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55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 01:52 PM   #1
 
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55 Degrees Bad For House?

We let our house get cold at night. Depending on when we last have a fire in the wood stove at night, it might be 55 degrees when we get up in the morning.

We don't mind this, 'cause we sleep better when it's cold. But I'm wondering if this can be bad for the house (such as bad for the paint on the walls).

Anyone have any info on this?
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 02:12 PM   #2
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

Here in the south, extreme temp changes can certainly cause the walls to sweat. Also, in new houses it can cause nail pops.(nails or screws backing out) Creates an ugly bulge in the sheet rock. I try not to go below 60 on my thermostat.
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 02:49 PM   #3
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

I would also be concerned about moisture and mold and dont let it get below 60 at night.
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 03:03 PM   #4
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

You guys are wusses.


55 degrees is nothing!
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 03:09 PM   #5
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl

We don't mind this, 'cause we sleep better when it's cold.* But I'm wondering if this can be bad for the house (such as bad for the paint on the walls).

Anyone have any info on this?
T-A
I'm with Marth on this, 55 is nothing. But if you house gets cold at night, try putting some jamies on it (maybe the ones with cute and fuzzy bunnies!)
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 03:25 PM   #6
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

55 is nothing !

At my house...


It was so cold . . .
we had to stop eating with metal cutlery. Some people walked around for days with spoons or forks stuck to their tongues!

It was so cold...
hitchhikers were holding up pictures of thumbs!

It was so cold...
roosters were rushing into Kentucky Fried Chicken and begging to use the pressure cooker!

It was so cold . . .
when I dialed 911, a recorded message said to phone back in the spring!

It was so cold . . .
the optician was giving away free ice scrapers with every new pair of eyeglasses!

It was so cold . . .
kids were using a new excuse to stay up late: "But Mom, my pyjamas haven't thawed out yet!"

It was so cold . . .
the travel agency was advertising tropical vacations in Igloolik!

It was so cold . . .
pickpockets were sticking their hands in strangers' pockets just to keep them warm!

It was so cold . . .
the squirrels in the park were throwing themselves at an electric fence!

It was so cold . . .
I chipped a tooth on my soup!
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 03:54 PM   #7
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

I have a programmable thermostat that sets the heat back to 55 at midnight and back up to 70 at 7 am. The house is pretty well insulated and unless it is really cold out the temperature rarely gets below 58 during the night. Haven't had any moisture or other problems.

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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 03:56 PM   #8
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

Our kitchen is on a first floor bumpout from the rest of our building. It has one small radiator. Saturday morning it was 43 degrees in there. We do have a gas fireplace in the kitchen so we can in fact heat it up to a reasonable temperature, but Greg is too dang frugal to use it very often.

Today it is up to 50 in the kitchen.

No problems other than marital.
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 03:58 PM   #9
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

http://www.bsu.edu/web/ien/archives/2000/021700.htm

This guy (Thad Godish, Ph.D., C.I.H) says dont let it go below 60. And you thought the "musty smell" was Greg?
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 04:05 PM   #10
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddythebeagle
http://www.bsu.edu/web/ien/archives/2000/021700.htm

This guy (Thad Godish, Ph.D., C.I.H) says dont let it go below 60.
My impression is that he is talking about keeping the heat down for long periods of time, not just at night.

I think our relative humidity is slow low here in the winter that the odds of a mold problem are about zero. In fact, we have to run a humidifier to keep it at all comfortable. This may be very different from where Al is.

Edit: I cruized some more on the internet, (using my neighbor's connection) and see that turning down your heat at night could lead to mold/mildew problems due to increased relative humidity. So it looks like you have to find the sweet spot of the correct temperature and humidity level. Keep the relative humidity level below 60-70%. Ideal is 30 to 50%.
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 05:22 PM   #11
 
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

Well, that's good information. Close to the ocean here, mold is indeed a problem. I don't think our relative humidity ever drops below 80%.

Right now we never turn our furnace on, except once a month for a few minutes to keep it from rusting; I hate using that propane.

But maybe I have to rethink this.

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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 06:03 PM   #12
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Well, that's good information.* Close to the ocean here, mold is indeed a problem.* I don't think our relative humidity ever drops below 80%.*

Right now we never turn our furnace on, except once a month for a few minutes to keep it from rusting;* I hate using that propane.*

But maybe I have to rethink this.

