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Am I doing the right thing turning the heat down at night?

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catmandu57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:08 PM
Original message
Am I doing the right thing turning the heat down at night?
I don't keep it up too warm anyway, it may hit 72 if my wife grouses loud enough, before we go to bed i turn it down to 66 or lower figuring that we don't need to burn the gas when we're in bed. In the morning when I get up I turn the heat up until the furnace kicks on, so I'm wondering if I'm wasting more gas warming the house in the morning or would I be just as well off leaving the thermostat alone at night?
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. I've wondered that too, if it's better to leave the temp stable rather
than force our gas boiler to work hard to get the temp back up in the AM.
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CT_Progressive Donating Member (889 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
2. You are doing the right thing.
Edited on Mon Dec-10-07 01:12 PM by CT_Progressive
Your body temp lowers (naturally) when you sleep, so you don't need it so warm.
"Firing up" the burner uses no more or less fuel than running it normally. Its not like starting a car. :)

You're saving money and fuel. Keep it up.
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flamin lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
16. Not necessarily. If the temp is kept stable the walls, floor and all the furnishings
are at a constant temp. If the house cools appreciably (or heats in the summer) those heat sinks contribute to the energy cost to return the house to a previous temperature. It may be beneficial to fluctuate the temp but any gain is mitigated by the heat sink factor.

What I mean is it isn't a linear thing and the gains are not as great as it might appear.
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CT_Progressive Donating Member (889 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. Check this link: American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
http://www.aceee.org/consumerguide/heating.htm

(scroll to bottom of page, quoted below)

Turn down the thermostat at night and when you're away from home. In most homes, you can save about 2% of your heating bill for each degree that you lower the thermostat for at least 8 hours each day. Contrary to some common myths, it won't take more energy to bring your home back to the desired temperature than it would to leave it at your optimum temperature all day. Turning down the thermostat from 70F to 65F, for example, saves about 10% ($100 saved per $1,000 of heating cost).
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. Get a thermostat that does it automatically. It saves energy and $$$$.
Programmable thermostats pay for themselves quickly. Especially, it turned even lower, like 60. Each additional degree of heat is more costly than the one before.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
4. You're fine
I turn mine down to 62 at night. Until last night it had kicked in only a few times. Last night was pretty cold.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
5. No
You should use all the energy you can. It's what makes us Americans. Jimmy Carter told us to wear a sweater, and you see what that got him.

If we don't use it up the Chinese will.

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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. exactly!
if we try to reduce energy consumption, the terrorists have already won.

</sarcasm>
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
6. I do the same thing. I'm sure it saves a lot.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
7. You can even turn it off when you go sleep, and back on in the morning, I do that
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. 46 F in my house this morning when I woke up....
Edited on Mon Dec-10-07 01:15 PM by mike_c
I think we're on the same page, more-or-less. Goose down is a wonderful thing.

I do not heat at all after I go to bed, i.e. after the stove burns out. I kick the furnace on for a short time in the morning to take the chill off.
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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. 46 is rather extreme..
"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."

http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/space_hea...

Note that the period of time actually at the lower setting is all savings. But 46 is root cellar cold. Brrrr...

Also note that if you have a heat pump you will put it into emergency heat mode, which is wildly inefficient, so heat pumps are best kept at much more moderate settings (we have ours at 66 at night, 68 in the day, and hardly use it after the morning heatup and hot water shower purge until nighttime as the house has good passive solar qualities.)
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. You explained it correctly, but that quote may lead some people astray.
Edited on Mon Dec-10-07 02:33 PM by Tesha

____________ ________
\ /

Temperature \ /
| \____________/ |
| |
day |vv| night |^^| day


_ _ _ ___
(100%) | |
___________ | |______
| $$$$$$$$$$$$|
Heat | $$$$$$$$$$$$|
Demand | $$$$$$$$$$$$|
| |
(0%)_ _ _ |___| _ _ _



> "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 explained it correctly, but that quote may lead
some people astray so I'm going to try and reinforce
what you said.

