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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2004
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    Connecticut
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    Default Heating and C/A question that is bugging me...

    Okay, this has been bugging me for along time and I can't find a decent answer.

    In the winter we keep the heat on a steady 70.

    Friend keeps her heat on 54 to save money.

    So, my question - If it is 10 degrees outside, won't her furnace kick on often as mine?

    Hers will kick on once the thermostat hits 53 and mine do the same when it hits 69.

    So, exactly how does that save money?

    Same concept with C/A.

    Can anyone explain???? Thanks!



  2. #2
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    Nov. 18, 2010
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    california
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    Default

    No, the furnance measures indoor temps. Is that what you meant ?



  3. #3
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    Feb. 28, 2006
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    Sometimes I wonder the same thing, but if you think about it, the energy is used in raising the temp and it's less work to add 43 degrees than 59. Same thing with cooling. My AC is running darn near continously to keep the house at 72 when it is triple digits outside, when it's eighty-something outside, not so much.
    (I'm not interested enough in experimenting to see how often it kicks on with the thermometer set to 85 in the house right now though. We hit 108 in the shop and it's still bloody miserable outside.)
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by stolen virtue View Post
    No, the furnance measures indoor temps. Is that what you meant ?
    I used 10 degrees as an outdoor example.

    I guess I'm wondering if my thermostat is set at 70 and hers at 54 - If it is 10 degrees outside, won't the temps inside both our houses fall at the same rate? Thus furnaces run the same amount?

    I understand what ReSomething says about the original temperature settings, and using more energy. But that is a one time deal, once it's set on 70 it stays there.



  5. #5
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    Feb. 11, 2008
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    gorgeos city
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    Once the temp reaches 54 in your friend's house, the furnace shuts off, and doesn't come back on till it drops below that. Your's keeps going till it get's to 70. You are using more energy that she is.
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    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
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    Feb. 11, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntertwo View Post

    I understand what ReSomething says about the original temperature settings, and using more energy. But that is a one time deal, once it's set on 70 it stays there.
    If it's 10 degrees outside, the temp inside will not stay at 70 for very long, you will obviously burn MORE energy to keep your house at 70 than she will to keep her house at 54.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Huntertwo View Post
    I used 10 degrees as an outdoor example.

    I guess I'm wondering if my thermostat is set at 70 and hers at 54 - If it is 10 degrees outside, won't the temps inside both our houses fall at the same rate? Thus furnaces run the same amount?

    I understand what ReSomething says about the original temperature settings, and using more energy. But that is a one time deal, once it's set on 70 it stays there.
    It has to due with the difference in the temperatures between the inside and the outside of the house.

    Using your above example...

    Your House:
    Inside temp @ 70 degrees (subtract from that) Outside temp @ 10 degrees = 60 degree temperature differential.

    Friends House:
    Inside temp @ 54 degrees (subtract from that) Outside temp @ 10 degrees = 44 degree temperature differential.

    The greater the temperature differential is between the inside and the outside, the larger the quantity of heat that will be escaping through the walls, windows, doors, and ceilings at any given moment, and that heat will need to be replaced by the heating system.

    That's the simple explanation. If you want cover every variable you need to get into R-Values, air infiltration, outdoor surface areas...etc...

    Last edited by alterhorse; Jul. 8, 2012 at 09:45 AM. Reason: restated differently


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    Jan. 26, 2010
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    10 degrees? What's that? It hits in the 40's here and we start whining like little babies.

    But, agree with others. Yours will always shut off earlier, thus you are using less energy.

    I turn the heater on when it's 54 degrees outside. Brrrrrrr.



  9. #9
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    Dec. 19, 2008
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    Where The Snow Flies
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    Wow. Your friend's a trooper. 54 is cold. I keep mine at an even 60 and have blankets everywhere. Put the hairless cat in a snuggie and bought her a heated bed.

    While the furnaces might come on the same amount of time, the length that they run will be different to make up the heat loss. Her furnace will run for a shorter amount of time and this would produce the energy savings.



  10. #10
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    Feb. 5, 2002
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    It's all about the difference between outside and inside - the outdoors tries to suck the heat (or coolness) out of your building and the furnace works to make up for that. The other piece that factors in is the contents of the building and the way it's built - again, the stuff inside has to be brought up or down to the air temperature inside, and that takes energy too.



  11. #11
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    Aug. 23, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntertwo View Post
    Okay, this has been bugging me for along time and I can't find a decent answer.

    In the winter we keep the heat on a steady 70.

    Friend keeps her heat on 54 to save money.

    So, my question - If it is 10 degrees outside, won't her furnace kick on often as mine?
    No. When your indoor temp reaches anything below 70 your furnace will turn on (now you're using fuel = $). Your friend's furnace is off at this point (not costing her anything) until her indoor temp reaches below 54. Then hers will kick on but it will go off as soon as it reaches 54 again and then it turns off. Yours, on the other hand, will still be chugging away (using up fuel and $) until it reaches 70.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huntertwo View Post
    Hers will kick on once the thermostat hits 53 and mine do the same when it hits 69.

    So, exactly how does that save money?
    Your friend's furnace is running a lot less than yours is since her's goes off at 54 and yours has to keep running to reach your 70 degree shut off setting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huntertwo View Post
    Same concept with C/A.

    Can anyone explain???? Thanks!
    The costs of running C/A are the same - just in reverse. If your have your C/A set at 70, your unit keeps running until your temp is 70. Whenever it goes over 70, your unit is on again.

