Author Topic: turning off the heat at night (?)  (Read 7306 times)

freebeer

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turning off the heat at night (?)
« on: December 17, 2015, 09:58:01 AM »
My new/old house has an annoying heat pump forced-air system that, when temps are falling, tends to keep blowing nearly-room-temperature air for hours. As a temporary hack, I've started turning the heat off when I go to bed unless it's a particularly cold night (Seattle area lows this time of year are usually just shy of 40 when it's overcast, which it usually is). No complaints from the 13-year-old but AM temps in my not-so-well-insulated master BR are dropping from 69 to as low as 57. I sleep with lots of bedding and I haven't noticed any changes to my sleep patterns. So is this OK, even maybe beneficial? This didn't start as a frugality thing but it seems like it could save a fair bit on heating costs.

MMM has indicated a household minimum day-time thermostat setting of 67 (due to the preferences of the rest of his family) but I didn't see any mention of a night-time setting. But given the lower average and low temps in Denver area turning off the heat at night is probably not reasonable there.

Would love to hear from others about their preferences/practices...

terran

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2015, 10:27:35 AM »
We set our programmable thermostat to drop to 60 overnight, back up to 68 for my wife to get ready in the morning, down to 65 for my day working from home, back to 68 for the evening. We have forced hot air. If we had radiant heating (as I believe MMM does) I probably wouldn't set it to fluctuate so much as I think it tends to work better at a steady temperature.

Dollar Slice

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2015, 10:42:58 AM »
You could try keeping the bedroom door cracked open a few inches to even out the heating. I do that at my parents' house in their guest room since it's the last room on the forced-air heating/air-con system and tends to get a little less heat/cooling.

If the temperature doesn't bother you I don't think it would hurt anything. My current apartment gets down into the upper 50s when it is extremely cold at night, because someone thought it was a good idea to have lots of big windows with aluminum frames in a 500 sq. ft. home. Doesn't bother me much except when I get out of the shower... brr :-)

2ndTimer

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2015, 11:32:07 AM »
We turn our heat off and sleep with two down quilts we bought at the thrift store.  We ran them through the washer on hot several times to eliminate any nasties.

relena

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2015, 03:11:11 PM »
I set ours to 62 at night, 69 in the morning for 1 hour (for me and the kids to get ready), set it to turn it off while we are at work and 65 when we get home.

AZDude

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2015, 03:35:18 PM »
As long as the temperature stays above freezing, not a big deal. I've gone whole winters without ever turning the heat on.

Micona

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2015, 03:59:58 PM »
I have our programmable thermostat set for 60 when we sleep. It comes back up to 68 for when we wake up in the morning before we head to work. After we leave, I have it set at 50. I then have it set to come back up to 68 right when I get home. It's made a great difference in savings when comparing it to the previous 2 years usage. We also sleep with extra bedding. I wear a knitted hat to keep my head warm at home and also wear it to bed occasionally.

BDWW

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2015, 04:07:30 PM »
Are you(or family) too cold? Are the pipes in danger of freezing?  No, then don't worry about it. It seems a bit of a modern compulsion to worry about every little thing.

If you must worry about it, it might help to know that colder temps do actually promote more restful sleep.

http://www.amerisleep.com/blog/ask-science-is-cold-good-for-sleep/

freebeer

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2015, 09:04:46 AM »
I have our programmable thermostat set for 60 when we sleep. It comes back up to 68 for when we wake up in the morning before we head to work. After we leave, I have it set at 50. I then have it set to come back up to 68 right when I get home. It's made a great difference in savings ...

Yeah I found a PDF manual for my ancient/cryptic Honeywell thermostat... guess it's time for me to figure out how to program it... although the new gen 3 Nest is generating some lust...

I'm a red panda

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2015, 10:43:02 AM »
No complaints from the 13-year-old but AM temps in my not-so-well-insulated master BR are dropping from 69 to as low as 57. I sleep with lots of bedding and I haven't noticed any changes to my sleep patterns. So is this OK, even maybe beneficial? This didn't start as a frugality thing but it seems like it could save a fair bit on heating costs.

Those temps wouldn't bother me.  We put the heater on 55 at night.  We can't go lower than that because downstairs in the living room it drops to about 45, and we start to worry about the pipes in "hidden" spaces where we can't measure the temps.  But as long as everything in the house is above 40, no big deal.   (We had been putting the overnight heat on to 50 before i discovered how cold it was getting downstairs. 50 is nice for sleeping.)

former player

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2015, 10:47:23 AM »
You mean you didn't grow up in a house where there was ice on the inside of the bedroom window in winter?

Reminiscing apart, it is more efficient to heat the bed (electric blanket, hot water bottle) than the room, and a lower room temperature will do no harm.  Just remember to air out the bedroom in the morning (open the window for a little while) to stop condensation from building up.

Micona

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2015, 11:19:05 AM »
I have our programmable thermostat set for 60 when we sleep. It comes back up to 68 for when we wake up in the morning before we head to work. After we leave, I have it set at 50. I then have it set to come back up to 68 right when I get home. It's made a great difference in savings ...

Yeah I found a PDF manual for my ancient/cryptic Honeywell thermostat... guess it's time for me to figure out how to program it... although the new gen 3 Nest is generating some lust...

The Nest 3 does look like a nifty little gadget....