We can divide "the heating day" into four periods:

1. The daytime when the temperature is steadily warm (say, 68).
2. The evening cool-down period ("vv")
3. The nighttime period when the temperature is steadily cool (say, 60)
4. The morning warm-up period ("^^")
(5. The next day's daytime period)

What the quote is trying to explain is the idea that while
the heat does run heavily during the morning warm-up period,
that extra heating is balanced just about exactly by the
fact that the heat probably doesn't run *AT ALL* during
the evening cool-down period. After all, you're letting
the house cool from 68 to 60 and you don't run the heat
to cool things off.

Meanwhile, the whole nighttime cool period is gravy ($ savings).
It costs you less heat to keep the house at 60 than it does
to keep it at 68. It always makes sense to run the thermostat
at the lowest temperature you can stand, keeping in mind the
risk of frozen pipes if you let the house's interior temperature
drop too low.

Tesha
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. I sleep with my windows open and do not heat at night at all....
Edited on Mon Dec-10-07 02:20 PM by mike_c
I like it that way-- frankly, I like it cold no matter what. Let's see, the current temp in my house is 58 F, provided mostly by sunlight through the windows.

I usually light a fire in the wood stove during the evening and warm the house up into the mid-60's or so, warmer in the living room where the stove lives, then throw on an extra log or two before I go to bed. After the fire burns out the house cools, but I'm snoring under goose down by then and quite toasty warm. I like breathing the cold air while I sleep. Then, as I said, I turn on the central heating for a short time in the morning to take the chill off before showering-- I define taking the chill off as raising the temp into the high 50s or low 60s, LOL.

My monthly energy bill-- gas and electricity combined-- is about $45 in summer and $80 in winter, plus I burn about half a cord of wood each winter. More to the point, I'm entirely comfortable.
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panader0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
9. My girlfriend is in the middle of men-o-pause
She has had a fan of in our room for two years straight.
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catmandu57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. There was an episode of Red Green
that addressed that, he said When your wife hits menopause that electric blanket she's been simmering under gets replaced by a ten thousand watt ceiling fan. :)
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catmandu57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
10. Okay thanks
I'll keep on turning it down.
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ginnyinWI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
11. We've done it since the Carter administration
It works great unless you forget to turn it back up in the morning and then realize why you are freezing.

We can't do it now because we have a sick cat, but normally it gets turned down to 60 degrees. You can also invest in an automatic thermostat which does the switching for you.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
12. Put on an extra blanket and turn it to 62
because yes, you do save money if you turn the heat down 10 degrees at night. It's less costly to warm the house in the morning when you get up than it is to keep it warm all night.
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
13. you are doing the right thing, just get under those covers at nite.
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BridgeTheGap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
15. I once had a heating & A/C guy tell me not to mess with the thermostat
unless I was going on vacation. His reasoning is that you use more energy getting the house back to the temperature you want it at for the day time.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. He was wrong. (NT)
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
18. My gas bill (mostly for heat) in the house went down noticeably
when I put in a programmable thermostat and set it to drop the temp at night and when I was at work.

So to answer your question, YES.
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Fresh_Start Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
19. Setback thermostat
we run at 66-68 when we're home during the day and turn down to 55 at night. The thermostat starts the heat about 1/2 hour before our alarm clock so its warming when we get out of bed in the morning.

Same system operates the airconditioning in the summertime.
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chaplainM Donating Member (744 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
22. Bucket analogy
Your house is a leaky bucket, except it's leaking heat instead of water. Do you try to keep a leaky bucket filled all the time, to avoid having to put a lot of water in all at once, or do you fill it just when you need it?
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
26. It get even more interesting with an older home.
Having owned two different houses built in the twenties, I have become convinced that the laws of physics were very different back then.

Heat was apparently trainable. It simply "knew" to stay inside or outside depending on the season thus completely eliminating the need for any kind of insulation or weather stripping. The same is true for moisture.

Water was unaffected by gravity which meant the builders didn't have to be concerned with grading or drainage.

Electricity also was quite intelligent being able to avoid overloads on its own and negate the need for grounding.

Mold, rot, corrosion and termites simply did not exist; probably because wood did not contract & expand, but evidently concrete did.

Electricity was free and the homeowner was paid to use gas.
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