Author Topic: When do you turn on your heat?  (Read 9737 times)

Mrbeardedbigbucks

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When do you turn on your heat?
« on: November 01, 2017, 07:14:47 PM »
We live in New Hampshire, about 45 minutes north of Boston. Were trying to stick it out with no heat until Nov 15.  Once we turn it on, our goal is to leave the Nest set at 65F (18c) until we shut it down for the season. We have steam heat fueled by natural gas.

Were trying our best to use less energy for environmental reasons and to save a little cash.

So for those of you in cold weather climates, when do you typically turn on your heat? Or what have you done to reduce energy consumption?


Anniemaygo

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 07:21:14 PM »
I am in Massachusetts, an hour west of Boston. I managed to wait until November 1 this year, kids finally wore me down, so it's now at 66.  It was starting to get a little chilly in the house!

terran

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 07:29:47 PM »
When we lived in Upstate NY we could usually make it to about now (if we were lucky). We now live "down south" and we're hoping to make it to December -- so far so good!

Sarah Saverdink

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2017, 07:35:27 PM »
Same general area. The husband and I debated that tonight.... not yet!! We cooked dinner in the oven and are sitting in front of the fireplace right now. It's supposed to warm up later this week, so... we'll see how long we can hold out :)

ketchup

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2017, 08:06:43 PM »
Chicago area here.  It got down to 30F last night outside.  As long as I cook dinner in the oven once a night (as I've been doing this week), I should make it through without the house getting below 55-60F.  GF is out of town until Saturday and my plan is to finally fire up the furnace then.  Maybe the day before so the house smells a little less like furnace when she walks in.

mozar

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 08:42:00 PM »

ketchup

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2017, 09:05:52 PM »

Syonyk

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2017, 09:58:49 PM »
I was expecting a Snuggie.

Our heat has already come on.  I've got a Nest and just leave it in heat/cool mode year round with a pretty wide spread.  We've got a heat pump, and the normal thermostat are so insanely stupid about running them (if it's 80F out, turning the backup coils on is insanely stupid - I was "cooking the house" to drive out volatile organics).

As long as it's running the compressor, the power consumption is pretty low - I think our compressor is about 3kW.  Not bad at all for 10-15kW of heat.

And my office (solar & battery) definitely gets a touch of heat in the morning.  I'm into the AC by the afternoon because it's tiny and I have a lot of waste heat in there if I've got good sun, but I'll give it a touch of heat in the morning (or fire up my Folding@Home box remotely when I wake up).

My inlaws have their heat fired up as well - the woodstove is definitely in use. :)

Grogounet

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2017, 11:15:46 PM »
OK, I leave down-under now, but back in my days in France, we had pretty chilled winters.

You really want to save the planet and save on your bills?
Have a look at this can heater self made heater:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLNViUsRCVU

Plenty of other similar videos on Youtube and pretty efficient.

The obvious is to make sure that the house is well insulated, inc top and bottom doors, windows and roof. A way to check if your roof is well insulated is to check if it stays cold or warms up when you heat the house.

ZiziPB

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2017, 05:19:53 AM »
In CT, have not turned the heat on yet, although I did have the gas fireplace on a few evenings in a row now to take the chill out of the living room.  We're supposed to be at 70F today and tomorrow, so I'm waiting until the cold weather really sets in.  I did pull out the heavy comforter the other day though.  It does get cold at night.

Laura33

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2017, 06:10:50 AM »
When it gets cold.

Sorry, I grew up shivering in the energy crisis, when my folks refused to turn on the heat before Thanksgiving.  Now I've added thyroid issues that leave me always cold.  As a result, I have no interest whatsoever in playing the "how long can I tolerate the cold" game -- I'm closer to the Scarlett O'Hara "I'll never be [cold] again" side of the spectrum. 

I do, however, keep the overall temp lower and use small heaters to keep my area warmer -- my new favorite thing ever is a Turkish radiant heater I picked up at a home show, because it makes me feel warm to the bones without heating up the entire room.  We have also spent a lot on efficiency upgrades that have cut our energy bills at least in half, but there is definitely still a ton of room for improvement (130+-yr-old house built to be a summer home back when people had those things).

Dave1442397

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2017, 06:36:03 AM »
When it gets cold.

