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Question: Does it save money to turn your heat off completely when your away from home?


Question by simplecomplexvoid: Does it save money to turn your heat off completely when your away from home?
I just moved into a new place and I’m trying to save as much money as possible. My place is a large upper of a duplex. My neighbors downstairs usually run their heat most of the day. My question is, will it save money to completely turn off the heat when I leave the house? Or will it cost more to heat up the place when I get home? Also, is there a risk my pipes will burst because of the cold? Or are my neighbors taking care of that by running their heat? Also, the previous tenants were spending on average $ 180 per month on energy. There were 5 people living there. I’m in the apartment alone, so is it likely that my utility bills will be less?
So my pipes are still at risk of bursting? Currently I have the heat completely off when I’m away and usually when I’m there I just wrap up in warm clothes or a blanket and keep it real low. It seems that people are saying that it doesn’t save money cuz the gas heat will work harder and others are saying that’s incorrect. What is the REAL truth?
I’ve already got a programmable thermostat and I know how to use it, just trying to get some info about saving money on my utility bills and also if I’m at risk of having burst pipes if I use my solution.

Best answer:

Answer by Phurface
No because it would cost more to reheat the home. Turn it down to 68ยบ when you leave for the day. Since you’re alone, you can shut off rooms that you don’t use that often and shut the registers in them also.

Unfortunately I forgot to turn my heat down this morning on my way out.

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7 Responses to Question: Does it save money to turn your heat off completely when your away from home?

  1. trailng

    Here is a site of DIY t-stats from honeywell. These can be found at Lowes.com or HomeDepot.com

    A sensible one should cost less than $ 75

    hope that this helps

  2. tony

    being that ur in the upper level of the duplex as long as the bottom tenant keeps his/her heat on the pipes most likely wont burst.

    Now on to the second part of your question the lower the heat vs shutting it completely off will depend on how well insulated your place is. If its poorly insulated turning it off will save money because heat will continually escape and the furnish will have to work harder and more often to maintain that heat. If your space is well insulate then turning it down to say 60-65 is fine. I lived in both types of places and tended to just keep it at 65. Sure it cost a few dollars more but I can home to a warm house. Some people would claim thats cold I know my female roommate does but I dont care she isnt paying the bills.

    In terms of utilities being more or less will depend on how much you use vs previous tenants and how much of a price hike the utility companies made. This last year the price on electricity in CT went up something like 50% so my electric bill went from a typical 180 to 380 a month.

  3. Erin B

    I work from home but want to save energy, so we have a programmable thermostat. At night when we sleep, it goes down to 60 (we’re under covers anyway–that’s how pioneers kept warm at night in 50-below blizzards–your body heat keeps you warm under covers). When we wake, it goes up to 68. When my husband leaves, it goes down to 65 for me and I wear sweaters, socks, and slippers and I’m just fine. When hubby comes home, it goes up a bit again.

    Your neighbors below you are certainly keeping your pipes from bursting, so I wouldn’t worry about that. As for energy bills, of course they go down with one person. You open the fridge less, use fewer lights, use less water, have less laundry to do, and can control the heat without someone else complaining. If you are wanting to save every bit of money and energy you can, unplug all unnecessary appliances when you aren’t using them (obviously the fridge stays on, but TV, DVD, video game consoles, stereo equipment, etc. can be unplugged so they don’t draw any energy). Switch out your incandescent lightbulbs for compact flourescents. Turn your fridge and freezer to warmer temperatures. Don’t get an aquarium. :)

    I don’t think you have to turn the heat completely off when you’re not home. If you get a programmable thermostat, you can have it go down to 50 degrees when you leave and then it won’t take so long to warm up when you return. And you can have it cold while you sleep but it can automatically warm up before you have to put your bare feet on the bathroom tile. They are a great investment. Also, keep your drapes closed in cloudy weather to maintain heat and open them when it’s sunny to get heat from the sun. Get drapes especially designed for keeping the heat in. If you notice any draughts, fill in cracks around outside windows with insulation and if you have an attic, make sure the insulation doesn’t have any gaps. A new threshold at the front door can keep heat in. Or just one of those long, pillow-like things that you put in front of a door. If you have access to your water pipes, fit them with pipe insulation (way cheap and easy to do). Get an insulating blanket for your water heater. There are any number of tricks. Some cost money up front, but they save you over the long haul.

  4. mgerben

    It’s possible that if your place is totally stone cold, it will take a while to heat up; while it is heating up the heating is still burning even though the water in the pipes is already at maximum temperature. At that point your heating should stop because at that point all it takes to warm your place up is time, not more heat.

    Get yourself a smart programmable thermostat.
    Check Honeywell for instance.

    These things learn how fast your place warms up.
    If you program it to be at a certain temperature by a certain time, it will fire up the heating for a short burn some time in advance. That way your house gets time to warm up.
    They’re also far more comfortable because they keep a steady temperature much better without huge swings (like the old mechanical thermostats do).

    Just program it at a very low temperature during the day. That way you use the heat from your downstairs neighbour to the max. And program it to have the room warm by the time you return.

  5. whatever

    If your energy bill includes the use of appliances,etc. and not just heating, it probably would be less with only one person.
    If you go to the website of your energy supplier, they often have a chart that indicates the difference in cost for lowering your heat. For example, there is a great difference in just the few degrees when you lower it to 68 degrees as the previous person suggested. You definitely want to keep it at a temp high enough to prevent pipes from bursting. Don’t rely on the neighbor because there might be pipes located away from their area of heat such as the walls of your apt. One of the energy suppliers indicates that lowering your thermostat
    1 degree F. lowers your bill from 1 – 3 %

  6. richard Alvarado

    Any time you are not using energy, you are saving money. I recommend you invest in a therostat that can be programmed. The one I use allows you to program the heat or AC for daytime, nightime, and weekends.

    The notion that it takes more energy to heat up a cold house than to keep a warm house warm is not correct. Heat loss is a function of temperature difference. The warmer the inside of the house, the faster heat is lost to the outside. And similarly, when you heat a cold house, more of the heat is transferred into the house than is vented up the stack if you have gas heat. The same rule applies for air conditioning.

    A good programmagle thermostat can be purchased for about $ 100.

    I also program my heat to a lower setting at night while I’m sleeping and have the heat come on about 30 minutes before my alarm goes off in the morning.

  7. spanky48

    I read that you should turn it down to 55 when away or at night and 68 when you are home………….winter settings

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