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Thermostat winter setting: keeping the peace
Old 10-27-2013, 12:17 PM   #1
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Thermostat winter setting: keeping the peace

In past years we have agreed on a 66 degree setting. DW is pushing for higher although I think I can work on her guilt about energy overuse. This often happens at the turn of the seasons, early fall.

DW has a little heater in her art room to mitigate things. When December comes along, later in the day I turn off the thermostat (forced air heating) and run a wood fire just to heat up the family eating/lounging area. That is pretty quick and efficient. Gets things up to a toasty 73 or so. But this is only done in the winter months December to maybe February here in California.

So what do others set their house temperatures to? Any family disagreements about this one?
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:26 PM   #2
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Our programmable thermostats are set to 68F during the day and 62F at night. During the colder weather (late Oct to mid March here in VT) we have a woodstove in the great room that keeps the room we spend most of our time in 70-75F. Sometimes I forget to turn down the damper and it gets up to 80F!

You don't really need to turn down the thermostat when you run the woodstove since once that room/zone gets up to temperature the forced hot air system should turn off automatically.
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:30 PM   #3
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No disagreements here as I live alone. I have the thermostat set at 68 during the day and 65 at night. I have a gas log fireplace in the small den off my kitchen where I spend most of my waking hours, and I turn it on for some quick warmth and cozy effect on really nippy days when I come downstairs first thing in the morning and also when I return home from work. When the fireplace is on, it can become sweltering hot within about a half an hour.
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:32 PM   #4
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During the winter we have the thermostat set at 70 during the day and 55 at night. During the hot and humid summer we set it at 82, and leave for somewhere cooler.

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Old 10-27-2013, 12:36 PM   #5
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I think I had it set around 60 maybe 55, I haven't turned the central heat on the past few winters. It's propane fed a cost a fortune to run, I just use some portable electric space heaters.
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:05 PM   #6
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I'm looking forward to snowbirding this winter. Our house in MD is really big, and even with geothermal it's pretty expensive (MD Eastern Shore electricity is pretty high). This winter I'm going to get to set it to 45, and with the lack of other electric use I suspect we should be saving a couple hundred dollars/month. And since the house in FL is pretty small and Jan - March should be mostly without AC, I think we're going to have a huge energy consumption difference.

Ordinarily we'd keep the main house zone at 67, the bedroom zone at 64, and the upstairs (empty) zone at 45.
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:12 PM   #7
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During the winter we have the thermostat set at 70 during the day and 55 at night. During the hot and humid summer we set it at 82, and leave for somewhere cooler.

P.S.

Leaving for the summer is not meant to be a cost saving tip
Does it really cool down to 55 inside (lose 15 degrees overnight)? I'm wondering if the end result is just turning the heat off at night and having it come back on during the day.
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:13 PM   #8
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Winter: About 65 at night, 70 in the day. Life's too short to spend half of it dressed like an eskimo or having cold hands and feet. Our natural gas bill in the winter is usually less than $130/month (include water heating and cooking). $4/day to be comfortable is a small price. I'd be wearing a lot more clothes if we had electric resistance heat or less insulation.
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:21 PM   #9
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Winter: About 65 at night, 70 in the day. Life's too short to spend half of it dressed like an eskimo or having cold hands and feet. Our natural gas bill in the winter is usually less than $130/month (include water heating and cooking). $4/day to be comfortable is a small price. I'd be wearing a lot more clothes if we had electric resistance heat or less insulation.
We're comfortable at the slightly lower temps. Maybe we have more body insulation than you do. Even with the lower temps, when the hot flashes hit DW goes out on the deck to let some steam escape.
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:21 PM   #10
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... When December comes along, later in the day I turn off the thermostat (forced air heating) and run a wood fire just to heat up the family eating/lounging area. That is pretty quick and efficient. Gets things up to a toasty 73 or so. ...
If you want to keep your average temperature down, that toasty 73F might be working against you. That becomes 'comfortable', and 66 seems cool in comparison.

We typically turn the heat up to 68 after dinner. Being active getting dinner ready and stove/oven heat keeps us comfy enough. But after dinner is typically sitting around, so 68 feels better.