Sorry, I grew up shivering in the energy crisis, when my folks refused to turn on the heat before Thanksgiving.  Now I've added thyroid issues that leave me always cold.  As a result, I have no interest whatsoever in playing the "how long can I tolerate the cold" game -- I'm closer to the Scarlett O'Hara "I'll never be [cold] again" side of the spectrum. 

Me too! I grew up in a house with terrible windows, and you could see the curtains move when the wind was howling. Getting in and out of bed was an exercise in seeing how quickly you could change clothes and get warm again.

Of course, once all the kids were gone, my parents could afford to get new windows. The house is never cold now.

In my own house, I just leave the heat set at 68 during the day (I work from home), and it's set to 55 from 8pm to 6am. The house holds the heat pretty well, so the heat rarely kicks in at night. When it's sunny out, the heat will not run from around 10am onwards, as solar energy usually gets the house up to 70 or so.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 07:53:31 AM by Dave1442397 »

Fishindude

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2017, 07:15:13 AM »
If we are uncomfortable we adjust the heat or AC accordingly.  This is one of life's simple pleasures.

Dragonswan

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2017, 08:06:44 AM »
If we are uncomfortable we adjust the heat or AC accordingly.  This is one of life's simple pleasures.
Amen

DarkandStormy

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2017, 08:12:56 AM »
We turn the heat on when the house can no longer naturally hold at 60-62 degrees (F) overnight.

We've utilized the Nest schedule for the work week...66 when we wake up, off by the time we leave for work, 67 when we usually get back from work, and 62 by lights outs.  If you have a Nest you should definitely utilize the schedule function if you're in and out of the house on a regular basis.  No need to heat it up when you're not home.

We took advantage of an energy audit in our state and got some credits (aka money back) to get insulation blown in.  Our house is 117 years old and had basically no insulation so even though it was hefty one-time cost, we think it'll pay off in the long run.  We noticed an immediate difference this summer.  Because the house is so old, I'll be going around this weekend looking for any places on the exterior that need patched or filled in.  I don't think there are too many areas but I know of a couple.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 06:49:08 AM by DarkandStormy »

MayDay

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2017, 08:26:19 AM »
I'm in Minnesota.

We had some cold days back in October. It set to heat the house from 5 am to 8 pm, at 65. Then 60 at night.

I can tolerate 55/60, but my husband works from home in a computer based job, and he gets really cold.

We will likely add attic insulation next spring.

We have old incandescent lightbulbs that we use in the winter to use them up, lol.

PoutineLover

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2017, 08:56:01 AM »
I live alone and I will turn the heat on when I feel cold, but apparently it takes me longer than other people because last year I had a couple people over who asked me if I could turn up the heat. I like sleeping in a cold room under warm heavy blankets and I wear sweaters to keep me warm instead of cranking up the heat. What I do need to do soon is put the plastic wrap on my windows, and hope that my cat doesn't tear it all up.

mbl

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2017, 09:05:55 AM »
We use a wood burning stove to heat our home.
Live in a rural area in the northern US.

Almost never turn the furnace on.
Thermostat is set to 55 degrees.

DH starts a fire when he gets home in the evening.
We keep the fire going throughout the weekends.

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2017, 09:36:22 AM »
I finally broke down yesterday. We've had the gas fireplace on a few times already and that does a decent job of heating the entire house, not just the living room. When I got home yesterday the house was at 58 degrees and I decided we made it to November we deserve a little bit of heat. Funny enough, my 6 year old wasn't even cold.

I keep it at 65 when we are home and 55 when we are away or asleep. The house rarely gets below 60 degrees doing that because it's a newer fairly energy efficient home. And sometimes we like to run the fireplace instead, so I go ahead and turn on the furnace fan to distribute the warm air.

LittleWanderer

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2017, 10:42:03 AM »
Wisconsinite here checking in.  We haven't turned it on yet. 

We're currently renting an end unit townhouse, so that helps more than having just a standalone house.  We have turned on the gas fireplace a few evenings so far.  It's been about 65 degrees in the house when I get home from work.  I keep forgetting to look in the mornings.

Meanwhile, the bearded dragon is happy and basking in her cage at 90 degrees.  I wish I could shrink myself and hang out in there! 

dougules

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2017, 10:48:02 AM »
I leave the heat on all year in a sense.  My thermostat has both an upper and lower setting.  The heat is set at 68 degrees all year, so it kicks on whenever the weather gets cold enough.  If we were to get a bad cold snap in July in Alabama (hahaha), we would be covered. 

