T Nation

Setting Your Thermostat in Winter?

now that I’m a home owner I have to pay for my gas. in my old apt the landlord paid the heating. so it was always plenty warm. but living in mn winters get damn cold. jut curious to hear what others are keeping the thermostat in winters. and where do you live? what’s to cold and the coldest you kept it at?

I live in Quebec where the winters are long and cold. My heating is all electric, no gas, but I use programmable thermostats and have most of the house drop to 60 during the night (except for the bedrooms/bathrooms) and back to 70 at 5h15.

The programmable thermostats have made the temperature a lot more stable and have reduced my electricity bill (by maybe 10-15%) since I installed them a few years ago.

good to hear. I just bought a honeywell 7 day programmable thermostat.

Paying for heat is no fun in northern New England. The furnace has been on since the beginning of October-- we keep it around 70. Just filled the tank at 2.599. I have snow on the ground into late April sometimes early May on the north side.

Ouch.

I get my ass kicked on my electric bill during the winter. I have what I call “ghetto heat”, which is not temperature controlled. Just a dial to turn in on. But I guess the real ghetto heat is a fire in a barrel in a dead end alley so I can’t complain.

I live in Wisconsin, which is no picnic in the winter. However, I’m not affected by cold like most folks. It’s the heat I can’t stand…

The warmest setting is 66 degrees from 5:00 - 10:00 pm. I drop it back to 60 during sleep hours and while we are away at work.

My girlfriend has learned that blankets are a necessity for her to survive in my abode.

We keep it at 60 at night and 65 during the day (hubby works from home). We both like the cold. We’re much more screwed when summer comes along.

[quote]pushmepullme wrote:
We keep it at 60 at night and 65 during the day (hubby works from home). We both like the cold. We’re much more screwed when summer comes along.[/quote]

Maybe we should all go bowling sometime?

:slight_smile:

I’m heat adverse - freakin’ hate the Summer.

[quote]MNguns wrote:
now that I’m a home owner I have to pay for my gas. in my old apt the landlord paid the heating. so it was always plenty warm. but living in mn winters get damn cold. jut curious to hear what others are keeping the thermostat in winters. and where do you live? what’s to cold and the coldest you kept it at?[/quote]

We have a timer that changes the temp in the evening to 64 and at 5am it clicks up to 68. We use steam heat with a natural gas furnace and it is much more efficient than a straight heat pump.

If we have guests from down south I may bump it up to 72 during the day to keep them from freezing.

You might be able to get some additional savings if your water heater is insulated and you can lower the temp a few degrees cooler.

Spend a few dollars at Menard’s on window plastic and save even more money :slight_smile:

the house I bought is brand new. just about everything is energy efficient. all the windows. all the door etc… I have yet to buy a water heater blanket. but its on the list of things to do. I’ve been informed the shrink wrap on the window is necessary since my windows are energy efficient. with the 2 extra bedrooms I have I’ve closed the doors and shut the heat vents.

call me crazy but since last week I’ve had it set to 58 degrees!!! somedays I don’t get home till late so I jump right into bed and doesn’t bother me. but I wonder what mario(cat) thinks?

typo: I have been told the shrink wrap is not necessary.

I have my furnace programmed to 60 degrees, with the exception of the hour after I get up and get ready for work and the five hours after I get home from work/before I go to bed. Then I keep it at 62. My house is about 1700 sqft and I insulated the hell out of it when I built it. 62 degrees is actually quite comfortable.

Never higher than 65, if you are cold buy a sweater it’s cheaper than heat.

I have both radiant heat (boiler) and forced air (furnace).

I keep the boiler at 58 during the day and at night. When I’m home in the evenings I’ll bump it up to 63 until bed.

I turn the furnace on when I first get home and when I first wake up and just let it run for 15 minutes or so to take the edge off.

I have a programmable that is set to 60 at night and 69 when we are home.

One caveat, if you add a programmable to a boiler system, make sure it is compatible. I burned out my zone valves by using the wrong type.

[quote]MNguns wrote:
the house I bought is brand new. just about everything is energy efficient. all the windows. all the door etc… with the 2 extra bedrooms I have I’ve closed the doors and shut the heat vents.
[/quote]

AFAIK it’s not a good idea to close off vents and leave rooms unheated, for several reasons:

  1. The 2 bedrooms become cold zones with cold, uninsulated walls abutting heated rooms. The interior stud walls have R values of about 1 (less than most windows) so the heated zones are losing a lot of heat through unheated common walls.

  2. Closing vents will increase pressure in the duct system, causing increased duct joint leakage and heat loss.

  3. If you decrease overall air flow, the heat exchanger will get hotter much faster than usual, the high heat limiter will kick in, the flame will go out, the blower will cool down the exchanger and the flame will re-ignite. This fast and constant cycling can damage the ignitor and the exchanger, significantly shortening furnace life. It’s okay to adjust vents to control air flow, but don’t close them completely.

  4. You could get mold forming on the common walls, as moisture condenses on cold surfaces.

Ultimately, closing vents and doors in unused rooms will save little or no money. This approach is frequently recommended on “energy-saving” websites, but I think most HVAC pros will say it’s best to improve the insulation and vapour barrier of the building envelope if you want to reduce energy use, along with turning down thermostats.

John

Good to know. I need to go open like 5 vents now haha.