I turn it down at night, all the way down in milder weather as the house doesn't really drop that much w/o heat, maybe 58 in colder weather. Once we are under the covers, the temperature doesn't matter much. During the day, just depends how I feel. If I'm active, I often don't turn it up at all until late afternoon, then to maybe ~65F. I go by how I feel, not a number on a thermostat. I'm surprised how often I don't feel cold at all, because I have some layers on and am being active. But if I fixated on a number, I'd think 'brrrr - it's cold in here'.

While I was waiting for a furnace part, we just had about 5 days of 59-63 indoor temperatures. Not really as bad as I thought. I finally convinced DW that an electric blanket, turned on 15 minutes before bedtime, and then unplugged would help immensely to just take off that initial chill. She finally relented, and now loves the warm bed. She will soon claim it was her idea all along


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Old 10-27-2013, 01:22 PM   #11
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Thermostat turned off.
I live in a large two story house with high ceilings and an open floor plan in central northern CA. Most of the living space that DW and I use is on the first floor. Even with zone heating most of the heat ends up going where its not needed - upstairs.
I like a cool house and a cold bedroom, so I don't use the central heating at all. Instead opting for localized space heating, the gas fireplace, + heating pad and electric blankets for personal warmth - heat the body, not the whole house.
DW likes it warmer than me so she heats her office to her own comfort level.
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:47 PM   #12
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65 at night 68-70 during occupied hours, try the nest thermostat, its pretty neat.
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:54 PM   #13
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Does it really cool down to 55 inside (lose 15 degrees overnight)? I'm wondering if the end result is just turning the heat off at night and having it come back on during the day.

Our thermostat timer does have a "turn off" setting like the timers we use in the UK, so setting it to 55 is equivalent to turning it off.

I also manually turn off the water heater in the evening and turn it back on again next day. (plenty of hot water for us both to have a shower in the morning). In the UK the timers all have separate settings for hot water and for heating.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:03 PM   #14
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Since we're both retired and sometimes have odd sleeping/awake schedules, we just change the thermostat twice a year; 70 for the winter and 73 for the summer. Also, since one of us is usually at home, it makes little sense to change the setting, be it manually or automatically.

While we live in the mid-Atlantic region, temps vary but generally are not extreme in any season.

FWIW...
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:13 PM   #15
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The heating season started about a week ago here. 64 daytime, 62 at night. We like it cool.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:20 PM   #16
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The heating season started about a week ago here. 64 daytime, 62 at night. We like it cool.
We have always kept our house at these same settings but I think we are becoming prehypothermic at these temperatures as we get older (physically and psychologically--dang I hate winter), so this year I am going up 4 degrees for each and see how we feel.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:53 PM   #17
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One of the wonderful aspects of living alone, is that I can govern the temperature. When I am being frugal, I am more cautious but most of the time I set it for something in my comfort range. I don't spend money on travel, so I might as well spend it on the energy costs to make my home comfortable since I am there a lot.

We don't have the heaters on yet, here (my AC just cycled on as I typed that). Right now, I have the thermostat set at 75 during the day when I am at home, 80 during the day when I am not at home. I set the thermostat at 73 at bedtime, although this morning it was 70 in my house when I awakened. That was very pleasant. I opened the doors, thinking it might be in the 60's outside, and delightfully cool. But no, drat, it was 70 outside, too, and more humid than inside, so that put an end to that.

At the gym, most of the men seem to agree with me that it is too hot. Some of the other women think it is too cold, but I think these are the ones who don't work out hard enough to break a sweat.
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:17 PM   #18
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If you want to keep your average temperature down, that toasty 73F might be working against you. That becomes 'comfortable', and 66 seems cool in comparison.
...
The 73F comes about because the wood fireplace just gives off a lot of heat. Not that easy to regulate it and I've learned to just stop feeding it wood at some point. It doesn't really heat the whole house but mostly the kitchen and largish family area. Upstairs it's still reasonably cool for sleeping. We never have to use heat upstairs. So much of this depends on one's house layout and outside climatic conditions.
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:20 PM   #19
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One of the wonderful aspects of living alone, is that I can govern the temperature. When I am being frugal, I am more cautious but most of the time I set it for something in my comfort range. I don't spend money on travel, so I might as well spend it on the energy costs to make my home comfortable since I am there a lot.
...(snip)...
With the markets heading up I'm thinking all we have to do is monitor your energy use. Could be a leading indicator ... or maybe a coincident indicator?
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:23 PM   #20
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Summer is 77 day, 72 night. Winter is 68-70 when I'm home, 66 when gone or sleeping.
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