Josiecat

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2015, 12:01:25 PM »
Yep, my house gets super cold at night.  I use a heated mattress pad and I stay cozy all night. 

Frankies Girl

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2015, 12:16:04 PM »
I still haven't turned on our furnace yet. Granted, I live in SE Texas, and it's forecast to be upper 70s on x-mas, but we've had some days in the low 40s here and there. Got down to 58˚F in the house this morning. :)

I recently read that exposure to cold in general helps to convert regular white fat over into high-burn brown fat, which is healthier overall, so I have an extra incentive to keep it nice and chilly in here. That and we do sleep much better when the room is cool. :)

We bundle up in bed with lots of quilts at night, and wear layers and use electric blankets if we get cold in the living room during the day.

Erica

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2015, 12:52:15 PM »
My new/old house has an annoying heat pump forced-air system that, when temps are falling, tends to keep blowing nearly-room-temperature air for hours. As a temporary hack, I've started turning the heat off when I go to bed unless it's a particularly cold night (Seattle area lows this time of year are usually just shy of 40 when it's overcast, which it usually is). No complaints from the 13-year-old but AM temps in my not-so-well-insulated master BR are dropping from 69 to as low as 57. I sleep with lots of bedding and I haven't noticed any changes to my sleep patterns. So is this OK, even maybe beneficial? This didn't start as a frugality thing but it seems like it could save a fair bit on heating costs.

MMM has indicated a household minimum day-time thermostat setting of 67 (due to the preferences of the rest of his family) but I didn't see any mention of a night-time setting. But given the lower average and low temps in Denver area turning off the heat at night is probably not reasonable there.

Would love to hear from others about their preferences/practices...
I grew up very wealthy but my Dad was hella cheap about the temperature. Eventually we got a wood stove.
We had electric blankets and a heater in the bathroom. Turned on for about 30 minutes in the morning while we showered and got ready for school.

Tom Bri

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2015, 10:28:40 AM »
You mean you didn't grow up in a house where there was ice on the inside of the bedroom window in winter?

Did! I also turned off the radiant heater and opened my window. Loved sleeping in the cold, with lots of blankets. This area is below freezing pretty much continuously for about 3 months.
Now, older and more wimpy, we turn the heat down to a hair under 60F every night. If the kids are not home it stays in the low 60s all the time. If the kids are home, no telling how high, just this morning I got up, kids were already off to activities, and I found the temp set to 72F!!!
I don't believe sleeping in cold rooms is bad for you, unless you have something like bronchitis or asthma. Then maybe not.

Sailor Sam

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2015, 10:54:40 AM »
In Virginia I had a programable thermostat. I set it at 57 at night, and 64 when I was home. It was a free standing cottage that started it's life out as carriage house in the 1800's. It was cute and cheap, but drafty and not well insulated. Despite the drafts, turing the heat to 57 at night was effectively turning the heating off. I was cold a lot of the time and showering became an unhappy chore, but it never did me any harm.

Now I live in Seattle, in one of those ridiculously huge condo/apartment things. Haven't turned the heater on yet! It's consistently between 62 and 65 just from passive heating. And strangely the 64 in Seattle 'feels' warmer than the same temp in VA. I'm not sure if it's the extra moisture in the air, or just better insulation. Either way, I'm enjoying the experiment.

v8rx7guy

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2015, 11:48:56 AM »
I can't sleep if it's too warm at night... so it's a no-brainer to let the temp drop.  I let it start dropping at about 8:30 (when the baby goes down) and let it go down to 62 at night.  We run at 68 during the day.

Elle 8

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2015, 08:39:13 AM »
Mine is set at 52 at night.  Due to the mild New England November/December so far it has rarely clicked on at night so for all intents and purposes it is off.  I imagine it will click on at night as the winter progresses.  I must admit though, sometimes I crank it up right before bed so the bedroom will be nice and toasty when I go in (then it automatically goes down to 52 at 10:30 PM).  By the time it gets cold I'm already toasty warm in my bed and sleep fine.  At 5:30 AM it goes up to 60.  Enough so getting out of bed isn't torture.  If I feel cold when it's time to get in the shower I'll put it up a few degrees.  Then at 7:30 when it's time to leave for work, it automatically goes down to 55.  I do have an SO at home (he's in and out throughout the day), but he's usually warm so he's fine with it.

Nangirl17

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2015, 06:32:45 PM »
15C (59F) at night, 18C (64.4F) during the day.
When ds was a baby, we kept it at 18 for nights too for the first few months, but once he was about 6 months and regularly sleeping through, put it back to 15.

We keep a basket of knitted slippers by our front door and have some afghans around for our guests who don't dress for winter (!)

enigmaT120

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2015, 11:14:52 AM »
How cold can you let it go before you start getting mildew problems?  Probably not an issue for a dude from AZ, but it's powerful wet around where I live.

Most of the time we still heat with wood and have to open a window a bit, so it's not an issue. 

soccerluvof4

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Re: turning off the heat at night (?)
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2015, 01:16:54 PM »
we( us and the kids) all  like it cool for sleeping so shut the bedroom doors at all times and leave the widows cracked during cold months on a case by case basis. But we heat a lot less house and just keep it at 67. I do beleive cooler temperatures gives at least me a better night sleep! Its all about me! lol