Author Topic: Thermostat at 63  (Read 35237 times)

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Thermostat at 63
« on: November 20, 2015, 10:30:03 AM »
I hate the cold, and I hate being cold. Winter is my least favorite season. Last year I thought I was doing good having the thermostat at 68. So I'm very proud that I've had my house thermostat set at 64 for over a month, and a week ago I cut back one more degree to 63.

One of the phrases I read here on MMM really inspired me: “Embrace the season”.

My last month's bill of natural gas and electric was $72 (1100 SF ranch), so maybe I should call it "embrace the savings".   :-)

For those of you in climates where cold weather has arrived, what is your thermostat setting?
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matchewed

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2015, 10:45:46 AM »
58 at night and unoccupied/I'm home alone, 60-64 when occupied.

Sweatshirts, sweaters, and plenty of tea seems to be the order for the day. Exercise also helps, particularly some sort of weight lifting regimen.

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2015, 10:54:40 AM »
Anchorage, Alaska. Supposed to be in the mid-30s today, balmy after a week of negative/single digit temps. We keep the heat set at 68 day/63 at night.

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2015, 10:59:19 AM »
I'm in Sterling, Alaska. We keep the heat at 54 when we're away and about 58 when we're home. We have to heat with heating oil and it can get pretty expensive, but luckily we have an 1100 sf house that is well insulated and if I turn the oven on and have to run the dryer, that alone will push the house to about 63 according to the thermostat.

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2015, 11:06:02 AM »
58 at night and unoccupied/I'm home alone, 60-64 when occupied.

Sweatshirts, sweaters, and plenty of tea seems to be the order for the day. Exercise also helps, particularly some sort of weight lifting regimen.

I turn the heat off when I leave the house. Until the temperature gets to the teens, when I get concerned about frozen pipes. Then I set it in the low 50's when I'm away at work.

In the house I wear two t-shirts, sweat shirt, jeans (sweat pants to sleep in) two pair socks, and a toboggan hat. I sleep under three blankets.

I'm usually warm enough, but at times it feels cold.
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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2015, 11:09:35 AM »
At FrozenAssert and dannipani85:
I'd always heard that Alaskans were notorious for keeping their houses downright hot in the long Alaskan Winter. Do most of your neighbors keep their houses hot?
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danipani85

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2015, 11:18:08 AM »
At FrozenAssert and dannipani85:
I'd always heard that Alaskans were notorious for keeping their houses downright hot in the long Alaskan Winter. Do most of your neighbors keep their houses hot?

We live so far out of town that we don't really have neighbors, but from talking with coworkers, it sounds like everyone keeps their houses about 68 or a little lower. Both my husband and I get REALLY cranky if we're hot, so the cold house works for us. When family comes to visit we'll heat it up a little bit more if they get whiny or I'll give them one of our many blankets. Like Frozen Assets said, we had a pretty good cold snap earlier this week and with windchill at our house it was -18 so we did bump it up to 66 since it was so damn cold.

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2015, 11:28:40 AM »
I've been able to get it down a little lower this year. During the day it's 65, and at night (or if I'm away) it's 55. I wear warm layers during the day, and at night I sleep on flannel bedding under two down comforters. I keep a warm, knit hat in the nightstand drawer to put on if my head feels cold.

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2015, 11:29:08 AM »
At FrozenAssert and dannipani85:
I'd always heard that Alaskans were notorious for keeping their houses downright hot in the long Alaskan Winter. Do most of your neighbors keep their houses hot?

I have a friend who keeps her heat set at 74.  I swelter and always wind up taking off at least one layer (typically I wear a hoody/sweater/sweatshirt over a tank or tee in the winter) when I'm at her house. 

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2015, 11:40:49 AM »
We put it down to 17 C at night in the winter.  I've always slept better under a thick comforter with cooler room temperature.

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2015, 11:46:16 AM »
55 for sleeping, 62 for weekend living. We get a lot of complaining from visitors in the winter.

When I was a kid we had a wood stove, and it was my job from the time I was six to stoke the fire in the morning and keep it going until I went to bed. I also had to go out to the woodshed ~200 yards away and haul in all the wood. I kind of miss having a woodstove, because it was so much more comfortable heat than you get from a furnace. We had a gas fireplace in our last house, which was great for heating up the room in the morning, but not as economical as wood.

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2015, 12:15:32 PM »
Brrr, your asses are much badder than mine. My break point is 64°F. At 65° I can wear acceptable amounts of clothing - under shirt, long sleeved shirt, over shirt, long johns, regular pants, and wool socks and a hat. At 64° and below I have to start wearing more outdoor type clothing like gloves and jackets. I just can't get warm, even doing light housework.