Cranky

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2017, 11:17:01 AM »
We had such a long warm fall, but it got really cold last week for a few days. It was 64 in the house, and I was chilly. I figure I should make sure the furnace is working before it's the middle of winter, so I turned it on. I keep it at 67 during the day and 62 at night. I think it's come on every morning, but it hasn't run much during the day yet.

I'm a red panda

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2017, 11:18:08 AM »
Our thermostat is heat/cool setting.  If the indoor temperature is below 62 degrees during the day or 55 degrees during the night, the heat turns on.  That's what it stays set at.

It came on this year a few times in October.  I'm not willing to be colder than that because of the calendar.

FiguringItOut

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2017, 11:49:40 AM »
Haven't yet.  Still sleeping with window cracked open and haven't removed my window A/C unit, so there is also a draft coming from there.
New York City.


FireHiker

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2017, 12:24:51 PM »
I won't turn it on until my husband or the kid who is always cold really complains, usually about 58 or 59. If it were up to me I would probably never run the heat, and just use a space heater in the bathroom when I take a shower. I do run the AC all summer though, 74 when we're home (with paid off solar so we still put power back on the grid). I should probably live somewhere colder than So Cal...I vastly prefer to be cold, not warm/hot.

Mrbeardedbigbucks

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2017, 02:54:40 PM »
We turn the heat on when the house can no longer naturally hold at 60-62 degrees (F) overnight.

We've utilized the Nest schedule for the work...66 when we wake up, off by the time we leave for work, 67 when we usually get back from work, and 62 by lights outs.  If you have a Nest you should definitely utilize the schedule function if you're in and out of the house on a regular basis.  No need to heat it up when you're not home.

We took advantage of an energy audit in our state and got some credits (aka money back) to get insulation blown in.  Our house is 117 years old and had basically no insulation so even though it was hefty one-time cost, we think it'll pay off in the long run.  We noticed an immediate difference this summer.  Because the house is so old, I'll be going around this weekend looking for any places on the exterior that need patched or filled in.  I don't think there are too many areas but I know of a couple.

Do you think the Nest has saved you money overall?

This is only our second full season with the Nest. Last heating year (Nov '16-Mar '17) our heating bill was about 7% lower than the previous year but I don't know if we can attribute the savings to the Nest learning our schedule or just more warmer days and less need for heat.

We're happy we installed it and really like the ability to control heat from the Nest  app. It was only $89 after getting it on sale and our energy companies rebate. I'm thinking it will pay for itself pretty quick.

RidetheRain

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2017, 03:00:15 PM »
I'm lucky enough to have a fireplace in my apartment. I never turn on the heat and instead use the fireplace (gas vs electric) which warms me very quickly while leaving my SO nice and cold like he likes. I also often hang clothing nearby for extra warmth after I shut it off. I usually only turn it on when I can't comfortably stay warm with a sweater on. So low 60s?

NinetyFour

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2017, 09:19:18 PM »
I probably won't turn my heat on until my laptop has trouble charging.  (Apparently, when it gets too cold, it doesn't charge.  I plug it in, and the battery indicator says "Not charging".)

It was 50 degrees in my house this morning.  I put on a down jacket, a hat, and my fingerless gloves, and drank hot coffee until it was time to walk to work.

Lulee

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2017, 11:47:21 PM »
I made it until the 1st this year here in the south western corner of NH.  It was cold and rainy for a few days in a row and going to continue, so when it was still 61 degrees that afternoon, I broke down and turned it on.  It's off today as the weather warmed up enough I could wash windows and have the doors and windows open until the sun went behind the hill.  I did almost make it to Thanksgiving one year but that was an unusually warm and sunny November.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2017, 12:24:19 AM »
I don't have central heating (use space heaters only), but usually I get them out of the cupboard in mid-late May. I unplugged them a few weeks ago ready to go back in the cupboard for the summer.

I tried a couple of years ago to get all the way through May with no heater on, and I reached the 29th or 30th before I had one night where it went down to 0 and I caved.

sokoloff

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2017, 06:03:26 AM »
It's been a pretty warm October here in MA, so we've got the central boiler system on, but it has very rarely run. The shoulder season doesn't cost that much to heat the house, because the rate of heat loss to the outside is fairly low. It's all well and good to delay turning on the system, but from a fuel or cash standpoint, saving a day of fall operation is probably much less than saving 0.1 of setpoint in the winter months.

