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Quick question about thermostats

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by wdinc01, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. wdinc01


    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    It's starting to cool down outside, being around the 60s. What should I set my thermostat to to save on energy costs? Is there a general rule of thumb, like X +/- outside temperature?

    Note: I live in an apartment, so some things may not apply as it does with a house.
  2. I use a set-back type that heats the home in the hours people are up and then lets it cool down when everybody's asleep.

    It also works for different schedules on weekends and has a vacation setback and can even be put on 'Freeze Protect" to make sure that your water pipes don't freeze in case you forget to turn it on or whatever.

    Some states or utility companies will offer a payment check or compensation for installing one - but they aren't even all that expensive and they pencil-out the first year you use it anyway with heating/cooling energy savings.

    I think the one I have is @ $45.00 or so.
  3. disenchant

    disenchant You can't plagiarize yourself.

    Aug 9, 2006
    Elgin, IL
    Close the vents in any room you don't use much. We keep ours around 67 at night and 71 during the day but we have a super-efficient furnace and a very small place.
  4. wdinc01


    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    I should have probably mentioned that I'm also living in an apartment, so I don't know if I can install a set-back one. That said, I'm also not allowed to (or even can) turn off my A/C. If I could I would just do that, but the people who own it say the pipes may freeze if a cold front comes in.

    I feel like I should just try to match the outside temperature, which I'm completely fine with. I like it to be freezing when I go to sleep, as I put off a lot of body heat. The summer months suck for me.
  5. A/C 'pipes' freeze in a cold-snap if you turn the A/C off?

    News to me and I did a lot of HVAC work. Perhaps it gets so cold in Florida that freon freezes. I dunnow - but that sounds like people who are ripe to buy some swampland.

    I'd ask this 'management' if they will allow the set-back 'stat, or if they would pay half or everything - it's gonna take the thermal load off their HVAC system, so they should jump at it.

    Now you made my headache come back and I'm gonna go sleep it off.
  6. AC has nothing to do with pipes freezing - unless turning it off ALSO disables the furnace.

    But it doesn't really matter -the AC compressor will never engage on cold days, so you don't need to turn it off - it won't ever run.

    I'd go directly to manglement and work out an agreement on a programmable thermostat - they're cheap and they work well. I've used them for 20+ years.
  7. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    My friend owns a heating cooling company. He says

    The savings from programmable thermostats are overstated
    Ceiling fans make a big difference
    Now is a great time to buy a new system with the government assistance
    If you're going to be gone less than 10 hours don't set your thermos tat to more +- 3 degrees of where you normally have it
    Staying in this range, each degree means a 10% decrease in your bill (in MI)
  8. That's a red herring. I have a friend who owns J&S HVAC in Hemet, and he says they are very good at saving fuel and electricity.

    Opinions are like - well, you know.

    The biggest problem is letting the building/apartment get heat-soaked - either hot or cold, since then you have to do a lot of make-up temperature adjustment.

    To understand that - it takes a lot of energy to get water to 211ºF - just before it boils (at sea level).

    But to raise it from 211º to boiling at 212º takes energy to get there on a parabolic expression. The energy used from 210º to 211º is less than 211º TO 212º.

    This (above ^) is a rather obtuse way to understand it, but to get back up to that final comfort setting in your apartment from a much lower temp will require more energy if you let it drop too far to a lower temperature.

    The consumption may sound small - but on an every day cyclical occurrence, it will add up.

    This is why the comfort zone in large commercial buildings is so tightly controlled. Even moderate swings in temps cost a lot of energy and since HVAC is THE top consumer of energy, this is the first place to make substantial energy savings!

    I tend to keep my setback thermostat to within about 4-5º of where I want it when I'm up to when I am not. That zone of comfort to me seems to work well and I save considerable energy that way.

    Ceiling fans are indeed a great way to equalize the temps in a building so there's no upper hot spots and floor level coldness (Heat ↑ rises).

    It really doesn't matter which way they turn either, ↑ or ↓, as long as they mix the upper strata with the lower, unless one likes to feel the air moving, then make them blow down.

    Here in the woods at 4000 feet, I use propane - very expensive! :eek:

    About halfway through last Winter, I put up my programmable unit and immediately I dropped propane usage by about 15%. :eyebrow:

    So there is a difference if you intelligently program and set the new style thermostats.

  9. jp58


    Dec 9, 2009
    We leave ours set at about 65 on heat. It stays pretty comfy in here withough allowing it to get cold enough for someone to "rage" set it at like 75. Of course its perfect outside during the day so we have no need for heating and cooling then.
  10. Demon_Hunter


    Jun 8, 2008
    You live in Florida....!?!?? :eyebrow:

    Does it even get below 70 down there?

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