    If your friend's C/A is set at 75, her unit is off when her temp is 70, 71, etc. (while yours, on the other hand, is running at that point). Hers won't come on until her temp reaches above 75. Then when she gets to 75, her unit goes off, while yours is still cranking away until your temp gets down to 70. So she's running hers less than you are and is saving $ while her unit is off (and you're spending $ while your's is still on).

    There is actually some energy calculation table that I've seen that shows how much each degree (heat or air conditioning) will raise or lower your energy costs.

    In the end however, while I try to be conservative, I'd rather be comfortable, i.e., warm in winter and cool in summer!



  12. #12
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    Feb. 6, 2003
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    It's more fun trying to figure out why we set our furnaces at 70 in winter and walk around in the house wearing turtlenecks, sweaters, warm pants, heavy socks and thick slippers....

    and in summer our AC is set at 70 and we're walking around in shorts, tank top and barefoot inside.

    Same temp indoors...completely different outfits!
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


    5 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    Oct. 14, 2004
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    Connecticut
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    It's more fun trying to figure out why we set our furnaces at 70 in winter and walk around in the house wearing turtlenecks, sweaters, warm pants, heavy socks and thick slippers....

    and in summer our AC is set at 70 and we're walking around in shorts, tank top and barefoot inside.

    Same temp indoors...completely different outfits!
    I can't believe you said that! I was thinking the same thing.

    We keep the C/A on 70 in the summer, yet it still feels warm, thus shorts and T-shirts. YET, in the winter 70 feels cold, and I will put it up a bit for the Chihuahuas.

    My poor little Paco has to wear his doggie jacket on in the summer and winter... He shivers like crazy at 70.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    10 degrees? What's that? It hits in the 40's here and we start whining like little babies.

    But, agree with others. Yours will always shut off earlier, thus you are using less energy.

    I turn the heater on when it's 54 degrees outside. Brrrrrrr.
    Give me the 40's and 50's!!!! Great riding weather. The Deer flies are horrid right now. Went out for a short trail ride yesterday and despite fly spray and "Off", Twinkie and I lasted a 1/2 hr...



  15. #15
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    Oct. 14, 2004
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    Connecticut
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    Default Thanks everyone!

    Thanks everyone!!! This was one of those questions that was bugging the heck out of me....

    Thankfully our house is fairly new with a high insulation rating and we use propane. It heats up in a few minutes and stays that way for a long time.



  16. #16
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    Dec. 14, 2000
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    Virginia
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    Here is another question: what temp do most people keep the thermostat setting? In the winter (we live in VA) we are at 66-68 degrees and we spend a lot of time in the room with the woodstove which is a cozy 73. In the summer I leave for work with it set at 74. May go down to 72 if its really hard to sleep. I guess I could ask google, but I am interested in what COTHers do. Thanks~ Darn return key is not working
    When I pull on my boots, I know who I am



  17. #17
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    Apr. 2, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverpup View Post
    Here is another question: what temp do most people keep the thermostat setting? In the winter (we live in VA) we are at 66-68 degrees and we spend a lot of time in the room with the woodstove which is a cozy 73. In the summer I leave for work with it set at 74. May go down to 72 if its really hard to sleep. I guess I could ask google, but I am interested in what COTHers do. Thanks~ Darn return key is not working
    We are at 64 in the winter and 72 in the summer. Anything warmer than 64 and it's too warm in the house for me in the winter-- I like to wear sweatshirts and pajamas and socks, makes me feel cozy.

    I'm in Massachusetts. Our house is very efficient and runs on natural gas, double pane windows and all that, and I have thermal curtains everywhere.

    We're talking about building a new house and it will absolutely have the best of all that and hopefully also run natural gas, my heating bills are insanely cheap.



  18. #18
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    Dec. 4, 2005
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    washington state
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    Western Wa, I leave the heat on 60-63 for the heat in my bedrooms and bathroom. I have the forced air wall heaters so I turned the ones in the living room and kitchen to 50 and plugged in these-

    http://www.pelonis.com/oilfill.htm

    one in the kitchen and one in the living room, opposite ends of the place. They keep it right where I like it on the lowest setting (around 65) and next week when it gets down to 20s and 30s I may turn them up to the next/middle setting. So far so good, my electric has only gone up $50 a month from summer when I use no heat or A/C (except fans when I am home if it gets ridiculous like over 90).
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  19. #19
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    Aug. 20, 2006
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    wyoming
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    Wyoming here. We keep the house at 61-62F during the day in the winter, though it gets warmer in some rooms on many days because we get a lot of solar. Nights we keep at 59F.

    Summer varies widely. We open all the windows in the evenings and most nights the house drops into the low 60s, occasionally even the high 50s. Then we shut the house up during the day, close our insulated curtains, and the house slowly heats up as the temps rise outside. By the late afternoon, we usually need to turn on the air conditioner - one big one in the DR for the whole house. Keep the house at 75 or so then. Outside is probably in the mid/upper 90s. Summer is an adventure in extremes at these altitudes.

    Liz



  20. #20
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    Aug. 12, 2010
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    We're in northern Mass, near the NH border. In the winter, we keep the thermostat at 60 when we are asleep or at work and 65 when we are home and up (mostly weekend days). We don't have A/C at all...draw blinds and shut everything up on very hot days, the open everything up and run fans at night. We have a wood stove and two fire places and if it is very bitterly cold, we'll crank one of those up so the furnace doesn't have to work so hard to maintain 60ish.



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