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2015, 01:20:48 PM »
Thermostat? What thermostat? We're still doing "no heat November" here in Illinois. :)

But I confess: the two great room thermostats will probably get turned on tonight. (We're all electric and have a thermostat in each room--two in our large combined living room/kitchen.)

Generally, in winter, the great room thermostats are at 65 when we're home, and 55 when we're not. Our bedroom thermostat is either off or at 60. Most other thermostats (laundry, guest rooms, pantry) are off or at 55, with the doors to the rooms closed.

Mrs. MacNerd is colder than Mr. MacNerd, and is often found with a fleece scarf around her neck and an electric blanket on her lap.

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2015, 02:38:58 PM »
I only turn my heat on when it gets below 30F to ensure the pipes don't freeze, and keep it set at 45F when I do. It does make for fast showers and many layers worn. (Luckily in this regard) I work an 80 hour a week job so I'm rarely there.

My heating has 4 zones, and 1 zone has only 1 room, sometimes (most chilly nights) I turn heat up in that 1 room up.

My heating bill was still $2500 last year (my neighbors with the same style/size house had $7-10k). 4400 degree days where I am (I used the equivalent of 1200 degree days).

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2015, 02:56:59 PM »
We keep ours at 67 during the day and 64 at night. Even that temperature (which seems normal to me) means that people complain or are visibly cold when they come to visit. For this reason, we usually put it at 70 when we have guests or my MIL comes to visit. I'm always boiling hot in public places. They must keep it closer to 75, which, if you are used to 67 feels really warm.

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2015, 03:02:26 PM »
I live in an apartment building. I never turn on the heat. I live with what temperature I get from the neighbors I share my walls, ceiling, and floor with. I would turn theirs down too to pollute less but I don't meddle in their business.

I also turn on the air conditioner maybe a couple times a year, only when guests visit.

My building has central air and heating so I still have to pay for everyone else's, even the ones who leave their air conditioning on all day when they aren't home.

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2015, 04:29:57 PM »
Typically 68 day / 64 night

With an infant this season, we're keeping it 68-69 day and night. More costly but what are you gonna do? Oil is down compared to last winter so total expense will still probably be less

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2015, 04:35:08 PM »
I love the cold. I have a really messed up internal thermostat so I almost never get cold but get hot really easily. When I haven't had roommates with a more "normal" sense of temperature, I set my thermostat at 60 when I get home in the afternoon and put it down to 58 when I go to bed.

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2015, 04:35:23 PM »
63 Away/7:45am, 65 at 5:30am

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2015, 04:43:22 PM »
61 sleep 62 awake. My parents HATE coming over in the winter
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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2015, 05:10:28 PM »
Northern Alberta:

19 C (66 F) day
17 C (62 F) night

On very, very cold winter days, I put the temperature up 1 degree C. 20 C (68 F)

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2015, 06:16:27 PM »
 No central heat here, so no real thermostat, but I'm keeping the temperature at about 64 day and night. We cannot fluctuate between nights and days because of an extremely high thermal mass.


 We're also primarily passive solar heated, and it feels warmer than 64 in the day, especially standing in the sun, but the feeling is an illusion unless there's actually a sunbeam warming skin surfaces.

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2015, 09:20:13 PM »
55 for sleeping, 62 for weekend living. We get a lot of complaining from visitors in the winter.

When I was a kid we had a wood stove, and it was my job from the time I was six to stoke the fire in the morning and keep it going until I went to bed. I also had to go out to the woodshed ~200 yards away and haul in all the wood. I kind of miss having a woodstove, because it was so much more comfortable heat than you get from a furnace. We had a gas fireplace in our last house, which was great for heating up the room in the morning, but not as economical as wood.

Wow, 55 is mighty bad ass. I've already had a dream where I was sleeping outside, in the cold, in a sleeping bag.
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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2015, 09:37:06 PM »
I live in an apartment building. I never turn on the heat. I live with what temperature I get from the neighbors I share my walls, ceiling, and floor with. I would turn theirs down too to pollute less but I don't meddle in their business.


This is pretty much our situation, too.  I have turned the heat in the living room on 3 times so far this year, never for more than 10 minutes.  Just to take the edge off a bit on days when the temperature is close to freezing.  I did buy a space heater for DS (he can't use the baseboard heater in his bedroom due to placement of his desk), and he has used that a couple of times this week. 

