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Turning Down or Turning Off the Heat

This is a question related to saving on home heating bills. I live in a single family home with a basement and reside in Maryland. My new wife seems to believe that turning off our gas heating thermostat during the day while we are at work saves money. We'd come back and turn on the heat again but this takes time to reheat the whole home. As the temp's get colder, is this a good idea to save money?

Before I got married I have never turned off the heat during the winter days fearing this would freeze my pipes. Who is correct in this case?

Thanks!
- SnowMan

Recent Answers

By Miranda. (Guest Post)11/18/2005

Most of the replies suggest an automatic programable thermostat and I agree wholeheartedly. Do get one, I think this should solve your problem. Miranda

By Susan Sanders-Kinzel [9]11/18/2005

What I've heard is to not let your house get below 55 degrees or it takes too long to heat back up, plus there can be problems with condensation. If you live in an area where the pipes can freeze, make sure they are wrapped with thermal foam.

We have an automatic thermostat that we installed last year and it has made a big difference and saved a lot of money on heating. It's so easy to forget to turn the thermostat down when you leave or when you are going to bed.

We have it programmed to heat up 15 minutes before we get up and turn itself down an hour later to 60. We have ours set at 68 at the highest. Then it turns itself down in the evening right before bed. Putting on sweaters is much cheaper than the extra 2 degrees. It also turns itself down at night.

Do everything you can to eliminate leaks around windows and doors. Even the plug and switches can be insulated and it makes quite a difference for those on outside walls.

It's going to be expensive to heat this year and we all can use all the help we can get.
Susan from ThriftyFun

By Cindy (Guest Post)11/18/2005

I have always understood it to be better to leave a thermostat at one temperature and leave it alone. As far as turning it off altogether, that could cause lots of problems. I leave my heat at 70-72 while I am home and while sleeping or away at 65-68. I have read and heard that it saves money by not turning it up and down all the time.

By Lucille Gifford (Guest Post)11/17/2005

We have five separate thermostats in our house. (My husband is an electrical engineer and was able to do this himself.) One is at the bedroom end, another in the kitchen and living room section, one in our sunroom where we spend a lot of time, one in our finished basement, and another one in the garage where my husband spends time on projects. It is easy to turn down the temperature at the bedroom end of the house during the day, as well as areas where no one will be.

By Linda Howe11/17/2005

I agree with 55. It is much warmer than the outside air so you will still enjoy the warmth of home without paying the cost of keeping it too warm when there is no one around to enjoy it. An automatic thermostat is a good investment for adjusting the temperature at night and while you are at work.
Love & Prayers,
Linda

By Dawn [3]11/17/2005

I would turn the heat down to a temperature that is still warm enough for the pipes myself- nothing below 55, the time it takes to reheat is minimal and even over time you may get used to a cooler temp. and not have to turn it up as high

http://www.frugalforlife.com

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