I don't think 55 at night is going to get any mold growing if it's back up during the days.
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 06:21 PM   #13
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

The low temp condensation due to higher relative humidity is right on. Martha, when I lived in New England, humidity wasnt much of a problem in the winter either.

Check the bottoms of the panes of glass in the windows; the windows will be cooler than the room and will condense moisture, which will generall run down and collect on the bottom glazing. If theres any funny colored stuff growing there, spray it with a 1:10 mix of bleach and water and wipe immediately. Tops of your baseboards and areas around electric outlets are also great places for condensation due to temp differential. Dropping the temp of the interior of the house will increase relative humidity and increase these "problems".
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 06:45 PM   #14
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

55 degrees is fine anytime day or night. You burn more calories when the house is cool so it helps you stay slim and trim. My kids quit complaining after a few years and just laid on a few more blankets at night. I have to admit it's a tad hard on guests if they're not used to it but it keeps the riffraff out. It helps to wear a hat, even if it's a baseball cap. Cold slows down mold growth. Ever see mold grow in your freezer?
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 06:50 PM   #15
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

I used to live in an apartment with electric heat which I couldn't afford to use. *I would leave it open all day to warm it up and close it at night to keep the heat in. *After a year or so I had a mold crop on the frames of *every window because of condensation. *I was in a dry climate, but just a few blocks off the ocean. *The "tighter" the house the worse it can get. *
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 08:58 PM   #16
 
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

Quote:
Check the bottoms of the panes of glass in the windows
When we moved in, I immediately bought energy efficient duo-fold shades. Closed them that first night, and in the morning, had big puddles on all the sills. So much for that idea.

We have our bedroom window open at night, and still get some condensation on it!

I know what you're saying, DoctorDec, and a lot of mold-related web sites talk about how mold grows best above 75 degrees. However, most of the rooms in our house have never seen the north side of 70 degrees, and we have some mold there. So we must have a variety that likes cold.
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 09:43 PM   #17
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

I have our automatic thermostadt set for 56 degrees at nite in winter.* It never turns on, never gets that low.* Well, almost never.* Saturday nite, I heard it turn on during the nite.* * :P

I had to laugh at Martha's assertion "55 is nothing"* Like Ali used to say, "if you can do it, it ain't bragging."* 56 is about 15 degrees too low for me; but I don't like paying Texas utilities. Brrr!
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-20-2006, 09:58 PM   #18
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
We let our house get cold at night.* Depending on when we last have a fire in the wood stove at night, it might be 55 degrees when we get up in the morning.
This is why I left Pittsburgh as soon as I finished high school. Especially the comment about the kids giving up complaining and just throwing on more blankets!

It may be 55 on the thermometer, but what's the temperature of the water inside the pipe that's farthest from the thermometer? Is anything up there at risk of freezing?

Do you have any fuel tanks or scuba tanks (or other kinds of tanks) that moisture can condense inside of and rust the inside walls? Do you keep lawnmower gas in a partially-filled metal can? Is the washing machine allowed to dry out after a load of laundry? You've already mentioned bathroom ventilation so presumably that's not an issue. Is moisture a problem in basement walls, or is the basement well-ventilated? The worst problem is wet concrete basement walls behind paneling.

The attic may be well insulated, but is the airspace above the insulation well ventilated to keep the moisture from condensing & accumulating in the insulation?

Do the pets have a shelter they can curl up inside to warm up with their body heat? And I'd hate to be an aquarium fish there!
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-21-2006, 07:08 AM   #19
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

Ok, someone here must have done an analysis..

Are you really likely to save more energy by by going down to 55 at night and then bringing it back up to 70, versus lowering it to, say, 60? Isn't it going to take more energy to get the house back up 15 degrees rather than 5 or 10?

Guess it would depend on how drafty your house is and what it's made of.. We have it at 68 during the day and 62 at night. Whenever I have woken up the radiators have always been off / cold, so I'm thinking in our house it's not losing enough heat to even get down to 55 over those 8-9 hours or so, even if we desired it. The doors and windows are drafty, but the house is stone & brick w/no insulation, just a 6-8" air layer between the outer wall (stone) and the inner one (hollow bricks & cement). (Weird, I know..)
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?
Old 02-21-2006, 08:12 AM   #20
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Re: 55 Degrees Bad For House?

We don't ever use central heating. Ever. We have space heaters and use them on a as needed basis. It was bitterly cold (okay by San Fran standards :) this last week. We just wear extra thermal undies and sweatshirts.
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