was 62 degrees... ???
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Old 11-24-2007, 04:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mum4boys View Post
I bet the opposite is true that you can handle the hot better. It is biological blood is thicker in cold places and thinner in warm places. Anyway if you cannot handle the cold very well I bet you keep the AC higher then someone who is use to cold weather so you are more adept to save money in summer versus winter.. I know for us we keep the house cooler in the winter below 60 degrees before we turn onthe heat. But in the summer for the 3 weeks we have heat we run our AC which cost us about $30 more a year to use but we die in the heat...well melt actually.
I never used our a/c this past summer. I only put it on upstairs a few times when I wanted ds2 to sleep well so I wanted to close the windows. However, I am having a hard time keeping the heat low.
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Old 11-24-2007, 04:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
If it weren't overcrowded and too expensive, I'd love to live in San Diego- never too hot, never too cold, never too humid.
It is all relative as I find San Diego too hot.

Heidi
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Old 11-24-2007, 04:58 PM
 
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We keep our house around 62. Most people in our area spend over $300 a month for heat. Ours is less than $40, sometimes less than $20 which is basically the minimum charge to be connected to the gas line.

On the flip side, one summer bill this year was $450. Almost all of them were over $300. Thankfully summer is shorter than winter here so we come out ahead.

Mom to Kira March 2009
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Old 11-24-2007, 05:47 PM
 
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well, we have only been using our heat when the house is chilly, and only to just take the chill off the air, which is maybe once or twice a day for 15mins. I have dropped our power bill from $70 a mth to this months bill of $40
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:49 PM
 
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For those that keep the thermostat kept to 60, some time when it's cold, try going to the point in the house farthest from the furnace, and seeing what the temperature is at that point.

When I was growing up in the land of ice and snow, my parents would set the furnace to 60 at night. The thermometer for the furnace was very close ductwork-wise to the furnace. My bedroom was at the furthest point in the house from the furnace, and they later discovered that there were plenty of nights when it dropped to about 50 in there.

No matter how many blankets I had on the bed, or how many layers I'd wear (I'd end up in sweatpants over long underwear, and a sweatshirt over a t-shirt, I never ever felt warm up there, and I'd use up any furnace energy savings every moring taking a hugely long hugely hot shower trying to get warm enough to function.
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:56 PM
 
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We cut ours by half.

We have a large fixer upper 1910 house with poor insulation. Our first winter 2 yrs ago we kept the house at 69+ and used about 4000 gallons of heating oil between Nov and March. Now we keep the house at a steady 50 degrees and put space heaters in the 2-3 rooms we use most often and go through about 2000 gallons of heating oil per winter. Heating oil is now over $3 a gallon.
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Old 11-24-2007, 10:28 PM
 
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Our house is heated by gas, we have radiators. I do not like a hot stuffy house, I am happy to keep it around 60-65 and just put on a sweater or cover up if I am cold. My DH however loves to have the heat on. We are constantly at war, he turns it on and I turn it off. He is away every other week so when he is gone, I really do not turn the heat on other than to take the chill out. Right now it is about 58 in here, this morning it was 52 when we got up! The kids don't complain though and I know it helps save on our bill. We came out over $320 ahead this year and now do not have to pay for December.
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Old 11-25-2007, 01:21 AM
 
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I guess we are very similar to beachmouse Our thermostat is usually around 72 year round..... Mom2-3, I would never be able to live in the 50's . I had the heat on 70 today and was wearing jeans a shirt, a sweater and wrapped in a blanket to keep warm.
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Old 11-25-2007, 02:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mum4boys View Post
I have read though there comes a point if you let the house become to cold that it will cost more to reheat the house.
Not true- google "thermostat myths" and you'll get about a kazillion reasons why the "it costs more to reheat" is a myth UNLESS you have a heat pump.

Essentially, the math and physics work out to saying that heating the house one degree over and over and over is more work and takes more energy than heating the house 10 degrees once. Heat transfer doesn't care whether its one degree or many.

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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Old 11-25-2007, 04:30 PM
 
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I've been wondering the same thing. I just found this:

Quote:
Typical savings are about one-percent per degree set-back for each eight hour period. So a five degree set-back from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM would reduce your fuel costs five-percent.
http://www.energymatch.com/factsthermostats.html

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Old 11-25-2007, 04:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mum4boys View Post

I have read though there comes a point if you let the house become to cold that it will cost more to reheat the house.
I don't think this is true, all of the research I've done says the opposite.

From the same site I linked to in my post above:
Quote:
Myth: A furnace works harder to reheat space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set-back, resulting in little or no savings.

Fact: 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 the temperature stabilizes at the lower level and the next time heat is needed. The longer your building remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save.
http://www.energymatch.com/factsthermostats.html

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