I don't have a thermometer, but I just tested the central heat and the blower came on when I put it up to about 58 F.  That seems about right.  In our Beijing apartment, which is very drafty, I would try not to put the central heat on until the temperature got as low as 16C (60F). 

I have been a bit tempted to turn on the baseboard heat in my bedroom, as it is the coldest room in the house (two large outside walls), but so far have resisted.  I have a thick comforter I got off of Craigslist that keeps me pretty warm once the bed warms up. 
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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2015, 09:51:10 PM »
Now that we live in Florida it isn't as issue, but when we lived in Maine, DH and I put heating pads at the foot of our bed under the down comforter and turned them on high before we got into bed. That made the bed toasty warm. We got into bed and turned them off and were warm with the room at 55.


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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2015, 11:04:53 AM »
I'm currently doing 55 at night or when I'm away and 65 or so when I'm around the house.  I just installed a wifi thermostat so I could adjust the temp from under the covers 15 minutes before I get out of bed or as I'm leaving work.  My schedule varies wildly, so just programming a schedule in wouldn't work...  I'm looking forward to much lower gas bills this winter.  Last winter I never remembered to turn it down and the thermostat wasn't programmable, so it stayed at 65 all the time.
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Eric222

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2015, 09:02:21 PM »
62F when I'm here, 50F when I'm away.  Everytime someone comes over I have to remember to turn the heat on manually...
I do cheat of course - my electric blanket is awesome. 
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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2015, 07:50:40 AM »
This thread inspired me to lower our night time temperature this weekend to 16 degrees (60 F).  So far nobody has noticed.

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2015, 08:31:42 AM »


 All you guys, except the guys from Alaska; are a bunch of wimps.

 I woke up and it was 59 today inside, it was in the low 60s yesterday inside and i was wearing short sleeves all day !


 (In full disclosure, I'm in Houston and 59 inside is likely the lowest it will get; 80s on Thanksgiving and Christmas are not un-normal; so I've been waiting since May for the first day I would consider cool(under 65, over 75 is warm; I definitely live in the wrong part of the country with what i consider warm and cold).

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2015, 08:57:09 AM »
Ours is set at 67F all the time. Two days a week, we have a sitter come to the house so we want it comfortable throughout the day. We also have a wood burning insert that keeps the living room/dining about 70F. The bedrooms stay much cooler, since the thermostat is about 5 feet from the wood burner. Before we had kids, we'd keep the house around 64-65 (and use a wood stove in the family room), but our 3 year old is not capable of keeping covers on his body all night, so I don't like to let it drop that low. I have found that the temperature of my house has a direct correlation to my mental health in the winter. We can easily go all summer without using A/C, but I cannot tolerate being cold in my house. I layer up at all times, and rarely got too warm, even when standing directly in front of the wood burner. I've had my living room up to 78F at times, and I still had a blanket on. My internal thermostat is broken, and my psychological well being depends on me not feeling like I'm risking frostbite inside my house.

Semi-Related story/rant: When I was growing up, my dad and stepmom heated with a wood stove and kept the central heating set VERY low, with the stairway to the bedrooms closed at all times. My stepmom is pushing 60 years old and has permanent nerve damage in her feet due to suffering frostbite INSIDE her house. Now that they are empty-nesters, they have built a new home and have filled it with absolutely useless amounts of stuff. My dad has had to build 3 pole barns to hold all of his auction/swap meet shit. They each have multiple vehicles, etc.  I just want to ask them...was it worth it? Was it worth being so frugal all those years, just so you could blow your money on useless shit now? (and no, it wasn't that they couldn't afford heat way back then) /end rant

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2015, 08:34:16 AM »
We just turned our heat on but it's kept very low. Have electric baseboard heat which is pretty expensive. So it's off during the day, low when we're home after work, and very very low at night. Additionally only heat up the living room area. Both bathroom door and bedroom doors are closed so those areas don't get heated.
At night about 1/2 before bed, will turn on bedroom heat again very low just take off the chill. Sleep under 1 sheet, 1 blanket, 1 comforter, and 1 quilt.

Miss Prim

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2015, 02:11:06 PM »
We used to keep the heat at 65 during the day and 63 at night, but now that we are older, we seem to feel the cold more so now we opt for 67-68 daytime and 65 at night.  We do close the doors and registers on the rooms we don't really need to heat, so our heating bills aren't that bad for Michigan.

