Author Topic: Heat temp with a small child?  (Read 3895 times)

SimpleCycle

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Heat temp with a small child?
« on: January 11, 2017, 11:28:35 AM »
For those of you with small children, what temperature do you keep the house at overnight?

We live in a two level condo.  Our heating is very uneven, and my daughter's room is the one that gets coldest in the house.  In years gone by (pre-kids) we kept the house at 63 during the day and 55 at night, but that seems unreasonable with small ones.  So far this winter we have been keeping the thermostat set at 68, which keeps her room around 66 during the day and drops it down to around 63 at night.  It has gone as low as 59 at night, all with the thermostat set to 68.

We have insulated curtains in her room with wraparound curtain rods to keep the heat in.  I bought a register booster but haven't tried it out yet.  We've closed all the registers upstairs where the thermostat is, so just the lower level registers are open (where the bedrooms are).

Two questions:
1) Would you try programming the thermostat to drop at night, knowing it could make her room quite cold?  She is 18 months, wears fleece footie pajamas and sleeps under a warm blanket, although she's not great about keeping the blanket on.
2) Any ideas on how to deal with the uneven heating?

Plugging Along

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2017, 11:32:19 AM »
There is a thread underthe newborns in the mini moustache area.

You could try a space heater in the one room.   That's what we did

FrugalFan

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 11:41:11 AM »
I would be worried about the safety of a space heater.

We have a down-filled sleep sack for the cold winter months on our 2-year-old. We keep our house at 62 overnight (drops to 60-61) in his room. We also sleep in an unheated cabin in the spring with the same set-up, and it routinely drops to 40 there. When we are there, we add a fleece sweater on top of his fleece jammies for extra warmth. Our 4 year old just sleeps with a warm fleece blanket at home, but in a warm sleeping bag in the cabin. I check on them each night before going to bed and they are both nice and warm. You can tell if a child is cold if their skin (cheeks, hands) start to feel cool. If they feel warm to the touch, they are fine.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 12:11:08 PM »
We use a space heater in the baby's room to keep it around 68-70F.  We let the rest of the house drop down to 62F.

lbmustache

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 12:19:21 PM »
Space heater. Just get a quality one (tip over shut off, etc.) and you should be fine.

http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/best-space-heaters/kid-safe

KS

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2017, 12:21:47 PM »
I'll second the sleep sack/wearable blanket! Our room has baseboard heaters with no thermostat, and terrible insulation so if we aren't getting up and turning the heat on at night it can get pretty chilly. (We share with our 14 month old daughter so at least we aren't at risk of not realizing how cold it has gotten in there as we feel it too, but it's a hassle to keep getting up to turn on/off, plus the energy bills!) The coldest we have seen it get so far is 61; on the coldest nights we do a short sleeved onesie under regular fleece footie pjs, and this wearable blanket and she seems to stay plenty cozy: http://www.halosleep.com/sleepsack-early-walker/

For colder than that, I'd probably get one of the warmer wearable blankets. This brand has a helpful guide to what level of clothing/blanket to use for each temp range:
http://www.slumbersafe.com/tog

It has made our lives soooo much easier not to have to worry about the room temp as much by just having her dressed warmly! And she loves the blanket, is very excited to put it on each night.

ETA: I just noticed the Halo site lists the blankets at $26... pretty sure we paid $15 on amazon so of course shop around!
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 12:24:32 PM by KS »

SimpleCycle

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2017, 01:56:42 PM »
I am concerned about the safety of space heaters for overnight in her room.  The recommendation is to turn off space heaters during sleep, which sort of defeats the purpose.  http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/fire-statistics/fire-causes/appliances-and-equipment/heating-equipment

But even if we presume they are safe, I am not sure it is actually more economical to run a space heater than it is to just turn up our natural gas furnace.  Running a space heater 10 hours a night on high (1500 watts) is an extra $43.20 in electricity at our local rates and running it on low (750 watts) is an extra $21.60.  Our gas bill is more complicated, but this December was colder than last year AND we ran the temp at 68 most of the time and the difference was 7.3 therms or about $6 at current rates.  A back of the envelope calculation shows our usage goes up about .1 therm for each heating degree day, so lowering the temp to 60 round the clock for 30 days would be 24 therms, or $20.16, which would not offset a space heater on low for the toddler's room and make it colder during the day.

Which option is better environmental stewardship is probably a different question, but just based on money I'm not sure a space heater is the best option, unless I'm doing the math completely wrong.

nessness

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2017, 02:34:50 PM »
We keep our house at 61-62 at night, but my daughter's room stays a little warmer, I would guess about 65. She sleeps in fleece pajamas and a fleece sleep sack and always seems comfortable.

ysette9

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2017, 02:45:53 PM »
We have a space heater in my daughter's room. It is an oil one that never gets more than warm to the touch, but does a good job keeping her room reasonable. She was a skinny preemie who could just not keep herself warm, even wearing two sleep sacks over her PJs. I gave up trying to keep her warm enough through blankets because it always ended up with a screaming baby in the middle of the night.

MayDay

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2017, 02:58:54 PM »
Our fireman neighbor OKed a space heater (the radiator style) in a bedroom. We felt comfortable with it as long as it was in the mdie of the room not touching anything.

That said, I find my kids to be OK with 55 at night. Our bedroom area of the house also gets freezing (old farmhouse that didn't originally have central heat, and when they put it in, it was a bit wonky). My kids wear I layer of clothes, then a bathrobe (similar in warmth to a fleece sleep sack) then a down comforter. They cry if they get uncovered (well now they just pull the covers up, but they used to cry).  At 18 months to save myself the middle of the night wake up I'd bump the heat to 60 with a space heater.