DarkandStormy

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2017, 06:52:09 AM »
We turn the heat on when the house can no longer naturally hold at 60-62 degrees (F) overnight.

We've utilized the Nest schedule for the work...66 when we wake up, off by the time we leave for work, 67 when we usually get back from work, and 62 by lights outs.  If you have a Nest you should definitely utilize the schedule function if you're in and out of the house on a regular basis.  No need to heat it up when you're not home.

We took advantage of an energy audit in our state and got some credits (aka money back) to get insulation blown in.  Our house is 117 years old and had basically no insulation so even though it was hefty one-time cost, we think it'll pay off in the long run.  We noticed an immediate difference this summer.  Because the house is so old, I'll be going around this weekend looking for any places on the exterior that need patched or filled in.  I don't think there are too many areas but I know of a couple.

Do you think the Nest has saved you money overall?

We installed the Nest within the first week of moving in, so it's hard to say.  We didn't have a prior year or two of data to compare.  My guess is yes.  We tend to turn everything off when we're gone, and if it's really hot or cold, we can kick on the a/c or heat ~20-30 minutes before we're back.

I don't know if that is any different than turning the thermostat off when we leave (manually) and then just adjusting when we get back home.  So perhaps the savings is negligible but the convenience of the app + setting the schedule are worth it to us.

merlin7676

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2017, 08:03:24 AM »
We live in Seattle, in a condo with all the windows facing south and west. So far we haven't had to turn on the heat yet.  In fact it's still been pretty warm so we've had to open the windows a few times. Only in the last two days has it gotten cold and we had snow showers this morning so I suspect we'll be turning it on very soon.

Free Spirit

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2017, 10:43:45 AM »
I'm lucky to live in a warm and sunny part of the country but the cold snap last week had me complaining on the MPP thread about not being adapted to the cold. ;) It got to 61 in my house but I managed to resist the heater. Hoping for another warm month.

Lady SA

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2017, 11:54:34 AM »
I turn on my heat the day that I have to wrestle to get dressed laying under my warm covers because I can't stand the morning chill. For me, that tipping point was early this week.

Pro tip: pick out your clothing the night before and then put the clothes under your covers while you sleep. They will be nice and toasty in the morning from your body heat!

terran

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2017, 01:09:19 PM »
Pro tip: pick out your clothing the night before and then put the clothes under your covers while you sleep. They will be nice and toasty in the morning from your body heat!

Hah! Brilliant! Wrinkle free clothes only I suppose.

Lady SA

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2017, 02:13:23 PM »
Pro tip: pick out your clothing the night before and then put the clothes under your covers while you sleep. They will be nice and toasty in the morning from your body heat!

Hah! Brilliant! Wrinkle free clothes only I suppose.

Considering my work uniform is jeans and comfy t-shirts or sweaters, this does work exceptionally well for me. If you have to wear suits or button-down shirts... it would be less brilliant.

Sailor Sam

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2017, 02:39:13 AM »
I turn the heat on the instant my wife is no longer willing to be frequently naked.

BlueMR2

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2017, 10:57:40 AM »
Heat goes on when we're cold enough that we don't want to do anything anymore (even when wearing heavy clothes).  At some point the savings from not running the heat is lost due to simply being so cold that you no longer want to do anything yourself other than huddle under a pile of blankets.

Mrbeardedbigbucks

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2017, 02:44:39 PM »
It's been consistently in the 30's-40's at night here and it's currently 63F (17C) in my house as I type this.  Before this heat experiment, we would have been reaching for the thermostat but we've definitely acclimated to having a cooler house. Admittedly it is somewhat uncomfortable when we first get up in the morning or when we get out of a hot shower but otherwise it hasn't been too bad. I think this might be the beginning of a long term change in our heat use. In the past we would keep the thermostat set around 67-68 in the cold months but I can see us keeping it around 64-65 or maybe less.

The extended forecast is showing 20F toward the end of the week. Eventually it will drop to mid to high 50's in here. Thank you wool.

Lulee

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #40 on: November 05, 2017, 03:42:22 PM »
Heat goes on when we're cold enough that we don't want to do anything anymore (even when wearing heavy clothes).  At some point the savings from not running the heat is lost due to simply being so cold that you no longer want to do anything yourself other than huddle under a pile of blankets.