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reader2580

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2015, 03:39:33 PM »
A number of years ago I was keeping my heat at 69 at night and feeling cold in bed even with a blanket.  I finally got smart and bought a comforter.  I was able to set my heat down quite a bit at night.  At 69 degrees with a comforter I would roast to death.

mies

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2015, 04:00:33 PM »
Monday - Friday
62F from 10PM to 6AM
72F from 6AM to 7AM
62F from 7AM to 5:30PM
72F from 5:30PM to 10PM

Saturday - Sunday
62F from 10PM - 7AM
72F from 7AM - 10PM

My wife is a freeze baby so I keep it at 72 when I know she is getting ready in the morning, when she comes home from work, and when we're home on the weekends. If we are going to be out for most of the day on a Saturday or Sunday, I'll manually bump the heat back down to 62. I don't like to keep it too cold at night because we start to get condensation on our ceiling and walls in our bedroom. Then I have to clean up mildew.

I am thinking about dropping the weekday daytime temperatures down to the mid 50's. I don't want to get too aggressive and end up with pipes bursting.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 04:02:04 PM by mies »
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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #34 on: November 24, 2015, 06:03:20 PM »
My sister and her husband are giant cold-wimps.  This weekend they became extremely agitated and even temporarily angry at me for the temperature being 67 degrees.   I just sent my brother-in-law the link to this page and here is his response/contribution:

"I sleep under 7 blankets and keep a live squirrel in my underwear. If I feel cold I night I rub bear grease on myself and hum really loudly."

Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

Gerard

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2015, 07:32:27 AM »
I'm a big cold wimp and live in a badly insulated house in a place with long damp winters. I've recently realized that I've pushed the savings thing a little too far in the past, and even a slight rise in temperature makes me much more comfortable. Now I keep my place at 18 (equals 65 F) in the daytime and 8 (equals 46 F) while sleeping and when I'm not home.

Getting a programmable thermostat made a huge difference. Waking up to a warmed house makes me feel much warmer than having to scurry out in the cold to turn up the heat.

Other things I do to optimize:
*keep my outside coat on when I first come home, until the house warms up (I come home at different times each day, so the programmable thermostat isn't helpful in that respect)
*sleep under a huge warm comforter
*leave bathwater in the tub to warm the house
*bake a lot on the weekend

My fuel bills (inefficient expensive oil heat and forced air) average $1100 a year.
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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #36 on: November 25, 2015, 07:39:42 AM »
I'm leaving for the holiday - I set my thermostat to away....it adjusted my 55F nighttime temp all the way down to 50F.  :P

+1 for the baking.  Makes the kitchen lovely.  Both smells and temperature!
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reader2580

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2015, 08:25:21 AM »
I've read in the past that dramatic temperature swings over the course of a day can cost more than not lowering the temperature so much.  No idea how true that is, and I really have no way to measure the gas consumption of my furnace using different temperatures.

My previous house was two stories and had zoned heating.  I would keep the first floor set to I think 55 degrees most of the time.  The 1st floor heat would go to 69 degrees between 4 pm and 10 pm.  Second floor would get 69 degrees between 6 am and 8 am and again from 4 pm to 10 pm.  The first floor would actually drop all the way to 55 degrees some days when the temps were below zero outside.

Eric222

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2015, 08:43:26 AM »
I've read in the past that dramatic temperature swings over the course of a day can cost more than not lowering the temperature so much.  No idea how true that is, and I really have no way to measure the gas consumption of my furnace using different temperatures.
....

I've heard this too, but it doesn't make sense.  The temperature in your house lowers as heat leaks out.  You can either a) keep the heater running to offset this loss of heat or b) let your house/apartment cool down.  Whether that heat is replaced throughout the entire day (by leaving your heater running) or in a shorter period of time (turning on your heat when you get home) shouldn't matter.  You have to offset that heat loss - and that should take the same amount of energy.

I suppose people think that the heater has to 'work harder' to make up that temperature difference because of the 'swings,' but in reality you're heater has just been doing that work throughout the day.

The reality is that the larger the difference between the outside and inside the more quickly you'll lose heat (of course this rate is affected by how well insulated your house is) - and over the course of the day, you'll use more energy keeping your house at a constant temperature than letting it cool and re-heating it when necessary.

I'm probably missing some variables (efficiency of the heater?, other stuff?), feel free to jump in with things I've missed!
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chops

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #39 on: November 25, 2015, 10:52:59 AM »
"The evidence is quite clear that, in the winter, letting the house cool down when you are not home for several hours during the day and while you sleep at night saves the most energy," Anderson says. "This is true if you are gone or asleep for several hours at a time. It is true that the furnace will have to work hard for a short period of time to get the house back up to your `comfort zone' but that saves more energy than keeping it in the comfort zone continuously."