Reynolds531

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2017, 03:09:24 PM »
The dad in me just face punched the mmm in me. Turn up the whole house and pay the $30 a month until she's older.

Dulcimina

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2017, 04:09:11 PM »
Another vote for space heater. Could warming up the room an hour before bedtime, then shutting the space heater off the rest of the night work from a safety standpoint? It also means that you wouldn't be running the space heater 10 hrs/night.

For example, I have a central boiler in my building with convector style heating in each unit.   I usually turn the heat off at night, not to save money, but because the fans are annoyingly loud and because there is apparently no insulation between the convector under the window and the outside wall.  To block the cold draft, I put up insulating curtains which also block the convectors.

When I get home in the evenings, I turn the convector and the space heater on while I'm puttering around doing chores and making dinner.  Then I turn the regular heat off (to reduce noise), leaving the space heater until I'm ready to sleep.  The room stays warm enough (66-68F) overnight until I get up the next morning.

I'm curious why her room is so much colder than the rest of the condo - is it the insulation? Is there heat blowing into her room at all? Could ductwork be disconnected or blocked?


SimpleCycle

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2017, 08:31:53 PM »
I'm curious why her room is so much colder than the rest of the condo - is it the insulation? Is there heat blowing into her room at all? Could ductwork be disconnected or blocked?

I don't think it's the duct work.  It's a two level condo - living space (and thermostat) above ground on the first floor and bedrooms half below ground on the lower level.  Thermostat is set to 68, the thermometer up here says the range for the last 48 hours is 64 to 68, in our bedroom downstairs the range is 63 to 68 and in her room the range is 61 to 66.  A range of 7 degrees from upstairs to downstairs is normal per our HVAC guy, it just means that her room dips much lower at night.  Certainly the insulation in her bedroom, especially on one side, doesn't help matters, but mostly it's the number of outside vs. shared walls and proximity to the thermostat.

I do plan to add a circulator fan between floors and a register booster fan in her room, I just haven't found the time.  Each is supposed to help a few degrees so we'll see.

The real "fix" to this issue is a dual zone heating system, but that is totally not worth it to us because it is very expensive and disruptive to install.

chops

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2017, 09:23:52 PM »
The plastic wrap for around windows they sell at hardware stores (and even Aldi!) works amazingly well.  It creates a bubble of air and seals any small cracks around the window as well.  It will raise the temp and cut the drafts.  Well worth the couple dollar investment!!

 - Chops

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2017, 09:33:55 PM »
I recently ran across this online which I thought was a handy guide:


http://www.sleeperific.stfi.re/baby-clothing-sleep/?sf=jvrpgge#aa

des999

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2017, 10:27:30 AM »
wow you all keep your house cold.  I drop it to 67 at night, but I have a 5 year old and a wife that likes it at 70.  So 67 was a good compromise.

Is there a post some where that talks about how much you can save by dropping the furnace down say 5 degrees?  I'm sure I could google it, but just curious if it's a savings that you all are noticing in your monthly bills?

SimpleCycle

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2017, 10:34:04 AM »

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2017, 10:34:26 AM »
wow you all keep your house cold.  I drop it to 67 at night, but I have a 5 year old and a wife that likes it at 70.  So 67 was a good compromise.

Is there a post some where that talks about how much you can save by dropping the furnace down say 5 degrees?  I'm sure I could google it, but just curious if it's a savings that you all are noticing in your monthly bills?

My ecobee thermostat does this calculation for us. It compares using our electricity rates. We go 68 day, 64 night. Last month, we saved $19.97 by having it set there rather than 72F all the time. And we're in the 7% most efficient homes in Oregon of their users, so I imagine it's more pronounced in an older/less insulated home!

des999

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2017, 10:41:57 AM »
wow you all keep your house cold.  I drop it to 67 at night, but I have a 5 year old and a wife that likes it at 70.  So 67 was a good compromise.

Is there a post some where that talks about how much you can save by dropping the furnace down say 5 degrees?  I'm sure I could google it, but just curious if it's a savings that you all are noticing in your monthly bills?

My ecobee thermostat does this calculation for us. It compares using our electricity rates. We go 68 day, 64 night. Last month, we saved $19.97 by having it set there rather than 72F all the time. And we're in the 7% most efficient homes in Oregon of their users, so I imagine it's more pronounced in an older/less insulated home!

interesting, thanks for that info.  I'll have to push a little harder for even lower temps :)

SimpleCycle

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2017, 10:42:31 AM »
wow you all keep your house cold.  I drop it to 67 at night, but I have a 5 year old and a wife that likes it at 70.  So 67 was a good compromise.

Is there a post some where that talks about how much you can save by dropping the furnace down say 5 degrees?  I'm sure I could google it, but just curious if it's a savings that you all are noticing in your monthly bills?

I was able to roughly calculate it from information our gas company provides, which shows that we use about .1 therms of gas for each "heating degree day" (1 degree for 24 hours), so turning down the thermostat by 5 degrees for 30 days would be 15 therms, or $12.60/month.

The department of energy estimates a 10% savings from turning the temp down 8-10 degrees for 8 hours per day (when you are not home or when you are sleeping).

SKL-HOU

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2017, 09:53:46 PM »
I understand you want to be a good mustachian but i don't think potentially keeping your baby uncomfortable is worth the little savings you get. I would turn it up to whatever is comfrotable for your baby. I won't even mention what i keep my house at, it is well above any numbers thrown out here.

kevj1085

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Re: Heat temp with a small child?
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2017, 10:23:57 PM »
Good gosh my wife freezes if it dips under 75 degrees in our house at night time. We are from az though so I guess when you're used to 110+.