+1

Also, it's worth it to turn it the temp up a couple degrees if it's so cold that your nose starts running despite warm clothing including a wool hat.

chesebert

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #41 on: November 05, 2017, 04:39:48 PM »
We live in Chicago. I sit in front of my mining rig when I am really cold. Mining rigs keep the room at around 70F

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2017, 03:10:30 AM »
I set it to 67 and when it kicks in it kicks in. House is really well insulated and a lot of windows so it needs to get pretty chilly to kick in. At night though no matter the temperature I still find I need to crack our bedroom window as I like it cold, but during the day in the house if i'm sitting even with a hoodie and stuff i do get a chill.  Also since being fired and losing and keeping off 60lbs I find myself being cold alot more than when I was a fat ass.

Retire-Canada

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2017, 07:07:37 AM »
So for those of you in cold weather climates, when do you typically turn on your heat? Or what have you done to reduce energy consumption?

We turn the heat on when it gets cold inside the house. Shooting for a specific date seems silly given how wildly different the weather can be from year to year.

To save money we do the following:

- heat only the rooms we are using
- turn heat down when we are not home
- wear warm socks and a sweater in the house
- the cat has a weight activated heat pad so she is comfy when the house is not heated

acroy

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2017, 07:50:12 AM »
Had to run the AC Brrr yesterday!
And played in the pool!
it was like 92F

GreenSheep

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #45 on: November 06, 2017, 09:14:38 AM »
Dumb question here, from someone who hasn't lived in a cold climate since childhood but recently moved to one...

At what point do you worry about your pipes freezing? Our indoor temperature, with the heat off, is still above 60, but it was 27 outside last night, and we have pipes in external walls. We haven't needed the heat on at night, and even if we did, our rooms are heated separately, so we'd just need the heat in the bedroom. But what about the pipes? How do you know when/if you need to heat the whole house to avoid plumbing disasters?

BlueHouse

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2017, 09:43:42 AM »
Our heat has already come on.  I've got a Nest and just leave it in heat/cool mode year round with a pretty wide spread.  We've got a heat pump, and the normal thermostat are so insanely stupid about running them (if it's 80F out, turning the backup coils on is insanely stupid - I was "cooking the house" to drive out volatile organics).

As long as it's running the compressor, the power consumption is pretty low - I think our compressor is about 3kW.  Not bad at all for 10-15kW of heat.

Syonyk, can you provide more detail?  I have a heat pump for the top two floors of my house and often find that unit is in "recovery" mode.  Does the Nest thermostat make it possible to warm up/cool down more slowly so that it's not fooled into going into recovery?

DarkandStormy

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #47 on: November 06, 2017, 12:18:28 PM »
Dumb question here, from someone who hasn't lived in a cold climate since childhood but recently moved to one...

At what point do you worry about your pipes freezing? Our indoor temperature, with the heat off, is still above 60, but it was 27 outside last night, and we have pipes in external walls. We haven't needed the heat on at night, and even if we did, our rooms are heated separately, so we'd just need the heat in the bedroom. But what about the pipes? How do you know when/if you need to heat the whole house to avoid plumbing disasters?

Depends on your situation.  As a kid, we had a couple pipes go over the garage so they were much more susceptible to freezing (which did happen once).  So anything below 20 degrees (F) we would run a little drip and open the doors to under the sink.

Obviously running the water a bit helps the water to move and it's less likely to freeze.  Any time your pipes are under 32 degrees (F) there is a greater chance for freezing to occur, especially during the middle of winter when it's always below 32.  I'd start monitoring when you get into the 30s and either 1) run just a drip to keep the water moving a bit and/or 2) run the heat in there (either furnace or a space heater) since the pipes are on an outside wall.

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #48 on: November 06, 2017, 02:57:30 PM »
We turn on the heat when we are are cold. As simple as that. We don't over analyze and micro manage things. There are other bigger things to worry about and it is not one size fits all. One thing we do make sure is that we turn off the furnace when we are out.

marielle

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Re: When do you turn on your heat?
« Reply #49 on: November 07, 2017, 06:41:44 AM »
My air conditioning is still on. I live in SC.

Of course, if I didn't live with a roommate it wouldn't be on. But it's not worth getting on bad terms with someone when I only pay 1/3 of the electric bill.

On the bright side, we'll probably save a good bit by barely using the heat.