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2007-02-04/news/0702040382_1_insulation-energy-star-programmable-thermostat/2

Personally, we keep it at 52 degrees at night and back up to 65 on weekends.  I am looking into getting a wood furnace ~($1k+ install costs) that will pipe directly into my heating vents and water heater to reduce costs further and improve badassity from cutting, splitting, stacking and moving wood! 

 -chops

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2015, 11:00:02 AM »
I haven't turned the heat on yet this season, but DC hasn't gotten super cold yet.  Inside temp is 63 without having heat on.  After finding this blog, I started keeping it at 58 when I'm out and 62 when I'm home.  I found that flannel sheets and a hot water bottle kept me cozy and warm overnight.  LOVE the hot water bottle.

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2015, 11:36:26 AM »
We just turned ours on last week. We keep it at 14C (57F) at night and 17C (62F) during the day. We just moved from Winnipeg to BC and the temperature change has been quite drastic. No more -50C winters!

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2015, 11:54:18 AM »
If you want to push your tolerance even lower, 1) lift weights, and 2) spend more time outside so it feels warmer inside. ;)

DW is out of town for a couple of days so I dropped ours to 58 (she's a tropical girl, I'm a bit more Nordic in nature). Effectively this turned it off for the duration of her absence, because it's not terribly cold here and it only got to around 60, so I'm not sure what my limit is.
Semi-FIREd December 2017, part-time entrepreneur, lover of puppies and saltwater.

justplucky

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2015, 01:00:17 PM »
We were at 64, but my husband bumped it up to 65 a couple of days ago. I must run pretty warm because 64 is still t-shirt and jeans territory for me. Gotta love that Minnesota upbringing.

oldmannickels

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2015, 01:07:55 PM »
No heat November is still going strong, but last night was cold!

zephyr911

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #45 on: November 25, 2015, 01:36:33 PM »
I've read in the past that dramatic temperature swings over the course of a day can cost more than not lowering the temperature so much.  No idea how true that is, and I really have no way to measure the gas consumption of my furnace using different temperatures.

My previous house was two stories and had zoned heating.  I would keep the first floor set to I think 55 degrees most of the time.  The 1st floor heat would go to 69 degrees between 4 pm and 10 pm.  Second floor would get 69 degrees between 6 am and 8 am and again from 4 pm to 10 pm.  The first floor would actually drop all the way to 55 degrees some days when the temps were below zero outside.
The rate of heat loss is related to the temperature difference in/out, so the total loss through the walls is definitely less if you cycle your HVAC as opposed to running a constant temp.

HOWEVER, if you have an electric heat pump, large swings can engage the resistive (emergency) heater, which is much less efficient and can undo the savings. Note that this is not an issue with gas furnaces - with those, heat is heat is heat.
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DesireeD

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #46 on: November 25, 2015, 08:46:55 PM »
Heat is at 55 in my house. I heat the body, not the room. My husband has discovered that I turn the heat up to 65 if someone is coming over, and teases me that heat is for company.

FerrumB5

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #47 on: November 25, 2015, 08:52:41 PM »
Cannot go below 69 because of a toddler in the house.
Some 8 years ago during a freezing rain the whole town was blacked out for 6 days, and temp inside was 28-30F at night and could go to 32-35F during day hours :) 

Making Cents

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #48 on: November 26, 2015, 12:18:45 AM »
For those of you who set it at 68ish in winter, what is your summer temp set to? Seems like most folks cool their houses below that in July.

I grew up in a house that was set to 55 in winter (in Syracuse NY). I would be content with that for a couple months a year (I live much further south), but my husband would not go along with that during the day. So we are 53-55 at night but usually 59-64 in the day (depending on whether he's home or not). I wear a heavy sweater indoors but I definitely draw the line at coats/hats.

In summer, I keep it around 78 during the day and then open windows at night for free AC.

I find I'm much more comfortable overall if I let my body adjust to the seasons  a bit... then I'm never as hot outside in summer or cold and shivering on winter walks.

GuitarStv

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Re: Thermostat at 63
« Reply #49 on: November 26, 2015, 06:11:45 AM »
Cannot go below 69 because of a toddler in the house.

Somehow our toddler has survived night time temperatures of 60 degrees.  We had to take the unusual steps of . . . clothing the boy . . . but this should be possible for most people with the right training.