Saving on having the furnace set at....


I set my thermostat to 60 degrees and then use a space heater to heat the office as that is the room I'm in mostly, and that works fine but I'm wondering how much money it really saves instead of just setting it to 68 and leaving it there? I live near Chicago if that helps.
Thanks, Rich
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Here's an idea- 1. Do what you're doing for a month. Add up gas/electric/oil bills 2. Set t-stat at 68 for 1 month. Add up utility costs. Compare. Do what's cheaper.
Rich wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

Better find out how many degree days there were in each of those two months and use them to adjust your comparisons. without doing that your results won't be worth chit.
Jeff

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Rich first asked:

snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com suggested:

Jeff Wisnia opined:

If you do bigjim's suggestion, check your utility bill - many companies provide some sort of "per day" cost breakdown and average temperature over the billing period and the period before. It won't give you an exact comparison, but might be close enough.
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It may be costing you. Electric in our area is at least four times the cost of heating with oil or gas. YMMV so check out the different rates. I tried doing something similar and all I did was increase my electric bill. Check the comparative costs here http://www.warmair.net/html/fuel_cost_comparisons.htm
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Simple way to calculate is to assume heat loss is proportional to temperature difference. Say an outside temperature of 20, so difference is 40 @ 60 and 48 @ 68 which gives about a 20% savings less the cost of electricity to heat the room you are in.
This will at least give you a ball park estimate. Now look at your electric bill and they usually tell you the cost per kilowatt hour. Figure how many kilowatts your heater uses and how many hours it is on to get cost of running it.

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There are too many variables to answer this unfortunately. Cost of running the space heater, cost of fuel, size of the rest of the house, efficiency of the furnace, how lossy your home is in terms of heat, etc. The larger, the lossier, the rest of teh house and the less efficient your furnace, the more money your current tactic will save you.
My gut says you're probably saving money leaving the rest of the space drop down in temp during the day and using the electric heater in the only occupied space. Your furnace will have a fairly long continuous run when you bring it back up to temp at the end of the day, but you should still end up ahead by not having to heat the rest of the joint to a balmy room temp for all those hours each day.
-- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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wrote:

Electric heat is expensive. A programmable thermostat will pay for itself in a short time. More insulation and caulking helps too.
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Rich wrote:

It is very difficult to tell. What kind of does your home use? Gas, oil, resistance electric, heat pump coal?? Is that space heater electric?
Chances are the space heater is far less efficient than the whole house system and much of the heat that the space heater is making is going into the rest of the house. Frankly I would be surprised if you are not paying more your way.
I would suggest maybe setting the rest of your home to say 66 - 68 and using the space heater to just add a little additional heat if needed.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

Thanks to everyone that replied. My house is heated with gas and the space heater is electric and cost twelve cents/hour to run and it only runs for 10-15 minutes to get the 120 square foot office up to temp, and runs sparingly after that to keep it up to temp. My office has french doors so the heat is staying in this room until I open the door when I go to bed or watch a little TV. I guess the one poster was right that I have to look at the temp difference and see that it is 20% potential savings from 68-60 with the same temp. differential so I guess the way I'm doing it is correct for my situation.
Thanks, Rich
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Rich wrote:

I agree. Sounds like you are saving energy cost.
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Rich get yourself a warm, comfortable fleece jacket that zips up to the neck, some fleece pants and some hunting socks. You can turn your thermostat down to sixty and leave the space heater in the closet.
Rich wrote:

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